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Banco de Gaia

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Banco de Gaia
GenresTechno, downtempo, electronic
Years active1989 (1989)–present
MembersToby Marks
Past members
  • Andy Guthrie
  • Ted Duggan
  • Ashley Hopkins
  • Larry Whelan
  • Toby Mason
  • Gary Spacey-Foot
  • James Eller

Banco de Gaia is an English electronic music project, formed in 1989 by Toby Marks (born 1964,[citation needed] South London, England).

The music of Banco de Gaia is mostly categorized as ambient dub and downtempo. Marks works to cross genres, often using Arabic and Middle Eastern samples against a bass heavy reggae, rock, or trance rhythm to produce deeply textured tracks that progress layer upon layer.


In 1978, Marks began his musical career as a drummer in a heavy metal band.

Marks moved to Portugal in 1986 and played Beatles music for tourists. He first delved into electronic music in 1989, when he bought a digital sampler. The first tune he recorded on it was called "Maxwell House".

Having cut his teeth on the early 1990s ambient dub compilations, in 1994 he released his first studio album Maya on the Planet Dog label,[1] which was submitted to the Mercury Music Prize on its release. It was followed in 1995 by the critically acclaimed Last Train to Lhasa. Both albums reached No. 1 on the UK Indie Chart and featured in the top 40 of the UK Albums Chart. In the following decade, Marks released Live at Glastonbury, Big Men Cry, The Magical Sounds of Banco De Gaia, Igizeh and You Are Here.[1]

In 1997, Marks put together a five-piece band that included Ted Duggan (drums), Ashley Hopkins (bass), Larry Whelan (wind synth, saxophone and ethnic flutes), and Gary Spacey-Foot (percussion and saxophones). The band reduced in number to just Marks, Duggan and Hopkins in 1999, and then just Marks and Duggan from 2000 until 2003, when Marks went back to being a solo artist.

On 20 September 2009, Marks played an album launch show for his album Memories Dreams Reflections at Dingwalls in London. This show was to celebrate 20 years of Banco de Gaia. Marks was joined on stage by three members from the original five-piece band: Hopkins, Whelan and Duggan and vocalist Maya Preece, who sang on the latest album.

He released a studio album Apollo on 8 April 2013, on his own Disco Gecko Recordings.[2][3]

In 2015, Marks returned to playing with a live three-piece band, with Ted Duggan (drums)[4] and James Eller (bass).[5]

On 7 October 2016, he released his ninth studio album The 9th of Nine Hearts,[6] featuring collaborations with Sophie Barker (Zero 7), Tim Bowness (No-Man), Dick Parry (Pink Floyd) and his band.


Early cassettes[edit]

  • Medium (World Bank, 1991)
  • Freeform Flutes and Fading Tibetans (World Bank, 1992)
  • Deep Live (World Bank, 1992)

These first three albums existed only on tape and are no longer being sold due to copyright issues with several of the samples used on them.


Live albums[edit]

  • Live at Glastonbury (Planet Dog, 1996)
  • Live at Glastonbury: 20th Anniversary Edition (2016)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • 10 Years (2002)
  • 10 Years Remixed (2003)
  • Songs from the Silk Road (2011)
  • Rewritten Histories Vol.1 1992 – 1995 (2011)
  • Rewritten Histories Vol.2 1996 – 2001 (2012)
  • Rewritten Histories Vol.3 2002 – 2013 (2014)
  • 30 Times Around the Sun (2019)
  • Rewritten Histories Vol.4 2013 – 2017 (2021)
  • Rewritten Histories Vol.5 2017 – 2022 (2022)
  • Altered Realities (2023)



  1. ^ a b Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 33. ISBN 0-7535-0427-8.
  2. ^ Parsons, Gary. "Banco de Gaia – Apollo". Freq.
  3. ^ "Apollo: Disco Gecko; 2013". By Olga Drenda, Tiny Mixtapes.
  4. ^ "BADFINGER Featuring Bob Jackson Official Website". Badfingeruk.com.
  5. ^ "HOME". Jameseller.com.
  6. ^ "The 9th of Nine Hearts". Banco.co.uk. 5 October 2016.
  7. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 41. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  8. ^ " Banco De Gaia - Apollo Review" Archived 23 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Written by Gideon Thomas Core Magazine.
  9. ^ "Banco De Gaia Apollo" Archived 4 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Globetronica.
  10. ^ "Le Foucauld, by Banco De Gaia". Banco De Gaia.

External links[edit]