We have the pleasure of hosting Max Durante the legend of electronic music who is sharing his personal story with us and his career and knowledge about the electronic music scene in Europe for a few decades.
Max stands out as one of the finest DJs globally. His mixing prowess is unparalleled, and his DJ sets exude an electrifying energy. His journey in the DJ world commenced in 1987 in Rome, making him an iconic figure in the genuine underground movement.
He boasts a remarkable discography, having produced records for renowned labels such as Sonic Groove Records, Aufnahme + Wiedergabe, and HANDS. His inaugural record, produced in collaboration with D’Arcangelo in 1992, marked the inception of Italian industrial techno.
Max holds the esteemed position of Resident DJ at the legendary Tresor Club in Berlin and was the inaugural resident at the famous Berlin stream HÖR, where he curated the groundbreaking “Dead on Monday” show.
Max is undeniably a trailblazer in the techno scene. His exceptional mixing skills and eclectic track selection have propelled him to conquer the global stage.
TECHNO IS FREEDOM, TECHNO IS AN ATTITUDE THAT MUST BE WORN, TECHNO IS A STATE OF MIND!
MAX DURANTE, 1993
1970, when I was born!
I was born in Rome and grew up in Ostia where the ancient Romans once lived.
From the ancient Romans to the Dolce Vita, a neighborhood rich in history and booming at the time. When I arrived in Ostia with my family, I was very young I think it was 1976, and some areas were still under construction or rather expansion, we lived in the center of Rome but the sea had conquered us and my father was a construction engineer was called to work in Ostia so we decided to stay in Ostia.
I grew up in the Ostia Levante called Stella Polare. In those years the street was the playground, for us young people!
The 70s was a decade of revolution and rebellion, now I understand where I gathered the seed of the Revolt!
I grew up in the period called “the lead years,” years of political struggles, freedom, transgression, and bloodshed but also great creativity and innovation in all fields.
An era of revolutionary innovations, of great technological and scientific advances;
The society was headed for a “promising future. But It was in the 1970s that the seed of consumerism was born.
The radios took over, and new musical genres such as disco – music, punk, and Progressive Rock began to sprout!
In New York with the advent of disco music, the first clubs in the United States were born! They were inspired by the first Parisian clubs in the 40’s and the first UK clubs in the 60’s.
A few years later, club culture invaded Europe.
In Italy in 1975, many disco clubs and DJs were already active.
In 1979 Europe voted the first European Parliament.
In the U.K. Margaret Thatcher was elected prime minister, becoming the target of revolt, she was ruthless toward the new generation, from the late 1970s reaching into the 1990s! In the late 1970s, she was against the punk movement, in the 1980s she was against the Acid House Generation and banned the Acid Parties, in the 1990s she was against the Ravers, in fact in 1994 she banned the RAVE, she was the protagonist of a “conservative revolution”. Instead of FIRST LADY she was dubbed the FIGHTING LADY!
Religion and politics began to prevail and so terrorism and armed struggles were born!
Politics and religion entered the school!
When I went to school all the kids identified with politics, everyone drew on their backpacks the political symbol they were militating for, fascists dressed one way and had short hair, and communists dressed differently and mostly had long hair. For many kids, politics was an excuse to break someone’s head or set fire to the school!
There were catechism lessons, which were more propaganda for Catholicism because it was the only form of religion we studied, we were never taught about the existence of other religions.
Rome is not only the capital of Italy but also the home of the Pope and the land of the Vatican!
We can call it the capital of Catholicism!
My mother was very Catholic I remember her sending me to catechism and I vividly remember every time I escaped through the bathroom window and ran away home! The catechism room was attached to the church which was nestled in the pine forest, I still remember the priest running after me I did sports and not catechism and the priest is still looking for me 😉 it was the church that turned me away from religion!
At the same time as the uprising years, innovation and music were taking power and technology was beginning to advance.
Radio I remember was very much in vogue and with the birth of the Walkman was the revolution (1979)!
The Walkman was my companion in the following years I carried it everywhere!
What I remember of 1979 and what stuck with me was seeing my father in his robe all perfumed up with a lit cigarette and a glass of whiskey walking around the house shocked by the news of Elvis Presley’s death! I didn’t know who ELVIS was I was too young and didn’t know what death was, despite that time death was a daily theme. I remember that day on TV when everybody was talking about his death: Elvis Presley “the Pelvis” … the symbol of the 1950s, the icon of Transgression, rebellion, and freedom died today!
They were concrete and fast years that I only looked at with the eyes of innocence and with the distraction of a child who was still too young to know the taste of pain!
At the age of 9, I was in a burning world that was rebelling, but fortunately, at my parents’ house I had the opportunity to listen to my middle brother’s punk, my father’s jazz, and my older brother’s funk I had a colorful world, a world that influenced and inspired me, this world was my family!
