July 2, 2013 § Leave a comment
Max Parker is from the West Midlands area of the UK and is propriertor extroardinaire of the Deep Dark Dungeon Dubstep (4D) blog. Besides his website based commitments, he manages to find time to make warm melodic dubstep beats under the MAKZ moniker. He first came to my attention by sending beats to me and a few others privately on Soundcloud and the fact you’re reading this is testament that if you make good tunes and use selective processes when sending them out to people, good things happen.
Easy Max, some of our readers won’t be familiar with you or the web portal you run, so could you give us a little introduction to yourself and the website?
Easy Ryan, thanks for having me on! My name is Max and I’m from the West Midlands kind of area in the UK, I produce under the alias ‘M.A.K.Z.’ and have done for a little while now. I’d describe my current sound as a blend of sexy chords and sub-driven drum grooves. I run the 4D Blog, which mainly specializes in supporting the underground bass music sounds and pushing the artists too.
What was it that made you want to start making beats? Are your motivations still pretty much the same these days?
I started making beats back in my first year of college when I was about 17. However I’ve only more recently got into it properly. I liked the thought of having ideas in my head for tunes then putting them into action via Cubase (DAW I still swear by now), and I guess it’s just progressed since then and I like to think I’ve progressed as a musician too, even though I still have a lot to learn. I wouldn’t say my motivations are the same at the moment; when I started out, I got into the darker kind of sounds (like what I was hearing Youngsta play on Rinse all the time), and there are a lot of guys out there doing big things on the darker scale, but after a few attempts I realized it wasn’t really my cup of tea and since late last year I’ve been working on a lot more melodic material which has become my main focus as of late, and I think it’s being perceived quite well (I hope haha).
Besides your own musical direction, would you say that the darker end of the scene in general is becoming quite saturated at the moment?
To be quite honest I believe the whole thing is a bit controversial; there are a lot of guys out there doing their own thing on the darker end which I’m really feeling, some of whom are now receiving a really good response to their music and getting out there a lot more. I think it’s more down to personal preference, and in my opinion the general darker 140 music is becoming quite saturated and overdone – a lot of it seems to be the same thing repeated over and over again with not much thought put into it, however the production quality is generally quite exceptional, but with the creative aspect it’s just not there for me anymore.
It used to be exciting when a big name had an EP forthcoming on a big label and you didn’t really know what to expect from them, whereas now it seems you can predict what it’s all going to sound like and the excitement is gone in that sense for me.
With the more underground, darker 140 artists it’s a different story completely; Piezo, Juss B, Mesck, Mishva, Drooka, Echomaker, Darj and Christopher Yikes have all been killing it lately, and also bring something different to the table as well.
Forthcoming Gradient Audio
(19th July exclusive to Juno and 1st August everywhere else)
Who do you draw your inspiration from in terms of melody?
There are a lot of guys I draw inspiration from melody wise, but I think the main person would have to be Jafu. He usually sends new music through on a weekly basis and his work rate is quite incredible, which kind of drives me to keep bashing out more and more new tunes haha. Other than that burly Canadian beardmaster, I’d have to say people like Arkist, Congi, Kahn, Swindle and Phaeleh are big inspirations, as well as the more mainstream artists like The Weeknd (some of the production techniques used in his music have been helpful in my own), and the general 1990-2002 RnB/soul sound which I’ve been trying to re-create in some of my tunes lately
With those soulful RNB vibes in mind, who in your opinion should we be watching for over the next twelve months?
On the more soulful/melodic tip, I think it would be criminal not to mention the whole Chord Marauders gang; their first compilation a few weeks back was absolutely huge and I’m excited to hear what get’s signed up to ‘Groove Booty #002’. Swindle as well, going to be interesting to see what he comes out with after his latest LP – hopefully he gets back in the studio within the next year haha. Would also have to say to watch out for Duckem, Gerkle, Hiloxam, iNTRiKeT, Lamont, Muttley, Panda, Prism, Aiko, Trashbat, N Dread, Versa and Inkarv – all of whom bring those soulful flavours within their own production style.
Outside of the 140, what do you rate musically? Bands, installation artists, etc?
I do listen to a lot of 170 stuff; guys like Alix Perez, Rockwell, Photek, Alaska, Mercy and Prolix are just a few I’ve been into over the past couple of years. But outside the whole electronic spectrum, I’d say I’m big into a lot of Indie music – not the kind that you might come across in NME or something like that, but bands like Tubelord (who I think have recently split up). Before this whole production thing all started up I used to play drums for a few Indie bands around the local area, so I was heavily influenced by that kind of music for a while. I’ve also more recently got into the underground UK Hip-Hop scene – artists like Edward Scissortongue, Fliptrix and Leaf Dog are all doing it for me at the moment. Of course I have to mention The Weeknd too – guy has an amazing voice.
Thanks for taking the time to do this, any shouts and such like?
Was a pleasure man! Haha too many shouts – firstly, out to my good mates Drooka, Echomaker, iNTRiKeT, Gerkle, Jafu, Mishva, Christopher Yikes, Vileside and Hadda, the extended mandem too – Duckem, Vanity, Hiloxam, Ostra, Kong, Karnage, Mentha, Freud, Atnos (they know who they are), shouts to Wil and Olaf from FatKidOnFire for having me as part of the resident DJ family, Qualmsound for all the sick artwork, special thanks to Christian (Mortal Grey) for having that much faith in my music he wants to put it out there, just shouts to everyone who supports my music and the blog really – no long way about it! And of course, safe for having me on the feature mate – 45hz killing it!
-The Weeknd – Gone [XO&co.]
-Jafu – Get On Track [DUB]
-Gerkle – Sativa Steppin’ [DUB]
-Panda – Individuation [DUB]
-iNTRiKeT – Icarus [DUB]
-Sepia – Dreams [DUB]
-M.A.K.Z. – Promise Land [‘Going Away EP’]
-Sqz Me – My Life [DUB]
-Congi & B9 – Misconception [DUB]
-Freud – Hawaiian Punch [DUB]
-Prism – Poltergeist [DUB]
-M.A.K.Z. – Vitreous [Forthcoming Gradient Audio]
-Duckem – Omoshiroi [DUB]
-M.A.K.Z. – Comedown [‘Going Away EP’]
-Muttley feat. Alexandra Caddick – Need You [DUB]
-Swindle ft Joel Culpepper,Baby Sol,Preditah & PSM – When I Fly Away [Deep Medi]
-Mentha & M.A.K.Z. feat. Shorty – My Soul [DUB]
-Jafu – Afraid Of You [Forthcoming Solace]
-Piezo – Kaleya [DUB]
-Darj – Can’t Control It [DUB]
-Vileside & Kismet – Life Form [DUB]
-Hadda & Vileside – Apache (Christopher Yikes Remix) [DUB]
-Drooka – Sheik [DUB]
-Echomaker – Rakshasa [DUB]
-Juss B – The Waiting Hour [DUB]
-Ribz – Shot To Get Paid [Pitch Controller]
-Lemzly Dale & Boofy – Catch A Body [DUB]
-Impey – Bangclap (Lamont Remix) [DUB]
-Hiloxam – Miss Mella Dee (You’re Out Of Tune So Slightly) [4D ‘1000 Likes LP’]