Interview

Maximono Interview @ MDA Wednesdays

Maximono Shares An Unexpected Passion

EXPERIENCE BY: KAGAN RICHARDSON

With years of experience as drum n bass producers, Nick Hill and Sebastian “Sebi” Wolters joined forces in 2013 as Maximono and have been taking the world by storm ever since. The duo has proven themselves within the house scene, having releases on This Ain’t Bristol, Cuff, Dirtybird, and Confession, to name a few.

Modern Disco Ambassadors has consistently hosted quality house music in Orange County for the past 10 years, so it was only natural that Maximono would eventually make their way to our Wednesday home at La Cave. That day was June 27, 2018, and the rave cave was completely flipped upside with Maximono’s unique brand of funky bass-heavy house music. MDA heavyweights Audiostache and Chef Boyarbeatz provided support and rounded out an amazing night.

Dark Shot Of Maximono.jpg

Before Maximono took the stage, I had the chance to sit down with Sebi and ask him some burning questions. Here is what he had to say:

Kagan: What goes into your preparations for a DJ set?
Sebi: First of all I look at where we’re gonna play, is it a festival or a small intimate venue, and how long the set is gonna be which can be anything from 45 minutes to 4 hours. Depending on that and how long ago I played there last, I’ll decide how the structure of the set will be. Then I’ll go through new music see what I can play from the label which is forthcoming or just being released. I try to set up a unique set for every gig I play. I get bored quickly and I couldn’t play the same set twice.
Kagan: How would you say your experiences as drum n bass producers influence your music today?
Sebi: It influences anything we do now because that’s basically where we both started our producing and DJing careers. Everything comes from there somehow. Jungle and drum n bass is such a melting pot of music in itself. You’ve got like hip hop, reggae, dub, whatever, it all goes into jungle and drum n bass. When you produce it, you’re already influenced by so many other styles. Nick and I are both not limited to one sound which I’m pretty sure you can hear in our productions as well, we’re just jumping from influence to influence. It’s just about the good vibe but it has to have funk and bass in it. We’ve both been in the drum n bass scene for about 20 years now which is from the very early days in ‘97 and ‘98 until. He’s more into it still, he’s still doing his Loadstar project. I just quit my drum n bass stuff. I did a drum n bass label so I quit that to just do the house stuff.
Kagan: As producers, who are your biggest inspirations?
Sebi: I would say, there’s a hip hop producer from Detroit named Apollo Brown. Just the art of sampling, like how he recreates music from old funk and soul records, that’s very inspiring. But also so many other electronic producers like stimming, a German guy. He’s a sound design nerd, I would say. Of course you’re always influenced by the people around you doing house music as well, that’s constantly inspiring us. People from the drum n bass scene, producers like Alix Perez who’s been collaborating with Eprom as well. Also guys like SpectraSoul.
The Crowd On MDA Wednesdays.jpg
Kagan: What’s the most out of the ordinary thing in your studio?
Sebi: I’ve got a small noise synthesizer called a Thingamagoop 3000. It’s like a small thing that creates sounds from lights. You’ve got a small pocket lamp on top and that creates the noise from the light. It’s handmade somewhere in America and to order it you has to pay I think about $500 and they built it after like 200 people ordered it or something. I waited for it for about a year until it came but it’s really really cool, all these quirky weird noises. The wait was worth it because no one else really has it, at least no one from the scene has it so it’s a pretty unique thing. I’d also add a software tool too as we work so much with software these days. An absolute secret gem for us the Infected Mushroom Pusher by Waves which can be found on Splice.
Kagan: How did your collaboration with Malaa, Arsenic, come about?
Sebi: We were sending tracks back and forth from time to time and he sent me some of his stuff, I think it was before he got really big. Then we just kept going and we had one track almost finished where we thought we had about 20% missing and we were about to skip it and say no we won’t finish it. Then it was my idea to let him hear it and see what he thinks and he was all into it and said he could already hear the last 20% missing and I will add that. It’s funny because everyone in the forums said that’s a Malaa track, why is Maximono’s name on there. In the end it was a 50-50 thing, he edited more than we originally planned but we started the track and he finished it. I wish we could do another one now, we might be working on that.
