Words by Jake Reid
If you keep in tune with the UK house scene, then the name Maximono would certainly ring a bell.
From building up a global following with their excellently curated sets to kicking off their forward thinking record label, This Ain’t Bristol – which has landed the label hosting stages at festivals like Electric Forest and Nocturnal Wonderland – the pair have ticked off many boxes and have many more achievements to come.
We caught up with Sebi & Nick to extract some knowledge and insight to the world of Maximono…
SR: The lead track of your new EP ‘Bust A Move’ is sweeeeeet, great stuff my dudes! Got to play it over the weekend and went down so well! How long do you test your own tracks in clubs or sets before deciding they’re finished?
M: Usually we write a bunch of tunes and then over the coming months we test stuff out, check things are sounding right on club systems etc. It’s so important to get stuff sounding right on those big systems, something we are still learning. The ‘Bust a Move EP’ actually had to come together quite quickly due to quite a hectic release schedule so we had to put it together without much time, so in this instance we didn’t have much opportunity to play it loads first. But we are pretty happy with the results! I guess as a producer you never can tell 100% that a track is totally finished and as good as it can be but you have to draw the line at some point to stop yourself going mad!
SR: When you’re both writing music together, do you draw inspiration from stuff you’ve been listening to at home or what you’re feeling in the clubs?
M: We draw inspiration from anywhere! Rather than specific things, it’s all about what you experience, that inspiration can come anywhere at any time. Of course its always cool to hear stuff in clubs and mixes etc, but we always want to write music, just being together in the studio is quite a rare thing so that in itself challenges us and gets us in creative mode.
SR: Before starting a track do you aim to write music with a particular mood or setting or just have a jam and get weird on the beat?
M: I think the latter!! Just start making a beat, play around with synths and samples, just work on those basic grooves and build a track from there! There’s never an exact process, no track comes together the same way. We write a lot of ideas, some get finished but we end up scrapping a lot, we tend to concentrate on those vibes that still sound good a day or two later. But mainly we just have fun with it, we never pressure ourselves to have to have like 10 tracks finished or whatever….we just keep it natural and the process organic
SR: Both of you were pretty involved in the Drum & Bass scene since the 90’s so i’m sure you have built an amazing collection of records. Could you please share a couple d&b or jungle records that have stood the test of time from when you first started DJing to now?
Moving Fusion – Turbulence
LTJ Bukem – Atlantis
Origin Unknown – Valley of the Shadows
All records very ahead of their time!!
SR: I’ve read one of you is a big Prince fan. Have you ever dropped a Prince record in during a Maximono set? If not, in a hypothetical situation, which Prince record would you select?
M: Yeh definitely we have dropped some Prince records at our shows, only when the moment is right though! Been listening since a kid…These days I love listening to his lesser known stuff generally, his more recent albums like Plectrum electrum and Lotusflow3r… but to play during a set?? Too many classics to mention!
SR: I’ve also read you’re both fans of gin, do you have any thoughts on the new emerging market of gin flavoured foods? For example, products like gin lip balm, G&T tea bags or gin & tonic ice cream?
M: I wouldn’t go that far! Why would you wanna have gin in any other format?! You can’t beat a nice glass of sipsmith on ice with sliced cucumber and a decent tonic. Every time.
SR: Do you think there’s much of a difference in the vibe for TAB events when you hold them in different cities or countries?
M: The whole mantra of TAB is good vibes house! So wherever we take it, we are lucky that there are open minded people who love good music and good times so it doesn’t really matter where in the world we are, every club may be different but the vibes somehow connect with people in the same way.
SR: What’s a sound design technique you have been giving rinse in the studio lately?
M: Stereo imaging. Basically there’s so much stuff to learn about space and placing sounds that we never really knew that much about before, it kind of goes beyond what just ‘sounds right’ There’s a lot of good software for this too.
SR: Your two all time favourite plugins that are constantly getting a work out?
M: Sausage fattener. Ozone 7
SR: AND how do you use them on a record?
M: Well we only use these on a master bus….but they feature in most of our tracks. Very nice for that last 10% of a mix
SR: GOAT production tip or trick you learnt during a collaboration with another artist?
Take care of your EQing and stereo imaging from the very early stage of your production. It’ll make your life so much easier and your track so much better. Another small tip for Logic Users: You can draw the fade-in / fade-outs of audio regions yourself without typing in numbers in the channel strip fields. It’s super handy and a thing we found out quite late (thanks Billy Kenny). Could’ve saved us a lot of time…