It's been the 'best year' of his life and Maxxi Soundsystem has certainly brought joy to many others along the way via tours around world and plenty of high profile releases.
With current singles out on Hypercolour and Maceo's Plex's Ellum Audio – the fantastic 'Regrets We Have No Use For' (backed with a rare Herbert remix) and 'Stella's Groove' respectively – and a Thomas Gandy collaboration EP coming on Moda Black, he's making it a sprint finish in 2012. Add to that his nomination for 'Best Remix' in our Best of British Awards for his take on Parallel Dance Ensemble's 'Shopping Cart', the remix that keeps on giving, and it was no surprise that he sounded chipper when we caught up with him.
It's definitely been a Maxxi year for you with so many great releases. What's been your personal highlight?
“2012 has been the best year of my life - too many highlights. The five week tour of the Americas has to be up there, getting to travel all the way from Toronto to Sao Paulo, with Burning Man in the middle, is something I never thought I'd get to do.”
Your remix of Parallel Dance Ensemble just seemed to keep getting bigger and bigger and is nominated for a DJ Mag Best of British Award. Did you have a feeling about it before handing it over or did you simply do your best, then forget about it until it was echoing around dancefloor around the land? We hope you got paid well!
“Well I already was a fan of Permanent Vacation, so when they sent me the track it was a pretty easy decision. The original is a brilliant piece of pop. I had no idea it would be as big as it got though. I don't think the label did either, and since you ask, there was actually no fee so I didn't make anything from it financially. The DJ Mag nomination is reward enough.”
You've also got two massive singles out at the moment going head to head - 'Regrets We Have No Use For' and 'Stella's Way'. If you had to class them each as famous boxers facing up to one another, which would each one be and why?
“I'm in no way any kind of authority on the sport but I suppose the float/sting/butterfly/bee line comes to mind for 'Regrets...' so let's make that Ali. 'Stella's Way' as a boxer has probably got more pure punch power so let's go with Drago from Rocky IV.
You seem to have an ear for an anthemic hook. What's your top tip for giving a track emotional punch?
“Thanks, although I'm not entirely sure how to give tips on putting emotion into tracks as it's difficult to describe aside from getting into 'feelings' and we've only just met! I suppose you have to work out the sounds that effect you and try and use those.”
And what are your favourite cheesy and underground anthems of all time.
“I always associate the word 'cheesy' with stuff I don't like, but two anthems that come to mind are George Benson's 'Give Me The Night' and as more of an underground track 'Sleepy Hollow' by Stefan Goldmann, which was something I used to play all the time. It still sounds amazing.”
Tell us about your new Moda Back single. Did you already know Thomas Gandey before working with him? Was it more fun having someone else to bounce ideas off and do you have any more collaborations on the way?
“Yes, I've been friends with Tom for years, he's like my eccentric cousin. We're both from Brighton and I also used to be in his Cagedbaby project which we toured live (in about 2007/8). Music is always better during the creative process when there are other people there. It should be about sharing talents where possible and Tom is classically trained so he brings lots of musicality. I think it can be trickier in the mixing and arranging stages where we both like to be in control - if we're being honest - and also we both get bored very quickly so we did that bit separately, although with iChat/Skype everyone is only ever a few moments away.
“I'm also doing lots more with Name One, who was the vocalist on 'Regrets We Have No Use For'. I'm very excited about getting that stuff out.”
2013 is almost upon us. What does the year hold for you?
“Yes, it certainly is! There'll be more shows in Europe, as well as USA, South America and my first tour of Australia. My next EP will be on Futureboogie so am currently working on that... If 2013 is anything close to as much fun as 2012, I'll be more than happy.”
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