What is a DJ/music producer if not an explorer — a pioneer on an endless quest for meaning wishing to share his sound treasures and vibrations with the world? Marcus Henriksson, aka Minilogue, Son Kite and Nobody Home, has dedicated his life to this inner and outer journey for a quarter century. And while his own transcendental trip has not always been safe, planned-out or conventional, any traveller knows that the voyage is the destination. Fascinated by the connection between human beings and music, as well as nature majesty and sincerity, the Swede has distinguished himself with an extra touch of soul and pure talent to connect with the listeners of his DJ sets and productions all over the world, painting landscapes and drawing images for the audience to travel within. His journeys are not bound by styles. They are authentic electronic dance music connected to nature, lovingly intended to ignite the spirit within.
Marcus fell in love with dance and trance when he went to his first Rave party in the summer of 1993. It was a profound experience, which opened his eyes to his true calling. As a child he grew up with diverse influences, from Jean-Michel Jarre to Vangelis, Abba, Front 242, Classical music and Skinny Puppy, to name just a few. His older brother had an Amiga 500 computer and sequencer program paired with a Korg synthesizer — Marcus’ first exposure to music-making. He was 10. The boy’s initial inspiration to create a DJ mixtape came from a megamix record called “Max Mix 5”, made by Barcelona’s Toni Peret and José María Castells, who blended all kinds of music together as well as using effects. And with that tracking program, his brother’s synthesizer and his own records, Marcus created his first mix.
In the years following his first experience with Rave culture, Marcus attended countless events in Sweden and Denmark, often dancing for more than 10 hours straight without taking any drugs or alcohol. It was an important time in his life, when he discovered that Rave gatherings had more to them than just dancing. At 18, Marcus was shy and introverted. But dancing and raving for hours on end liberated and transformed him. He felt like he was taking part in some mystical ritual or ceremony, and his fears and shyness were losing their grip.
The Son Kite and Minilogue genesis
Marcus and a group of friends started creating their own raves and mixtapes together. They called themselves Toxomniac. In his early DJ years, Marcus spun music like Jammin’ Unit, Hardfloor, Air Liquide, Purple Plejade, Basic Channel, Massimo Vivona, Der Dritte Raum and tracks from Harthouse, Headzone, Frankfurt Beats, Djax-Up-Beats, Eye Q, among other labels.
In 1997, Marcus met Sebastian Mullaert and Christian Steiner, who had studio equipment. They became friends and started to create music under the name Trimatic. Two years later, Son Kite, Marcus and Sebastian’s first project, released a first album entitled “Minilogue” and soon started touring the world. By this time, the underground Rave culture was changing and Club culture had taken off. Dance music was splintering into many different styles: Techno, Trance, House, Drum & Bass, Psychedelic Trance and so on. Even if Marcus did not believe in this separation, the music industry needed to slot Son Kite into a genre. This is why the duo started playing in the Psy-Trance scene. In total, they released over 20 vinyl singles on various labels and four albums through the project.
Between 2000 and 2007, Marcus and Sebastian were living in Malmö, Sweden, working closely together in their joint basement High-Hat Studio. At the same time, they were running their own record labels, Baluns and Digital Structures, with friend Peter Svegrup. In 2001, Marcus met Karl-Axel Bissler, a musician who shared his burning passion for audio exploration and provided great inspiration for the Son Kite and Minilogue projects. At the same time, Marcus got to know Fredrik “NOS” Holm, a multi-talented local artist and fellow raver from the good old days. With his deep knowledge about analogue synthesizers, Fredrik was also a big influence on Marcus’ production process.
In 2000, Marcus and Sebastian unveiled their other very successful alias, Minilogue, which would go on to release over 40 vinyl singles on labels like Cocoon, Traum, Baroque, Mule and Wagon Repair. In 2008, their debut double album “Animals” came out on Cocoon recordings, and Minilogue became such a huge success that they spent the following years touring the world and performing at all the biggest clubs and Techno festivals. Among their diverse line-up mates at concerts around the globe: Sven Väth, Ricardo Villalobos, Richie Hawtin, Josh Wink and many more from the Club music elite.
