Born in the sleepy market town of Bishops Stortford and growing up in Harlow, Mark Radford’s story will speak to many aspiring producers and DJs whose interest is piqued by a scene far-flung from their immediate surroundings. The pull of dark and sweaty rooms drawing them closer and closer to the nearest city where stacks of speakers and the siren’s call of undulating basslines seem almost irresistible. It’s in those rooms that Mark Radford found his path in life, enveloping himself in the music and culture at the beating heart of London’s electronic music scene.
Mark’s history stretches back to the early days of acid house, rave and jungle and he counts DJs like Randall, Grooverider and Jumping Jack Frost at the forefront of his musical stimuli. “Watching these guys create a new genre of music was amazing,” he explains, alluding to their experiments in music and willingness to push new boundaries, exposing the public to a dearth of home-grown talent as a great inspiration to him. A testament to that outlook is Mark’s record label, AudioRehab. Widely recognised as one of the capital’s most influential underground labels with its own residency at the legendary Ministry of Sound, the backing of Rinse FM’s administration and PR teams and a burgeoning roster of artists AudioRehab was born from Mark Radford’s desire to harness and expose fresh talent.
And that desire has undoubtedly been realised, with the labels dropping over 50 releases from some of the hottest underground talent around since 2012. Despite the incredible explosion of his labels however, Mark can be seen as a humble and reluctant businessman. Citing himself as more of a DJ and producer than a label owner he’s happy to allow his colleagues to handle the administration of the labels, while his main input is his innate ability to pick up on fresh and exciting music. Clearly that’s an approach that’s working as Mark allows his natural A&R skills to come to the forefront while his passion for delivering new music drives his movement forward.
Not only does Mark run one of the hottest labels around, he has garnered a reputation as one of London’s most cutting edge selectors and an accomplished producer in his own right. Working with vocalists and expanding his musical horizons has become a point of focus for Mark over the past few years, and listeners to his Rinse FM slot will undoubtedly have noticed how many new and unfinished tracks and collaborations he drops; almost always with the cheeky line “It’s nowhere near finished, but I thought I’d drop it anyway.”
This is Mark Radford’s strength, his passion for sharing new music and new sounds with people. Amongst a multitude of artists who circle round and round, never daring to head in a new direction, here is a DJ, producer, promoter and label owner that stands out from the crowd. Much like the acid house and rave pioneers he references as his earliest influences, Mark Radford is focused on evolution, not revolution.
Whether you check his show on Rinse FM, dance the night away at one of his parties or drop his records in your own set, Mark Radford’s influence on the underground music scene is keenly felt and should not be underestimated.