Back in the early '90s when I was an underage kid in San Diego, I'd occasionally pick up the city's alternative weekly to see what was going on around town. I enjoyed feeling connected to my hometown's scene, even if only vicariously. When I turned 21, I was thrilled to finally be able to see all the local artists I had only read about. One name that I'd been reading about for years--a name that stood out--was Mark E. Quark.

Mark E. Quark has been involved within the electronic music scene for well over a decade, which has earned him a lot of respect--sometimes the only thing one gets in such a low-profile landscape. Getting started in the San Diego clubs and warehouses, as well as organizing some of the first raves in Southern California, Quark's renown won him the opportunity to DJ nationally and abroad. He's shared the stage with names like Aphex Twin and Dee-Lite, and rocked it with underground heroes like Hipp-E and Halo, Bret Johnson, and Jen'. I asked Mark if he is one of those people who misses the days of playing for a sea of glowsticked ravers massaging each other in unison.

"Not at all," he told me, "but I do reminisce about the diversity of the scene back then."

Quark moved to San Francisco in 1996, then followed his heart and relocated to Seattle in October of 2000. Quark has two regular nights here in town: Nu Patterns on Mondays at the Baltic Room, featuring downtempo, nu jazz, and broken beats; and Slink, also at the Baltic Room, which is on the third Saturday of the month and is a full-on house exploration. Mark is creative and confident--just what you would expect from someone with his long history. His mixes reflect his personality: intelligent and humble, with a little deadpan humor thrown in. It's a good artistic recipe. If something Mark does goes over your head, you'll be well rewarded if you stick around and attempt to understand. The word "deep" gets thrown around a lot--i.e., "deep house"--but Mark's work earns this definition. NICOLAE WHITE