Kagan: You’re both from Europe originally, but where do you both call home now?
Sebi: Nick is in London and I am in Hanover, Germany. That works really well even though we’re not playing that much in Europe. We’re always flying over here to play shows here. With the label in the background we’re doing more festival takeovers in Europe. Music is actually not my full-time job, I run a company back home in Hanover so I need to stay around the area to be able to still run the company.
Kagan: Could you tell us more about your company?
Sebi: That’s my second world I would say. It’s a constant fight between two worlds, one is the serious business world and the music world. It’s basically two hearts in my chest. It’s an IT security company, we developed a tool for companies to secure smartphones. We provide secure app stores for companies, we have a technology that automatically scans apps and tells you what they’re doing in the background. For example, if you install a new version of an app and it keeps sending your credit card details to a foreign server or whatever, our software will recognize that and tell the company to blacklist that app. Started it 6-7 years ago and it grew quite quickly. I think it’s a big market and is still growing. We’ve got a team of about 30 people back home and it’s going good. It was started by me and two friends who have already left the company so I am the CEO of the company.
Maximono On The Decks.jpg
Kagan: How did you first get into cybersecurity?
Sebi: It was at my apprenticeship, I learned at a big German company called Siemens back around ‘99 and ‘00. After that I did a PR study at a university. Both of those worlds came together, IT and PR, and we started that just from a product idea. We never planned to do a cybersecurity company, we were just flicking around with ideas. One friend and I started a company which did sound design for brands, but we moved on from that and did digital consulting for brands. From there we developed a product idea. It wasn’t planned, but now it’s pretty serious and it’s quite a responsibility.
Kagan: What do you think of In N Out Burger?
Sebi: To be totally honest, I was a little disappointed because everyone was hyping it up so much. I have to say I am not really a big junk food fan at all. I try to eat healthy, but of course I tried it because everyone was saying you have to try In N Out Burger. It was a lot better than any fast food I’ve tried before, but it still wouldn’t be my favorite thing to do. There’s so many other good spots like Korean BBQ for example which I would always prefer, especially in LA.
Kagan: What can we look forward to from Maximono in the last half of 2018?
Sebi: We DJ’d a lot in the last six months and now we just started getting back on the production side. We’re working on a lot of new music, we just finished a couple of tracks with MARTEN HØRGER who just had a release on Confession. We don’t know where they’ll come out because they’re a bit different than what we’ve done before. A bit more dancefloor, a bit more straight in your face I would say. I don’t think they’ll necessarily come out on This Ain’t Bristol or Dirtybird, so we’re looking for other labels where they could fit. We’re also working on new original tracks so there will be a lot of new music throughout the year and of course still some great shows to play in the States. We’ve got Shambhala coming up, a few things in July, and then another tour in August around Shambhala. I’m pretty sure there will be another tour in October/November time, that’s usually when we come over to play some Halloween shows and such. It’s gonna be a good year hopefully!
Nick is also going to get married next month. I’ll be going there and celebrating my birthday which is the day of the wedding so it’s going to be an epic night in London. When he gets back from his honeymoon, we’ll be busy in the studio again.
Maximono Captivates The Crowd.jpg

Immediately after the conclusion of this interview, Sebi headed for the stage, took over the decks, and captivated the MDA cave dwellers with an expert-level two hour set.

It was a true pleasure to host Sebi at La Cave. We have a lot to look forward to from Maximono!


Until next time Ambassadors.

Kagan Richardson

AKA DJ Moose Trax

All photos included in this article were taken by Modern Paparazzo Photography.

Télépopmusik Interview

Summer Home is Back with Télépopmusik!

EXPERIENCE BY: KAGAN RICHARDSON

Let me tell you, the first edition of Summer Home 2018 with Télépopmusik was an absolute blast. The music, the people, the atmosphere, the food, the drinks, everything was perfect.

