Getting Down With Timo Maas OK, so you know the facts. Hes got the royal seal of approval from Madonna. He swaps remixes with Fatboy Slim. He sprinkled a little something onto Placebos Special K. Oh, and he hangs out with young and fresh Kelis.
Whilst his recent remixes for Madonna (Dont Tell Me), Placebo (Special K), Kelis (Young, Fresh And New) and Fatboy Slim (Star 69) have brought TIMO MAAS to the attention of a mainstream audience, it was his phenomenal reworking of Azzido Da Basss Top 10 smash Dooms Night that originally captured music fans imagination back in 1999, with its classic straddling of progressive, garage, house and techno genres.
So how did the Madonna remix come about?
"It was management to management, not as spectacular as everyone thinks," sighs Timo. "A few days later we started with a remix, before we had announced it to anyone. And we had it ready to go by the time we announced it. But that's really a milestone in my career."Its been a satisfying twelve months, muses the superstar DJ who even two years ago still struggled with his English. To see my debut album (released in April 2002) progressing over such a long period of time is fantastic. To see it all coming together has been the most important learning process in my career so far.
So what has been the most exciting moment of Timo's career?
"Everything that's going on now," says Timo. "Dreams are becoming the truth and this is the most important thing."
Loud is a great debut album for Timo. It's got a break beat flava and is awesome. While To Get Down has a French disco groove, really eclectic and experimental styles.
So how does Timo describe his latest offerings?.
"The thing that holds the album and the single together, that typical Timo vibe, is the very dry rough drums. It doesn't matter how fast or what kind of music - if it's 4x4 breaks or whatever, but the funk sticks it together. It's basically funk, and as funky as dance music can go without losing the vibe really."
"For me personally it's a way to show, that it's different things without going in a cheesy or uncomfy direction."
To Get Down was the signature track at the 2001 German Dance Awards. "Last year it was a Paul Van Dyk track in a more trancey direction," says Timo. "Then for the last one, they asked me to do something, and it just fitted perfectly with the single release of To Get Down. It was great, you've heard the song. Everyone shaked their asses, so yeah it was good."
Loud features collaborations with Finlay Quaye, Kelis, and MC Chickaboo.
Theres plenty I can tell you about Finlay Quaye, Timo laughs, about one of his two stellar collaborators on the album. We got everything ready for him, just the way he likes it. By the end of the day hed laid down the lyrics and it just worked. And it really was one of the most spiritual days of my life.
The collaboration with Kelis, on Help Me, was similarly memorable. Initially our request was refused because we werent big enough. Then I remixed her latest single, met the manager, and the next thing we knew, Kelis was sitting in our studio, really ill with a cold, but singing these haunting lyrics.
Other highlights on LOUD, co-written and produced with his studio partner Martin Buttrich, include debut single To Get Down, featuring Phil Barnes on vocal duties. Again, there is a story attached. Wed listened to around twenty demos trying to get the sound we wanted for the vocals, sighs Timo, and then wed had three guys in who all sang in this horrible rock way which was not what we wanted at all. Then we bumped into this guy Phil on the stairs at Time Tools, got talking, and invited him into the studio. He came up with the lyrics in about five minutes.
There's also a Roger Sanchez remix out soon. "He asked me to do a remix of his tunes," says Timo. "It's another Timo mix. Again, it's funky. It's a little bit unusual for a Roger Sanchez track, but from a DJ perspective it works very well. There's a little touch of 80s in there, but not too much and it just comes right on the dance floor.
Timo's New Year's Eve experience wasn't as Loud as his forthcoming album title suggests.
"I was in New York for New Year's Eve. The gig was really good, but it was also really hard. It wasn't completely sold out and was very quiet," says Timo. "So many people were scared about venturing out. But the people who were there and myself, we had a good time. So not bad, but hard work."
And looks like there's plenty more enjoyable hard work to come, By the end of 2002 we will be finishing the next album, Timo asserts quietly. But I cant tell you right now what ideas Ive got, he laughs. But whatever happens, I dont want to lose out on the fun Ive had in 2001.
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