INTERVIEW MACO

He created one of the most exciting House outlets of recent time with his label BienAimer, when he started the entire project a bit more than four years ago. MACO, the thriving force behind the BienAimer Music left his French home to achieve musical greatness in London – and so far it is to say that he has succeeded. The fourth anniversary of BienAimer Music was celebrated at fabric bringing together what was meant to be: a dance-crazy crowd, the label’s housey approach of electronic music and one of Britain’s most renowned night clubs. But MACO aims high or let’s say higher and wants to take BienAimer to the next level and establish it as the brand in the electronic music circus. Torture the Artist caught up with the busy artist to chat about his affinity and influences to and from HipHop, his musical past, present and future as well as methods on how to   dig for new music and artists. Additionally, you can listen to MACO’s latest track Crazy Shit.

Most of my music productions have influences and draw inspirations from HipHop.

Torture the Artist: Hello MACO, tell us something about your day. 

MACO: I just sent out our next release on BienAimer Music – a good day.

Torture the Artist: What’s a British breakfast tradition that you prefer over a French one?

MACO: I don’t like English breakfast. <laughs>

Torture the Artist: Originally you are from France but now settled in London. What made you move to London in the first place and how has the British capital helped you to further your musical career?

MACO: I moved to London in first place to explore the rave scene. I’ve fallen in love with the rave industry and decided to start my own brand.

Torture the Artist: What do you miss the most and how does London make up for it?

MACO: I miss the sunshine and the sea but London pushes me to achieve my dreams in music so much so I kind of go along with it.

Torture the Artist: How did you become involved with electronic music and what track made you decide to stick with it for the long run?

MACO: I got involved in electronic music when I first listened to a French electronic radio station every Saturday night when I was about 15. Track-wise I would say it was Aphex Twin Iz Us that got me into the music.

Torture the Artist: Your biography states that you have a preference for HipHop-music (alongside other genres and music). Firstly, is this the reason why some of the releases on BienAimer Music have HipHop-esque titles like Da East Grooves, and secondly what impact has HipHop on your own production and the process of producing music itself?

MACO: I grew up with HipHop and French Rap music. HipHop is where it all started for me. I discovered 2Pac at the age of 14 and have been listening to his music until now. Most of my music productions have influences and draw inspirations from HipHop.

Torture the Artist: Besides running Variant and BienAimer Music you also host own events, you DJ and you produce your own music. Let’s speak about the events, what has been the most bizarre location where you threw a party and what made it so special?

MACO: It was an abandoned church in East London. Very challenging weekend it was, as it was bank holiday and in the space a lot of work had to be done. What made it special was the upper stage, the pulpit so to say, where priests give their speeches, and this spot was transformed into a DJ-stage – the vibe was epic.

Torture the Artist: Back in 2021, which can be considered as a break-through year, BienAimer was asked to host its 4th anniversary at fabric/ London. How did that come about and would you consider this as the most meaningful event in the still young label history?

MACO: It was an amazing event despite the date, which was really challenging as it was right after one of the biggest dates of the year, namely Halloween. The crowd was really amazing and we witnessed some of the best live acts and DJ sets from the men themselves Steve O’Sulivan and Tom Akman alongside our new music director REda daRE.

Torture the Artist: To what extent is hosting events at fabric a continuation maybe also an appreciation of your work and dedication to music and does this also mean you’ll leave the parties, e.g. in the woods, behind to only host events in official nightlife institutions?

MACO: I’ve generally decided to stop running raves indoor as it has become very difficult to operate with the new police restrictions but also because – as we are extending our labels – we want to focus on licensed events and also to bring our support to some of the most established clubs in the world.

Torture the Artist: Following the question before, where do you ultimately want to lead the BienAimer cosmos, meaning what’s your vision for it?

MACO: I would like to bring my brand up to he highest level such as Fuse and run even bigger events and festivals.

Torture the Artist: The releases on the label always feature a rather wide potpourri of aspiring producers rather than renowned ones. Why do you find it important to feature those artists and where do you find them and their music?

MACO: I found mostly all of these names when digging for music and browsing through social media.

We want to do and offer different formats of EPs in order to also give more opportunities to the artists to release their music.

Torture the Artist: Where and how do you dig for new music and what are your favorite three findings of recent times?

MACO: I dig for new music mostly over at Juno and Discogs but mainly or most of my music I get from promotion. Regarding my favorite findings I would say that they are Amadeo Savio, REda daRE and Beggsy.

Torture the Artist: While the first EPs on BienAimer were mostly from single artists, the last few ones were various artists ones. Are you going to stick to the latter for now or what is the reason you switched to that kind of EP format?

MACO: We want to do and offer different formats of EPs in order to also give more opportunities to the artists to release their music. 

Torture the Artist: You also run the label Variant together with Steve O’Sullivan, putting out Dub Techno with a deeper note. How did this collaboration come about and is this just a side-project from the two of you or what are your plans with the label as well as the project?

MACO: I run Variant on my own and we have just collaborated for the last EP. I’ve just asked Steve after a long chat if he would be up to make a new music project with me under a new alias as I’ve been a fan of him for about 10 years now. That’s how that came about.

Torture the Artist: Since you shared the studio space with Steve O’Sullivan for the first release on Variant, which is called Native Beat EP, do you generally prefer working solo in the studio or have somebody accompanying the production process?

MACO: Actually we never shared the studio it was all done remotely from our individual studio.

Torture the Artist: What’s the task you enjoy the most when producing and which is something you’d rather had taken care of by somebody else?

MACO: I enjoy the most to write a story for the track and create emotions to accompany it.

All my tracks bring or have brought something new into my musical workflow.

Torture the Artist: What’s a studio routine of yours to start a track and what do you do when you are creatively stuck, meaning what is there first?

MACO: I usually start with the beat side with kick and percussions.

Torture the Artist: What’s a track of yours that you wished you had not produced when listening to it now? 

MACO: None of them as they all really have helped me to build a basis for what would come. Even if I don’t play or like some of them now as much as when I produced them, all my tracks bring or have brought something new into my musical workflow.

Torture the Artist: Who would you like to sit in the studio with to produce and what kind of track would you want to create with this person?

MACO: I would like to sit in the studio with Dr. Dre and make some HipHop instrumentals.

Torture the Artist: What’s the track that sums up your 2021, and why?

MACO: I would say DINI by REda daRE because it was the track I played the most in my gigs and  at festivals.

Words by Holger Breuer

Cover picture by Larryjdotphotography

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