From his early days as a founding member of grime's N.A.S.T.Y. Crew, through to his days as a purveyor of UK funky (though he's always preferred the term "underground UK house") and global club music, London DJ Marcus Nasty has always had a habit of finding himself right in the centre of things. Nowadays, he hosts his own weekly show on Rinse FM—playing a broad range of club and rave music, and still with a heavy dose of UK funky. It's the outlying sub-genres that he finds so appealing; the crossovers and new and exciting takes on existing sounds.
For this edition of Complex Sessions, we invited Marcus Nasty to whip up a mix of the tunes that have him fired up right now. We never tell a DJ or producer what music we want them to include, and this time was no different. Thankfully, Marcus Nasty sent us over exactly what we hoped for: a real masterclass in UK funky, from the tracks that kicked the whole movement off right up to the present day. Keep scrolling for the foot-stomping, funk-filled mix—as well as our quick chat with the man himself—before his set at elrow Town London this weekend.
Tell us a bit about your selections in this mix.
Just expect a lot of UK funky, new and old, at its finest. And played fast and furiously!
What was the one track you absolutely had to include?
"Rass Out" by Altered Natives.
Any tracks that narrowly missed the cut?
Nah. My set is sculptured perfectly for you.
What's the first single or album you ever bought?
"Poison" by BBD. A real classic right there.
What's the last physical record you bought?
Fish Go Deep and Tracey K's "The Cure & The Cause".
What do you want to see happen musically over the next 12 months?
I just want UK music to get the recognition it deserves for all the underground genres that we founded, pioneered and now gets played all over the world; grime, UKG, drum & bass, dubstep, UK funky, bassline, and now bass. Lastly, this new UK rap/Afrobeats/Kojo Funds/J Hus-type music that's taking over the world right now, it's a combination of genres, foreign music styles, and accents, but a very good example of the UK's cultural make-up. My point is this: which other country has so many genres that get played on a worldwide scale? If this was the USA, they would be screaming it from the rooftops. We have something to be proud of and we don't celebrate it enough so, in reality, we can't actually expect other people to. UK—wake up!
What trend or scene absolutely needs to die right now?
People not learning their trade or art form. And I'm talking about ghost producers and DJs who literally cannot DJ. If you want to produce music then learn how to. If you want to DJ, learn how to. If you can't do either of those, then leave it alone because you clearly wasn't built for it. An art enthusiast wouldn't accept a fake Van Gogh, neither would Mike the builder from Bow call his freshly made bungalow a Michelangelo. So why do we? Music is art, and we need to respect it before it turns to shit like everything else sacred in this world.
Marcus Nasty plays elrow Town London on Sunday 20th August. Info and final tickets can be found here.
1. Native - Shifty (Jook 10 Remix)
2. LR Groove - Johnny To Bad
3. LR Groove - Bushman
4. Naughty Raver - Prank Caller
5. LR Groove - Gimme Space
6. Worthy - Dip
7. Mr Solo - Broken
8. Jook 10 - Occurring
9. Major Notes - ByPoler
10. Jook 10 - Afrikaa
11. Donae'O - Party Hard
12. Danny Native - Rass Out
13. Kouslin - Suga's Drums
14. Pote - Oryx
15. Jook 10 - Meweene