Long before he rewrote the rulebook on a how a band could blur musical boundaries and gain respect from peers and fans alike, producer and songwriter Markee Ledge was making up his own rules as he began his notable musical journey.
Born in Glasgow and raised on a diet of Cocteau Twins, Everything But The Girl, Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses and a healthy portion of dub reggae, Markee started writing songs on his guitar in his bedroom from his early teens.
Markee Ledge always gravitated towards new sounds and as a teenager was attracted to the Sub Club where the Slam boys were helping to usher in the new era of house and techno. Hearing this new clubbing soundtrack greatly affected his desire to produce electronic-based music tracks.
A move to Bristol exposed Markee to the emerging styles of ragga, breakbeat and hardcore techno. Conscious of these fresh new sounds and local talent, he started jungle club night Ruffneck Ting with his Ledge crew.
He also started producing under the name Substance and this is where he met his long-term collaborator, Darren Beale aka Decoder. The duo pursued a tech drum & bass soundtrack with their next label venture, Breakbeat Culture, as well as running labels Tech Itch and the Breakbeat Culture record shop and parties.
At the same time, Bristol came into its own with the ascent of Massive Attack, Tricky and Portishead, as well as groundbreaking drum & bass DJs like Roni Size, Krust & Die. Decoder & Substance released some seminal music in this so-called ‘golden era’ of drum & bass.
Markee Ledge pursued his interest songwriting and forming a band and began searching for vocalists. In 1999 he found lead singer Sian and Kosheen was born. Kosheen generated grass-roots support via a string of singles and released their debut album ‘Resist’ on BMG Records in 2001. ‘Resist’ charted at No. 8 and sold half a million copies, making it the most successful drum & bass album at that time.
After touring extensively, Kosheen had become a successful live act and festival favourite. By 2002 the band had recorded enough new material for their second album ‘Kokopellii’ and many tracks were written with live audiences in mind. The album charted at No. 6 in the UK and first single ‘All In My Head’ hit No.7.
Their third album, ‘Damage’, was released on Universal in Germany and Moksha in the UK, while their fourth and fifth albums, ‘Independence’ and ‘Solitude’, came out on their own label.
Through all this, Markee Ledge has remained the central figure, writing the music and songs as well as producing / engineering the albums and overseeing the project.
Markee now concentrates on his solo career, writing new material and collaborating with other producers and vocalists. His 2015 debut album Elevate on his own Zonal label continued the Kosheen vibe with big vocal fronted tracks but with a greater emphasis on cutting edge, instrumental productions to satisfy the current UK underground music scene’s desire for deeper sounds. The last few years have seen notable singles and EPs on dubstep labels Tempa, Artikal Music UK and Uprise Audio.
Markee isn’t just an artist, he also produces and engineers for other artists and teaches music production in his Prague based studio. If you’re interested in hiring Ledge Studio One or learning how to make music please contact us.