A lot of this is thanks to Back Bay Bistro for providing the perfect venue for the day. It sits right on the water in Newport Beach (you can dock your boat and walk right in) and provides its guests with unparalleled waterfront dining in a huge open space that was just begging for some quality music.

Rozco, Bubblewrappe, Mogli, and Daniel Minaya kicked things off in that order and served the crowd a delicious serving of underground beats that paired quite nicely with Back Bay Bistro’s street taco and brunch buffet. Daniel Minaya in particular unleashed an onslaught of classic tracks, such as Show Me Love by Robyn S and One More Time by Daft Punk, alongside the trademark underground sounds of MDA.

Then, Télépopmusik took over, but before we get into the stellar performance... here is a bit about their career so far.

The core trio of Fabrice Dumont, Stephan Haeri, and Christophe Hetier first came together in 1997 after playing with other projects. Dumont founded the dream pop group Autour de Lucie, Hetier DJ’d as Antipop, and Haetri was a member of Planet Zen and also produced as 2Square.

The three created a fresh electronic sound that first culminated with Sonic 75 which was released on the SourceLab 3 compilation album in 1997. They refined their sound over the next few years and eventually released their debut album, Genetic World, on Capitol Records in 2002.

The album was a commercial success especially its lead single, Breathe, which became a smash hit in the mainstream. Breathe has been featured in countless movies, TV shows, and commercials around the world. You might recognize it from television ads for the Mitsubishi Outlander that aired nationally in 2003.

The group toured all over the world following this success and released their second album, Angel Milk, in 2005 also on Capitol Record. The single off the album, Into Everything, also received mainstream success and a stop-motion music video was subsequently released.

Since then, Télépopmusik has been relatively silent as they only released the Try Me Anyway/Fever EP in 2013 which earned a great selection of remixes from the likes of Dirty Channels, Zombie Disco Squad (ZDS), Populette, Pit Spector, and Pino Rastovitch. I highly recommend checking it out!

Christophe Hetier of Télépopmusik took the DJ duties for the group and held the crowd in a state of pure elation from start to finish. Christophe is a master on the decks as he showed off his technical mastery and vast musical library that spans the decades. I personally never thought I would see anyone throw Burnin’ by Daft Punk (one of my personal favorites off their debut album Homework) into a DJ set, but he did so without batting an eyelash and the crowd ate it up.

After the show, I had the chance to sit down with Christophe and ask him a few questions. Here’s what he had to say...

Kagan: Can you give us some insight into how you prepare for your DJ sets?
Christophe: Well to prepare for playing as a DJ, I try to capture the new sounds and music that people are listening to. I have fun mixing the new music with the music I’ve added collected over the years.
Kagan: When you finished Breathe years ago, did you expect all of the mainstream success?
Christophe: Oh no, we did not expect all of that success. We made a song we liked and it sort of happened.
Kagan: Télépopmusik tracks have received a slew of remixes. What is the process like when picking the remixers?
Christophe: Most of the time they actually approach us about remixing our tracks. Especially recently with the younger of generation of artist wanting to remix our tracks, Breathe for example.
Kagan: How does it feel to be considered one of the bands who pioneered the concept of multiple vocalist collaborations on one album?
Christophe: I don’t think too much of it to be honest. We did what we felt was right for the album and it worked out in a nice way.
Kagan: Who are some of your biggest influences as a musician?
Christophe: We all come from backgrounds in pop bands so a lot of pop music. The Pixies would be one of the biggest for me in particular.
Kagan: Can we hope for new music from Telepopmusik in the near future?
Christophe: We are in the studio now putting the finishing touches on our next album. You could probably expect to see that in a few months, maybe around September or later this year.

It was an absolute pleasure having Télépopmusik out for Summer Home. The party was such a  great time all around that it was extended to 8pm rather than ending at 7pm! It gave Christophe extra time to direct the soundtracks to our lives, and he did not disappoint.

Here’s to the next one Ambassadors.

Kagan Richardson

AKA DJ Moose Trax

Thank you to Joseph Paparazzo for the pictures.