The beautiful setting of the Magic Music Studios up in the San Juan mountains is the ideal surrounding to speak to Max Martire, one part of the Aristofreeks, set to hit the music industry with a bang this summer through several huge productions.
Hello Max, pleasure to meet you – your biography reads like you breathe and live music your whole life long, tell us a bit about your history please.
Hi, pleased to meet you too. Yes, I dedicated all my life to music, I would say I was born with disco blood in my veins. I started really early, at the age of 13 I was already playing at clubs in Italy, then I continued to play while studying at school.
Max at the DMC Championship 1987:
How did it come you participated in the DMC Mixing Championship 1987?
At the age of 18 I was very attracted by the DMC Scratching Championship, this was in 1987, and I used to practice for 8 to 9 hours a day in order to be as precise as possible in scratching and spinning records. You know it was a natural thing for me, I used to play with 4 decks simultaneously, my friends used to call me ‘The Surgeon’ for my precise mixing skills ahahahah. Let me also add that I have a collection of 22,000 vinyls therefore I spent lots of time at the record shops around Europe, mainly London and Amsterdam…
Max playing the Space terrace:
And to play the first days of the infamous Space terrace? I remember being there with all the others dancing to those beats…
In 1987 my girlfriend at that time brought me to Ibiza and I suddenly fell in love with the island as I really wanted to play. Ibiza at that time was full of DJs playing for free, lining up for their turn to play – and when my turn came, the crowd really exploded and I realized that party people loved my funky soulful Disco style so I started playing everywhere, on many parties. Then in 1991 I was invited to play at Space and that was the key point for me because I was nominated the best DJ on the island, so I continued playing in 1992 with Alex P and Brandon Block at Space and also Amnesia, the legendary Aqualandia parties and practically everywhere.
About Space, there was this idea of turning the terrace being just a chill out area without music at that point into a terrace with music, so Pepe Roselló, the owner of Space, allowed us to place speakers on the terrace, and magic happened because most of the people were loving it, so we decided to have the Sundays meeting at Space terrace raving all day long, and this Sundays at Space became Legend on the Island. You have to bear in mind that no mobile phones were available so people used to meet each other on Sundays at Space! It simply happened and trust me it was so cool and freaky that everybody wanted to experience it.
I continued playing both inside and on the terrace for the next years with my old friend DJ Daniele Poli and I was playing the morning time 8am at Amnesia then immediately over to Space with people praying and cueing up asking if they could play, nd if only for 1 song … it was funny because these DJ in the cue back in the days are now the famous ones. So I kept on playing everywhere on the island until 1998. I then had gigs in the most cool clubs in Europe – London, Amsterdam and mainly England and Holland for a few more years. I forgot to say that I was also taking a degree in Economy in Milan University while I was DJing – so it was really funny switching back and forth from crazy rave life to regular university routine.
After returning to Ibiza you and Lenny Ibizarre met and decided to join forces creating a studio complex and a musical project, the Aristofreeks. Let’s start with the studios, looking around i see one of the most breathtaking installations i have ever seen, this must be the dream of every producer, no?
Kathy Sledge, Max and Lenny Ibizarre at Magic Music Studios:
7 years ago I recovered from a personal issue and decided I wanted to produce music again (I also did some records in late 80’s using a black and white Atari system, making some releases etc) so I started over again to study sound engineering and 4 years ago I met Lenny Ibizarre who was interested in producing Disco music so we decided to build one of the best sounding studios in Europe.
And the Aristofreeks, the name already is very special, what is the idea behind it?
We teamed up and built the studio and created the name ARISTOFREEKS for us, which for me represents people who are well educated, smart but with their own craziness they can’t get rid off. I mean I am what I am …. an intelligent and party guy with style. And also because my family come from an aristocratic background. So for me the name ARISTOFREEKS was a great match.
You worked with many key players of the music industry already and recently had the original Chic Singers (Norma-Jean Wright, Luci Martin and Alfa Anderson) in the studio and as well Kathy Sledge. What can we expect from this cooperation?
Yes we started working with Giorgio Moroder 2 years ago doing Donna Summer remixes with the original multi tracks, but then she died and her husband didn’t want to proceed. We were also DJing with Giorgio at the Cannes Film Festival two years ago and this gig he did with us became his first ever. Talking about Kathy Sledge – first of all let me tell you how much I like to work with her, we are musically exactly on the same page, she gets immediately what we want and vice versa, working with her is a pleasure. She is super cool, fun, and magic happens always during the studio sessions. We are currently doing a bunch of great new music in our studio, so stay tuned, killer tracks are on the way! Luci, Norma, Alfa, the original Chic singers are amazing as well, super smart, and their performance is awesome. We have just finished a 1 week session for new songs with them in our studio and trust me, magic happened on all the new songs with them. It is going to be a priceless awesome song we did with them for the 35th anniversary of the Disco Demolition day – kind of “We are the world we are the children” thing. I can’t say more due to agreements we have, but this is going to be HUGE!
Nile Rodgers and Max:
A unique moment was at the opening of the Hard Rock Hotel when Nile Rodgers called the Ladies on stage performing ‘Good Times’ and ‘We are Family’ together, how was it to share the stage with all of them?
YES It was exciting to be on stage with Nile, Kathy, Alfa, Luci and Norma – we had a great disco time altogether – BIG FUN!
How do you see Ibiza today in comparison with the ‘old times’ back in the 90’s?
Ok Ibiza now I call the supermarket of fun for tourists . Before it was a super exclusive funky place for serious ravers. A mix of local hippies and VIP actors having real and not just showing off. It was spontaneous where people could express themselves in every way, now it turns out as a globalized pop superstar DJ place where they press Sync buttons instead of decent mixing. Sorry to offend anybody but this is what I think.
Thanx Max for your honesty and keep up the good music.
Thank you so much, it was great talking to you – and stay tuned.
more info about the Aristofreeks here.