It’s safe to say that Resolute is to New York what Secretsundaze and Half Baked are to London, Sash! is to Sydney and the likes of Sunrise are to Romania. In onther words, it’s a party that’s very much at the heart of its country’s electronic music scene. And at the heart of any great party is its residents. Maksim is a Russian DJ/producer who’s been a key part of the Resolute party and a resident since 2013. Known for his groovy and infectious sets (that clearly, reflect his playful nature), he found music in his teenage years and is truly someone who’s worked his way up: he even worked as a lighting guy before turning his hand to DJing. It was in Brooklyn where he’s found his calling, impressing the Resolute crew and securing a residency that would lead him on a whole new lifepath. As we’re such fans, we decided to invite the man himself back for another mix, and had a typically lighthearted chat with him too.
Listen to Maksim’s mix for us here, and read on below to hear more about what the man himself has been up to of late…
Having read your other interviews, I thought it’d be a good idea to start by asking you whether or not you believe in fate?
To quote David Foster – “Fate seems to have a kind of laid-back management style I’m not crazy about”, so I take it into my own hands. We’re on a Highway to Hell, buckle up.
You showcase a sense of humility and a sense of humour that isn’t always apparent in artist interviews! Is it fair to say you’re someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously? Is this an approach that you think has probably served you well?
My midlife crisis is creating uplifting social media content. I’ve opted to not take myself too seriously. As someone said: – crack a joke, plough forward with confidence, and assume you doin’ fine.
Making a career in electronic music is notoriously difficult: what made you think you’d make it?
The big balls of youth. Then came the distemper of age. But now it’s easier to look forward to tomorrow than to worry about things that haven’t happened yet.
How critical have the likes of Nektarios been to your career? What do you think he saw in you?
Nek is a force, so I’d say yes, very critical. I was about 130 pounds at the time but I’m pretty sure he could see “ The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” on me.
Other Resolute associated acts such as O Bee and Tomas Station are playing everywhere right now too. Do you feel this is recognition of the party’s appeal?
No hindsight bias here, Resolute, that wicked creation that sparked New York was that bit of luck that spurred our success
You’re also good friends with Andrey Pushkarev, who we had on the mix a while ago. Tell us a bit about your relationship with him if you can. How did you guys meet each other? How do you support one another etc?
We’ve been close friends for over 15 years, but neither remembers how we met. Two introverts who barely speak ( to anyone ), not much of social revellers either, we connected somehow. In every friendship, there is a person who wants to fire guns and the person who wants to go birdwatching. He is the latter, we keep it balanced.
With all that’s going on right now, do you feel a duty to speak up about it? How do you see politics and music intersecting? Does the war make it more difficult for you to get home right now?
Politics and music intercept beautifully and are necessary often, but I’m not under the illusion that I’m the wisest guide. The last time I tried I ended up in the middle of the jungle, vomiting on frog poison. I haven’t been back in a while so I’d like to know the answer too.
Dance music is obviously a hedonistic pursuit for many. How do you maintain a balance between staying in control and the hedonism of the dancefloor?
Is balance a thing? When I’m overwhelmed I shelter at home – a human sensory deprivation tank of some sort. This is probably not the healthiest way to take care of my mental health, but also is not a main staple of my diet.
At what stage of your musical journey did you begin to tap in to more discerning sounds? Was there one track, gig or moment that changed your approach and how you think about music?
The day I discovered Matthew Herbert, a man who makes music out of chicken noise and the sound of a gunshot. A brilliant musician obsessed with science, and politics and has a personal contract for the composition of music. That resonated well with me.
From the outside looking in, it’s almost like New York has enjoyed a real sense of renaissance recently; almost as though the city is reverting back to its 90s heyday. What do you personally attribute this to?
Nobody likes to be on lockdown, New York City roars back to life and there is a chance for rebirth. A real retro renaissance.
Musically, tell us a bit about what you’ve been up to? Release-wise, you only put out music very sporadically. Is this a conscious thing? And do you think too many artists put out music now when i) they’re not ready or ii) the music isn’t where it should be?
I think it’s safe to say that we entered the time of drag-and-drop production when it all came down to placing the audio file on the DAW grid. So it does seem like a quantity vs quality issue, but the music is always where it should be.
My release rate isn’t consciously sporadic, I do it when I feel like it, I don’t want music to become another “task”. That being said, it’s very important to me.
Can you tell us a bit about how you source music for your sets? Is it all online or in-person? What are you looking for when you buy music?
Don’t underestimate your fans. See what they listen to, what music they buy, and what artists they follow. You’re in for a great discovery. Some of the strangest and most interesting songs I have recently found were through them. Bow to the masses.
On a similar note, how do you prepare for a gig at say, Resolute? As you’ve played there so often, is the strategy generally the same? Or is it dictated by that week’s guest etc?
The strategy of last-minute panic? Jokes aside, time and place matter. You have a duty to accommodate the guest, you have to be able to adjust to the sounds and the theme of the party. It is challenging at times but it’s a good thing. While a tiger needs to know his own stripes it is good to be capable of being a chameleon
If you can, please tell us a bit about the mix you’ve put together for…
It’s a mixture of late 90s UK records, 2 CDs, and one tape. In my opinion the golden age of house music .
What do you like most about the modern electronic music scene? What grates you the most?
The accessibility of it. The emergence and expansion of the Middle Eastern and South American scenes. Its existence in the places it was long forbidden. But my love and disappointment with it is a topic for a whole other interview.
Can you tell us something that we don’t know about you?
I rock climb, I have a skydiving license, and spent weeks deep in the Peruvian Amazon living off the land.
Finally – a deep one – how would you best like to be remembered inside and outside of music?
You have to know when to leave, don’t be Madonna. But as you said, maybe as someone who showcased a sense of humility and a sense of humor, someone who made you dance and feel like life isn’t that serious. ]
Keep up with Maksim on Instagram and Soundcloud
Listen to Maksim’s Nightclubber mix here