DJ Marcelle is that rare combination of things: fearless, innovative, uncategorisable and funny as fuck. She’s in that league of artists who are out there, doing their own thing, for the pure art and energy of it all.
The Dutch DJ and producer has been honing her craft for a hot minute (translation: the best part of two decades) but has recently been blessing dancefloors for a new generation of fans – or perhaps disciples works better in Marcelle’s case – at en vogue parties like CTM, Sonic Acts, Atonal, Dekmantel and, later this summer, Dour, Primavera and Nachtdigital.
Her sets (billed as DJ Marcelle/Another Nice Mess) cartwheel across the face of charged electronic music, with Marcelle diligently slapping vinyl down on three platters, drawing from her mammoth record collection (currently at upward of 20,000 discs) and longstanding experience in the rave and on the radio. She cuts between tempos and rhythms in a way that’ll leave you constantly wrongfooted but gagging for more – what’s next?! Where is she taking us?! How did we get here in the first place?! Don’t worry, Marcelle is always in full control of such wonderful chaos and, of course, her audience’s destiny.
In the studio, Marcelle’s vibe is just as rugged and raw. Her latest album 'One Place For The First Time' lands in May via Jahmoni, boasting nine tracks of warped, fuggy but altogether boisterous techno-not-techno, with track titles that reference her attitude and politics (‘Respect My Snack Foods’, ‘Respect Caged Animals’ and ‘The Mother Of All Messes’, a Brexit headline) and psychedelic sleeve art that depicts a number of knitted hats and photographs, each a reference to a track on the LP and a colourful example of Marcelle’s keen sense of humour (her Facebook is also excellent).
Indeed, Marcelle wears her heart on her sleeve at all times: she dismisses DJs who eschew lugging around heavy boxes of vinyl for lightweight USB sticks and calls out the mundanity of an underground circuit that has a tendency to repeat itself as often as its mainstream counterpart. And in fine style, she’s named her In Session the 'Mega Migmag Mig Mix', which was “as always done on/with three turntables, mixing, merging, manipulating and (ab)using loads and loads of vinyl – almost continuously three vinyls are playing at the same time.” This one turns DJ fuckboys into dust, offering a glimpse of Marcelle's arsenal and the unique way she deploys it. Watch out for four of her own productions in the mix too.
'One Place For The First Time' is out in May via Jahmoni
Seb Wheeler is Mixmag's Head Of Digital. Follow him on Twitter