Max Cooper

Max Cooper is a London based musician and geneticist primarily releasing on Traum Schallplatten. The combination of his scientific and musical influences are evident in Max’s turntablist DJ sets, technical production style and abstract research topics. Max Cooper's sound ranges from stark electronica remixes of huge bands like Hot Chip and Au Revoir Simone to the fuzzy, buzzing dancefloor sound of his breakthrough "Serie" releases. But it's all, he says, inspired by his need to "match the emotions in the head with the emotion that can come out of the monitors".

That's why he put serious time into perfecting his own unique take on electronica before breaking through with the underground smash Harmonish Serie in early 2009 - a Raveline "heavy rotation" track and a top 5 vinyl hit in Germany. By then, with releases on more than 20 labels like Traum, Perc Trax, Autist, and veryverywrongindeed, he'd been DJing for more than 10 years, and he still holds down two of his earliest residencies - seven years each of road testing new material at two clubs, Firefly and Stealth, in the midlands of England. His first sets there were as a turntablist, influenced by hip-hop DJs like Craze and Q-bert, but since he first started producing his own tracks in 2006 he's irresistibly moved toward a "less-is-more" approach to music.

This move, also, was inspired by the subject of his day job: genetics. First producing music as a science student, he's managed to keep up a parallel life in science alongside his music, taking his PhD at the same time as being labelled a "Future Hero" by Mixmag and appearing twice on the UK's biggest dance programs on Radio1, and continuing to work a genetics researcher for University College London as he had his first top 10 minimal hit on Beatport with "the Shufflebox EP" on Autist, not to mention a top 5 electronica hit with his remix of indie darlings Au Revoir Simone.

But as Max says, it's not two disconnected lives; each has a marked affect on the other. In fact his breakthrough and best-known tracks, the Serie releases - Harmonish Serie, Stochastich Serie and the recently released Chaotisch Serie - are inspired by his academic interests, with each release being associated with scientific and philosophical ideas in order to reinforce the message of the music and promote the ideas to a wider audience.

The Serie releases were each turned into startling music videos via a collaboration with animator Whiskas fX, with the low-fi, dusty surfaces and wobbly hand-held camera of each video giving no hint of the monster power of the mathematical rendering used to create each scene. Unsurprisingly, each video has been a Youtube hit - as has the genetics-influenced "mutation through geometry" imagery of Max's new website Max, meanwhile, is now increasingly focused on trying to align the visual and live side of physical performance - one of the reasons that IDJ magazine named him one of its 10 producers to watch for 2010, with DJ magazine getting in earlier to call him someone to watch right now.

Production, and Cooper's ability to perform his productions live, is the key to his music, which has now expanded to include strikingly beautiful remixes like the aforementioned Hot Chip and Au Revoir Simone, and European dancefloor acts like Extrawelt, Perc and Dominik Eulberg. That in turn has made fans of key DJs like Digweed, Slam, Patrice Baumel, Popof, Pig and Dan, Dubfire, Alexi Delano - and Gui Boratto and Hot Chip, both of whom have used Max's tracks for their compilations.

His production and Max's unquestioned ability to create a unique mood as a live act or as a DJ has also created huge demand for live and DJ sets at techno landmarks like Fabric and in Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Zurich, Russia, Paris, and all over the UK and Germany, including headlining the upcoming Gotwood Festival.

"If I get a feeling about a track," Cooper says, "I drop everything and get straight to the studio. I often start something new at 3AM on a Tuesday morning. If I reflect on an idea until the next day, it becomes diluted".

The key to each production, always, is emotion. "I don’t have any formal music theory training," he says, "though I did have my mother's piano lessons as regular background noise when I was growing up. In some ways I think it could be useful not to be trained in music theory, as it means there are no preconceptions about how to construct a chord progression. It's easier to focus on matching the emotions in the head with the emotions that you want to come out of the monitors..."

