Campo Grande is the capital and largest city of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul. It is here where Mario Malke was born and the stretch between Campo Grande and Sao Paulo where the young artist spent most of his days growing up.
The city was built in a region that served as a way point for travelers from Sao Paulo or Minas Gerais to northern Mato Grosso and earned the nickname Cidade Morena, which literally translates to ‘Brunette City’, because of the reddish-brown tint of the soil. In the early 1900’s, a railway was completed that ran through the city, increasing tourism and helping to result in the cultural melting pot that the Brazilian city represents today.
As a child in the 1980’s and 1990’s, he was interested in music at an early age. By age seven Mario had picked up the keyboard, teaching himself at a rapid clip. Just a few short years later he was already DJing birthday parties and other similar events for friends. His fascination with music and sound continued to grow.
‘When I was 13 I fell in love with the drums and started trying to play it with a drum made out of waste material.’
Around this time, as Mario’s fascination with drums escalated, bands such as Sepultra, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Pantera influenced the metal and industrial side of his musical upbringings. Powerful guitar riffs, provocative sounds, and an overall harsh feel were alluring to him as a teenager and laid the foundation for his live performances today.
The early 90’s saw a fascination with Michael Jackson, one of his biggest musical inspirations early on, and by the mid 90’s he was exploring dance music and the finer sounds of techno. It was at this time that Mario had found the club scene. Venues such as Amsterdam Club in Campo Grande as well as Love.e, A Loca, and Circuito Techno played home to some of his earliest clubbing memories, helping to form the bond with music that is growing stronger to this day.
The club scene in Brazil at the time was thriving. This exposure from clubs such as the ones mentioned above helped shaped his earliest visions of the genre and are ultimately where his roots lie. On the weekends, world class DJs would come and perform and for him, this was where he belonged.
Once he began to take the art of DJing more seriously, his focus shifted from attending the clubs, to wanting to play at them and it wasn’t long after before he started ticking them off the list. He found himself frequenting clubs and small festivals in Sao Paolo and its surrounding areas such as Marrokas Fight Project, Fuel Techno, A Loca, Balatronik, and Technopride.
Since then, he’s spent the better part of the last two decades fine-tuning his sound and his live performance. Malke’s consistent touring schedule and penchant for spending long periods of time in the studio have resulted in an ever-evolving skill set and a dynamic style with energy few can match. His travels have resulted in a slew of festival bookings as well, most notably events such as Monegros, Dominator, Awakenings, Decibel, and Apokalypsa.
Most recently, Mario just returned from a stunning hybrid performance at the world-renowned Nature One music festival. Playing on the BPM Stage hosted by Minupren, BMG, and Pappenheimer, he was met with a full crowd capable of matching the energy Malke had been preparing to dish out. Adding a live drumming aspect via his e-drum kit allowed him to connect with the audience on a further level, ultimately allowing him to push the tempo and get creative with his performance by implementing a bit more of the metal aspect to the set.
‘I was kind of concerned about their feedback if I was to throw some of my “metal” bits, but as the first vocals parts on “You Try Me” went on, I knew they were loving it.’
Headed in to the Fall, Mario is riding high after reaching what is arguably the largest milestone of his burgeoning career: the release of his debut artist album. Titled Negative Infinity, the LP has been a long-awaited project and finally saw the light of day last week via Industrial Strength Records. Mario was first introduced to Industrial Strength boss Lenny Dee after a performance during a festival in Spain. Lenny was so impressed by the energy the then-24 year old artist possessed, he had immediately introduced himself, inviting Mario to the Industrial Strength studios to record.
Since then, Industrial Strength has played home to three Mario Malke releases, all of which were collaborations, making Negative Infinity his first solo project on the label. Already sitting a top the Juno Hard Techno charts, fans have begun to take note of the style and energy on display throughout Negative Infinity’s duration.
‘I’ve known the label since when I started. I used to buy their vinyl records since my very beginning, so
you can Imagine how proud I am to release my debut LP at this legendary label.’
In order to produce the LP, Malke used a combination of Ableton Live, a Novation MinoNova, Access Virus, Roland V-Drums, a Roland SPD-SX, and a Roland SPD-30 Octapad, to form the 11 punishing productions on the album.
The LP’s title track leads things off, setting the tone with a heavily industrialized intro and a powerful, lead bass line. ‘Killing Beasts’ is to follow, immediately turning the tempo up a notch with an energized vocal loop and a barrage of hi hats flying off in various directions leading in to a serious of filters and distortions. ‘Hold Your Breath’ and ‘Evil Intent’ features the creative genius of electronic hardcore artist Tooms, bringing enough fire to set any dance floor ablaze. Records such as ‘Fuck That Beat Up’ highlight a bevy of drum n bass influences that are accented by hard techno and hard dance break downs with brief pauses in between.
Overall, it’s a near-flawless display of some of dance music’s hardest sounds and a body of work that truly reflects Mario Malke as an artist. The album’s title, is meant to invoke paradoxical thoughts and parlays in to the contrast of techno and industrial influences that run rampant through Malke’s soundscape.
‘The LP has no semantical concept, its mostly orientated to our sensorial senses. So it was kind of hard
to come up with a name. It was only when I was watching a documentary and heard about “negative infinity” and got crazy about this paradox. I couldn’t stop thinking…. Can there be a negative infinity?’
The remainder of 2017 is no less busy for Mario Malke. September sees the first run of gigs in the United States for the Brazilian product and Malke has gigs lined up in the Czech Republic, Amsterdam for the legendary Amsterdam Dance Event, and Slovenia for the ECO Festival in the coming months.
Check out the album below and Give Mario a follow on his socials for more.