RB Exclusive Interview: Sage Armstrong
April 11, 2019
April 11, 2019
Despite the fact that This Ain’t Bristol is based out of Germany, they’re still making major waves in the stateside music scene and the latest compilation from the label is no exception to the rule. Brilliantly curated by Maximono, the compilation features 22 banging tracks from the likes of Worthy, Fake Blood, Harry Judda, Taiki Nulight, Jaded, and so many more. If anyone has got some expert-level skills of bringing bomb beats together, it’s none other than Maximono.
The duo, made up of Sebastian Wolters and Nick Hill, recently released tracks off of the ever-popular San Fransisco-based label, Dirtybird, making impossible to escape the dark, tribal beats of “So Hot” and to hold still as the bass line from “Sorry” bumped through night clubs everywhere. With support from the likes of Malaa and the CUFF label, you can’t deny that Maximono has got their finger on the exact sound to get bodies moving. In anticipation of the release of the This Ain’t Bristol  Maximono Selections compilation, which has already hit #1 on Beatport, I got a chance to do a little Q&A with the UK-based pair to get to know them a little better before they take over the US house scene.
Let’s talk history: up until recently, you produced drum and bass, why the change?
“That’s right, both of us have been writing drum&bass for quite a while. After 10-15years in the same genre we both felt it was time to move on. At the same time we were always looking for something where could work together. As we were both involved in our own d&b projects, we found this way by entering a completely new scene. At the time (around 2013) we didn’t know much about the house and techno scene at all. I guess that helped a lot going in with a totally fresh approach to 123bpm.”
What is your impression of dance music culture in the United States so far?
“Nick played a lot of drum&bass shows in the US over the past five years so we both knew how big the scene is over there and how quick it is growing and moving. With his Loadstar project he played a lot of the big clubs and festivals like EDC Vegas and others. It’s a super exciting and constantly moving scene which today is a massive motivation for us to get involved more and more. After our release on Dirtybird last december we got a massive feedback from over there and lots of requests for playing gigs there. We’re in the process of applying for our artist visa right now so we’ll hopefully be ready to come over to play very soon. In the meantime we enjoy watching the scene, releasing music there and hopefully keep getting such a wicked feedback from fans and music lovers in the US. Also a lot of our producer friends come from the US or moved there now, so we already feel very close to the US day in day out.”
What are your thoughts on the rise in dance music in the US or the trends in dance music that are seen here?
“It’s really cool to see how popular dance music is in the states right now. There’s still a massive scene for EDM stuff out there which musically isn’t really what we’re feeling personally, but we’re no persons that judge a music style by our own taste of music. The whole Dubstep/EDM movement helps the smaller scenes and genres to grow as it leads people from totally different styles to electronic music and that’s a great thing. So we don’t really care what the next big thing or style is, we just hope the electronic music scene keeps moving and developing. As soon as it stands still, it will be gone within a couple of years. That happened to a lot of genres and styles before. So it’s extremely cool to see how big for example the Dirtybird movement is over there. We’ve only experienced it from the outside but you can tell how big the following and the growth is. Also other labels and brands like Nightbass are growing fast. And also with our own label „This Ain’t Bristol“ we can feel a big movement and recognition in the US. We can easily see it by sales numbers and play counts on our social media channels that the US market is getting bigger and bigger for the UK and Bassline influenced house music.”
What kinds of things do you have in store for the states this festival season? Any festivals in particular you might be looking forward to?
“We’ve been asked to play our first huge US festival in June. So now we’re trying to get the Visa sorted to make it happen. As soon as it’s confirmed, we’ll let everyone know. We might be doing our first US tour around this date so we’ll probably be on a couple of festivals and club shows around October. More info to follow very soon. We might do some This Ain’t Bristol label showcases with Billy Kenny and Landis LaPace in October too.”
What kind of vibe or mood were you looking to set with your curation of the Maximono Selections?
“We’ve spent a lot of time selecting the 22 tracks as we wanted to represent the whole range of music that influences us on writing Maximono music these days. So it was all about a good mixture of straight techy bangers, bassline tunes and some grimey broken beat tracks. Our music is always somewhere in between House, Drum&Bass, Hip Hop, Trap and Funk and thats how we wanted the Maximono Selections to sound. At the same time we wanted to involve a mixture of artists we love working with, some artists that keep inspiring us and some fresh talents which didn’t have a platform to show their talent yet. It all worked out really good and we’re very proud of what we came up with after working on this album for about 4-5 months now.”
What was the process behind “Bleep”?
“‘Bleep’ for us is a track where we brought in lot of the influences mentioned above. We never take our music too serious and we simply enjoy being in the studio together letting the vibes take us wherever they want to. Sometimes people try to put our music in a certain genre but what we heard a lot is that there isn’t really a genre for tracks like “Don’t give a fuck style”, “The Cannibal” or others. And we really do like the fact that there’s no genre to put them in. And “Bleep“”is definitely one of those tracks. We’ve written “Bleep” in one of our last studio sessions in London. As we don’t live in the same city (London/Hannover) we found a creative process and workflow for us that works really good. We get together for intense 3-4 days writing sessions every few months in our studios in London or Hannover and work on a lot of ideas when we’re together. There’s really this kind of magic that only happens when we get together. After those session we take the ideas back home and roll the best ones out. “Bleep” got some massive DJ support from people like Justin Martin over the past months so as it’s our Selections album we had to get one of our strongest tracks on there. “Bleep” was the first choice and we were happy to see it works in combination with the other tracks on there.”
If you haven’t caught wind of their banging beats and incredible vibes, be sure to get a listen to that new compilation off of This Ain’t Bristol featuring the finest selections as carefully sorted and picked out by Maximono, available on Beatport now.