The Next Evolution: Interview with Max Chapman - My Ibiza

The Next Evolution: Interview with Max Chapman

Venturing on a journey of energy, creativity and unconditional passion, Essex-based DJ and Producer Max Chapman has since blossomed into one of the most exciting talents on the underground House scene today.

Coming equipped with a flawless production, extensive versatility and limitless capabilities, he has stormed through several continents including North and South America, Europe and Australasia.

Gaining recognition and support from such heavyweights as Adam Beyer, Jamie Jones, Steve Lawler, Hot Since 82 and Loco Dice, Max has achieved successful releases on the likes of Snatch! Records, elrow Music and VIVa MUSiC.
Both impressive and infectious, Max also heads up his very own label called Resonance Records showcasing some of the very best underground House and Techno music on offer.

We recently caught up with Resonance Records chief Max Chapman and discussed his summer plans with Cuckoo Land at Ibiza Rocks Hotel, his aspirations to perform in the Amnesia Ibiza Terrace and his latest EP on Wow! Recordings titled ‘Leave Off’.

First things first Max, we noticed you were recently touring San Diego in California. Tell us more about your trip to the States and what you enjoyed the most about the city…

San Diego was a beautiful place; it kind of reminded me of Sydney. It has the city on the water front and really reminded me of that place. It was just really clean, the people were really nice and it was probably the best place I had been in the USA – the tacos are sick too!

Thus far this summer, you have been confirmed for summer appearances over at Ibiza Rocks for Do Not Sleep’s new daytime concept, Cuckoo Land. What are you most looking forward to about these particular dates and why?

It’s going to be a very tough job, but it is nice to see that people want to bring San Antonio back to how it used to be and ensure that it is not so segregated compared to the other side of the island because it still has the ‘West End’ label attached to it.

I think that it is really good that they are taking the bull by the horns and getting everything back to how it used to be. With elrow going into Ibiza Rocks along with Cuckoo Land courtesy of Do Not Sleep, it’s going to make a huge difference. It’s going to take that worry off of DJs playing there and create more opportunity for a lot more DJs.

In addition to this, you have Defected arriving at Eden Ibiza! Faction has also got a great thing going there with Drew and Pat, they are doing a really good job there. They probably started that whole movement, they don’t get enough credit for it really.

I am really excited about it and I have also been confirmed for several dates at Sankeys Ibiza for Do Not Sleep, a couple of Blue Marlin Ibiza shows with Kaluki and also Amnesia Ibiza for elrow.

With this being an entirely different concept to their underground residency over at Sankeys Ibiza, what kind of a different side can we expect from the Do Not Sleep crew with Cuckoo Land this summer?

One of the reasons San Antonio was a good spot for the daytime was first because it is cheap, and secondly, it can be a bit frustrating getting to a day party elsewhere when you haven’t had much sleep, especially for all the workers and the real ravers. They all stay in cheap accommodation, can sleep in, have a bit of grub and then walk to Ibiza Rocks instead of getting a cab to the other side of the island. I think it will provide great competition for Ocean Beach Ibiza.

What are you most excited about for playing at Amnesia Ibiza? How does it feel to go from partying in there as a raver to be being booked to play there?

The Terrace is probably my favourite room that I have ever been in and to be playing there is just so surreal. It will probably feel very similar to Fabric. I played the main room there about three years ago and I’ve been in there so many times and looked at the DJ and thought: “Wow!” This was before I even had a record out too. When I was DJing in there, my hands were shaking. Amnesia Ibiza is going to be pure madness, I can’t wait.

Switching gears now Max, this week sees your debut release on Mar-T’s prestigious Wow! Recordings with your ‘Leave Off’ EP. Can you tell us more about the story behind this concept and where you first came up with the idea for the EP?

When it comes to production, I don’t really have a plan or anything like that. I just turn up at my studio, start playing around and whatever comes out comes out. One thing is for sure though, I have always wanted to release with Wow! Recordings. I love Luca Dozelli’s records, I have always enjoyed what they release on Wow!

As for the track, I just get in the studio, make records and once I have five or six, I just pair them up and go from there. Originally, it was just going to be two tracks but then I did another to strengthen it up a bit as we had a little trouble trying to find a remixer so I just added another one. With everything really though, I never really have a plan, I just go with the flow.

Talk us through the production process and what influenced you creatively…

Usually, when it comes to my productions, I started searching for vocals mainly. It’s only when I can’t find anything that I then get a kick, get some claps and get some hats together and I just find a groove. Once I’ve found a groove, I will stick a bassline in and I will start arranging. But usually, it is all built around a vocal.

For example, with ‘Leave Off’, I felt that I was searching for ages and then I found that mad vocal. I hadn’t heard anything like it before and thought it could work. I was a bit unsure about it at first but once I found that vocal, I knew that I wanted it at quite a high tempo as it has a big leery vocal in it.

The second track, ‘Mia’, started off with no vocal. I added that one at the end. When you hear it back, it’s just a groove. I pretty much finished the track without placing the vocals into it.

Finally, we have ‘Set My Body Free’ – I found the vocal on this one first and built the rest of the track around it. I found the vocal in a sample pack and went from there. I knew that I was going to use it on the drop. I find that the track writes itself and much easier to produce a record when I have that final element and complete it within five or six hours!

Your remix for Luca Donzelli’s ‘Drummer Eager’ record is also currently available for purchase. What is your favourite aspect of the original and how does your remix differ to it?
Luca Donzelli is my favourite producer so that was a tough remix for me to do as it was really hard to do because it is just so hard to make it sound like music you always listen to…

Why is Luca your favourite producer?

I just love his sound; his production is so clean and so brilliant. He is someone who can make a clubby rolling Tech-House track and also add really melodic elements to it, which can be quite tough. I always learn a lot from listening to his music.

What other productions have you got lined up your sleeve this coming summer?

In June, I’ve got a three-track EP on Relief, which is Green Velvet’s label. This is a collaboration with Secondcity. There is also another EP following on Hot Creations just after called ‘La Fiesta’ with remixes on it from both Luca C and Todd Terry. I am really looking forward to that one.

How did the EP with Hot Creations come about?

I basically came across this Latin vocal and I just warped it up and put it over a beat that I had made. I realised it could work so I started from scratch. However, when I finished it, I thought that it was a no-go. This was because when I did a bit more research on the vocalist and she had won Grammy’s and everything. I thought we were never going to get this but we ended up getting it licensed so it should be a big record over the summer. Jamie’s been smashing it too!

Finally, not too long ago, your label Resonance Records celebrated its fifth anniversary with a spectacular showcase at DJ Mag. If you could host your own label showcase at an Ibiza venue of your choice, where would it be and why?

The Amnesia Terrace all day! Purely because my favourite party is Music On, I love that sound. It may be repetitive to some people but I just love it. Whenever I’m in Ibiza, I always make sure that I go to Music On. I love that room, it’s amazing – one of the best places I’ve ever been to!

Catch Max in Ibiza this summer at his Cuckoo Land residency at Ibiza Rocks Hotel. Tickets available here.

For further information with regards to new releases and events from Max Chapman, you can follow him on the following social media platforms:


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