An introduction, please … who are you, where are you, and what pays the bills?
Hi, I’m Marius Circus, just Marius to my folks and wife. My artist name was originally a play on the French disco band Martin Circus, but I think that reference is lost on most people these days. I make music under that name and run a small label called “In The Garden”, which is basically just an outlet for my own music. I got to a point in 2017 where I figured I couldn’t hang around being dependent on other people’s agendas anymore, so I basically just decided to do it all myself. It’s been going well so far. The seventh EP will be out in about a month. I’m sort of playing catch up with my old self, who was fond of playing around in the studio and buying gear, but wasn’t very prolific as far as actually finishing any music.
I live on the outskirts of Oslo with my wife, three kids and a dog. Proper suburban living, which suits me great. I’ve been a DJ since around the turn of the millennium, but the last 7-8 years has seen me move a bit away from that to concentrate on my productions. These days you’re way more likely to find me in my studio than in a club. I still enjoy it occasionally though.
Bills mostly paid by day job paycheck. I’m managing director of Norway’s biggest interest organization for music artists). It’s been a good way of connecting my work to my main interest in life.
Where was the mix recorded, and what is the inspiration behind it?
It was recorded in my studio, which takes up more or less the whole top floor of our house. Good situation for me at the moment, as my kids are still relatively small and it’s not always that easy to leave the house whenever I feel like it.
I decided to do a mix strictly with tunes that I bought on a trip to New York City in 2005. That was my first trip there, so it felt like a bit of a pilgrimage at the time. I went there with a few friends and we basically just spent 5 full days digging in record stores during the day and hung out in clubs at night. I got to see a lot of great things on that trip. That was my first time seeing Dj Harvey play. He played with Eric Duncan at this bar called Passerby, where the Rub’n’Tug guys had their Campfire night. Also got to visit A.P.T., where I believe at least Alex From Tokyo played. Also went to Francois K’s Deep Space night at Cielo. Wasn’t much time for regular sightseeing.
I ended up bringing home an absolute shitload of records. I was amazed at what you could find for a few bucks at places like A1 and Academy Records. So that was the inspiration for this mix. It was fun going through those records again.
Strictly vinyl? Strictly digital? Couldn’t care less?
I couldn’t care less to be honest. I do obviously enjoy records a great deal, but I’ve never been a purist when it comes to what format you choose to use when playing in a club. This particular mix was done on a couple of CDJs hooked up to my E&S DJR-400 mixer, mainly because one of my turntables currently resides in the living room and I didn’t bother to bring it upstairs when I did have all the tunes recorded in the first place. I still bring some records on the rare occasion that I play out, but I must admit that it’s become a pattern that even when I bring records, I still end up playing 95 % from my USB sticks. It’s a bit silly really, but I notice a lot of people say the same thing.
But as I said above, I do own every single tune on this mix on vinyl, as they were ones bought on that trip.
‘Balearic’, seems to be a somewhat overused term these days, but if you had to – and we are asking you to – describe the essence of ‘Balearic’ in one record?
The one that immediately springs to mind is William Pitt’s “City Lights”. Such a great record.
Favourite place you’ve travelled to? And why?
I’ve spent quite a lot of time in the South of France over the last 10 years. Not down by the Riviera, but inland Provence. I really enjoy the more mellow vibe there. There are obviously tourists there too, but it still feels like there’s a lot less than further south. Plus, for a Norwegian a bit of summer doesn’t hurt either. This particular summer was extremely hot and dry, but that isn’t exactly always the case here.
Sunset or Sunrise? And the best place to experience it?
I’ve become an earlier riser over the last 4 years, so I’ve seen more sunrises than I used to. It came to a point where I realized I had to do something if I ever wanted to get any music done. I started getting up at 5 a.m. and generally spend 1 ½ hour in the studio before I have to start thinking about waking the kids. It sounds kinda crazy but, as someone who used to do the same thing said to me the other day, it always feels like winning when you can start the day like that. So sunrises. From my studio windows. 😉
Most embarrassing record(s) you’ve bought? Most expensive? And your best bargain bin finds you’ve digged out over the years?
I’m not easily embarrassed by music, but that T’Pau record I picked up at some flea market a way back might’ve been a personal low. Was pretty obvious upon the first listen that it was definitely NOT very balearic. But I mean, record buying is often made on hunches, whether it’s the look of cover, the name of some producer you think you recognize, titles or whatever. If you do that a lot, you will inevitably end up with a fair bit of crap in addition to the good ones. The important thing is just weeding stuff out once in a while, not being too embarrassed about the misses.
I don’t think I’ve ever bought any super expensive records. It’s rare that I go above €35 and the most expensive record I’ve ever bought probably wasn’t more than €50. There’s been a few of those though. I do remember paying about that price for “Awade” by Instant House. The first version that came out on Jungle Sounds Records in 2003 with the Joe Claussell remix. It was one of those records that everyone wanted at the time which never showed up for sale.
As far as bargain bin finds go, I do remember being extremely happy about finding Addvibe’s “Luv & Happiness” for 3 quid in the Music & Video Exchange in London once. I don’t think it’s a particularly expensive record these days, but this was pre Discogs so I had been looking for it for a pretty long time.
Favourite DJ you’ve heard play out over the years?
I’m gonna be predictable and say Dj Harvey. I think I’ve heard him play three times since that one time in NYC in 2005. The hype is real. He’s simply in a different league than the rest of us. No question.
Anything else we should know about you or what you are up to … and do you have a track listing for the mix you provided?
Well, I have a new EP on my label out mid-October. I did a cover version of Lindstrøm’s “I Feel Space” a little while back. Not a remix, but a straight up cover where I’ve replayed all the parts and tried to give it my own twist. It was something that I did just for fun, but it ended up turning out very well and the feedback’s been great, so I decided I should release it. To top it off I got one of my all-time heroes Andrew Weatherall to remix it, so quite chuffed with this particular one. My original version is actually available as a free download HERE.
Besides from that I’ve been working on a live show over the past few months. No computers involved, just me with a hardware sequencer, a modular synth, a drum machine and a few effect pedals. It initially felt like going MILES outside my comfort zone, but it’s been a great experience. I debuted it at Jaeger here in Oslo before the summer. It’s definitely something I enjoy a lot, so I plan on taking it on the road in the months to come.
01: Brian Bennett – Solstice
02: Cantoma – Etoile (The Other Mix)
03: Double Fantasy – Heartbreaker
04: Caroline Loeb – C’Est La Ouate (Version Longue)
05: Captain Sensible – Wot!
06: Gwen Guthrie – They Long To Be Close To You (Larry Levan Remix)
07: Beastie Boys – Open Letter To Kashmir (Rub’n’Tug’s Macho Mix)
08: Alan Parson Project – Mammagamma (Instrumental)
09: Konk – Konk Party (Master Cylinder’s Jam – NYC Club Mix)
10: Hot Chocolate – Mindless Boogie (12” Version)
11: Daniel Wang – Blau Drei
12: Kasso – Walkman (12 Inch Dance Mix)
13: Con Funk Shun – California 1
Thanks to Marius for taking the time out to answer these questions.