Our guy Marc Cotterell has been hammering solid new music on his Plastik People label for the last four years, with a sound I found best described as “Deep House, UK Garage and everything good that comes from them.”
With the Collections series,
Marc Cotterell is also bringing cult UKG tracks back into circulation on black wax. Now up to Volume 6, Collections has featured UKG classics and old school secret weapons from the likes of Scott Garcia, Donnell Rush, DB Selective and others.
Originally, we were going to ask Marc to talk about some of these reissues and what they mean, and we did, but we got a little more in-depth in an interview as well. And we’re also thrilled that Marc put together an exclusive UK Garage mix exclusively for this issue.
Marc Cotterell: A 5 Mag UKG Mix
Marc Cotterell: A 5 Mag Interview
When did you start Plastik People?
Plastik People started back in 2013 after years of deliberation and a real desire to push the music I love and needed to hear. I felt like people were starting to get back into those US vibes after the resurgence of the amazing My Love Is Underground label and I wanted to help.
So is Plastik People your first label?
Yes. Running a label was a totally new experience for myself, learning on the fly but also calling in favors and implementing years of music dedication and the knowledge from collecting vinyl since the early 1990s. Slowly the label picked up pace and started to get more and more recognition by peers and fans alike, with top 10 releases on juno and hitting top 10 & top 20 release charts on Traxsource on a continued basis.
Somewhere along the line we lost touch with our soul in music due to electronic equipment, the drugs and the lack of money invested, but I think Garage & UK Garage engulfs all of those deeply rooted emotions that we as humans create on a daily basis.
You mix reissues with new material. What’s the connection between them?
My love has always been firmly cemented in the 1990s, and without knowledge of the past there is no future. The new generation need to have the ability to find music that shaped and paved the way for what we have today. Some artists and labels believe “the old school” or the “underground classics” should be left in the past but I want everyone to be able to collect or experience such amazing music, just as I did. And realize that we can enjoy both new and old music together, as true original music is timeless.
What was your personal connection with UK Garage? Played it then, love it now? Loved it then, play it now?
Mixture of both really. We were spoilt with the excess of underground music in the UK through the 1990s. While the USA was educating everyone on Soulful House & Garage the London scene was reassembling it with its own version with its distinctive 4/4 percussive rhythm & syncopated (shuffling) hi-hats, cymbals and snares. Instead of using soulful chords it would be chopped up, and time-shifted and sometimes pitch-shifted vocal samples instead of full vocals.
This was whole new approach to House Music. UKG was something new to me at that time in the 1990s and progressed from a need to find more underground and newer sounds to feed my addiction. I remember artists such as Tuff Jam, Industry Standard & RIP as well as collecting plenty of the Nice’N’Ripe label that Grant Nelson held, but honestly it was the last few years that I started delving back into those sounds with the help of a friend DJ Nav, my boy in Washington DC, after playing at Flash. Rummaging though his splendid collection, all those emotions that I originally experienced back in the 1990s came flooding back.
With as popular as UKG had been, why was there such a dramatic crash?
Probably due to the fact UKG & Garage was having a huge impact in the UK scene. That’s what always happens when things are “cool”: people and business companies jumped on the bandwagon then saturated the market with poor copies for money purposes which drastically reduced the quality. Eventually people will lose touch and move on to the next trend.
At the end of the day I feel we need to keep pushing good music, whichever style or genre we choose. I think somewhere along the line we lost touch with our soul in music due to electronic equipment, the drugs and the lack of money invested, but I think Garage & UK Garage engulfs all of those deeply rooted emotions that we as humans create on a daily basis. There is no better way of expressing it than through music.
Collections Volume Six
Marc Cotterell and Ollie (aka Redeye) on some selected UK Garage tracks and reissues on Plastik People
“‘Hi Times’ was one of those iconic UKG tracks that you heard on the underground circuit and then you spent all your free time hunting it down. Infectious chords with bottom end baselines & skippy drums – all the main ingredients as to why we love UKG.”
– Marc Cotterell
Hi Times: Journey Into Jazz
“20 years ago I produced and released ‘Hi Times – Journey into Jazz.’ The UK Garage sound was just starting in London and I drove around the record shops relentlessly selling copies out of the back of my car. It sold well, got picked up by Kiss FM and became a well-respected track that influenced a lot of DJs and producers. I’m really happy that its finally getting re-released on the fantastic ‘Plastik People’ record label.”
– Ollie (aka Redeye)
Tuff Vibes: Nice-N-Riper
Industry Standard: The Standard
“I decided in mid-2016 i wanted to take the label is a slightly different direction. Plastik People was already on a Garage vibe but I wanted to incorporate more of the homegrown flavors from the UK and the country I grew up in.”
– Marc Cotterell
For the love of #UKG: Originally published in 5 Magazine Issue 142, the first of our three issue series dedicated to the sound, the artists and the timeless influence of UK Garage. Become a member of 5 Magazine for First & Full Access to Real House Music.