Part of the self-absorbed They-Create-You-Tolerate movement, Max Lane's marriage of Malay ethnic beats with a cutting-edge sensibility has made many a ear perk up. Catch Max Lane doing something out of the ordinary at Midnight Shift's 3rd Anniversary on 17 Nov 2012.
How has your year been?
It has been an extremely busy year. Highlights of 2012 got to be getting the Syndicate label going with the various releases and the launch of the Syndicate Subsessions series.
How long have you been involved in music and where are you at right now in this point?
I've been doing electronic music since 2000 and am counting my blessings that I'm still doing it now. Started out as a loner bedroom producer who only shared music with his close friends, I'm glad that I sticked to it and now having my music reaching out to a wider audience. Music has been a constant factor in my life and at the moment I will keep on doing it no matter what the circumstances are.
What's your philosophy towards producing music?
To finish what you started no matter how much you think you will hate the track.
Tell us more about your Purnama installation at Republic Polytechnic?
It's based on a track that was released under The Mim Project EP (2009) and I just found it apt as its in-line with The Reflections Festival theme for this year, which is, CelebrAsians. The track itself is based on samples reworked and processed from bits and pieces of traditional sounds from the Malay Archipelago. The rustic audio palette then gets juxtaposed with the ultramodern projection mapping visual content done by Brandon (Tay) and the scientific approach of fluid dynamics-based motion graphics by Afiq (Omar). Collectively our main idea was to place nostalgia and futurism on the same plane.
Favourite piece of gear in the studio?
I have a humble home studio set-up and by necessity, my favorite piece of gear has to be my lap-top.
What are some projects you are involved in now?
I need to finish my long-awaited EP.
How did you fall into Syndicate, and what's the vision for you?
At the start it was just a casual invitation by Kiat to join this night/collective that he had brainstormed with Darren & Cherry. I didn't think much about it at the start and told him that I'm up for anything. One thing led to another and I can't exactly remember how we ended up settling down with experimental beats & visuals as the overarching theme for Syndicate. And when that set the tone, I was (still am) totally up for it. After that things just went by so fast and now we are close to being 3 years old. The vision for me right now is to push the team, myself included, as much creatively as we go along. And with the various Syndicate platforms (Homeclub nights, Subsessions, the label), I want to discover more Singapore-based producers and provide the stage for these guys to showcase their talents.
What about upp/circular?
upp/circular is a loose collectively that I started out a bunch of very important close friends. These are the guys who I discovered electronic music with 10-12 years. We also learned how to DJ/produce on our own at the same time. So when we can find the time we try to do something together just for fun. We did release a compilation in 2010 (UPP001) and we are planning to do another big one sometime soon.
Tell us a bit of your time at Kinemat.
I don't think I will be where I am now if not for that. Other than all the various underground parties we did which covered a wide range of genres (Repercussions, Heavy Weight Sound Systems, etc), I also had the chance to work on two major music festivals (Good Vibrations and Worldwide Festival). It was during those days that I really get to understand how the music industry works by meeting the artists, artists managers and so on. The highlight of it got to be hosting the Beastie Boys in Singapore for Good Vibrations.
Why the name Max Lane?
I named myself Max Lane after the Australian academic/writer who actually introduced me to the works of Javanese author, Pramoedya Ananta Toer. He translated my favorite piece of literary work by Pramoedya, The Buru Quartet, from Javanese to English. Without the translated texts, I wouldn't be able to enjoy such a great piece of post-colonial literature. Funny enough the real Max Lane found out about this and we actually met. Initially I thought I got myself into trouble. But to my relief, he's actually proud with what I'm doing and provided his blessings to use his name.
Drop us 5 secret weapons.
It won't be a secret anymore if I reveal them :-)
Favourite gig you've played to date.
Worldwide Festival, Sete, South of France.
And the worst?
Thankfully, none so far.
Who are some producers you are listening to right now?
Gema, Adel Rashid & Sleep Easy.
So, what are you looking forward to in the coming year?
To discover more Singaporean producers and anticipating more music outputs from my fellow comrades.
What can we expect from you for the Midnight Shift 3rd Year Anniversary?
It will be my only club gig for 2012 and I will like to keep it a surprise.