Unorthodox style: Max Chapman’s entry into underground house music
Max Chapman is a young producer whose entry in to music has been slightly unorthodox. As a youngster he never had much interest in music, but after a friend introduced him to home-production he became hooked. Picking up his skills via YouTube tutorials, Max quickly shot up the ranks, especially after a collaboration with Frenchman Julien Sandre (No Games) was snapped up by the Hot Creations stable.
In the months since No Games was released Max has achieved more than others have in the last few years, playing gigs across the nation and setting up his own record label. Here’s a brief chat we had recently.
Your entry into music making was a bit different to most, can you tell me about that?
I was introduced to production by a close friend about two years ago, he was using a drum machine and was creating loops, which completely blew my mind as I had never seen anything like this before. I didn’t even knew how electronic music was made, let alone it could be done in your bedroom! I asked for a copy of the software he was using at the time, which was Reason 4. I swiftly moved over to Ableton and since then have noticed a huge difference in the quality of my production.
So, where are you from originally and what effect would you say that has had on your musical development?
I am originally from a seaside town called Clacton-On-Sea, it would have had a huge effect on my musical development as there are only three clubs there that all play the same popular music week in week out. I was never interested in music, or a particular genre whatsoever, until I realised I could make it in my own bedroom! Somehow, somewhere along the line I was drawn to underground house music.
When you decide to start DJing?
One of my first ever proper gigs was in the main room at Sankeys, so I started off pretty well. I did DJ for a short amount of time before my first ever signing but that was in a local bar that held around 70-80 people. Although I have to say the regulars that used to come and listen to me I now see at some of the coolest parties in London and beyond, so hopefully I put them on the right path.
What kind of music were you into when you first got started?
I literally made drum loops for the first three months! By then I had realised that my favourite kind of loop was a house loop… then I got bored of making them and used YouTube to teach me synthesis on Reason. I found it fairly easy and it all went from there.
How did you go about learning to make music?
I used YouTube to teach me absolutely everything, I never got a helping hand because I lived in Clacton. I never knew anyone in the music industry so I just had to teach myself from scratch, to be honest I liked it that way. Google and YouTube can tell you anything, there’s nothing you can’t learn from those outlets.
No Games was quite a standout track, how did that come about?
Well I did about three tracks with Julien Sandre and that was one of them. Jamie Jones came across it and wanted to sign it. It was originally a Hot Creations contract but ended up on Hot Waves, it was a cool sampler to be involved in and got me a lot of exposure so I thank the guys for that.
Now you’re running your own label, Resonance – why did you start that up?
I started it up with AJ Christou and Mark Horsey. We felt that there was so much music out there that was such good quality and wasn’t getting signed. We wanted to give those people that have worked so hard the opportunity to get their tracks out and also to play at some of our regular parties we throw at Sankey’s and elsewhere. I think we managed to prove our point already and are now signing some serious established artists and remixers.
What’s the meaning behind the name? How easy/hard has it been to get the whole thing rolling?
Its been fairly easy actually, expensive to start off with but it wasn’t long before we were turning over profit, plus we now have regular Resonance parties that have helped us a great deal along the way. The name was simple really, I wanted something that started with an R, so that it worked in sync with ‘records’. Names like that tend to grab my attention, for example Jamie Jones… ‘JJ’, it grabs you and stays with you.
So, is running a label living up to your expectations?
It’s much better than I ever expected, the support we get from Beatport is amazing. We get features all the time, banners, charts everything. We have charted every single release so far and we’ve had three top 10 tracks, with No Artificial Colours even grabbing a number three spot with Girl Get Down.
What’s coming up release-wise?
Next up we have RR006, it’s a sampler that includes 15 tracks from some really cool artists including the likes of myself, Callum Hammet, Death On The Balcony, Deep’art, Salvatore LoGrasso & Sergio Santos, No Artificial Colours, Demarzo & Jacsun, Georgia Girl, Lee Webster, Clinton Houlker, Resonance (Max Chapman, AJ Christou & Mark Horsey), Marc Vexar, Sishi Rosch & Andre Salmon, Raffa FL and Aaron Dicker.
For more information on Resonance Records click HERE, and for more information on Max himself, visit his Facebook page HERE.
Recent Posts on Arts
- Crowds at Lahore Lit Fest ignore bomb risks and raise hopes for Pakistan’s future
- Rolo Tomassi Interview: “It's comforting to know that we've not been treated as a novelty”
- Goblin's Claudio Simonetti on Profondo Rosso reaching the big 4-0
- Friday Book Design Blog: The Ecliptic, by Benjamin Wood
- Ask the Author: Vivian French
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter