The new Markus Mars album, Kava Infused, is an electric violin-infused piece of audible artwork composed and recorded in a live audience setting at the Hilo Kava Bar. It will be released on November 1 across all streaming platforms, with an early release on the fair music platform Bandcamp.
Composing all his music in a live audience setting is the quintessence of his work. So, while the COVID pandemic left artists around the globe in uncertainty and limited, changed, or even boosted everyone’s creative flow, Markus Mars took a step back. He went through his library of live recordings of 2018 and 2019, picking the most iconic shows and turning them into live albums—one infusion at a time. His newest album, Kava Infused, has been recorded at the Hilo Kava Bar, Hawai’i, 2019.
Kava, also known as ‘awa in Hawai’i, is a crop of the Pacific Islands. The name kava is from Tongan and Marquesan, meaning ‘bitter.’ The plant’s root is used to produce a drink with sedative, anesthetic, and euphoriant properties, consumed throughout the Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia, including Hawaii, Vanuatu, Melanesia, and some parts of Micronesia, such as Palau.
Markus Mars enjoyed a whole lot of kava love before allowing the magic from within to manifest itself in the form of this extended five-track live composition. He invites the listener to glide into a liquid trip of warm pads and syncs up the pulse of the soul with subtle beats of multilayered echoes to attempt a wake-up call for world peace.
Over the years, the classically trained and currently Hawaii-based electric violinist from Austria created his unique style of live time-stretching and layers several tempi, occasionally creating a gentle distraction from what the mind expects. His wide dynamic range leads to occasional input overdrives, which add scratches of good dirt to the otherwise clean-shaven soundscape of modern-day music production. Again, a provocative element you quickly learn to enjoy as it breathes extra life into the recording.
Mars mastered implementing his live-looping rig in a club environment during his DJ career and fell in love with extended Minimal and Techno tracks. He live-remixed them by adding or reducing minor elements of his electric violin, telescopic didgeridoo, hand percussion, and vocal effects. In 2018, Mars adapted this technique into his computer-free live-looping environment and started composing everything from scratch in a live audience setting. He allows the listener to descend into a meditative, almost psychedelic, trance state.
Markus Mars grew up in the Eastern Alps of Austria and studied contemporary music and pedagogy at Anton Bruckner University in Linz and the Vienna Conservatory. Since 2000, Mars has worked as a music producer, sound designer, violin teacher, and recording artist for various acts. So far, he has shared his talent in 30 countries with more than 60 bands and orchestras, playing over 3,000 shows.