The music in this video was edited by Max Bent, it’s also up for listening on the Disco Droppings Soundcloud. A wonderful composer who collaborates with film and video producers. He’s got this nifty website called Max Makes Music.
DD: Your music has wonderful depth to it, how are you Max?
MB: Thank you. I am well, thank you. Trying to keep it all together. =)
DD: How’s the electronic community over in Baltimore?
MB: Baltimore is a very interesting place for electronic music. Some important artists known outside Baltimore: Dan Deacon, Animal Collective, Rye Rye.
I mention these three artists to demonstrate the spectrum we have in Baltimore. Dan Deacon is dope and goes wayyyy back. He’s been making electronic music forever (I’m seriously not sure how long) and has been a major catalyst for live music in Baltimore, including events like Whartscape. Animal Collective is a good torch bearer for the “live electronic band.” Although it might be an over-simplification to describe Animal Collective as an electronic band, they use electronic instruments in a real unique, powerful way. Rye Rye is an artist on M.I.A.’s label N.E.E.T. and she represents the Baltimore Club/Uptempo rap sound very well and if you haven’t heard of her yet, you will soon. So basically, we have it all, from the experimental sounds of the annual High Zero event, to electronically twisted chamber performances of Mobtown Modern, to the pounding electronic beat of Baltimore Club (check out Rod Lee’s Dance My Pain Away). =)
DD: Where would you say your music is at currently? Is their a consistent sound to you? Where would you like it to head?
MB: Currently as a producer I am focusing on how music and visuals interact. I am taking all the techniques I’ve learned from years of production work and figuring out which are relevant to visual presentations. I do not have a consistent sound so much as a constant intention to bring my music to life. This is accomplished through focusing on the big picture of the overall arrangement and, at the same time, the small details (effect processing, etc.) Ableton Live has proven itself the perfect tool in this task of bringing sounds to life. In the near future I see myself using a lot more hands on manipulation of sounds and creating systems that allow the sounds to live and breathe on their own with occasional “pokes and prods” from the outside…:) If you’re familiar with Ableton Live, I am referring in particular to the use of Racks, which are grouped chains of instruments, effects (both audio and MIDI) and associated controlling parameters. In the past I would spend hours on programming specific intricate details. In the future I will spend hours on discovering where sounds can go when given the chance.
DD: What’s been your best show so far?
MB: I am only now starting to blend the worlds of production and performance. For years I have performed as a beatboxer but I am actually bringing out Ableton Live for the first time…well, live….on March 31st at Sonar in Baltimore. We’re using a session with the songs for the show stored as individual clips, and we’ll have an EQ and a delay on that channel, and also included in the session will be a live drum machine (a drum rack that I’ll be triggering with a trigger finger). So I’m taking a pretty straight forward, low CPU approach, and in rehearsals we’ve had some great results even with this relatively simple system. I hope some folks reading this will join us at Sonar and check out my man Blizzard on stage.
As far as performance spaces in Baltimore, you can actually catch live electronic music at a variety of spots…there aren’t a lot of really good sound systems, though, to be honest. I’ve performed at a lot of venues in Baltimore, but a highlight for me was beatboxing with Matisyahu at Rams Head Live (although I couldn’t hear myself at ALL!!!)
DD: Any last words for the readers? It’s been very nice interviewing you.
MB: Thank you, it’s been a pleasure.
Max Bent on Soundcloud
– Jimi Jaxon