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|Birth name||Max Graham|
April 17, 1971 |
|Origin||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Occupations||Disc jockey, Record producer, Remixer|
|Years active||1984–1985 (turntablist) 1993–Present (DJ) 2000–Present (Producer)|
Max Graham is a Canadian DJ, composer and producer of dance music . He is most famous for his hits “Sun in the Winter” and “Nothing Else Matters”, His Cycles CD Series/Radio show as well as his remix of the classic song “Owner of a Lonely Heart” by Yes. Graham can be found touring the world on a regular basis. He presently runs the trance and progressive label Re*Brand Records, and resides in Montreal.
Graham was born in London, England and lived in Spain, New York City and Los Angeles before settling in Ottawa in 1989. At age 15 in 1986, he began as a hip-hop and scratch DJ before discovering and falling in love with the Dance music scene between 1992 and 1994. Max was also instrumental in the creation of the famous Atomic club in Ottawa, often playing 6-hours every week. Max produced the releases of “Airtight” and “Tell You,” both of which became international hits. Airtight was nominated for a Juno Award in 2001. Graham was asked to mix Tranceport CD #4, which was also met with huge success, and spurred a world tour in 2001. This rapid rise in attention led Graham to be voted into spot number 23 on DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs list, the highest entry for a newcomer in 2001. His distinctive style remains difficult to pin down, covering genres like, progressive, techno, disco, and trance.
Graham spent his first years in Hampstead Heath, London with his mother and two siblings. At the age of eight Graham and his mother moved to Spain and settled in a small town called Mijas in the Costa Del Sol. It was here in the local public school that Graham learned to speak Spanish fluently. After two years the decision was made to switch custody from mother to father and Graham moved from Spain to the United States and attend school in New York City
1984-1986 New York
In 1984 while living in New York City, Graham was exposed to the then budding Rap Music scene of the lower east side, frequently hanging out with graffiti artists and local Rappers. It was at that time he was exposed to Turntablism. Being only 13 at the time Graham was not old enough to attend any of the local rap concerts by such legends as Run DMC and LL Cool J. Instead Graham went into the now defunct Ritz nightclub which is currently Webster Hall on the day of a Run DMC concert and asked for Posters of the show for his wall. Just by luck the VJ (video performance artist) was in the foyer and invited Graham to come back during the show and watch from the DJ Booth which, not considered a "licensed area" for alcohol, was a legal way for him to view the concert. Graham was more interested in the scratching he witnessed than the rapping and fell instantly in love with djing. The friendship he forged with the VJ led to Graham attending more hip hop shows in exchange for taping visuals off the television onto a VHS and bringing it to the VJ. Graham convinced his father to buy him two Belt-drive turntables and a Gemini Sound Products DJ mixer. This unfortunately lasted only a few months as Graham discovered Skateboarding and then moved to Los Angeles to attend Palisades High School
1987-1989 Los Angeles
Graham fell deeper into the Skate culture of Mid 80's Los Angeles hanging out at Venice Beach with Skaters such as Christian Hosoi, Eric Dressen, Jesse Martinez and Natas Kaupas. With no further need for his turntables Graham traded them with Natas Kaupas for a custom painted skateboard and a selection of Trucks, Stickers and Wheels.
After getting into trouble with the LAPD in Los Angeles in 1988, Graham's father took a business opportunity in Ottawa, Canada with the hopes that it would move Graham away from the negative influences in L.A. and keep him out of trouble. Graham finished high school here and decided to take a job as a bartender at a local club. While applying for the job the owner asked him if he knew how to DJ as the DJ for that night had not shown up. While Graham bombed that first night the owner liked him enough to let him in to practice during the day. It was here that Graham met DJ Michael Mailly who spent extensive time with Graham, teaching him the concept of beat mixing, counting bars and matching harmonics. Graham learned the art of mixing tracks together so that each songs main elements complimented the song it was mixed with, a concept known as Harmonic Mixing.
As Graham mastered this mixing technique he moved from one club to another in Ottawa, each time increasing his following with a top 40 style that included house music and hip hop, finally settling in a two-year residency at Indigo nightclub in Ottawa.
While at Indigo nightclub in 94 Graham was approached by some coworkers who convinced him to join them at a rave in Montreal. It was there that Graham experienced a completely different relationship between the DJ and the dance floor and felt that performing for top 40 crowds was no longer his calling. Upon arriving back to Ottawa Graham promptly left a high paying top 40 DJ gig and spent every penny on house vinyl, Graham began with breaks and deeper house as he found his sound within the multiple genres of the underground. In the mid nineties someone handed Graham a mixtape, it was DJ Sasha performing live on the Radio 1 essential mix playing such artists as BT, Blue Amazon and Peter Lazonby. This sound had a profound effect on Graham and shaped his career to come.
