Blu Mar Ten: drum'n'bass'n'more, and maybe something about a grapefruit rider
September 3, 2010 7:03 AM   Subscribe

Blu Mar Ten is an electronic-type production group that started out in the mid 1990s as the duo Leo Wyndham and Chris Marigold. Initially making drum'n'bass in an atmospheric vein and dropping their first single in 1996, the duo signed to LTJ Bukem's Good Looking label the next year, where they resided until 2001. After parting ways with GLR, they mixed things up and dropping a UK Garage/breaks single, a techno single, and even a mashup of Thin Lizzie and The Carpenters, all before finally releasing their first album in late 2003. Jump ahead to 2009, and the duo is a trio, with two more albums to their collective name, and their revamped website that is now home to a collection of mixes new and old, a growing collection of videos, and a peak into the evolution of a track.

One of their earliest claims to fame was their remix of Erykah Badu's "On & On" (Discogs) in 1996, which "reached the mainstream top 10 music chart," according to Wikipedia (though no mention of which chart). That remix captured the duo's downtemo, atmospheric drum'n'bass sound, which they would carry through a series of singles, split-releases and a handful of remixes. Up to 1999, the most Blu Mar Ten tracks included in one release was the Everglade EP, which had four tracks of pure bliss, with a spot of Persian influence.

It wasn't until 2003 that the duo released an album, continuing their relaxed sound but leaving some of the d'n'b behind. In 2004, Michael Tognarelli joined the duo, and they continued their output of drum'n'bass alongside breakbeat and deep house. The first album for the trio of Blu Mar Ten was released in 2007, their second record on the relatively new Exceptional Records label.

In 2009, the trio started releasing their music on their own, coinciding with the rebirth of their website. Beyond the usual promoting of new material, they dig out lost samples, works in progress (which they call "sketches"), even the evolution of an idea to a proper tune with samples spanning years of progress. And in the crate of mixes they've posted, there are seven mixes recorded to cassette from 1992 to 1997, recorded and shared for over 10 hours of DnB memories. And if that wasn't enough, you can hear a 1 hour mix of Blu Mar Ten by Blu Mar Ten on the YouTube Panda Drum'n'Bass TV channel, run by Panda, aka Peter Altarbor.

Final tidbit: The post title is in reference to their third blog post from the then-newly revamped website.
posted by filthy light thief (5 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Oooh, small world. I think this is where I drop VG ROOTS into the conversation and see which MeFi users reveal their taste for apple drink.
posted by Slyfen at 8:04 AM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think Mefi user Thin Lizzy will show up to tell you that Thin Lizzie is spelled Thin Lizzy.
posted by wittgenstein at 8:15 AM on September 3, 2010

Sorry, I posted a smartass / in-joke comment which probably wasn't helpful. Have self-flagged it, perhaps a kindly mod will remove my sillyness. Apologies. To try and be more helpful on second attempt:

I actually know these guys, but this post is so comprehensive I struggle to think of what to add. About the only thing that isn't covered there is their attitude to the business end of music. They're very much on top of the whole industry revolution w.r.t self-distribution, self promotion (social media etc), filesharing/piracy, and so on. Not to say they agree with the extremist perspectives a la "Napster was the best thing that ever happened, corrupt labels good riddance", "All music should be free", "Musicians should be happy to be pirated" etc - far from it - but they're not head-in-the-sand about it either. The guys (well, mostly Chris) regularly participate in relevant online communities and share related articles they find, and their own direct experience, with up and coming artists. For example, the other week we were told that people coming to their site via twitter have a much stronger conversion rate than people coming from other channels such as forums, and that trackitdown's auto-DCMA service showed a healthy ROI when they trialled it on their recent remixes collection.
posted by Slyfen at 8:28 AM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]

wittgenstein - thanks for the Lizzie/Lizzy correction.

Slyfen - thanks for the additional information on the band / Chris. He did seem to be the voice of the group, but the posts on their website aren't directly attributed to anyone, so I didn't want to give him alone too much credit. I do dig how much they have on their website, and it's amusing to see random videos put to their music from Chris himself, embracing the YouTube format of so many fans.

And Blu Mar Ten disco? I never knew.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:26 AM on September 3, 2010

I used to really really be into them. Their early stuff is densely sampladelic, in a delightful way.
posted by geekhorde at 7:20 PM on September 4, 2010

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