When’s the rest of the cool kids clique gonna give Niko Marks his due? Niko Marks is a record-making machine, with a sound that ranges like a wild herd but is most often and most recently pegged right in the sweet spot between house, techno, downtempo and roots in the best tradition. He does a lot of this himself, because that’s what Midwest artists do: we carry our crates from house to house and door to door and eventually start selling them out of the trunk of our car because the door people never get what it’s really all about anyway.
Marks has released 37 albums by discogs’ count, but No Fairy is an EP that nevertheless stretches out as far as it can push at the boundaries. There are two original songs — the light stomp of the title track and the bubbly ’80s synthpop of “Carry Me” featuring Trina — with three remixes. Of note is the hyper-happy dub of the “Carry Me” Deep Down Mix, which brings to mind the riff-happy hooks of Terrence Parker, and the sophisticated but light “Cheerios Mix” of the title track. There’s some DNA here that stems from Niko’s remix of Andy Vaz’s “No Fairytale Luv” with Eva Soul from a few years ago. I’m not sure how that shook out, or if Niko visualized this while actually crouched over a morning bowl of Cheerios, but that remix is so right there.
Niko Marks: No Fairy (U2XProductions / July 2020 / Digital)
1. Niko Marks: Carry Me (featuring Trina) (06:05)
2. Niko Marks: Carry Me featuring Trina (Deep Down Mix) (06:47)
3. Niko Marks: No Fairy (06:40)
4. Niko Marks: No Fairy Tale Love (Niko Marks Remix) (06:39)
5. Niko Marks: No Fairy Tale Love (Cheerios Mix) (06:44)