Photo by Michael Cox
Part of MikeQ’s scene leading Qween Beat collective, New York’s Quest?onmarc has emerged over the past year as one of the ballroom world’s most enigmatic voices, emerging occasionally for haunted club transmissions and high energy, classic-meets-contemporary DJ sets. Punchy kick patterns and snappy snare arrangements meet cerebral synth work on efforts like “Starshower Ha” and “Penance”, tracks that balance off-kilter menace with linear club functionality to great effect. It’s a sound foregrounded in runway functionality, involving the full range of ballroom samples, but with an ear to sounds outside of the direct ballroom lineage, whether they be Jersey and Bmore Club or the feedback loop sounds of European crews like Gang Fatale, Night Slugs or Nervous Horizon. That approach is most apparent in Quest?onmarc mixes and DJ sets, a rampant inclusivity that effortlessly matches the greats ballroom producers of our time with a huge collection of up-and-coming artists from the tri-state area and beyond. Unreleased Byrell The Great tunes bump up against new material from DJ Haram, Lao, Schwarz and Toxe in an intoxticating deluge of rhythm, collage-style production techniques and unrelenting forward momentum.
Astral Plane Mix 134 — our final entry of the year — is no different, an insatiably fun 75 minute blast with the potential to move the most jaded listeners. Unreleased material from Rizzla, Byrell The Great, Ash B., JX Cannon and MikeQ & DJ Fade collides with anthemic efforts from Helix, TD_Nasty, Kush Jones, Angel X and DJ J Heat, the result a brilliant confluence of ballroom, club and footwork’s most vital ideas. Raw, punchy drums form the backbone of Quest?onmarc’s work, but the mix is polished and tracks are blended together in a seamless manner more likely to be found in a techno set. Of course, there’s still plenty of bombast, but Quest?onmarc’s approach to DJing tends to put the whole of the session above individual tracks. Without an official release out yet, Quest?onmarc is still a relatively unknown entity and 2017 is going to be an intriguing year for this multifaceted artist. Hit the jump for the full track list and be sure to check out fellow Qween Beat member Byrell The Great’s Astral Plane Mix from August.