Caught in the light of the strobe, a mass of unconstrained energy, there’s little mistaking the figure of Mark Sherry. For clubbers and music lovers of the more dynamic persuasion, he’s become a cult figure. He’s recorded and remixed a veritable Who’s Who of trance’s most respected artists and labels and scaled the loftiest heights of the national charts. These days he’s most quickly recognized as the man behind the Outburst empire - the platform that supports the Outburst, Outburst Twilight and Techburst labels, tours, radio shows and music-compilations.
Having found early success as one of the founder member of Public Domain, Mark hung up his ‘PD’ boots and followed a calling to seize floors with a more individual sound. Going solo in 2004, he came off the blocks quickly and through releases like ‘Vengeance’/’Live & Learn’ and ‘Here Come The Drums’ began to resonate with DJs just as fast. Those were followed by ‘A Star Within A Star’ (which he bespoke-produced for his 2008 Trance Energy set) and ‘Walk Away’, which he recorded alongside Terry Ferminal. From there he went on release his work through a pantheon of labels. Armin’s Armind, Captivating and Soundpiercing imprints quickly tapped into his sound, as did, High Contrast, Doorn and Flashover Recordings. Outings on PvD’s VANDIT imprint and Markus Schulz’s Coldharbour Recordings were not far behind. Perhaps most notably the period also saw Spinnin’ Records, one of the world’s biggest dance music labels, sign him exclusively to a 2- year artist deal with their RESET imprint. With each release, fan, DJ and press attention grew. Over the duration, “hard”, “furious”, “exciting”, “brilliant” and “immensely playable” were just some of the adjectives that the UK’s DJ Mag chose to depict Mark’s productions.
Remixes have likewise played a significant part in Mark’s career. Many of trance music’s hierarchy have sought his services in the area. Among them have been Armin van Buuren, Aly & Fila & Giuseppe Ottaviani, Markus Schulz, Lange and Max Graham (respectively on, ‘Together’, ‘Brilliant People’, ‘Remember This’ & most recently ‘The New World’, ‘Songless’ and ‘The Evil ID’). Mark though has also paid remix-service to many of his own personal heroes. To date, those have come to include techno-led classics like Mory Kante’s seminal ‘Yeke Yeke’, as well as hard trance anthems like ‘U’ by Scot Project and Mauro Picotto’s ‘Eterea’.
‘To make music for the future, you must first understand the past’ is something Mark holds much belief in. With few - if any - label worlds left to conquer and having commemorated his 20th year as a DJ (with his #TWENTY tour), he undertook a major change in approach. With his tastes occupying the trance/techno nexus, this crystalized with the formation of Outburst Records in 2014. Embarking with remixes of his own revered ‘Vengeance’/’Live & Learn’ releases, Outburst quickly began establishing its own area within the tech-trance sphere. Inside of just 2 years it’d become next-to-indispensible to the tech-trance and techno spinning elites’ set-lists. With his finger on the pulse of bright new talent, it also became instrumental in pushing the fledgling careers of trance’s production nu-guard. Alex Di Stefano, 2nd Phase, Adam Ellis, Vlind, Jamie Walker, Stephen Kirkwood and Lostly are just a few of the producers whose earlier works surfaced through Outburst. Equally though Mark worked alongside some of his own early inspirations and contemporaries. Tracks by (and sometimes with) Mario Piu, Marco V, The Space Brothers, David Forbes, Fred Baker, Scot Project, Johan Gielen and Sunscreem became fundamental to balancing its unique past/ present/future perspective. It’s also provided a platform for some of Mark’s most radical work to date. Recorded alongside Jamie Walker and Ross Ferguson, November 2016 for instance saw the release of the DJ Mag 8/10 rated, 'trance meets drum ‘n’ bass' track 'The Only One'.
The response to its first clutch of Outburst releases prompted Mark to expand the label further. He launched sister imprint Techburst, which added all-out techno to his label dynamic. That was followed by Outburst Twilight (covering darker, later-night, sometimes psy-sided material) a year later. Mark also began to tour what had rapidly become known as ‘the Outburst sound’ around the world. In 2016 he released the first in a new mix-comp series under the name ‘Outburst Pres. Prism’. The end of that year saw Outburst release Mark Sherry Meets Space Frog & Derb ‘Follow Me’ voted one of Beatport’s 10 Best Tracks Of The Year, with the label itself following suit in the 10 Best Trance Labels category.
Having hit its 50th release (with his Alex Di Stefano collaboration ‘Everyone Is Looking For Us’) in the summer of 2016, renewed focus fell on Mark’s Outburst Radio Show. The broadcast brings the label group’s sound and spirit to listeners around the world weekly. Each show receives its premiere on leading trance radio station AH.fm and is subsequently syndicated to 20+ other stations worldwide. The show is also available as a podcast through iTunes. 2017 sees the show reach its 500th episode - an event that is being marked by the worldwide Outburst 500 tour and compilation release.
In 2017 Mark Sherry had his humanity questioned. Nobody - least of all he - could have known it’d trip off his first artist album. Clicking a captcha to ‘confirm’ his ‘humanity’ was an innocuous, seemingly fleeting moment. Everything that followed that, markedly less so. Over the following minutes, hours, days & weeks he returned to the question with ever-increasing interest.
As an album began to crystallise around the ‘Confirm Humanity’ question, its significance appeared to take on numerous other forms, not least social, cultural & existential ones. To Mark, it moved from being a seed to a metaphor and onto a motif - eventually developing into a refrain for life in the modern world. Throughout its studio development, Mark sourced a litany of elements that chimed with ‘Confirm Reality’s central theme. Some overt, some nuanced and others Easter egged and for the sharpest ears only, within its fabric they make for an album which transmits both music & meaning. Through tracks like ‘The End Is The Beginning’, ‘Triquetra’, ‘Method To My Madness’ and ‘I’m Not A Robot’, Mark even poses some questions of his own.
In this debut album quest, Mark’s been flanked by a cadre of co-producers from his Outburst Records universe and beyond. Richard Durand, David Forbes, Tempo Giusto, Vlind, Mallorca Lee and others joined him in the studio, ultimately assisting in the serving of 18 desk-fresh tracks. It also involved the remixing of legends like Tiësto and the vocal talents of Marcella Woods, Christina Novelli & others, sitting thought-provoking songs amongst its floor roasting instrumentals. ‘Confirm Reality’ unflinchingly holds the clubbing mirror up to our 21st century times from today!
In 2018, after 25 years in the industry together - Mark Sherry fused his tech trance sounds with Scot Project’s signature hard trance style, to create the powerhouse duo that is Gentech. Their debut release "Feel My Love" was the official anthem for Dreamstate SoCal 2018 and it was there that they made their debut, providing a very memorable set for those that were in attendance. This was followed closely by performances at the Melkweg Amsterdam, Dreamstate Vancouver and more recently EDC Vegas, where they played the closing set - and now with Dreamstate SoCal 2019 in sight this November, this exciting duo seem to be unstoppable!