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About Mark King

There is no doubt that throughout his impressive career Mark King has been one of the most significant contributors in developing the voice of modern electric bass playing.

There is no doubt that Mark King throughout his impressive career has been one of the most significant contributors in developing the voice of modern electric bass playing. He has always pursued a distinct sound as his characteristic and very percussive playing style demands clarity and a sound that cuts effectively through the mix.

In short, Mark King took the slapping style that pioneers like Larry Graham, Bootsy Collins, Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller developed in the 70's in a whole new direction. Musically, he approached it differently, but most importantly, he brought the concept and sound of slap bass to the masses and provided tons of inspiration for the following generations of slap bass wizards. So it is safe to say that not only is Mark King an innovative musician in general - he is also a true slap bass extraordinaire.

Mark King kicked off his career with native British band Level 42, which he founded in 1979 together with his Mike Lindup and Phil and Rowland Charles. Initially King played the drums but soon moved to bass, where his natural rhythmic perception lead to his distinctive bass playing style. With time King achieved not only a rapid playing speed but introduced technical elements that allowed him to get incredible percussive effects while still playing bass.

Fame came quickly to Level 42 and the band played alongside artists like Madonna and Steve Winwood, while King and fellow band member Lindup also jammed with giants like Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins and Elton John.

During the 80s, King started to focus on a solo career, personally issuing and selling his own CDs, home-made with the help of a computer, CD burner and inkjet printer. Fans responded positively and King soon toured world extensively. Lindup left Level 42 in 1994, but he and King reunited in 2004 under the Level 42 banner, mesmerizing fans with King's already famous talent for turning the bass into a drum.

Such a passion for music requires using appropriate equipment - Mark King has opted for using TC Electronic's RS410 and RS450 bass amps to give his sound the raw power, flexibility and clean tone it needs.

TonePrints by Mark King

Videos with Mark King

Mark King "Phasers to Stun" TonePrint for Helix Phaser

Interview with Mark King of Level 42

Mark King of Level 42 plays a TC Electronic RH750 bass amp

Mark King "Beaty Hall" TonePrint for Hall Of Fame