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Friday, Dec 23 2016 | 05:39
Image: 1607774 Historic times as !K7 officially announces it new partnership with legendary Planet E with Day Of Knowing the new album from Niko Marks.

A1. Crank Shaft
A2. Day Of Knowing (Remix)
B1. Day Of Knowing
B2. Elle Est Une Danseuse A Minuit
C1. Many Other Places
C2. Saint Antonio
C3. Soul Meter
D1. This One (Keep Coming Mix)
D2. Thrill of the Chase

Niko Marks exists at a musical intersection where Stevie Wonder and electronic music
collide. Born in Detroit and raised by a family of musicians and singers, Niko was
taught chord progressions by his mother on the piano and learned the rest by ear. He
took just one music class along the way. It wasn’t long before Marks’ genre-defying
path — and ability to sing, write, produce and play — would link him up with the next
wave of Detroit techno.
In the early 1990s, Marks was working under the same roof as underground luminaries
like Juan Atkins, Eddie Fowlkes, ‘Mad’ Mike Banks and Jeff Mills. As Underground
Resistance established its iconoclast status, Marks joined collaborative production
team Members of the House. On Grand River Avenue in the shadow of Cass Technical
High School — Detroit’s de facto producer of legends like Donald Byrd, Dorothy Ashby
and Ron Carter — Marks was helping produce the Motor City’s latest musical exports
all before he could legally rent a car. “It was almost like a revived Motown for electronic
and dance music,” recalls Marks. “The freedom of electronic music or dance music — I
began to really get into that. You’re not reduced to a traditional song format. You’re
more free.”
There’s no denying, however, that the traditional background Marks hails from sets his
prolific catalog apart from the pack. Marks manages to bend those chord progressions
learned on his mother’s piano to his will today, creating a bevy of soulful techno and
house tracks in his wake for labels like U2X Productions Detroit and Carl Craig’s
Planet E label. Starting in 1999 with his “Niko Marks & the City Boy Players” release
with Fowlkes, Marks has released new music nearly every year. As a live performer,
he’s found himself doing stripped down DJ sets as well as bringing his body of work to
life as a jazz trio. “The trio gives people something more real, something move live,”
says Marks. “The interaction is greater for me, but it’s still dance music at the end of
the day.”
With “Day Of Knowing” Marks is releasing his debut full length February 3rd 2017 on
Planet E. Produced in part with Craig (“Craig has one heavenly ear,” laughs Marks),
the record is undoubtedly one of Marks’ most compelling efforts. His raw talent as a
musician takes center stage as rich instrumentation becomes a soulful weapon over
crisp electronic drums. There’s crossover appeal here that plays as well in the
basement dive as it does in the jazz club. Marks describes “Day Of Knowing” as a
decades-long culmination of producing, arranging and writing — but coming back
home to his roots at the same time.
“I was inspired by my inner thought of what I wanted and what I’ve realized about my
music over the years being very composition oriented,” says Marks. “The day of
knowing is to know where your music is and how you should present it and I’m using
keyboard synthesis to do just that.”

Available from 10.02.2017
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