By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
The thing that stokes Mark Caro — alias Tech Itch — the most is his rep as the godfather of dark, hard, experimental drum 'n' bass. The thing that least stokes him is what the marginal success of d 'n' b is doing to the genre. "There's too much cheesy commercial crap now," he says, glowering.
That's a pretty serious offense, given the protective attitude with which drum 'n' bass-heads regard the genre. Caro is one of its founding fathers, having been a part of the sound when it evolved out of the rave scene in his native England. "I've been into it from the start," he says proudly.
Caro's first DJing experience came at age 16, "at some school dance or wedding." Later, during the early Nineties, he formed a partnership with Darren Beale (a.k.a. Decoder) based on a mutual fascination with darker jungle. Their compatible goals eventually led to the formation of Tech Itch Recordings, a label that to date has turned out 50 releases, including projects from Dieselboy and MC Jakes. These days Beale is busily occupied with UK trip-hop crew Kosheen. Caro is the sole proprietor of Tech Itch, which recently merged with Dylan Hisley's Freak Recordings to form — wait for it — Tech Freak Recordings. Among the notables on that label are Limewax and Estonia-born artist Raiden. Additionally Caro releases his own relatively down-tempo tracks (140 bpm on average) through yet another self-run imprint, Ascension.