ADE 2023: Max Cooper says producers need to “separate technique from expression”
“When I go into expression mode, I don’t want to think about technical things,” the producer and DJ said during a recent panel at Amsterdam Dance Event.
Credit: Jonny Wilson
Electronic producer and DJ Max Cooper has talked about the importance of separating the technical aspect of production from the more emotional, expressive side when making music.
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Cooper gave the advice during his talk, Max Cooper: Intersection of Music, Science and Art, at the Felix Meritis (Zuilenzaal) venue in Amsterdam during Amsterdam Dance Event 2023 on Friday 20 October. The discussion covered how science feeds into his music, how Cooper is inspired by art and his use of analogue gear.
One audience member asked if Cooper could offer advice on his own production process, to which he said it’s key to ensure technical aspects and expressive aspects of production don’t mix.
“One of the things I do well naturally is separating the technical side from the expressive side,” he says. “So I’ll be like ‘today, I’m going to learn this new synthesizer or try this new technique’. I’m not going to try and make music, I’m just going to learn something.’ Then I’ll save the real expression for when I’m feeling a strong emotion – whatever it is, some sort of emotional trigger, where I get that urge to express. When I go into expression mode, I don’t want to think about technical things.”
“You can spend too long with loops, and, you know, ‘Is that thing plugged into the right thing?’ You can think about that stuff and lose touch with the human, more emotional side, and it’s getting the emotional side into the music that’s the key to then giving anyone else a chance to connect with your experience.
“Music is about sharing and communication and you increase the chances of that if you can hang on to that feeling for as long as possible and try and align what you’ve got on screen with that.”
Max Cooper’s latest album, Motif, was released on 6 October. You can buy it on Bandcamp.
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