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Max TenRom [Interview]

20 min read

Max TenRoM was born in Toulouse, the famous Pink City from Southern France. He started playing music from an early age, learning his piano skills through Jazz. Once he had become comfortable on the piano he switched his focus to synthesizers and acoustic drums. As a result, he naturally started exploring electronic music production.

His current style is hard to label as he uses his many influences to create his own craft. Usually dynamic, his productions can be soft or radically heavy, sometimes melancholic or upliftings. Max navigates between an Organic & Exotic Downtempo style and some Deep & Melodic Techno sonorities. The most important is to transmit emotions anyway.

On stage Max TenRoM mixes electronic and acoustic sounds with synths, pad machines and acoustic drums. He uses all his energy to add live Bongos and Darbouka fills to make his live-set a complete audiovisual & organic performance. He recently played with Sam Paganini, Joachim Pastor, Tebra, Sorä, Unders, Worakls, Sahalé, Dandara, Jabberwocky, Paji or Joris Delacroix to name a few, now called to open the biggest Techno and Organic House artists. Recently Max has also been selected for the BPM Contest 2023 new edition and will perform live on Clubbing TV in over 90 countries.

Counting millions of plays and regularly in the top Beatport, his music is released on various renowned labels, well received in the musical industry and supported by big channels, radios and talented artists. His tracks were played by Above&Beyond, Sabo & Goldcap at the famous Burning Man Festival, Guy Laliberté... Max does not stop at his personal project, he is also one of the founders of the CULTE collective.

Having recently released his 'Piano Ends' single with 'Faites Leur Des Disques', catch up with Max for an interview to learn more about the release, his background, production process, approach to DJing and more. Enjoy.

Hi Max, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Hi the PA team, thanks to you for inviting me ! I’m pretty good, busy with all the summer gigs. The last piece of music I listened is « Taverne » by OMERIA

How has your summer been and what are your plans for the coming week?

My summer was great with many musical projects & gigs. I played in a lot French events & festivals. Also in Switzerland, Italy Sicily…

Do you consider yourself a DJ or producer first? And which do you enjoy more and why?

I’m a producer first, I made many tracks before my first gig. It’s hard to choose one because both are linked. When you make some new tracks it’s amazing to spread them to the crowd in a gig. I cannot choose one and I hope I’ll never have to do that ;)

Talk to us about what it was like growing up in France, how did you discover electronic music there?

First I discovered electronic music with the French Touch at the end of the 90’s

There have been quite a few amazing electronic music artists to emerge from France, who were some of your local heroes? Who did you look up to and why?

It’s not very original but Daft Punk inspired me a lot. Later I discovered other artists such as Justice, Sebastien Tellier, Vitalic…I was shocked by the originality and the power of their music.

If you were a tour-guide for nightlife in France what would be the clubs you’d take the people to see and what local DJs do they need to hear?

In first position I choose the BIKINI club from my hometown Toulouse. It’s a famous club with an amazing acoustic, the greatest artists have played here and I love play in this wonderful place me too !

You have what many would call an astral organic sound, how would you describe your own music?

I really like this appellation « Astral Organic Sound » It’s hard for me to describe my music because I have many influences from all the genres. I mix many sonorities to create my own style, that could be very emotional, dynamic, melancholic… It could be also cinematographic because I like to create stories with my melodies & arrangements.

You have a new EP ‘Piano Ends’ out this week on Faites Leur des Disques, tell us about the release and how it showcases your current sound.

Piano Ends is totally melancholic & progressive electronic music. Kind of Melodic Techno with a special deepness I tried to transmit. That’s the mood I had for the composition of these tracks.

This is your ninth appearance on Faites Leur des Disques, what makes the label a good home for you music?

Yes I work with this label since longtime. I like their humanity and professionalism. We always made good releases with good promotion and we found many awesome remixers, also for this new one « Piano Ends » And of course because it’s a French label ;)

Tell us about your current studio setup and what tools featured heavily in the writing of the ‘Piano Ends’ EP?

I make my music with Ableton DAW, using a lot sonorities, vst’s, samples… I also have some hardware synths : ROLAND Juno, KORG Minilogue, ROLAND SPDSX. Sometimes I also record acoustic sonorities with my drums.

Let’s talk about production for a moment, where does the impulse to create something come from for you? What role do often-quoted sources of inspiration like dreams, other forms of art, personal relationships, politics etc play? And was there anything that inspired ‘Piano Ends’?

When I go to the studio it’s always a different feeling, I let myself go in many directions. It comes from the music I listen, the movies I watch, the painting… And my actual mood of course. I try not to think too much, I explore things until I find a specific path.

I play a lot of piano, actually I started to learn music with the piano when I was a child. With Piano Ends I wanted to transpose the melancholy of this instrument in a melodic & deep techno track.

What is the task you enjoy the most when producing and what would you prefer someone else to do?

Create melodies, building a track with all the arrangements and details is really what I enjoy the most. I leave the mastering to someone else.

What would be a musical extravagance for your studio you would pay for, if you were very wealthy?

A grand piano but I also need space first ^^

Now let’s talk about DJing for a moment, it’s a unique discipline at the border between presenting great music and creating something new with it, between composition and improvisation to an extent. How would you describe your approach to it?

DJing is a great discipline for me because there is many possibilities to create your own show. Sometimes I play hybrid set, mixing my own tracks and tracks from other artists, and I add my instruments on it. The result is very rich and dynamic !

Can you tell me a bit about how your work as a DJ has influenced your view of music, your way of listening to tracks and perhaps also, your work as a producer?

When you play as a DJ you have a special freedom with the music, you can adapt, change what you want and create a big proximity with your audience. I realized that when I started to djing and now I think about it when I listen to music and when I make some new Techno tracks.

If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice, who would you book and what set times would you ascribe to the artists?

LAURENT GARNIER Closing (or myself ^^)

What’s a book you’ve read or film you watched that has left an impact on you, and why?

Interstellar by Christopher Nolan For me it’s a perfect piece of art

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Having time with my friends & family

What does the remainder of 2023 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

My first gig in Portugal (Lisbon) in September

'Piano Ends' is available now via Faites Leur Des Disques: https://fanlink.to/FLDD53

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