The cut and thrust to Marco’s Slimelight DJing. A fencing instructor from Italy tells us how he came to be Jester, London’s only competitive sword fighting alternative DJ.
Marco came from a family rooted in the love of music and fencing. With a father who was Italian national champion and world cup medallist, and an uncle who was Gold Olympic world champion. So it was only natural for Marco to follow the family tradition becoming an international champion at 16 and representing Italy for 5 years, winning silver in 98.
I first met Marco around 2010 at The Electric Ballroom DJing at the Inferno night, and at the time I had no idea he was a champion fencer. How often do any of us consider DJs have any other skills other than spinning a disk, let alone any other kind of life.
how did you get your first residency at Slimelight?
In December 2014, my friend Ays from the band (Die Kur) who runs the “Renaissance Festival '' at Electrowerkz, asked me to be in the line-up as a DJ. After the event Mak asked the event DJs if they wanted to stay and spin for Slimelight that night. We didn't hesitate. At the end of the party, Mak asked me if I wanted to come back the following week and do a set for the goth floor, effectively starting my collaboration with Slimelight.
Image: DJ Jester (Marco)
do you keep the Fencing and DJing at sword's length?
Yes, I gave up professional fencing at 21 due to injury. So now I work full time as a martial arts instructor, focused on many types and styles of sword fighting. I run a Combat Academy named Eclipse and teach both fencing and LED sabre in a few schools like Dulwich College, Woodmansterne School and Streatham Fencing Club. I developed my own fighting style and I am currently in Europe top 5 for LED Sabre, based on the Star Wars lightsaber style and rules.
Original video by Samantha Oci
So you still compete?
I still compete and get medals in both disciplines (Olympic fencing and LED sabre) and I'm eager to compete in Hema too.
What is Hema?
Hema stands for Historical European Martial Arts.
And your DJ styles?
Playing as I do on both floors, I have two styles. On the Goth floor, I tend to play mainstream tunes and floor fillers, often adding many covers and some obscure rarities. Bands that are always present in my set are The Merry Thoughts, Depeche Mode, Rammstein and New Order. But on the EBM floor, I play mainly futurepop, aggrotech and psytrance, mainly pushing VNV Nation, Apop, Sanderwick and Aesthetic Perfection. Again, plenty of covers and remixes, some made by myself.
What band got you through lockdown?
I used the lockdown for home training with dumbbells and my playlist was not exclusively but mainly Dimmu Borgir and Opeth.
And finally, are you taking on any new students for sword fighting, and how would you feel about training up some Slimelighters?
No goths, only joking I'll take anyone.
Marco then gives me some of his martial arts wisdom.
The path of the sword is so long that when you eventually reach its end you will no longer need the sword. It's a way of self improvement, hence it becomes irrelevant if you are a goth or a hippie or a suit.
If you see a guy pull up in Torrens Street on a heavily self customized 2015 Yamaha XVS1300 Midnight Star motorbike he named Sam, that is DJ Jester, the world’s only sword fencing alternative DJ slicing up the decks for us at Electrowerkz on Slimes nights, what other London club can boast such a marvel. And at the end of his night and if he is last on, Marco always jumps off his DJ podium and joins the crowd for the last dance.
Blog post by
Electroholic Joon, sometimes know as the Ambassador