Producer & Multi-Instrumentalist Ben Marc Shares His Top 5 Most Influential Albums
London-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Ben Marc has always sought to blur the lines between jazz, classical, and electronic music. Reflecting his all-encompassing approach to his artistry, Marc, the moniker of Neil Charles, has played on Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood’s award-winning film soundtrack for The Master and toured with jazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke for over a decade. As if those accomplishments aren’t swoon-worthy enough, Marc also joined the iconic Tina Turner once onstage.
On double and bass guitar, Marc flickers between hypnotic jazz, the dynamic sound of classical and electronic music, with a dash of rhythmic hip-hop beats. Marc studied classical double bass at the distinguished Trinity College of Music in London – a course that led him to double bassist and composer Gary Crosby, who’s at the forefront of the UK jazz renaissance. Marc is now taking strides into the spotlight with his debut solo album, Glass Effect, to be released this spring.
EDITION tapped into the mind of Marc to get a list of the impactful records that have influenced his genre-defying sound. Read and listen below.
Mount Kimbie - Crooks & Lovers
I love this record for being so London. Every time I listen to the album, It feels like you're in a dark, moody UK nightclub. It’s bold and at the time was so fresh. I really enjoyed the mixture of sounds, from live instruments, obscure dusty vocals, and electronics.
Thelonious Monk - Live at the It Club
I always come back to this record. It's so raw and dirty. It sounds like the band has played the same tunes every day for one year and now are letting loose, taking risks with insane melodic improvisation.
Bonobo - Black Sands
The complexity of the whole album on every tune is scary. It's an orchestra of sound that's accumulated African rhythm, Spanish motifs, sub-bass, modern electronics, choir, and song arrangements – not to mention the emotion in each piece. Shout out to Andreya Triana for sounding so good.
Machinedrum - Room(s)
This album has 23 tracks. Some are remixes; however, every track is a banger. The storytelling in each piece is next level. From playing with filters to melodic ideas to the sub-bass patterns, it never gets boring. It's such a good vibe album, Machinedrum gives a sense that it was made on one sunny day, but when you listen to it repeatedly, you know this project took some time to craft.
Edvard Grieg - The Piano Concerto in A minor
This piece of music just never leaves my consciousness. It has everything you want in a composition, melody, harmony, orchestration, and arrangement. As well as it being a concerto, it's perfectly composed to make you feel the piano isn't in isolation as a soloist but part of the band. It's something I try to latch onto when working with vocalists.