Ahead of playing the Throne of Blood Party by Sheik'N'Beik this Saturday in New York City, we chatted with Max Pask, also one half of Populette, about the New York electronic music scene, being a part of the Throne of Blood family, his thoughts on DJ requests and more. Max also put together an exclusive mix for Pulse Radio, that we're rocking out to here in the Pulse US headquarters. It's a diverse hour full of 80's influenced freestyle house, tinged with delightful acid notes making it a groovy mix to get your freak on.
What was your thought process behind this mix? It's just a collection of tracks I've enjoyed hearing and playing in recent times. As always, I try and showcase stuff from the Throne of Blood / Let's Play House catalogues. For example the Red Axes remix of Split Secs, which comes out on TOB in a few weeks, and the latest LPH by Tippy Toes.
How would you characterize the difference between your alias Populette and Max Pask? Max Pask & Maxime is me on my own, while Populette is a collaboration with my good friend Andrew Potter, who is also Throne of Blood's art director.
What's the history between you and Throne of Blood? The label was founded by The Rapture guys and James Friedman, who are all very close friends. James, Andrew Potter and I were roommates about ten years ago. TOB is a family affair...
Photo by Sean Dack
As a local New Yorker on a label that's based here, what do you think are some of the parts of the scene and what still has room for improvement? The New York dance music scene is a lot better and varied today than it was when I arrived thirteen years ago. There are many great events going on any given week end now because everyone tours the US these days, there are more venues and more people getting involved in promoting and putting parties on. I guess there's always room for improvement, but we're in a good place at the moment.
If you weren't making house music, what would you be doing? Are you currently a full time producer? I really don't know. It would have to be something related to music. I used to work as a sound engineer in the ad business and I learned a lot about production and studio stuff in those days. But, I was not made to record and mix jingles for twelve hours a day, so I quit doing that at the end of 2004. I've been working in the studio during the week and DJing on the weekends since then.
Photo by Sean Dack
Have you played Sheik'N'Beik parties before? I played their 5th anniversary party in February and it was really great. That's why I wanted to partner with them on a Throne of Blood event, since they do it right and they're super nice.
What are three pieces of equipment or gear that are on top of your wish list? I'd like to get a second Oberheim SEM, they're really great paired up. I dream of having the ARP Sequencer to pair up with my 2600. I'd love a really nice analog board too. Analog gear is a bit of an addiction.
Who was your musical influence that still has an impact today? Tough question…Chicken Lips and their multiple aliases and side projects come to mind.
What's the worst request you've gotten as a DJ? They all pretty much suck.The act itself is lame in the first place. Bottom line is, people who make requests are wankers.
What are some of your favorite spots to play around the world? I really like playing in Paris when all my old friends show up, it's always special.