So firstly, what is the story behind the name Maximalism?
Well we’d love to provide some sort of cool story behind this name but frankly it’s just our names put together, Maxim and Alicia. ‘Maximalism’ stands for the permanent process of understanding one another and all that comes with it.
What is your background and how did you get into music?
Alicia was destined to be a pianist all the way from early childhood, she was focused on music and she never got a chance to study other disciplines in depth. She loves music theory and classic music, however she spent 6 years playing in a jazz band and 2 years studying jazz in music college. Then she dropped out of the college, moved to China and decided that she wants to go “crazy” aka make electronic music. She went to SAE oxford to study and when she completed the course she was ready to understand half of what Max was talking about all those years, because he was all about sitting in the studio trying out new compressors, finding secret plugin chains to enlighten boring sounds, buying synths and then selling them and buying new ones to find something special. At that time he was making his first steps organizing underground techno parties (in Belarus every techno party is underground), he DJed for free like a thousand times and he really wanted to bring intelligent electronic music to masses (strongly put, masses means 100 people in our city). And so he did, little by little:)
Where are you based and how has your home country or town influenced your music & career?
We’re based in Minsk, Belarus. Many people don’t know a lot about our country because we’re just not as open mentally to the outer world as the rest of Europe, so that’s why sometimes we feel a bit isolated from the community and not really following latest trends, though the real influence always comes from our favorite artists, musicians etc.
How would you describe your sound – do you think your music falls into a particular genre?
We try not to tag our music as every time it’s different, right nor we do electronic dance music with some acid and some piano.. guess it’s always better to hear it once than explain it twice:)
You just made your debut on Constant Circles with “Apologies” – how did you approach this project and how did the idea come together?
It’s a funny story. This song is actually about our cat, Kefa. Alicia accidentally lost him when we were at our dacha and she thought she’d lost him forever coz he didn’t come back for a few days. She wrote piano version and lyrics and then her babushka (nana) called her and said that Kefa has returned, wounded. Then a year later when Alicia was pregnant with our son we decided to give him away to another family because Kefa was a bit out of his mind and could’ve been potentially dangerous to our son. And so Alicia felt that she betrayed him in some way so the lyrics are still has its pain.
What is your production process – is each project different? And what are your key pieces of studio kit?
We’ve been working together for many years now so we have kind of a template (a mental one) how things are gonna go. Normally first it’s either Alicia with the melody or Max with the beat. Then Alicia puts together an arrangement and Max finishes it up. The key pieces would be nord electro 5D and x0xb0x.
How do you work as a duo – do you both have specific roles in the studio and when performing?
We definitely do. Otherwise it would be chaos 🙂 We were practicing a lot to be able to play live two meters away from each other and not to talk during the gig. It works fine now but the first attempts were just miserable! When performing, Max controls the core of the live (structure and arrangement) and goes wild with playing on parameters and effects. Alicia sings and sticks to her beloved nord, arranging between-tunes situations with some piano and organ improvisations. It works good as most tunes are strong and groovy and it’s always a good decision to put some nice moving chords just to spice it up a little.
Can you tell us something most people won’t know about you?
Most people don’t realise that we are parents and every time we have a gig there is always a nana that babysits our little one 🙂 We have full support from both sides though so it isn’t a problem.
What do you have coming up in terms of releases and gigs?
Well we have ‘Magical’ Ep coming up on Click records in January (make sure you check it out!) and we also have a live video from our recent gig with our latest tunes (including ‘Apologies’) that will be out early January too, supporting the release. We also have scheduled a release of remixes on our ‘Glimpse’ EP including remix from Himbrecht and Sterling Grove.
How did you put together your guest mix for the radio show & what have you included – any exclusives or surprises?
This mix is our last mix in 2018 and we kind of summed the whole year up: one hour of what we liked this year and what direction we wanted to evolve. There is our upcoming ‘Magical’ tune and one of our all-time-favorites ‘Let myself go’. Hope you enjoy the vibe and see you next year!
Listen to Maximalism’s guest mix on Constant Circles Radio –>