Through the experiences of my brothers, I had a way of knowing and touching on those battles that belonged to their generations but were forming a little child with a destiny between revolt and music!
Those were years where discipline was to form a young rebel!
With the birth of the punk movement, a real revolution was born! My brother played in a Punk band when I was little I was 9 years old, and I remember it all like it was yesterday and this radical movement influenced me since I was a child!
The 80’s the years in which I became a DJ, important years that formed me as a man and as an artist!
The decade saw major socioeconomic changes due to technological advances and capitalism took hold!
Ronald Regan became president of the United States and in Ostia heroin and the first form of Mafia arrived.
I was 10 years old with my friends we used to play in the street and sometimes without knowing it we played with someone from a gang, the street began to become a recruiting ground, from harmless cliques to criminal gangs, you had to know what you had around… I was a 10-year-old boy and before it got dark I had to go home, but anyway even the afternoon was hell! What saved you was fear!
Very poor era of technological gadgets, but rich in human contact.
No one was dumped by text message and bullying was often met with fists.
In the 1980s it was commonplace to go to the cinema, go to the first concerts, play sports, and expand one’s circle of friendships in this way. Of course, there was no Internet, we were not bored; we spent a lot of time outside the house.
People used the home phone to talk or to arrange a meeting with friends. It was wonderful to see each other carefree and take, sometimes, photos of that particular moment, paper photos that were given very different importance because it was not so easy to carry around a bulky camera and then wait days to get that material that immortalized a magical moment, photos that often had behind them a dedication written with a marker, such as “I love you” date or the names of close friends!
We had a Commodore 64, to play games but not to socialize, we socialized at school, in the city center, close to home, we had groups and usually met in the street of the phantom wall, it was essential to go out to meet your group, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your best friend, I remember those years with much pleasure and the photos are still kept in a box but not inside a modern and especially public social network.
In the 1980s at school, I was very lazy, loved to be with friends had an interest only in drawing and music classes, in fact the teachers suggested to my parents to send me to art school, because I was a distracted child but very creative and inclined to art!
When I studied Futurism, I was impressed by Luigi Russolo and his theory of finding sound into the noise! And when I studied Marcel Duchamp I learned about the use and meaning of the word underground, because the master in a lecture in 1961 said that art was not for everyone and we had to go the way of the underground, he explicitly said we need to be underground! I was still very young to learn about noise or to walk the path of the underground but these were themes that stuck in my young mind. Themes that later were fundamental in my journey as an artist.
But undoubtedly before all this, it was punk that shook me up.
Punk that gave me the key to understanding the future and introduced me to DIY, the culture of DO IT FOR YOUR SELF, the true underground ethic that broke Duchamp’s theories that were yes futuristic but elitist….
Punk left a tangible legacy in the way art and music were conceived, freeing it from its elitist dimension and making it available to all. A philosophy that allowed me in 1990 to be part of another great revolution because techno is the daughter of punk!!!
In 1981, my father organized my birthday party at home and improvised himself as a DJ, I was fascinated, my gaze was enraptured by the spinning records, I was mesmerized, my father wanted to see me dance, but I remained motionless.
This was my first contact with the figure of the DJ, I was so impressed that I stood there in front of the turntables, while my friends danced and threw themselves on the floor.
My father at one point put on Trans Europe Express by Kraftwerk and I started moving around imitating the movement of robots and that was my first impact with electronic music!!! The following days all I did was repeat I want robot music, I want robot music, Kraftwerk had hit my heart.
I didn’t love Luna Park like all children, my passion was accompanying my father to buy new vinyl, my father was a great listener and collector of vinyl; he was very jealous of his vinyls, he called them flying saucers and no one could touch them, he had different tools to handle them because he didn’t touch them with his hands, he was a vinyl maniac… I thought my father was an alien.
In the Durante household, music has always been present, my father was a great listener and record collector, a vinyl fanatic, and my brother Stefano, since childhood has always been a great fan of music and High Fidelity (Hi-Fi) like my father and my middle brother Enrico is a great Fender enthusiast, a brilliant guitarist, member of punk and rock bands of the 80s, he too recorded a couple of vinyl records.
In the 1980s I used to follow my brother a lot in his performances in social centers and clubs such as the legendary UONNA Club, a legendary punk/new wave club, fundamental for the Roman underground/alternative scene of the 1980s. I loved Punk more than Rock, I found it more interesting. These experiences were very important for me, they were the foundations or rather I would say they were important experiences, important inputs that were forming a 12-year-old child. Thanks to Punk music I discovered the use of distortion and fell madly in love with it.
