Musical maverick Mark de Clive-Lowe seems an impossibility at first sight – juggling piano, synths, live sampling and beat making all on-the-fly, brought to life with a casual ease that’s mind-boggling. Pianist, composer, jazz musician, found-sound remixer and club music producer, the Japanese-New Zealander was raised primarily in New Zealand where he learned piano from a young age developing an avid passion for jazz through his father’s record collection. In high school, he fell in love with sample-heavy 90s hip hop and early UK drum’n’bass – laying the foundation for what was to come next.
During his hugely formative decade at the epicenter of London’s underground music scene, MdCL helped evolve the broken beat genre alongside some of the UK’s most forward-thinking trailblazers, establishing himself as a new voice in progressive electronic music and leading global tastemaker DJ Gilles Peterson to designate him “the main behind a million great tunes”. While living in London, MdCL released albums including ‘Six Degrees’ (Universal) and ‘Tide’s Arising (ABB/Columbia) and established his unique jazz-meets-electronica live show touring throughout the UK, Europe and around the world, prompting Jazziz to write with 20/20 hindsight in 2019, “way before jazz hybridity became a worldwide phenomenon, de Clive-Lowe was busy designing its blueprint.”
Since 2008, MdCL has called Los Angeles home, where his acclaimed club night CHURCH has taken his signature sound of technology and beat-infused jazz mash-up from coast to coast and around the globe, seeing him on stage with multiple generations of the world’s most respected jazz, soul and hip hop artists – “equal parts jazz club, dance party and live remix experiment” as he likes to describe it, bringing his love for all things jazz, beat and DJ culture into one seamless blend of community, culture and connection. His latest opus HERITAGE – a duology two-album release – sees MdCL deep dive into his Japanese roots and ancestry through the lens of jazz and electronica – an immersive and evocative soundtrack transporting the listener through MdCL’s own experience of Japan along with his love for its history and mythology.
“de Clive-Lowe’s notion of truth on Heritage ultimately reaches beyond the individual, beyond his lineage and into the cultural moment we’re currently living”. — Downbeat