Marcus has also teamed up with numerous other artists over the years, including Karl-Axel Bissler, with whom he released a few vinyl singles. In 2008, Mule Electronic released “IMPS”, a collaborative album by Ian Chaplin, Marcus, Philip Rex and Sebastian Mullaert. And in 2011, Marcus and Kuniyuki Takahashi produced a Koss/Henriksson/Mullaert double album released on Mule Electronic. Marcus also took part in legendary improvisational concerts with Mathew Jonson and Sebastian Mullaert for many years.
Burnout and renaissance
In 2007, Marcus started suffering pain in his joints, stomach and heart. He consulted conventional doctors who could not really find out what was going wrong and only prescribed pills. The medicines reduced the pain, but it returned as soon as Marcus stopped using them. This situation troubled the musician, who began to feel that no one could help him solve his problems.
His close friend Karl-Axel recommended a book about Ayurveda, meditation and yoga. As nothing else was working, the manual inspired him to try this different approach, and to his surprise it succeeded: after two weeks of daily meditation and yoga, all his ailments were gone! Indeed, meditation fascinated him, especially as it felt familiar after years of trance dancing. His curiosity and passion for the big questions in life inspired him to dive deeply into advanced meditation and yoga techniques to learn more. This inner personal work and the use of meditation tools became his biggest passions in the following years.
As a result of these new explorations, Marcus felt a need to change his life. In 2007, he moved from the city to a remote house in the woods. There, he built a new studio and explored a solitary lifestyle, pursuing his own meditation retreats that could last several days. Deeply interested in the connection between rave, meditation and trance states with ancient rituals, as well as in shamanism and mysticism, he channelled his insights from these interior experiences into the music of Minilogue and Son Kite. Marcus has also extensively studied ancient traditional rites and the way humans have used dance rituals and entheogens (natural psychoactive substances used for healing and spiritual purposes) to connect to nature and themselves for thousands of years. He strongly believes in the link that rituals, dance and entheogens have with Rave and Dance culture.
In 2013, Minilogue released their second album, “Blomma”, created in Marcus’ studio in the woods. The music software company Ableton Live made a documentary about the duo and their creative process which provides a glimpse into Marcus’ lifestyle. This documentary was named after Marcus’ vision of how he tries to express his music: “As human as possible”.
At the end of 2013, Marcus and Sebastian decided to take a break from their mutual projects. This decision gave Marcus the opportunity to refocus on his own career and artistic desires. And since then, even if he has sometimes worked under the name Nobody Home, he no longer wants to hide behind pseudonyms. “I wish to express myself, the whole of me and who I am. This is not so much bound with styles or trends, nor meditation or yoga practices. I just want to be me! After all these years as a traveling musician and doing my deep explorations, I can now show myself and have a more solid ground to stand on,” he says.
As the creator and artistic repository of all his previous collective projects, the artist is now touring as Marcus Henriksson and sometimes as aka Minilogue or Marcus Henriksson aka Son Kite. In 2016, he offered Curiosity Music a superb remix of an Alexi Delano’s track, another great name of the Swedish scene, to discover in the EP Lodestar Bang. And the release of his first solo album “• ElectromagiO •” is also on its way. “It is the result of a four-year making process, so it is a very big thing for me,” he says. Son Kite and Minilogue fans will instantly recognize Marcus’ colourful, tribal, psychedelic and hypnotic touch in an opus also inspired with magic and mystic realms. “This part of the Rave heritage is always with me: having an experience of soul and inner images during dancing. This hypnotism and focus on the inner lead me to a kind of magic and mysticism. In this I feel and see colours of all kinds and also my own self and uniqueness.”
Nature, meditation, yoga, shamanism and a quarter century of experience and spiritual exploration have made Marcus Henriksson a unique artist in the electronic music scene. In perpetual reinvention, without ever denying who he is deep inside, Marcus aims to express his thoughts and his soul through music and let it speak for itself. Any dancer or listener who has shared a moment with his sound art can attest that Marcus’ DJ sets are authentic journeys that never leave any traveller behind. As he says: “To unite, connect and protect each other, we are co-creating our existence together, we are all in this together. So let’s create an experience of balance, love and kindness for the sake of ourselves and humanity.”
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