I began to discover a strong interest in music thanks to past experiences with my brother Enrico, thanks to my father with his love for vinyl, and thanks to the vast selection of music that my brother Stefano listened to, from the British Pop of the Human League to the Rolling Stones from Disco-music to Mototown Funk from Pink Floyd to the first hits of Kraftwerk …
In 1982 I fell ill with a simple appendicitis which quickly went into peritonitis, I was leaving the feathers there! Four times the family doctor I had as a child failed to find that I had appendicitis. One night I was exhausted from grief my father took me urgently to the hospital.
Thank goodness I was lucky that the surgeon was out because there had been accidents and there were several people injured but when we arrived I will never forget the surgeon who yelled: get that child and take him to the operating room right away look at his eyes he is dying!
I stayed 24 hours, I repeat 24 hours, in the operating room they dissected my abdomen into four parts, my appendix had burst it was full of infection! It was a miracle, I was miraculous!
My mother got sick for fear of losing another child. Before I was born, my mother had given birth to a daughter they had named Monica, but my little sister died soon after! It was a hard blow to my mother and to make up for that pain she became pregnant with this rascal named Massimiliano!!
Returning to my operation I only remember when we ran to the Hospital and then I remember after the operation that I was full of morphine and it took me a long time to open my eyes, it seemed that I was asleep but I heard everything and the voices of my parents but I could not speak, I was lying down but I heard my mother pray for days!
My mother gave her life in every sense my mother is the strength that is in me!
The recovery was initially slow, I had to go to the hospital several times because the wound still had an infection, I remember they took out my stitches and with chromium mercury they disinfected me, I remember I was in excruciating pain, after the dressing I got up I refused the stitches and left, I didn’t want to feel that feeling anymore like a knife being plunged into my abdomen! It was a great lesson in endurance and pain tolerance I had reached such a high level of pain tolerance that I could no longer recognize it. Fortunately, I was young and after 6 months I was starting to feel better and after a year I was fit again!
But shortly after that experience, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was still too young to understand her suffering.
In 1983 I was with a cousin of mine and we went to the disco for the first time, I refused to dance and walked over to the DJ and once again I was fascinated by the turntables. From here I understood that I didn’t want to play an instrument but I wanted to use turntables, play records !!!
The sound that fascinated me was the synthetic one that comes out of synths and not guitars!
In 1984 I discovered the United States I fell in love with jeans and basketball shoes, influenced by a friend of mine I started practicing American football and I fell in love with this sport so much that I joined a team called the UBOOTS a team In the neighborhood where I lived when I was a child!
I discovered hip hop culture, (Rap, graffiti, Breakdance…) and listening to electro boogie on tapes that a friend of mine gave me I discovered breakdance and especially scratch, I fell in love with this technique so much that I want to start practicing it, from there I begin to understand that I wasn’t interested in dancing but I wanted to handle the sound… I wanted to be a DJ!
At some point, sadly, my mother quickly entered a terminal phase and sadly died in 1985!
I was about to turn 15! The world fell on me! As I said before I was very young I did not know what cancer and death were, one night in the dark I will never forget my mother told me are you afraid that I will die? … I don’t remember the other words because those were the only words that stayed with me before my mom flew to the sky.
The death of my mother triggered an earthquake inside me, I was angry with God with everything and everyone …
I got away from everything and everyone! This great suffering led me to grow very fast.
My mother suffered until the end. Throughout her life, she has shown me that there is no fear, that we must never complain, and that we must face things right away so that they do not become problems. Before she got sick, she showed me that what sets us free is being honest and true. And if you have to love, you have to love strong!
My anger turned into energy, a real energy …
After my mother died I stopped following my brother, I stopped going to school and what saved me from sadness was undoubtedly the music!
I refused to go to clubs for a while and started using music as therapy! When in previous years I followed my brother in the studio I had the opportunity to play the drums, creating the rhythm was like a kind of cure for me.
After losing my mother, art was my refuge, drawing gave me so much but music even more! I needed to express my pain and studying Russolo and Duchamp in school led me to express myself through creativity!
In 1985 a friend of mine showed me two of the best street art films, Wild Style and Beat Street, and that was how I discovered that the art of DJing was my way. I began to practice and learn the art of DJing, secretly using my father’s forbidden turntables, every day I was there experimenting and using the technique of scratching and cutting!
In 1986 I started a radio program on a small Underground local radio station (HelloJonny Radio), I had a lot of fun, and doing radio taught me a lot, after a year of radio I felt the need to go and play in clubs, I started mixing live on the radio and so I was contacted by a small club in my neighborhood and so I decided to leave radio and started performing in my first club.
I remember one day when I was going to the radio on television they announced the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, I remember it was heartbreaking, I remember we could not drink milk, or eat vegetables it was a difficult time, in which many people died and there were many cases of cancer and complications in the births of children suffering from radiation dysfunction, the world still bears the marks of that disaster.
