Mixtape No. 38: MAXV


Mixtape No. 38


Photos: Mike Selsky

This is MAXV.

He was born and raised in LA and grew up off Melrose and Fairfax. His family is German, and most of them live in Berlin. As a kid he too went to summer school there until one year his mom dropped him off with the Paskowitz Surf Camp at San Onofre. He never went back to Germany for summer school again.

Max grew up skating LA. Melrose and Fairfax High were skating meccas at the time and his mom would stress over letting him skate at The Venice Pavilion, but he wanted to skate and hang at all the spots in skate videos. Who wouldn’t? So he grew up with all the graffiti there and all the kids that hung around Melrose and Venice.

He’s now living in Santa Monica, which is a big switch up from Melrose, but he’s down with it. Melrose has changed a lot. Not as much as Venice but it's definitely different than the streets he grew up with.

What he's here for more than anything though, is the music. DJing. The love for it comes from all over.

His cousins in Berlin would always share their electronic CDs when he'd visit them. And growing up around Melrose there were a lot of record stores around – Tower Records, Arons, Beat Non Stop, Fat Beats, Virgin. He was young and with all these spots in skating vicinity, it was only a matter of time before he asked his mom for some Technics.

Fast forward to not yet 21, fake ID days. Max got a gig from Dominic DeLuca DJing for LA nightlife visionary Rick Callamaro on Wilcox. He ended up getting a residency at the bar that was attached to his club, National. It felt original and rough, sort of Boiler Room vibes with the DJ table/station as an island in the middle of the dance floor. People dancing right next to you and around the decks through the night.

Max was still trying to play everything in one set, but at the time DJ AM was at his peak in LA, showing amazing range in his sets, always thinking about the dance floor and catching people off guard. So it clicked with Max – range is key. The tension that comes from variation creates a great effect on a dance floor.

There was one night when Max’s friend Hardcory invited him out to his DJ neighbor’s all nighter set. Max didn’t know what to expect, or even know that he was a big deal. He’d only seen him in the water, or smoking and chatthing with him back at the building. So this one night he shows up to a Sarcastic Disco party, around ’06, and ends up experiencing one the most influential music moments of his life. He was in awe – the Production/(Paul Takahashi), the sound, the party, the people, the lights, the effort, Harvey – the whole fucking kit was the most badass thing he’d seen and heard in LA. It felt like the best secret for some reason. Though in hindsight Max acknowledges it was no secret; he was just a rookie. But at that moment he knew he felt something personal, and he took it with him.

And so it goes – he ended up at Turntable Lab on Fairfax for a bit, and DJs his days away.

These were his catalysts. This is MAXV.