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I made this mix for Soundwall, the Italian electronic music portal, with some brand new unreleased previously unheard tracks in there, and some edits along with some of my latest favourites that I've been playing out a lot. They have some great editions in their mix series at

The mix download is only available on the new members area on my site at

I hope you find some stuff in there you enjoy! Full tracklist>>>

1 Loscil - In Threes
2 Unreleased Remix
3 Kris Davis And Blancah - Learning to Fly - Kris Davis Remix
4 Max Cooper - Molten Landscapes
5 Max Cooper - Distant Light - Rival Consoles Remix
6 Max Cooper - Symmetry - Vessels Remix
7 Howling - Phases - MC edit
8 Roly Porter & These Hidden Hands - SZ31X71
9 Randomer and Hodge - Simple As
10 Unreleased Collab
11 Barker & Baumecker - Nocturnal
12 Lusine - Slow Motion
13 Max Cooper & Tom Hodge feat. Kathrin deBoer - Trust - Kimyan Law Remix
14 Blanck Mass - Detritus
15 Deru - Let the Silence Float
16 Ben Lukas Boysen - Nocturne 2

Max Cooper

Max Cooper Mix for Soun ..

(81:15 mins)

Added on: 28.06.2017

 hits: 12697 
This track came from a visual collaboration with a mathematical artist who works under the name Cornus Ammonis. He creates simulations of pattern formation, using ideas originally created by Alan Turing in his attempts to explain and model the mathematics of living systems. These systems create beautiful warping interacting layers of simulated substances, and we thought this visual effect could lend itself well to an imagined alien planetary surface with some unknown form of geological process - molten landscapes. You can see that here -

It's a slowly evolving hypnotic visual process, so the music has the same form, with a repetitive syncopated two note motif playing under a gradually developing chord structure which becomes ever more layered. It's all about atmosphere and sitting back to let it wash over I think, it's not a sharply defined piece, and it needs to be given some time to develop, but hopefully the result is worth the time you give it.

I used my usual Prophet 8 for the chords, and then layered over some Absynth pads later on, with a Moog Sub 37 bass coming in much later for the main punctuation point, even though that’s a fairly subtle change, I love it when that rumbling low harmony finally arrives after you think it never will. I used some percussive sounds from Felix’s Machine’s sample pack for this, and plenty of semi-generative detailing with Max for Live tools mainly.

After Cornus Ammonis had created a load of stock video sequences using his models, I then passed the footage on to Morgan Beringer (who created the awesome Unbounded video from Emergence). Morgan applied his trademark processing style to the previously raw footage in order to blend and layer, and make the whole visual have a lot more smooth movement and rich organic feel. Sorry that's not a very technical description of what he did, but hopefully you'll know what I mean when you see it!

The artwork is by Colin Droz, using Chromosomal folding images created by Mikhail Spivakov, Csilla Varnai and Andy Lomas as part of the wider Chromos EP which this track is part of - links to the rest of the project here:

From the Chromos EP - released 26 May [MESH]
Stream/Buy 'Chromos'
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Max Cooper

Molten Landscapes

(08:57 mins)

Added on: 07.06.2017

 hits: 15937 
Out now on Mesh as part of the Chromos EP: stream / download:

I apologise for making a 13 minute track with only 3 different sounds!

It's a bit of a reaction to our constant information bombardment and instant gratification music - you just need to step back from everything for a while and let it wash over for this one to work.

The whole thing is hinged on a sequence of 4 notes playing at different rates forwards and in reverse using Alexander Randon's Fugue Machine. It's a simple pattern but it grabbed me and made me want to strip the track back to the minimum possible number of elements to focus on the pattern.

I think we pick up on the fact that there's an interesting pattern hiding in there in the simplicity. The fast riff that opens up is a classic Juno 6 sound too, which also made me want to put it out there unadulterated. I gave in eventually and added one percussive element and some extra chord layers, but you have to wait about 8 minutes for that.

It's certainly not for everyone, but I hope it works for gets pretty intense too btw, but I guess you've had that before from me.

Thanks for giving some of your time for a listen!
Thanks to Andy Lomas and Colin Droz for the artwork.

Max Cooper

Four Tone Reflections

(12:03 mins)

Added on: 30.05.2017