Mark Ernestus is the founder of the legendary Hard Wax record store, which in 1989 laid the foundation for Berlin’s electronic club music scene. He played a key role in establishing the Berlin-Detroit nexus, and started creating music as one half of Basic Channel (aka Maurizio), with its deep, immeasurably influential hybrid of Dub and Techno.
As Rhythm & Sound, the duo refined this signature sound alongside a range of vocalists – most extensively Tikiman (aka Paul St. Hilaire), besides reggae legends like Cornel Campbell, Jennifer Lara, Willi Williams and Sugar Minott.
In the mid-nineties, BC set up Dubplates & Mastering, a mastering and vinyl cutting studio.
In recent years Mark has remixed Tony Allen, Tortoise, Friedman/Liebezeit, Konono No. 1 and Shangaan Electro, and developed an increasing interest in various areas of african music, particularly senegalese Mbalax, in which as he puts it he is hearing elements or attributes that he has always been excited about in any music – including electronic club music.
In Mbalax high polyrhythmic complexity meets merciless minimalism, self-reliant and strongly rooted in a rich, ancient musical heritage – mainly based on drum rhythms – yet very alive in the present. In 2011 Mark went to Dakar and recorded a studio session with Jeri-Jeri, a Griot family of Sabar drummers along with a number of guest musicians and vocalists.