In 1987 I became resident DJ of this small club in Ostia that contacted me when I was performing on the radio, from there I started performing all over the coast arriving in Rome and starting my DJ career.
Over time I began to understand that a DJ had to be able to be a manager of himself, a psychologist, an instigator, a disseminator of emotions, and an excellent communicator through dialogue and music!
In 1988 in London I was fascinated by acid parties and acid house, I went back to Rome and started playing only acid house, but initially, it was difficult to play this music in Italian clubs.
In 1989 I went back to London but the acid parties were over! The chaos generated by the mass of people coming out of the clubs every morning gave rise to strong controversy, the press called this generation ”hallucinated” and all this ended with the dramatic intervention of Margaret Thatcher who banned the Acid Parties. British DJs rebelled and events called RAVE began to spring up, which took the place of ”acid parties.”
I returned to Rome ultra-excited because I had discovered the future and wanted to organize a Rave!
At the same time, Berlin took over with the fall of the wall, I had just returned from London, and on Television on the news they announced the fall of the Berlin Wall, one of the most important events of the 80s. Berlin became the capital of techno creating a bridge between Detroit and Berlin, this allowed techno to take over the world!
In the early 1980s punk weaned me off of it, and through Kraftwerk I got into electronic music. In the mid-1980s, thanks to Artur Baker and Afrika Bambaataa I was fascinated by electrofunk, in 1985 I began to practice the art of DJing and in 1987 I performed for the first time as a DJ in a club, in 1988 in London I fell in love with Acid House, in 1990 I was strongly influenced by Techno. In 1991 I organized the most important Italian rave and in 1992 I recorded my first record!
The 1990s, the breakthrough years
1990 was an important year for Max Durante’s career; he performed at the opening of Rome’s first “after hour” from midnight to noon at the Mithos Club, a few miles from his home; that night Max played the records he bought in London and the crowd went wild!
Moved by a strong inspiration: he wanted to create in Italy what he had seen in London and made his own during those trips. In 1990 he decided to create “Guys Production,” one of the first Italian booking agencies specializing in Techno music and the creation of new events: RAVE.
On December 31, 1990, he organized “Planet Love,” the name and concept were inspired by the “Summer of Love” from whose ashes the Rave Generation was born, Planet Love was a prototype rave, a warehouse party, which would serve 9 months later, to organize together with D’Arcangelo the most important rave in Italian history: the “Plus8 Rave” so called because it had as guests, the artists and the founder of Plus 8 Records: Richie Hawtin.
Five months after Planet Love, in June 1991, Max Durante was invited to perform at XTC RAVE in Rome.
And in October 1991 he created the legendary Italian rave the PLUS 8 RAVE!
Special guests such as Richie Hawtin, Speedy J, Daniel Bell who together with Richie presented live their project called Cybersonic. The event was held at “Pathe Studios,” cinematic studios located in an industrial area of the city of Rome, on Via Pontina. It was attended by about 9,000 people!!!
“I remember everything as if it were yesterday. More than an event it was a great emotion, a son.
I wanted to re-create London acid parties and raves in Rome.”
After he organized this huge rave together with the D’Arcangelo he created the Automatic Sound Unlimited, the first Italian industrial techno band! In 1991 they created industrial techno by decomposing techno and adding industrial elements, noise, and distortion! They created the modern techno that we use to play today, they were the forerunners of the sound of the future!
Here began his story. Becoming one of the cornerstones of the 90s, of the rave generation, of the famous 90s Roman techno scene;
His trips to London were forward-looking and were important in creating new visions! London was the bridge to the future! From Rome where he built his empire, he arrived in Europe!
When I was in London I took part in one of the first RECLAIM THE STREETS!
Without a doubt Reclaim the Streets is the first form of protest that chose the streets!
They first brought raves to the streets as a form of protest! Reclaim The Streets was originally formed by Earth First! in London, England, in the autumn of 1991 and grew out of anti-road protest camps in places like Claremont Road and Twyford Down. The idea of road reclamation soon spread throughout the UK!
The idea of a Reclaim The Streets action was quickly embraced as a form of protest all over the world. These ‘street parties’ were then held in several European cities and then in other cities around the world!
The degeneration of the ‘Reclaim The Streets’ movement led to the historic Berlin Love Parade and its many replicas in cities across Europe, resulting from the commercialization of the first British street parades stripped of their ‘protest’ soul and transformed into ‘unconventional’ techno- carnivals on the main streets of cities.
Among the most famous street parades are LOVE PARADE BERLIN, STREET PARADE ZURICH, TECHNO PARADE PARIS.
The first Love Parade was made in 1989.
The first Street Parade was held in 1992.
The first Techno Parade was held in 1998.
I had the pleasure of attending the first Street Parade in Zurich I was there performing at ENERGY 92!
Then in 1995, I was invited to perform in the Street Parade!
In September 1998 I performed at the first TECHNO PARADE in Paris!
Then the all street Parades took a commercial direction just look at the Love Parade or the Street Parade!
Since 1996 I lost interest in the Parades and devoted myself only to Rave!
Switzerland was attracted by Italian rave and by the DJs that were involved in it. Swiss organizations since 1992 invited more times Max Durante to perform at their rave parties, Max was one of the creators of the Italian techno movement and he has also contributed to the growth of the Swiss rave generation, he performed in the early Swiss rave like for example the ENERGY 92, ENERGY 93, CUBIC 94, CUBIC 95, etc …
Zurich was like a second home, it was a great experience where I met many interesting people many of them are still very good friends! I spent wonderful years in Zurich, where I performed everywhere and had great experiences I remember as if it was yesterday when I performed with DJ Hell, Jeff Mills, and Laurent Garnier at the anniversary of Energetic the biggest Swiss organization!
1994 is one of the saddest times in techno history. Margaret Thatcher banned Rave and it was a very sad time!
this is why I emigrated to Switzerland precisely because it was the only place where this law did not exist! Switzerland became the land of rave!
From 1994 to 1998 I moved to Zurich and started performing at all the major raves, clubs, and festivals in Switzerland.
From Zurich, I started to conquer Europe. Performing everywhere from the mountains at the early ‘’Swiss Snow Rave’’ to the Austrian caves in Salzburg at the Cave Club, on ships like the MS Stubnitz Rockstock in Germany, at the legendary German club the Ultraschall in Munich, to the famous Fabrik London, the Melkweg Club Amsterdam, the Kozzmozz Event Bruxelles, Le Triptyque Club and Le Nouveau Casino Paris, the Nitsa Club Barcelona…and so on!
I was crossing Europe performing in the best club in the European capitals, it was great!
In 1995 I was often invited to play at the Ultraschall in Munich. I have great memories of Munich the Ultraschall was very important together with TRESOR they are the cult clubs in Germany.
All these trips gave me so many visions and so many ideas!
I always loved to be ahead of my time and in that case, I love it by organizing something innovative!
I have always been a visionary, a dreamer of the future. I have always tried to bring innovation and that is why after Rave I created a prototype festival of the future.
In 1998 I organized in Zurich a major international electronic festival ”The Grey Planet”, the concept was 120 years of electronic music, with multimedia installations, exhibition of vintage synthesizers, workshops, symposiums, DJ sets, live acts, and much more!
During the four-day festival I hosted more than 50 artists from all over the world; this festival was a true vision of our present, a festival as unique as the ADE in Amsterdam.
During this wonderful experience, I met a lot of brilliant artists who at that time nobody knew them! With some I became friends and for example, with Keith Tucker and Anthony Rother, I began to collaborate often. Then with Grant Wilson of Replhex, I have great memories we performed many times together in Swiss clubs, then Dmx Krew, Phoenecia and the Schematic, Like A Tim, and many others including Doppleffekt, DJ Hell!
In the late 1990s, my father underwent emergency surgery, the operation was successful and fortunately, he was saved. But unfortunately in the 2000s, when I returned from a business trip, we found my father deceased in his home! My father was my best friend, my father was the one who inspired me to become a DJ, and my father was my world!
All of this left me with a great emptiness and also a sense of guilt, my father I am sure suffered from loneliness and slowly let go and unfortunately music made me absent at the time of his death! For years I absented myself with my mind from music and found myself for example on some occasions performing but the next day not remembering now I am serene with the years I have filled the guilt and now my father lives in me!
The 2000s, are the years when Max returns to prominence!
After the Grey Planet with Anthony Rother, I made a great friendship and we are still great friends today!
With Anthony I did many performances in Switzerland, Germany, and Italy, in many of his lives I was cutting, and scratching it was a great period. We made a record together too… amazing!
In 2001 With Anthony Rother, I co-produced an electro record (NETZWERK EUROPA) on the PSI49NET!
In 2002 DJ Hell invited me to work as a sound engineer for the LP of the legendary 80s group Tuxedomoon that he produced on International Gigolo! I also created a lot of arrangements, especially for a track I co-produced with DJ Hell for Tuxedomoon called ”Lether Bliss” which was also released on ”Gigolo Compilation 6” and the SonarFestival compilation… He paid me! But we fought for years because, as was his habit, he didn’t name me in the credits and made me Ghost Producer. I got so angry, then I finally got over it! We are still good friends, in this shitty and corrupt world I prefer friendship to vile money! But this experience was very important, we worked at the municipal theater of Cagli for the pre-production, and it was amazing. Then from there, we did the post-production at my studio! Hard disk recordings, field recordings, and arranging the acoustic instruments on the sequencer was a big baggage for me!
