Asphalt Jungle : The Kotori Interview

by Wasim Muklashy

So the story goes a little somethin' like this: Two drum and bass producers, Brian Tarquin and Chris Ingram, meet while "making records for Instinct records back in the mid-90s...a lot of acid jazz stuff," Tarquin recalls. One day, they happened upon a copy of Bob Marley's "Don't Rock The Boat." On this particular copy, the channels were split so that the band was on one and the vocals on the other. As you can imagine, that can be quite enticing for a couple of expert remixers. Following the success of that record, they were then given the a cappella for "Mr.Brown." They took the vocal track, reworked it into an inebriating dnb state, and turned it into such a masterful work that Chris Blackwell, the man who started Island Records and is often credited with discovering Bob, "thought it was the best remix he'd ever heard of Bob Marley," glows Tarquin.

Enter Brian Perera, the President of Cleopatra Records. After he heard what was done with "Don't Rock the Boat" and "Mr.Brown," he felt compelled to hand over the a cappella tracks of 13 additional Marley cuts that he had access to. "When he sent us a CD of everything with the tracks broken down, we looked at each other and said 'this would be a great remix record,'" tells us Tarquin. "We came with it and said this is such a nice thing to keep the authenticity of his vocal in the song and put it in a modern day kind of a mix situation, giving it all sorts of treatment from drum and bass to breakbeat to dub."

And that was the birth of Bob Marley Remixed, the full length Asphalt Jungle record on shelves in April. "I think Bob Marley is a good find no matter how you look at it...he's pretty well known through every genre," Tarquin tells us. "The diehard Marley fans might be a bit offended, but even without the music, Bob is such a great songwriter that it's so tempting. I think a lot of people will appreciate the remix value," explains Tarquin. "How could you resist?" adds Ingram.

"MTV was actually really big for us," Chris feels apt to admit. "Yah, 'Road Rules' had picked up a lot of our stuff in the 90s and used it as the theme song and in the shows. We had both started out working on TV and film, which spurred the record career as well, we still write for a lot of shows for VH1, ABC, MTV." As a matter of fact, they've already racked up 2 Emmys for their work and a nomination for another as recently as 2004. "It wasn't something you can really plan out, it just happened to come our way," humbles Tarquin. "When you're doing eclectic solo records, Emmy isn't something that comes to mind, you know," adds Ingram.

With a resume that includes everything from "All My Children" to "Smallville" to "The X-Files," don't be surprised to see another one land in their hands soon. In the meantime, when they're not watching their tracks climb the CMJ and Billboard charts, they'll be kickin' it in the Jungle Room with a phattie and a mixing board.

"Which is the darker, richer, kick you in your chest kind?"
'That's the Indica.'
"That's what I would go for then!"

Jah Rastafari!