Mark "Ellery" Leach on Moombahton, Flosstradamus, Why His Sound is Different, and How His Hair Got Set on Fire at a Gig

Categories: DJ Dossier
mark ellery leech.jpg
Nightfuse
Mark "Ellery" Leech unleashes his mixes upon Bar Smith.

Mark "Ellery" Leech isn't your ordinary DJ. He doesn't have a clever moniker (merely his middle name), doesn't spend hours searching Beatport for bomb-ass tracks, and tends to approach his mixes different than most.

While you can find him working at such trendy spots as Bar Smith on Wednesdays or at SideBar on the occasional Sunday night, his sounds tend towards for ambient and intelligent versus the usual crowd-popping tracks.

We visited with Leech earlier this week for an extended chat about his style, influences, and opinions on electronic dance music and the DJ game in general.

How did you get into the DJ game?
I was in various bands and musical groups in my teens and twenties. None of them were working out so I decided to make my own music, eventually I got turned onto dance music, which turned into DJing.

What's your current schedule?
Sheesh, all over the place. My mainstay is Bar Smith on Wednesdays at Scenario. Around that I'll guest anywhere from Retro Hi-Fi at SideBar to restaurants to fashion shows. It's one of the benefits of not being pigeonholed [as a DJ]

Preferred genres to work in:
When I started, since no one else was playing it at the time I went straight for Dubstep and anything Heavy because no one else was really doing it. Then everyone started to play it so I looked elsewhere. That got me into more of a future bass sound where it was still heavy but in a different way. There was more depth than speaker tearing. Now I predominately play that, house, moombahton, cumbia and all facets in between.

How do you go about crafting your beats/music?
I guess there's certain elements that I look for in the music I play out. Mostly, I have to feel it. Either emotionally or physically.

Listening to some of your stuff, there's a certain energy that's different from the typical fist-pumping, lose your shit manic nature of other DJs
Yeah, I try not to think about it too much. I love that Phoenix has some diverse producers and DJ's. I feel I have a tendency to be in the mindset of doing what's on the horizon. Because of that I feel like I'm always trying to do the next thing as opposed to competing with my peers. That being said, a lot of people either get it that it's new or write me off as a gimmick or a laptop jockey.

Can you explain that further? Because there are many involved with popular dance nights that seem to be identified as laptop jockeys.
Yeah...it's the mindset of, "There aren't turntables up there, he's not DJing." But yet if you look at it all the people that are using Serato or Traktor are essentially using a laptop to convey a DJ set. The Method is the same but The Medium is different. I think that's what a lot of DJs miss when I try to explain that. Some get it though.

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Bar Smith

130 E. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

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