D’Marc Cantu: A Spiritual Thing

For those whose lives have been directed by their passion for music, D’Marc Cantu‘s story will sound familiar. Starting with an insatiable desire to learn more about the new, strangely intriguing and all-consuming sound of electronic music which he had discovered in the late nineties, D’Marc began playing with all of the gear he could get his hands on in order to create those deep reaching emotions for himself. Always a lover of various styles of music, his hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan was a fertile ground for artists, with a multitude of bands finding a vital home base of faithful fans and eager crowds who were happy to accept their experimental and creative ventures. D’Marc fell right in line with this local crew, his experience as a drummer with a love for rock and metal laying the groundwork for creating his own distinctive style that blended both analog and digital worlds. When he moved into a house with Ghostly’s JTC and a diverse group of dedicated musicians in 2001, D’Marc was introduced to the classic house and techno sounds of Chicago and Detroit, and a new direction in his creative expressions was born, one that would lay the groundwork for his future.

With a large catalog of music spanning over the past nearly 20 years, D’Marc’s own style of JakBeat combining house, techno, and acid has been an ever-present influence on the underground electronic music scene. While he’s known for his love of analog gear, often sampling his own instruments and drums, and using a large sample bank of sourced, found, and recorded sounds, D’Marc has continued to embrace all the available studio tools for productions under his variety of aliases. Whether making hard techno as Brickwall Giant, uptempo house as Marcial Escobares, or recording one-take sessions as Rival, his focus remains on creating music that has a spiritual connection which enhances his own life and those of others.

After many years working as a prolific producer in the electronic music industry, D’Marc has discovered that he is coming full circle. He feels that he is reaching a point where he has the solid production experience and knowledge to truly focus on creating the sound he really wants, and his passion for the music has been reignited as he’s rediscovering the joy of creating music for music’s sake. It was a real pleasure to learn about his production process, and to get his thoughts on succeeding in the industry, the challenges of being creative, and what making music is really all about. Although he’s a reluctant mentor (“I don’t see myself as a mentor, I still see myself as a protege”) I was really inspired and impressed by his insights, and know that they will be helpful to others as well, whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned professional.

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