After this great experience I performed live several times with Blaine Reininger of Tuxedomoon it was an amazing experience I was creating the rhythms with my TR 808 drum machine from Roland it was epic.
In 2003 I joined the social network My Space, after a few days on the social network I met Alexander Robotnick who invited me to Siena to his studio.
He was working on his LP called Oh No Robotnick, he decided to use this title because he told me that he wanted to be done with Robotnick and that this would be his last LP.
He asked me what I thought about it and I was sincere! I tried to advise him but it was not easy, I tried to motivate him to get back on the Robotnick path, so we went to my studio in Rome! From there I managed to convince him to change the sound and we worked together on five tracks of the LP! From there Maurizio went back to Siena and in Siena he fell into depression again, changing the arrangements and the sound, eliminating many rhythmic parts, drying up the low frequencies that were losing the dynamics and the strength of the kick drum.
He said I changed it because it sounded too loud! I don’t want a 90s sound, in the 80s we had softer, drier sounds. From there we fought, I decided I didn’t want to be part of it anymore, then we found a compromise and I signed not as Max Durante but as Siriad, a name I made up there, and then, I was exhausted!
When the record came out, after a month, he called me and said you were right, I’m sorry. From there our friendship grew stronger! Maurizio is a genius, he had just forgotten where he came from and he taught me a lot, Maurizio was one of the best experiences I had in the studio!
The record precisely was not what I wanted, but our quarrel rekindled Robotinick in fact from there Maurizio created countless other new masterpieces. Our success was not the record but the clash of personalities! We must always tell the truth, especially to a friend because the truth always wins!
As an artist it was a great growth, as a person it was difficult and very strong emotionally, we fought heavily but my stubbornness my honesty made me feel proud because that encounter in my opinion was fatal and it was my mission to motivate once again a great artist a legend, a friend named Robotnick! I love you Maurizio Dami!
Then, in the summer of 2003, the legendary Spanish Industrial band Esplendor Geometrico proposed me to remix one of their old tracks ”Mosku Esta Helado” (1980).
I always had great respect for, Arturo Lanz and Saverio Evangelista. Saverio I know him very well I have not seen him for a long time but we are friends, he is also from Rome.
It was a great experience, we had nothing in our hands ( no loops, no MIDI files) it was totally to reinterpret, in fact, more than a remix it is a cover.
I’ve always loved collaborating with people I respect! I have great relationships with my colleagues many are friends, for example, Keith Tucker is really more than a friend he is a brother I met him the first time at the Grey Planet and we immediately became friends! We are still great friends. We have performed around the world many times and produced a brilliant record together!
In 2003 I’ve co-produced a great electro record with KEITH TUCKER (AUX88) on the English label the ELECTRIX RECORDS. This record has been named the best electro record of the year 2000 and it will remain an electro hit.
With this record, we had obtained such a great success that we were invited to play in the legendary FABRIC club in London, and in cool events in Paris, Athens, and in Italy too.
And now I am happy to announce that we are back! During the Covid period, we produced a new Fuzion release, keeping the same spirit alive! It will come out on Detroit’s Puzzlebox, I think at least next year!
In 2006 Steve Pierce, producer of Marc Almond, Soft Cell, Depeche Mode, Einstürzende Neubauten… and owner of the legendary Some Bizzare asked me to invent a project that collided techno and new wave and so I created the project Meka together with singer and friend Ketty Boccia we reinterpreted the 80s in a 90s key with fetish attitude and produced the album High Heel Shoes for the legendary Some Bizzare it was an experiment I did for fun, we got very good results, licensed several tracks including several compilations and even participated with one of our tracks in a Some Bizzare collection with hits by Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, Test Department and many other legends.
I never moved away from techno, but experimenting by contaminating is the way to create new genres! In 2007 I produced quite often in a small underground label in Ostia! Here I produced several tracks (early 90s sound) and some caught the attention of Red Baron Dave Clarke.
In 2007, my techno record (human turntable 2) on the TRUCKSTOP76th, was well received. Dave Clarke played this record several times ( it was the era of the minimal and tech house and I was producing real techno tunes against that shit)
In 2008 Dave Clarke invited me to perform at the ADE: AMSTERDAM DANCE EVENT!.
Then for years, I was up and down between Rome and Paris, I stayed in Paris for a while but could no longer find inspiration and was beginning to feel oppressed by the system, I tried again and again to go to London, but even my beloved London had lost its grip!
I was looking for a new city, I was looking for new stimulation, new input!
My instinct and hunger for freedom brought me to Berlin!
In August 2014 he moved to Berlin. There comes a particular turning point in Max’s career, it is represented by the figure of Adam X who not only names him the “Legend and innovator of industrial techno” but calls him to his side as an artist and producer for his very famous SONIC GROOVE label.
