The UK’s preeminent purveyor of ambient dub and world electronica is Australia-bound once more.
Banco De Gaia, also known as Toby Marks, has fashioned a global following by combining organic and electronic sounds with ambient, dub, tribal, gypsy, techno, breaks and trance influences. Throughout a career spanning over two decades, he has released over a dozen albums and compilations and worked with the likes of Pink Floyd's Dick Parry, Paul Horn, Natacha Atlas and Tim Wheater.
Now Australia-bound for January’s Rainbow Serpent Festival — Victoria’s annual celebration of music, art, culture and positivity – Marks is excited to be touching down in Lexton with the first original Banco De Gaia material for seven years.
“What’s really nice is having new material to add to the set,” he says. “It’s been awhile since I’ve wrote anything new. It’s nice to have fresh stuff which people aren’t familiar with, which I’m not bored with.
“I try and make sure there’s an interesting visual spectacle [because] I learned a long time ago that one guy on stage pressing buttons gets a bit boring to watch and not everyone is going to be wanting to dance all the time.”
A career musician, Marks is better placed than many to comment on the structural changes that have transformed the music industry over the past decade.
His first EPs dropped on cassette in the early ‘90s, before a long relationship with ‘90s powerhouse label Planet Dog saw him release albums like the ambient ‘Last Train To Lhasa’ and the more up-tempo, trancey ‘Live At Glastonbury’ on CD.
So as ‘Apollo’ drops on his own Disco Gecko label as both a CD and digital download Marks maintains the rapid advances in technology are both a curse and a blessing.
“In theory, everything should be much simpler now. The new technologies have opened up a lot of possibilities and made some of the boring tasks a lot quicker, but they also, in a way, take away some of the exploration, the excitement of discovering how to do something which you haven’t done before which sometimes makes it really work.”
Banco De Gaia plays the Rainbow Serpent Festival, in Lexton Victoria, Jan 24-27. ‘Apollo’ is out now.