Guest of Honour: Max Cooper won't be compromised by what's fashionable

Guest of Honour: Max Cooper won’t be compromised by what’s fashionable

Feb 2, 2012 |  by  |  Event, Music
About the author
Ridz, advertises, produces indie/electronic music, performs throughout the Netherlands but ultimately always ends up at an Amsterdam based ensemble... then he blogs about all these things.

Max Cooper, I can’t elaborate enough about this UK based scientist and producer. I’ve been a pretty big fan for the last three years, especially after seeing him perform last year at the Sugar Factory and the Systematic Recordings ADE showcase at the Chicago Social Club. He was the living proof that two very diverse lifestyles can be effortlessly combined live on the dance-floor. Nowadays, he’s worked his way up to become a full-time electronica artist, DJ and live performer. His music is an amalgamation of techno, house, electro and minimal, and is best described as highly emotional electronica.

This month, he’ll be back in our city to rock the most important music temple we have: Paradiso. We got to ask the man some questions about this!

Max, all the best to you for this new year. How has 2011 treated you?
It was a great year, thanks, lots of awesome parties!

According to you, who is Max Cooper and what does he sound like?
I’m Max Cooper, and I sound like I don’t fit into any particular genre. At least that’s the plan, I prefer not being part of a well defined genre, it means I can do what I want creatively and hopefully my career won’t be so affected by what’s fashionable.

I prefer not being part of a well defined genre, it means I can do what I want creatively and hopefully my career won’t be so effected by what’s fashionable.

You’ve been to Amsterdam before, I’ve seen you play at Sugar Factory and Chicago Social Club for example, but playing Paradiso is probably a first for you right? Do you know the venue and are you looking forward to it?
I’ve heard of the venue yes, but I’ve never been there. It has some sort of legendary, and exclusive status from what I’ve heard. I guess it’s a venue that’s seen a lot of sights in its lifetime, hopefully we can add one more to the list.

Do you have any particular connection with Amsterdam by now?
Definitely. Yesterday someone asked me where my favourite club was, and all I could think to say was “anywhere in Amsterdam”. I love playing in, and visiting the city, the vibe sits with me well, and the parties always have a great atmosphere.

I noticed you produced an enormous amount of ‘intellectually crafted’ tracks over the past year (my personal favourite being your Tears of a Clown remix), yet you manage to perform a lot around the world too. Do you prefer to spend time in the studio or on tour?
Yeah it’s a bit of an ongoing struggle trying to keep up with production goals that I set myself, as well as increasingly demanding touring schedules. For 2012 I’m going to have to have a bit of a break from both so
as I can focus some more on quality – so less productions, but hopefully of higher quality. I’m never happy with my production quality!

What would you say has been your biggest accomplishment up to now?
It’s a hard question to answer because I don’t like talking myself up, I prefer to focus on my output and let people make their own minds up.

What was your latest genius discovery that you can share (artist or track)?
Vaetxh. It’s an artist I discovered last year, he’s only really just started releasing music, but everything he’s done has blown my mind; his production standard, musicality, sound design, originality and complexity are unbelievable!

Any colleague DJ/producers you can specifically appreciate or relate to?
John Tejada was another artist who made a big impact on me last year after I saw him live for the first time at the Kompakt party at ADE. It all clicked for me then and I’ve been obsessively listening to his stuff ever since.

What are your plans for 2012 and the near future? Where are you taking Max Cooper next?
I’ll be focusing on finally getting my long running album project finished, so less remixes and EPs for a while until that’s done. I’m also keen to push more into the electronica direction so I can keep things as fresh as possible creatively, but I’ll still try and hold on to a dance-floor compatibility of course. The party aspect is something I don’t want to lose. I guess it’s a matter of seeing how far I can push things and still keep the club audience engaged.

Lastly, for any aspiring electronic producers out there craving for a career like yours; what advice do you have for them if they want to make it in the ‘dance’ industry?
Play to your strengths and find what sort of music comes naturally for you. Some people are great at networking and being part of the party, others are stay at home studio geeks, either approach can work. And for productions, my experience was it took a lot of experimentation to find out what sort of music came most naturally for me, and when I found it, I was much better at making that sort of music than any others. I think the bottom line is you have to make music that really connects with you, there’s no point forcing a style you’re not totally in to just because you think that is what other people want.

Want to catch his live-show? Don’t miss him at NGHTDVSN on the 25th of February together with Ruede Hagelstein, Olivier Weiter, Terry Toner, Prunk, Some Chemistry and many more!

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