With Adam there is a great mutual respect we have known each other for a long time and we are the survivors of the old school and we are against the “business techno”! We were never interested in this shit, he comes from Brooklyn, I come from Rome, we did not have an easy childhood, we are true rebels, life has made us Rebels!
We are the true techno soldiers!
After his long and worthy contribution to the electro and techno scene, Max Durante returned to experimenting, creating a new powerful and dynamic sound, which gained a strong interest, and since 2015 he has been part of the legendary Sonic Groove family and since summer 2019 also of the powerful Aufnahme + Wiedergabe!
His first EP called ‘Metastability’ on Sonic Groove was released in May 2015 with the track ‘Kreuzberg’ being one of Berlin’s best techno club hits of 2015.
In November 2015 he released an EP on the newborn Kynant Records with a remix of Donato Dozzy. This EP was named ‘out of stock’ at record shops after just a couple of days!
I met Richie from Kynant through an ad looking for a graphic designer for his label, from there I decided to write to him also because I love creating logos but in the end, instead of logos I produced the first Kynant Records! Richie is a wonderful person. dynamic, humble, and with great determination! A great friend and I am happy to have been his stepping stone.
His EP called ‘Insurrection of Inequity’ on Sonic Groove was released in June 2016 and with this Ep, he has received many positive consents and many DJs have played the record!
Since 2017, he has been one of the residents of the Tresor!!!
In 2017 I started performing at the legendary TRESOR CLUB and from there I soon became one of the residents. The Tresor Club for me is very important, I have been a DJ since 1987 and existed since 1991. It smells of the past. It reminds me of where I come from. It gives me energy and is the bridge between the past and future, is an institution and I am very happy to be part of it!
Max Durante’s closing sets at Tresor are a must, for about 7 years Max has performed at TRESOR every two months and punctually sets fire to the dance floor!
In February 2018 Max Durante produced his first LP ambient techno, called The Experiment on Kynant Records.
In September 2018 he released his third EP for Sonic Groove and in the summer of 2019 he released his first 12″ for Aufnahme + Wiedergabe, and in May 2020 he released his second EP for Aufnahme + Wiedergabe.
With Philipp Strobel of the Aufnahme + Wiedergabe, there was immediately a great understanding! it seems we had known for years but actually, we had met a moment before! We have many points of view in common, we both believe in true underground and in true friendship! Phil is a real friend, honest sincere, a brother!
In September 2019 Max began to perform in the HÖR streaming channel, at that time no one knew HÖR and the pandemic arrived!
<The coronavirus brought us to our knees, culture, and entertainment were banned, the world stopped and I was created DEAD ON MODAY with Philipp Strobel.>
Dead on Monday was a radio program that became an icon, where Max started to wear the Balaclava and made it viral! Max is the one who launched the balaclava! Max Durante wearing the balaclava for two consecutive years in his program on HÖR, created a strong interest worldwide, the program was live streaming and visible all over the world and for this reason, Max was contacted by a well-known company that wanted to make the Max Durante signed mask! But Max refused!
< I chose to wear the mask at the moment that everyone wanted to appear, I wore the mask as a protest because I wanted to give strength to the music and not to my image and I never thought I would launch a new fashion now it is everywhere in fashion shows up to HIP HOP concerts! I gave a lot to HÖR and HÖR gave to me, I think I contributed a lot to their growth, it was a great experience! >
On September 10 2021 he released his massive new full-length album “Der Graue Geruch Nach Metall” – on HANDS (limited color) 2lp, cd, and digital!
I met Udo shortly before the covid we met for the first time at the Krake label Market in Berlin from there the idea of creating an LP for his legendary label was born spontaneously! Udo is a very professional person and his label is like a son it’s everything to him! A fantastic person available, passionate! unfortunately due to the pandemic, we released the album more or less two years later and the incredible thing is that inside the album there are references to consumerism and at the end of the world I had anticipated the reality of a few years … I was stunned!
2022, he released on the Sonic Groove the new project he co-produced with Crystal Geometry: Max Und Max
After the coronavirus pandemic in 2022 clubs and events around the world began to take shape again and Max began to travel the world again interruptedly visiting new Countries and new States. Then his Colombian tour in 2022 was phenomenal the crowd and organizations were amazed! One of the organizations in Colombia said his DJ sets are pure energy, are pure shows after seeing and hearing Max Durante it is hard to accept the rest!
2023 was a very favorable year for Max where last spring he was in for the first time in Central America where he performed in Costa Rica and Mexico City. Then he performed in many other cities around the world until arriving in China for a very successful Tour where he performed in 4 unforgettable events in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Hangzhou, enjoying huge success, he is working already for a new tour and this time Max intends to do the China and extend the Tour to other states of the East Asia too!
