Dutch producer Maxi Mill has a distinct sound all of his own. Spacious and futuristic, yet dripping with analogue warmth and the infectious, off-kilter swing of MPC-programmed drums, his productions sound like an honest but evocative blend of the past, present and future.Maxi Mill likes vivid analogue synthesizers, rolling grooves, sweaty Chicago jack tracks and far-sighted, intergalactic melodies inspired by the techno futurism of Detroit. He makes music for dancing and daydreaming; sometimes, as on debut single “To The Next” and 2013 gem “Lost & Found”, you’ll find yourself doing both at the same time.
Born and raised in Amsterdam, Maxi was introduced to music at an early age by his Indian father and Dutch mother, whose early life was informed by her father’s involvement in COBRA, a pan-European arts collective of free-thinking radicals founded shortly after the Second World War. Maxi credits his emotional, open-minded production style to the free thinking approach to life passed on by his parents and Grandfather, Constant. “There’s no theoretical approach,” he says. “I just make what I feel.” Maxi’s musical journey began in earnest when he fell in love with hip-hop aged 13. Trips to the Fat Beats record shop in Amsterdam ignited a life-long love affair with crate digging, and opened his eyes to the music that inspired his favourite hip-hop producers – a classic blend of disco, funk and soul, with a side order of bustling breaks from weird and wonderful rock, Afrobeat and Latin records.
As he grew up, his attention turned more towards house and techno. He was already an accomplished beatmaker, knocking out Kindred Spirits style experimental soul and hip-hop beats, but now he had a new focus. Utilizing his collection of analogue synths and drum machines – paid for through endless hours working as a chef in his home city – he began to create pulsating, stargazing house and techno tunes.In between late night sessions locked in his studio, he’d hook up with friends from the Amsterdam scene, fellow producers such as Young Marco, San Proper, Awanto 3 and, of course, Tom Trago. Like others in the scene, he relishes the chemistry that comes from like-minded friends having fun. It was through these regular studio and DJ sessions that he found himself signed up to Tom Trago’s Voyage Direct imprint, the label he runs with Amsterdam heavyweights Rush Hour. Maxi has already released two 12” singles through the label, with a third due later in 2014.
Having long since abandoned his job as a chef to concentrate on making music and DJing – his other great passion – there’s a feeling that Maxi is on the verge of a great breakthrough. He has a series of solo and collaborative releases lined up for 2014, and is beginning to get DJ bookings around Europe. After such an intense, impressive apprenticeship, there’s no doubt his time has come. Read more