I knew the name Mark Reeder was familiar, but it wasn´t until several days after the interview did I realize who exactly we interviewed. He is known as one of the Godfathers of the early electronic music and gothic music scene. He is a musician and record producer. He started working for a Virgin Records in his native Manchester when he was 14 and it took off from there. He moved to Berlin in 1978 and has been an early pioneer of the electronic music scene . He is founded the electronic dance music label MFS, (which stands for "Masterminded For Success") The name MFS was actually taken from the initials of Ministry for State Security otherwise known as the Stasi in East Germany. It is said that he coined the term trance music. He also discovered and guided the international DJ Paul Van Dyk. Mark's career has spanned over three decades. He has been a participant and behind the scenes influence for many now famous artists, spread over a wide cross section of contemporary musical genres.
There are too many things to write about Mark, I will try to get to the main points, but you can read more in his own words if you click on his highlighted name. Mark Reeder first formed the early punk band The Frantic Elevators in Manchester in early 1977. In 1978, he decided to leave England and moved to Berlin. He became Factory Records German representative promoting the bands Joy Division and A Certain Ratio and at the same time worked as sound engineer and manager of Malaria! and Die Toten Hosen. In 1981 he formed the band "Die Unbekannten" along with Alistair Gray and Thomas Wydler that combined the best of new wave, gothic and post-punk music. In 1983, Mark helped put together the Berlin Special of The Tube, a popular and highly influential UK channel 4 TV pop programme. This show featured music from both sides of the walled city. It was also the first time that a British TV crew had ever filmed a pop programme both in the GDR and West Berlin. In 1984, "Die Unbekannten" changed their name to "Shark Vegas! " and toured Western Europe with New Order. Mark had contacts with the East berlin underground music scene and travelled a lot to East Berlin for concerts. He helped to smuggle Die Toten Hosen over to East Berlin for their two secret gigs in 1982 and 1988 (the 1982 gig being the first concert by a western punk band in East berlin, disguised as a religious service). In summer 1989, he was officially asked if he would produce the album Torture, for up-and-coming East German indie band "Die Vision" for the East German state owned record label AMIGA in East Berlin. This was probably the first East-West joint venture. Mark is recognized as the only Englishman ever to have make a record in the East, because literally days after finishing recording the album, the notorious Berlin wall fell.
Mark had made useful contacts at AMIGA the (now former) East German state owned record label, now renamed ZONG He managed to convince them to allow him to set up a new electronic dance label office in the "Abhoer Raum 101" situated in the building directly behind the Reichstag. In December 1990, Mark founded his own music record label "Masterminded For Success" or MFS as it became known. Mark had a gift for uncovering the hidden talents of many early techno and trance artists. As an artist himself, Mark was the creative driving force behind his labels, which provided a great platform for many young and then unknown artists. He ran both his labels with an unconventional approach and a passion rarely seen in the music industry. Reeder was deeply devoted to all his artists and was involved in almost every aspect of their musical productions, from their concept, recording and mastering, to PR texts, as well as their artistic cover-design ideas.
In 1993, a trance music documentary Berliner Trance was born, presented by Mark Reeder, directed by Ben Hardyment.Since then MFS have unwittingly pioneered in creating trends rather than following them, for example, in February 1992 MFS released the worlds first real Trance Compilation:Tranceformed from Beyond (this album comprised of specially remixed and sequenced tracks). It was also the first time, that a compilation had been created whereby the music continuously melted together without a pause - like a DJ mix - all tracks were specially remixed for the compilation by Cosmic Baby & or Mijk van Dijk.
In the meantime, Mark has returned to his own music production. He worked with German filmmaker Joerg Buttgereit on many of his film and theatre projects (In 1991, Mark starred in the Joerg Buttgereit splatter film Nekromantik 2.) Reeder has since remixed tracks for many well-known artists like the Pet Shop Boys, Sam Tazlor-Wood and Bad Lieutenant. In September 2009, he released a collaboration album of reworks of tracks by Blank & Jones called Reordered for which he rewrote and replayed all the tracks. This album features vocals by such artists as Robert Smith of The Cure, Steve Kilbey of The Church, Bernard Summer of Joy Division/New Order/Bad Lieutenant, Claudia Brueken of Propaganda and Anne Clark. Mark just keeps going and going like an Energizer battery working and creating. Listen to his music and read his own words by clicking on his highlighted name which will bring you to his site.