With the fully packed release of the Hitman Album upon us this month, we had the privilege and honour to talk to one of the founding fathers of Jungle, the legendary Marvellous Cain. The elder has been there since the early days of the UK scene and has dropped timeless and renowned anthems under multiple names as well as labels of which, some he has been behind the running. It’s been more than two decades, and he’s still consistent in pushing and pioneering the culture. Taking us from those days up until the current works, this is what the Marvellous had to say…
BFTR: Before we talk about the ‘Hitman’ let us start with the early years, and you being part of it. Firstly, what music did you listen to before Jungle came into the world?
MC: Before getting into the Rave scene as it was back then, being younger I was into Hip-Hop and having older brothers; one into Reggae; and the other into Soul, and my mother and father playing me the tunes we call “Reggae Classics” now every Sunday morning.
BFTR: With Jungle finally coming into the world and you being amongst the founding fathers safe to say, how did you end up being part and parcel in pioneering both the scene and the genre?
MC: To me, it wasn’t about a new genre. Jungle has always been there in Reggae, the same as Drum & Bass; it was all about making and playing music that represented our time. I feel it’s nice to help build something that’s lasted over 20 something years and still going strong.
BFTR: Could you describe to us as to how the scene was in those days and has it differed to how it is currently?
MC: Everything changes sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst, the main thing I see is that no one meets up anymore. We all used to meet up at a music house when you was getting Dubz cut and it was nice, some wicked jokes was running.
BFTR: Still thinking back to when it started, did you ever think Jungle/D&B would ever get this far as a genre?
MC: Yeah man, the music was everywhere. You can’t stop a Hurricane, you just get ready for it to hit.
BFTR: Some say Drum & Bass music is still underrated, and not given the recognition it deserves besides it being an underground sound. I’d like to hear your take concerning this issue?
MC: Jungle/Drum & Bass is never been underrated. Look at what we’ve achieved in the last 20 something years, we got artists at the top of their game pushing this music and taking it to more and more to new listeners every day. We’ve got tunes in the charts; top artists using our breaks and baselines; you got tunes on films; tunes on adverts, it’s not underrated in one shape or form.
BFTR: Let’s now talk about the tune ‘Hitman’, the original mix first. What inspired the making of this awesome anthem? Also, not forgetting the inspiration to compile it into The Hitman Album; how did that come about having so many artists working on it?
MC: It just happened. I just made a tune that’s all. I wanted to do up to now; I still can’t believe people saying it’s an anthem, thank you all. It’s funny really how the album came about, well after being asked so many times “if I can remix”, or “I’ve done a remix of your tune” it was born. I had a VIP of the Bladerunner remix and a Scott Garcia Garage mix, and two other House & Garage artists’ mixes I’d been sitting on for a while. I decided to get a few more mixes done to put this tune to bed once and for all so, I asked a few artists if they’d like to jump on it and this is how it was born. We’ve made sure that there’s a mix to fit any set, and hopefully, no more bootlegs or random remixes of my tune will be done.
BFTR: I know this might be difficult since all those remixes and VIPs sound great in their own differing ways but, which is your favourite re-work? Name just three.
MC: I’d like to say thank you to every artist for their contribution to this project. Every mix was totally different which is what I wanted, a new take on the tune. I can’t just say three; I’ll give you my top 10 in no particular order:
Farman D, Nicky Blackmarket & Klip & Outlaw
Scott & Nick
BFTR: Can you tell us what Marvellous Cain is currently busy with in the studio?
MC: At this point in time, I’m working on some tracks with General Levy, there’s a Dub Plate Style project in the working, along with some new tunes for this year and next. I’m also in the middle of working on releasing our old label which me and Sponge ran back in the day, with an IQ classics album and then, the remixes will start going out for next year.
BFTR: Besides pushing the music, what are your other interests?
MC: My lovely son, Ezra, just seeing him happy is all the interest I need.
BFTR: Finally, as a legend and godfather in the scene, what parting words of wisdom would you like to share with the Latter-day Junglists and Ravers out there?
MC: Be it philosophical, or something you figure the new generation should know, please…
“Wha Ah Fe Yu, Caan Be Un Fe Yu”. Self-belief- if you really believe that you can achieve, no one can convince you otherwise. Have faith.
Words by: Tsheola Asavela
Check out his latest mix here: