DJ Timo Maas is all set to follow up his first artist album, 2002′s Loud, with Pictures.
Ahead of the new record’s release we caught up with him to hear about the new record – and his unlikely other life…
Surely 11:30am in the morning is too early to even think of talking to a DJ? But then this is a Thursday, and the jock in question is the boundlessly enthusiastic Timo Maas, over to promote his new record.
Loud was an impressive debut that spawned the hit singles To Get Down and Shifter. So as Maas undertakes this next part of “my interview marathon”, Timo considers the reaction to the new record.
“The reaction’s been brilliant. It’s been an odd time as I’ve lived in a kind of micro cosmos for two years! Me and my recording partner Martin (Freedberg) have just stepped out of a cocoon after two years in the studio. It feels odd to be back in the real world again!”
Life’s not all been a hermit like existence in that time, however, asTimo has continued to find the time to DJ, recently completing a couple ofsets as part of the Miami conference. As we talk he is preparing for hislongest set to date, a seven-hour epic at the Ministry Of Sound.
- Timo Maas on Brian Molko.
“I’ve beensorting out the record boxes for this one and basically I’ve been preparingon and off for two months, labelling records and stuff. Mind you, I stilldon’t know the first record in the set will be, and I won’t until fiveminutes before I go on, when I know what the crowd’s like. It’s going to bea long night, but I can’t wait!”
And what are his tunes of choice? “The new single, mate!” he respondsimmediately. The new record being a collaboration with Placebo‘sBrian Molko, one of three on the album. He takes up the story: “Wewere coming to the end of the summer and Michael and me were kind of stuck.We’d finished the instrumentals and were looking for our dreamcollaborators but they weren’t easy to get. Then we sent something to Brianand he was totally up for it, came over to Hannover and recorded two of thethree tracks in a day, then we met up in London to do the third. It wasgreat to work with him, to get into his world – we had a fantastic time.”
- Timo Maas on producer Martin Freeberg.
Also on the record is the comparatively unknown vocalist Jo Kate, afriend and singer in Bristol with connections to Timo’s label Four:Twenty.In the DJ’s words, the two vocalists “made the album what it is now”, butthe real praise is reserved for Freedberg. “I’m extremely proud of Martinand what we’ve done. In my view he’s the best producer in dance music atthe moment. Quite often I would go into the studio with a bunch of records,put them on and say “this is how I don’t want it to sound” and we’d takeit from there!”
The duo reclaimed a track originally intended for Puff Daddy aspart of his seemingly redundant house music album, and brought in NenehCherry. to add vocals. “We originally called it “Feedback Welcome” aswe kept sending him emails to ask him what he wanted to do with it, and whenwe didn’t hear back we sent him another to say “we’re gonna use this onthe album”, and it became High Drama. The same happened with Tori Amos,she was definitely up for working with us after the remix (the Grammy awardwinning take on Don’t Make Me Come To Vegas) but we didn’t hear back andleft it as an instrumental, Enter My World.”
One artist all too happy to renew acquaintances was Kelis. “She’ssimply amazing!” enthuses Timo. “I think Kelis is for R&B what we are fordance, difficult to pin down into any category. Help Me (her contributionto Loud) wasn’t a big hit but it was one of the coolest things we’ve done.She’s so cool. And so dirty!”
- the infectiously cheerful Timo Maas on life in 2005.
When Timo’s not working his retreat is on a farm half an hour’s drivewest of Hannover. “I am a farmer, yes!” he crows. “It’s always been adreamof mine to live on a farm, and now I am married with a daughter and gettingto make all this music. I couldn’t be happier.”
He even confesses to loving the album’s promotional work, seeing it as”a chance to talk about the music”. It’s a refreshing approach, and as wesign off his thoughts turn to Ibiza. “I’m DJing at DC10 again this year,”he says, “Wednesdays from August 3rd. I can’t wait!”
Interview – Timo Maas
Timo Maas – Pictures