Max announces that 2024 will be a year full of news and creativity, a year that will see him busy with his DJ sets around the world, and a year full of great projects including his new Label, called UNTEN, but for now he does not want to announce anything more … It’s still too early…
Look around don’t miss Max Durante is touring the world so he will also come to your city!
Words: Max Durante
I met Max at the Provacazioni Festival in Rome in Late August 2013.
Seeing Max’s performance when we first met was simply great. It’s rare to see DJs doing turntablism tricks in the techno scene. This was the first time in decades I saw someone play underground techno, scratching and manipulating the turntable as an instrument onto itself. I’ve heard Max many times since our first meeting and he is also one of the best at beat-mixing techno. His sets have a storyline. The beat mixing is superb, it’s second to none.
I am not sure when was the first time we eventually met. I knew Max from his releases on Sonic Groove and somehow he was always around in Berlin. It took me quite a while to realize that Max already had a lot of history in the Techno circus long before I was in any way involved in it. When he approached me to release on aufnahme + wiedergabe I was quite excited and I am very happy with how those two EPs turned out. What I adore about Max is that he follows a certain vision and we agree on a lot of things. We quickly became friends and shared a bunch of adventures like our monthly Dead On Monday show. And there is more to come!
The first time I saw Max playing was at Tresor. I was standing next to the DJ booth and watched him drumming on a record like he was in a trance. It was quite impressive to watch but I was sure there is no way he’s going to make a decent transition to the next track like this. He proved me wrong. When he blended into the next track it was so tight and really mind-blowing. Since then I have seen him playing very often and I always enjoy his sets a lot. As he’s playing vinyl only I always gift him new aufnahme + wiedergabe releases and for me, it’s amazing to see him being one of the first people playing them out and to hear what he’s doing with the tracks. If you listen to the first episode of our podcast series “aufnahmen” you get a glimpse of his fine art. For this one Max mixed exclusively aufnahme + wiedergabe tracks together.
I met Max in November 2015 at Suicide Circus in Berlin during the First Rave Or Die night organized by Killekill
Max is a real technician behind decks and stays faithful to the vinyl. Mix ox Max is like him in real life, authentic and uncompromising.
I met Max at the Krake Festival in 2018 that was held at Silent Green Berlin. We were both attending the event when somebody introduced us and talked for hours. A very nice relationship started that day and multiple collaborations since then.
I think it was 10 years ago when I discovered Max for the first time. I was in Rome and, at that time, Brancaleone was having some nice parties. He was sharing the decks with Speedy J. I remember that night as if it was one of the best parties held in Rome: the floor was packed and the vibe was absolutely fantastic.
I met Max around 2014 when he moved to Berlin, I think it was in Tresor when AUX 88 was playing! Let’s say that “the Electro” connected us, is a powerful energy, you know! After that, we met on many occasions and I think it was at Krake when we shared a booth the first time. I was near him watching and I was amazed by his technique and how he used the turntables as an instrument! Drove me nuts! hahaha
Max is a kind of warrior and shaman at the same time when it comes to music. His energy transcends the dancefloor on many occasions (I was there!) He has a true punk attitude and you can feel that when you hear him playing, in a club or radio show, it doesn’t matter, he doesn’t change! Humble & perfectionist, hard & funk at the same time.
Big up Max!
Keith Tucker (Aux 88)
I first met Max in 1998 upon my first trip to Zurich- Switzerland for the Grey Planet festival Max helped put the event together. From day one I felt a brotherhood with Max. We instantly got along, laughing and talking about music.
Max instantly impressed me with his DJ skills. Max knows electronic music very well and he is a magnificent DJ.
We talked about working together and we later formed a fusion after my many visits to Italy hanging out with Max and Ketty from Coffebuz Booking. I had so much fun working on the project Fuzion from Detroit to Rome…
Max and I see each other every couple of years on the road we recently finished the second fusion project coming soon…
I met Max in Berlin at the 29Nov Films birthday night almost 7 years ago, where we played on the same lineup. I knew of Max and had some of his records, but we had never crossed paths up until then. It was great to connect with him, he has a very intense energy as a person and as a DJ.
In dance music, and indeed techno, having a unique style as a DJ counts for so much. Today we have a lot of competent DJs but not necessarily so many DJs that play in their own unique style. Max is one of those unique DJs.
I personally met Max when he moved to Berlin and quickly we became good friends but known his name since an early age.
He was involved in founds the history of early raves in Italy and he had one of my fav all-time Projects ‘Automatic Sound Unlimited’
Still, now I think this was one of the most visionary projects of the early 90’s and can still sound modern even now!
Max is a man full of energy who fought for music and its life since he was born, he is the inventor of the vinyl drumming technique and is a key person in many styles like rave, hip hop, electro, techno, and hard techno…
What I love about Max is that he will never give up, facing constant difficulty but still putting all the love and passion into music.
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