on showbiz, following his balls, his funny farm and more.
nominated, dj/ producer, Timo Maas
is a shape shifting, German
music master of the highest order. World famous for his inimitable slant on dance music, Timo Maas
has spun records since his teen years, and has refined a distinctly personal approach. To say he’s eclectic is maybe an understatement, but for Timo his style certainly straddles many genres and is as at home in the mainstream as in the underground. A cherished resident of DC10
) he has also remixed for renowned figures like Kelis
and Fatboy Slim
. Taking a wealth of dance floor experience into the studio, together with his production partner Martin Butterich
(who also works with the Sugarbabes
has achieved great things.
In 2003 alone they released ‘Music For The Maases 2
’ the second instalment in the renowned (remix/mixed) compilation; received their first ever Grammy Nomination
for their remix of Tori Amos
’ ‘Don’t Make Me Come to Vegas
(Timo on Tori)’ in the ‘Remixed Recording
, Non-Classical Category
’ and to boot Timo
travelled the world on a dj tour with PlayStation®2 Dual Play
…Down to earth, Maas
’ working hard in the studio right now on a follow up album to ‘Loud
’ plus he’s got singles coming out on his own label (‘Four:Twenty Recordings’
) by Locodice
, Martin Buttrich
, DJ Hyper
and he has just remixed Depeche Mode
too. We got a brief low down from Timo
as he ducks the radar while convalescing in his peaceful Hanover
How are you Timo and where are you?
TM: “I’m good, recovering from the USA/ Miami thing at home.”
So you’ve just done the Miami WMC, how was it this year for you?
TM:”Great, actually. I was just there for my show and left pretty early this year.”
You’ve said in previous interviews that Germany was a hard place to evolve as an artist because of categorisation in clubs, how does your cross genre material get accepted there nowadays?
TM:“Well, let’s just say it’s all good right now. I’m sure, the new material is gonna get accepted really well.”
Where do you live these days, what’s it like and do you have a studio at home?
TM:“I live with my girlfriend on a farm near Hanover in Germany, and it’s nice although I don’t have a studio in my house, the place is more for relaxing! Instead I’ve got a little basketball field! (He-he) :-)”
Would you agree that today’s dj is a modern day shaman?
TM:“Sometimes, of course! The best example is Sven Vath. He even looks like a shaman!”
Why do you still love dance music in 2004?
TM:“Because it’s still great and exciting. The sound is getting a bit harder as well, which I like a lot!”
You’re a fantastic shape shifter and genre bender. Do you usually crossover styles consciously, or is it just the way it happens naturally?
TM:“It just happens. With production, my partner and producer Martin and myself always follow our balls, plus we actually like different styles of music.”
I’ve noticed that for all their rhythmic skills, many djs can’t (or won’t) dance. Can you?
TM:“After two bottles of vodka...Hey, why not? :-)”
You’re famously down to earth, even after working with many famous people from Madonna to Moby. Has your interaction taken the magnetism out of ‘show’ business?
TM:“You know I live so far away from the ‘bizz’ that I don’t care what other people do, or even how they do things. I always handle things my own way which means not taking yourself too seriously, and that makes it much easier, innit?”
In your experience, is there more fun to be had in the mainstream or in the underground?
TM:“Well... both sides are great, but the combination of both is probably the best!”
You walk the line very well between commercial and cutting edge, how do you manage it?
TM:“See above - the bit about balls.... :-)”
How are Hope Recordings and your labels doing?
TM:“Actually pretty well, but I’m sure you wanted to ask me about my label ‘Four:Twenty Recordings?’ That’s doing even better… I’ve got some hot new records to be released soon by Locodice, Martin Buttrich, DJ Hyper and Dweed!”
What dj/producers do you currently rate?
TM:“Always Martin Buttrich on the production side. As djs, Locodice, Deep Dish and Danny Howells.”
Some have said your music is ‘Hash Driven’ (also a title of one of your productions) what does this mean to you? I think it rocks!
TM:“Actually I think it’s got this little bit of ‘something’ which experienced smokers sometime appreciate a lot of...”
You’ve djed since you were a teenager, what advice would you give to djs starting out on the competitive circuit these days?
TM:”Well... totally different times, totally different story, but the most important thing is to believe in your own talent and not to copy anybody else; these days, an outstandingly different and quality production would help obviously as well!”
Do you think djing has become too commercial an activity?
TM:“Yes and no. Some things are just too crazy to do, but a lot of guys in this game gave up everything else to do a proper full professional job, as I did, and of course, when you live from that income, you should think better about how to do it in the best way possible.”
Travelling has to be the worst part of being a dj. How do you cope with ‘airport rage?’
TM:“It needs to be done, and so I arrange it myself!”
Any music releases, plans or collaborations for the summer to reveal?
TM:“Of course, I’ve just remixed Depeche Mode, and we’re working on the follow up to ‘Loud’ right now, and hope that I can start promoting it during the second half of this year... It sounds wicked so far!”
Have you had big fun in Ibiza recently?
TM:“Always... I know some very nice and crazy people, and we always have fun there!”
Any other news or comments you’d like to include here?
TM:“I’ll be back this summer as a resident DJ at DC10 come August every week on Wednesdays! Innit? :-)”
Many thanks for your time Timo!
Maas Links -