Five Steps: Maxime Dangles
Nowadays the term ‘album’ has become a dirty word, used by record companies to tie artists down with a contractual obligation to release a new long-player every year. So it’s unsurprising to find artists putting a few good tracks onto an album and then just stuffing the rest with filler content. This seems to be the trend in the less ‘underground’ music community.
However in the Techno world, the term album is so much more – a portfolio of the artist’s accomplished skills, with Slam’s release Reverse Proceed last year in particular demonstrating that there is still life in this medium. Maxime Dangles further reaffirms this view, using his debut album Resilience to take the listener on a tour of not only his production skills but his musical knowledge.
Resilience is an album that can’t be tied down to any one particular genre as the producer shifts effortlessly from one style to next. The expression ‘jack of all trades, but master of none’ is not applicable here as he demonstrates a deep understanding of each style. Each track would work as a standalone piece – ‘Rough’ for instance would not sound out of place deep into a Rødhåd set, or you might even find one of the Detroit veterans slamming out ‘Face Reality’ at peak time. But it is listening to this album as a whole that gives you the full understanding of Resilience, and, with the digital release offering a continuous album mix, I would highly recommend setting aside the time to listen to it in its entirety.
We thought it apt to get in touch with Maxime on the eve of the album release to give us his Five Steps, from maternal influences and initial releases to European tours, familial grievance, Resilience, LED Live, and the sound of the future…
Step 1: Origins
I think my very first musical experience was with my mum at home. She listened to a lot of music, like The Beatles or French music like France Gall, but she was particularly a big fan of Jean Michel Jarre, and this is what influenced me a lot. I never planned to be an artist in my life, it just happened, I was a salesman in a fashion boutique before and I was happy with that as well! I think i’m a lucky guy!
Step 2: Introducing
In the south of France there was a huge after-hours club named Barlive, this is where I found my first inspiration. It was a big club, the DJs were really good, the energy was perfect! But I remember a track in particular – ‘Eve By Day’ by Patrick Chardronnet. I said to my friend: “this is what i want to do!”
When I got back home the next week, I started to make techno with my computer and a few samples I found on the web and the rest is history.
Step 3: Foundation
As I said before, I’m lucky! My first tracks were released on Kompakt. It could’ve been more difficult for a first release! The Kompakt family gave me my first opportunity to became an artist and I’ll be always grateful for that. I think that things changed after Speicher 59. Micheal loved it and they gave me the chance to play my first european gigs like at Kompakt Total (Köln), Berghain and Panorama Bar (Berlin), Nitsa (Barcelona), Goa (Madrid), Rote Sonne (Munich)… It was amazing! All of these gigs were really inspiring for me.
Step 4: Present
Resilience is my first album and I’ve taken my time doing it. I met [owner of Skryptom Records'] Electric Rescue six or seven years ago, and since then he’s helped me a lot both musically and personally. We became friends, and I mean real friends! He’s wanted me to make an album for Skryptom for quite a long time but I think it wouldn’t have been easy, Skryptom is a small family label without a lot of money. He does a lot for artists like Traumer and me and this year he proposed me to an album. Secretly I had been waiting for that: to release my first album in the family.
I completed the album in three or four years and it means a lot to me, I made all the tracks at important stages in life. Sometimes hard stages, like the loss of my parents, and my son. Music helped a lot in these cases. I finally did the last track of my album, ‘Resilience’, in December – melodic, melancholic but optimistic at the same time.
I then created LED LIVE last year, just after the loss of my son. I needed to do something and I had always thought about a visual live project. Every gig I had done where there would be a VJ, I had always spoken with them about the possibility. I’m a big fan of mapping, but I don’t know how to draw. So using LED is more easy for me. I thought about something small, transportable, easy to install and immersive because you never see a visual aspect live in small events! That’s the idea.
Step 5: Future
This track from Apparat is just perfect, I can listen to it on loop over and over.
And this from Rone, you just need to close your eyes and dance with your hands in the air, you know what I mean, hahaha!
Sometimes we need something to escape into and these gave me just that!
My next projects are the Resilience tour gigs! I’m so excited to play my new live show with the album.
And finally, what’s the one ‘Urban Essential’ you couldn’t live without?
I can’t live without my modular system!
Maxime Dangles - Resilience is out May 11th on Skryptom Records. Get your pre-orders in via the label’d official Bandcamp page.