You've probably heard the cumbia version of Snoop Dogg's sharing-is-caring anthem, "Ain't No Fun," on the KCRW airwaves recently. Or maybe it was the steel drum cover of Black Box's early '90s pop house cut, "Everybody Everybody," that stopped you in your tracks and made you think, "Wait...is that...?"
The alchemist merging all these disparate forms into certified modern dancefloor fillers is none other than DJ Nu-Mark, a man who knows a thing or two about rocking a party.
On his newly released album “Run For Cover,” the former Jurassic 5 DJ-producer reinterprets songs from the likes of Busta Rhymes and Dee-Lite in a funky fashion.
"It feels nice to trace other people's art,” Nu-Mark says about the idea of doing a covers album. “Especially in these times where everything is very serious and heavy. It was fun to peel back a few layers and see what was inside."
Nu-Mark's initial foray in producing covers came with 2004's collaboration with Pomo (as Blendcrafters) on a tasteful instrumental hip-hop re-imagining of John Lennon's "Imagine."
"Nobody said much about it at the time,” Nu-Mark recalls. “It was like a late detonation — like four or five years later, everybody was asking me for [that] record."
Jurassic 5's 2006 album, “Feedback,” closed with a cover of a Brazilian classic by Baden Powell and Vinicius de Moraes called "Canto de Ossanha" that was also well-received by fans.
After a night of DJing in Paris went particularly well, Nu-Mark says, "I looked at my playlist and I played like 75% covers, so I was like, 'Okay, maybe it's time for me to do a covers record called ‘Run For Cover.'"
Cut to Nu-Mark criss-crossing the globe (pre-COVID) to record collaborations with some of his funkiest friends, like Jungle Fire and Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band, resulting in a party-ready 8-track record.
"This project feels like no other project I've released,” Nu-Mark says. “As soon as I dropped the first Instagram [post], the pre-sale sold out in 45 minutes."
FREAKS ONLY listeners have also taken notice:
Check out Nu-Mark's exclusive mix for FREAKS ONLY by hitting the play button. Stay up to date with Nu-Mark's shows and pick up some of his vinyl at https://djnu-mark.com.