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Alex Fish on 5/11/12
Pulse Radio strives to bring you the best of the best in our weekly podcast series and as we hit the milestone of our 100th podcast we launch a series of three special podcasts from three techno luminaries without giving the game away, over the coming weeks mixes from London and Philidelphia, but kicking things off is......
Eric Estornell - most commonly known as super producer and DJ Maceo Plex - has earned his place as possibly contemporary house music's most prolific and sought after figure. A relentless touring schedule, a burgeoning label in the form of Ellum Audio and the passion and drive to juggle two monikers (Maceo and the techno leaning ego Maetrik), Eric finds himself sitting at the top of the tree - and shows no signs of slowing down. It made more than sense to celebrate our milestone podcast with some love from the US resident and in demand figure, so read on as he lifts the lid on his inpsirations and work ethic, along with a superlative, tailored mix. Enjoy... For all of you heading down to Playa Del Carmen for BPM, catch Maceo Plex at Coco Maya on January 7th.
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We’re very pleased to be able to get a chance to check in with you after what seems like your busiest summer yet. With all of the travel, including a standout presence at Circo Loco in Ibiza, what have you found to be the secret to keeping both of your monikers busy, continuing to record new music and ensuring your relatively new label Ellum Music continues its strong start? To me the secret is remembering that I wasn't shit a few years ago. That this is a blessing, and that it's actually very rare to become successful at something that you love to do more than anything, like a hobby that pays the bills. The only problem is keeping a firm grasp on that "lucky" feeling as scene politics, business, and haters come into play. The more success you enjoy, the more it becomes difficult. I’m not trying to make Ellum the biggest, baddest label around. I just release tracks I really enjoy with plenty of my own music, and invite friends to come play with me at parties. If it's doing well it's because it's the right moment for it. I’m not stressing too much about keeping super strong, I just want to release good music at the right time.
You and Danny Daze seem to continue to hit it off splendidly and the friendship has now turned into a side project, Jupiter Jazz. When did you guys decide to pursue this collaboration and how did you come up with the name? Is there a live show potential here? We just hang out a lot in the studio and break each other's balls on what sounds good and what doesn't. Then we made some tracks together and needed a name for it. One of our favorite records from back in the day is "Jupiter Jazz" on Underground Resistance, and the name has always seemed super cool to us. We like slipping futurism into house and techno sets, and futurism is something I think the scene is missing. Everybody is trying to be old classic house style, and with Jupiter Jazz we want to do futuristic and deep music.
The scooter gang video is hilarious, how did that come about? We ride around Barcelona on scooters a lot and we realized how cheesy we look compared to all the cool skaters. So we thought “hey let's get helmets and make a vid of ourselves doing dumb sh&t on scooters.” There's a lot more footage to come in the future. We're putting it together into a funny music video of some sort.
You’re regarded by many as one of the most talented producers in the game but who do you personally look up to or continue to learn things from? Cajmere / Green Velvet. He's the whole reason why I have two names: one for dark tech-house, and one for deep house. Maetrik / Maceo Plex. Also, people like ERP aka Convextion is one of my favorite producers still to this day. He makes some of the deepest music around and is an old friend of mine from when I used to live in Dallas. He taught me a lot when I was living there.
Do you have any new toys in the studio that you’re getting a chance to work with or is there anything on your wish list that you’re looking to track down? Yeah, my Barefoot monitors are the best purchase I’ve ever made. I can't live without them. Plus got a Moog Voyager that I’m in love with. I use a lot of small toy synths as well, that I think are super cool.
The feedback from ADE this year was almost universally positive, you had an Ellum showcase there with Cajmere, Danny Daze, Odd Parents and Eric Volta-how did it go? I think it was great, the people were really down for the music. It wasn't the best sound system in Amsterdam, but we had a great time anyways. We're slowly building the showcases and didn't want to try to throw anything massive, just keep things small and take our time with everything. We’re still learning a lot, and taking things slow.
You’ve got a very strong and diverse stable of artists on Ellum Music who we may have known about before they got involved or discovered new ones who you’ve essentially put on the map. Do you have any artists in development who we haven’t seen a release from yet but can look forward to hearing soon? Yes, a new group out of Cologne called Switchbox. Their style is extremely funky, with plenty of dark sound design, but still works super well in a house set. Super excited to release their first EP in December. Also I’m bringing back Jaydee from the old school for a release on Ellum with a remix by me. I think it's going to go off and I’m happy that Robin "Jaydee" Albers is still going strong.
Inspiration often ebbs and flows over the course of any artist’s career, what do you find works for you to keep the ideas flowing? I make different kinds of dance music and try to not make just one type of track all the time. That way I can switch between all the current tracks I’m working on, never lacking ideas. All I need for inspiration is the dance floor and lovin’. As long as I got those two elements, I’m always inspired.
When you start work on a new record or remix do you already know whether it’s going to be a Maetrik or Maceo Plex record or does the process help you decide? Nope...just depends on which direction it leads me in. If it gets dark, I say it's a Maetrik record and vice versa. Better to work without preconceived ideas of direction.
How would you further define the difference between Maceo Plex vs. Maetrik beyond one that’s recently been recognized, with an Ibiza DJ Award for its work in the deep house realm and the other classically being more techno-inclined? No difference really. They're both me, just one is darker and more futuristic than the other. Maceo's got finesse, but Maetrik can kick ass. To me they're more representative of my mood than being two separate entities. The names are just there for people to know what it's probably going to sound like.
As we head into the winter in the western hemisphere what parties or events stand out to you as some things you’re looking forward to? Bob Beaman Club (Munich), and Fly Bermuda for sure. I haven't played much in Germany lately, and I’m super happy to be playing these two famous parties. Warehouse Project parties in the UK are amazing as well, and I’m always anxious to get back to a WHP party. NYD in London for the Circoloco party will be incredible as well.
We’ve recently heard some hilarious stories about notably horrible airline dining experiences. What’s been your worst airline food encounter to date? A 10 hour flight to Miami and no food at all. They didn't have time I guess to load up the plane...so I was f'ing starving!!
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