With such high competition, Berlin is a hard place to make a name as an electronic producer. Yet Max Graef has emerged with a sound so refreshingly excitable and restless that it makes even the most tripped out house sound rigid and tired. He’s just turned 21, and his tracks have already been pressed on labels worldwide, from Copenhagen to Melbourne to his very own label, Box Aus Holz. His debut album Rivers of The Red Planet (Tartelet Records) is a wonderful blend of hip-hop and house, soaked with live and manipulated instrumentation and vintage samples. One of the album’s more refined cuts is "Running", which drips with warmth and feeling as Wayne Snow’s soulful vocals wrap themselves around lazy hip-hop rhythms as worn-out synths slowly attack and modulate themselves. Funded by the Danish Royal Academy of Art and a local pizzeria (?!), the video, directed by Daniel Brandt (of Brandt Brauer Frick) brings the viewer into an aesthetic fuzz: claustrophobic, disconcerting and altogether brilliant. Made “using Skype, a surveillance camera and some old video tapes” the video perfectly defines the young producer’s DIY attitude.
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