THE BIRDHOUSE 178: Marc Houle Interview

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This week’s guest on THE BIRDHOUSE is my old friend, Marc Houle. I first met Marc in 1998 when house and techno were really starting to hit their stride, and we have kept in touch ever since. He actually gave me all my cracked software back in the days when I was making jungle (thanks again for that).

Over the last 14 years, Dirtybird has deservedly garnered a reputation as a house music label, but I’ve always been open to signing techno releases from the right artists. Since we met 20 years ago, Marc has proved he is one of those artists time and time again. From his epic sets at Dirtybird Campout to his brand new EP on Dirtybird “Min & Soda”, Marc continually reminds me why he’s one of my favorite producers. After all, Richie Hawtin was his mentor early on. Hard to imagine he would end up being anything less than the best. Check out his guest mix and questionnaire below!

THE REAL

How did your music career get started in earnest?

I got lucky – Magda was a good friend and played my stuff a lot in the olden days when she still had good taste. Mr Hawtin heard it and put it out on his new Minus label. 

Where are you from and does it have an influence on your music?

I grew up about 10 minutes from downtown Detroit in safe old Windsor Canada.  We would cross over a few times a week and go to techno parties.  I quickly learned that this fit right into my love of synths and drum beats and got heavily influenced in the studio to start experimenting in the genre.  I was quite fortunate to have all that going on in my backyard really.   

How many times did you want to quit trying to make this your career?

It sorta became my career without me realizing.  One day i was asked if i wanted to start touring and playing live - I never really considered ever doing anything with my music - It was just a labour of love.  

What was one piece of equipment that helped define your sound early on?

Early on I think it was a combination of a pure square wave mixed with a Juno 60.  That kinda represents my video game love and my 80’s passion.  That and some 808 of course :)

When you were getting started, which artists did you try to emulate (both musically and careerwise)?

Kraftwerk.  Computer World is still the best album ever. 

When you have a tough week or a rough tour, how do you get yourself back on track?

I guess the thing that works for me is never trying to force anything.  If I’m not feeling it, I wont sit in the studio cause that would just make the process frustrating.  It’s gotta come from a love of creating and experimenting.  So sometimes a break is fine as long as you come back with something new to offer.

Where and when are you at your most content/happiest?

Watching my dog play with her ball, Christmas with the family, cooking with my girlfriend and of course on stage making people dance.

Do you have any secret hobbies or hidden talents?

I can make pretty good tortillas

THE REST

Favorite and least favorite colors?

Blue/Red/Purple   Yellow/Green

Favorite and least favorite words?

Manifesto / taxes

Favorite animal?

My dog

Favorite board game?

Catan

Favorite guilty pleasure food?

Toro

 Favorite guilty pleasure song?

 Toto Africa

German or Detroit techno?

Duh, Detroit

Festival, club or illegal warehouse?

Movement Festival - wtf 5 stages of great music

 Biggie or Tupac?

Biggie

Star Wars or Star Trek?

Loaded Question

Exercise or Netflix?

Forensic Files on Netflix!