We are rather excited to announce the seriously talented producer, DJ, party-thrower extraordinaire and all-round good egg Maxxi Soundsystem as our special guest for our Lovebox after party on Sunday. He very kindly took some time out this week to answer our burning questions.
Hi Sam, how are you this fine rainy day?
Very well thanks Miss Superstore.
Lots of people seem to think you’re quite new to the scene but we know you’ve been producing for some time now. Can you tell us a bit about how you got started with DJing and making music?
Well my father is a composer and musician so it was always a big part of my life. Our house was always full of odd bands of drummers, massive bass amps and various pianos and I was taken along to lots of festivals as a kid. But to be honest, apart from playing the trumpet after school, I didn't really take it to too seriously for a while. Back then I couldn't get into most of my dad's avant-garde jazz records but he had a few funk/soul/pop records (Curtis Mayfield, The Meters, Talking Heads I remember) and that sparked it off for me. So from that, collecting music and being a DJ was the initial drive - after moving to Brighton I got into putting on parties - I didn't really get seriously into production until about 2006 but I knew I wanted to get good before I released anything. My first productions that actually got released were when I started working and touring with Cagedbaby around 2007. After that I quit my day job and went into the studio as much as I could.
What piece of equipment could you not do your job without?
My Nord Lead synth. It's on everything.
We hear you’re doing a side project with Disco Bloodbath’s Ben Pistor… how did that come about?
Yes, we’ve done a couple of tracks together. I knew Ben from going to Disco Bloodbath and having him play at one of our parties in Brighton. He mentioned he wanted to do some music with me, possibly at one of the DB parties, I can't remember. Anyway he ended up coming down to Brighton to my studio and we put them together. They don't sound anything like my Maxxi stuff - much more raw/menacing. Ben likes scary noises.
You’ve released on some of the UK’s respected underground labels from Hot Waves to Futureboogie to Wolf Music. Which label feels most like home?
I'm still kind of looking for a home in a way. Initially I wanted to work with lots of different labels and there is still stuff to be released on new ones for me, but I think settling down and working with a label longer term is something I'd like to do but not sure where that will be yet.
You’re playing at our Lovebox after-party! What’s your favourite Lovebox memory?
I remember the one last year when I played out the back of a van - that was fun. I love London crowds they really get the music I play plus it was a bit wet too but no one cared... more of the same this year I'll wager.
Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the actual festival?
I've still never seen Grace Jones so I need to check that out. Interested to see Chaka Khan too - sometimes the old school legends disappoint but got a feeling she will deliver. The NYC Downlow is always good so no doubt I will end up in there!
We see that you’re playing fellow Sunday artist Tim Sweeney’s New York radio show Beats In Space in August… that must be a huge honour!
Holy shit yes! I listened to his show religiously until I spent all my time in the studio. And I always still check out the playlists if I don't have time to listen. It's where you go to find new music and his selection and guests are always great. I'll need to be on form on that day or I'll never forgive myself...
What other festivals can we expect to see your face at this year?
I’m at Garden Festival in Croatia in July then Secret Garden Party and Eastern Electrics in UK. I’m also due to be in the Americas Aug/Sept so it cuts out a few of the European festivals for me.
Your remix of Parallel Dance Ensemble’s Shopping Cart has been massive this year with lots of DJs proclaiming it as their secret weapon. What other remixes or re-edits might be coming our way from you?
Well actually I’ve got something in that style that's due to come out on Wolf Music soon and my remix of Saint Saviour just got released, so now I'm mainly concentrating on original stuff.
And finally, this is not the first time you’ve graced our lazer basement. What do you like about playing here at Dalston Superstore?
It's got an atmosphere that is quite rare - it genuinely has an edge to it (which sometimes reminds me of Berlin) but the main reason is the crowd - you can feel free to play what you want to play which is all you can ever ask for as a DJ.
Maxxi Soundsystem plays at Outside The Box this Sunday after Lovebox.