The same friends who exposed Graham to the Rave in 1994 approached him about creating a first of its kind club night in Ottawa. The night was called Sweet and was held at a gay club on Bank street that was looking for promoters for their Saturday night. Graham brought in his own turntables each week and the group attracted crowds by handing out flyers in the city. The night was a success and brought in DJs such as Derrick Carter
Sweet led to Graham and his partners wanting to expand and take more control over their night, they began to look for their own space and settled on a half basement on Besserer St which opened in 1996. Atomic was an instant success and Grahams 8 hour sets at Seven Fridays became known as a destination club night from Montreal to Toronto.
It was during this period that Graham decided to assist both in his own career, and the growth of the music he was championing. He did this by flying to the UK and setting up meetings with the progressive house record labels who released the type of sound he played. During a ten-day period Graham visited labels such as "Stress", "Jackpot", "Skinny Malinky" and "Deconstruction" in an attempt to draw attention to the fact that this sound was growing in Canada. During the late nineties Graham was known as Canada's Progressive Ambassador.
In the late 90's, Graham's career evolved from the dj booth into the recording studio. After years of late nights djing in Ottawa and the surrounding cities Graham opted for a fresh start and moved to Vancouver. This move was designed to remove himself from the social scene in Ottawa and into virtual seclusion in a Yaletown Hi Rise. It was here that Graham wrote "Airtight", "Tell you", "Yaletown" and "Falling Together". Airtight was quickly picked up by Nick Warren and Paul Oakenfold for their DJ sets and signed to Hope Recordings. At this time Graham was also signed to a management deal with Hope Management. Soon after the success of these singles Graham was invited to mix the next installment of the Transport series. Transport put Graham on the Touring circuit and he was invited to join Paul Oakenfold on a mini tour including Pacha Ibiza and the Roseland Ballroom.
In 2003 after moving back east, and a heavy touring schedule, Graham felt a break was necessary. He returned from a trip to Southern Asia with a new musical style and attitude towards the dance scene. From his new Montreal Studio he released his hit “Owner of a Lonely Heart” a remix of the song written by progressive rockers Yes in 1983. The remix started as a bootleg just for Graham to play out, but was quickly picked up by Deep Dish and Pete Tong causing a frenzy in the dance scene. The track was picked up by Ministry of sound and propelled into the UK top 40 charts at #8. The Video was #1 on Canadian Dance Station BPM for two weeks in a row.
30 second sample of Max Graham's "I Know You're Gone".
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While this grew Graham's profile in the scene, it also caused confusion, as it was drastically different from his earlier works which were considerably more Progressive and Trancey. To further add to this confusion Graham release another bootleg, the emotional "Gone" with Jessica Riddle which was much more like his previous style. Ministry was not interested in this track and attempted to convince Graham to produce something more commercial.
Not interested in being pigeon holed Graham was influenced by the Electro sound of the moment and had another strong release with "Crank" which went #1 on Beatport. Crank was strongly supported by Deep Dish, Tiesto and a score of other dj's.
2008-2010 - Armada and Cycles
After two years of making a hybrid of Electro and House Graham decided to return to his musical roots with progressive house and Trance. At the beginning of the year Graham signed with the well-known Trance/Progressive label Armada Music for a deal that would see an artist album and the creation of Max's own Compilation series entitled "Cycles". Cycles 1 was released in June 2008 and a successful tour followed.
In Late 2009 Graham returned to Montreal to begin work on his first artist album. The fruit of the first studio session in over a year was "Sun in the Winter" with Neev Kennedy on vocals release in March. Armin Van Buuren and Markus Schulz made the track mainstays in their sets. Armin included it in his A State of Trance 2010 compilations and Markus on his Las Vegas CD. The followup to this was a remake of a song Graham wrote in 2004 entitled "Does She Know Yet."
Graham's Debut Artist Album, entitled "Radio", was released on June 25, 2010.
30 second sample of Max Graham's "Sun in the Winter".
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- 2000: Love the Bomb - Teknology
- 2000: Backdraft - Hope Recordings
- 2001: Shoreline - Hope Recordings
- 2001: Bar None - Hope Recordings
- 2001: Airtight - Hope Recordings
- 2001: Yaletown - Hope Recordings
- 2001: Skyline - Hope Recordings
- 2001: Falling Together - Hope Recordings
- 2001: Sepia - Hope Recordings
- 2001: Dying to Survive - Hope Recordings
- 2002: Tell You - Hope Recordings
- 2004: Coastline - Shinemusic
- 2004: Does She Know Yet - Little Mountain Recordings
- 2004: Automatic Weapon - Little Mountain Recordings
- 2005: Gone Feat Jessica Riddle - Shinemusic
- 2005: Owner of a Lonely Heart vs Yes - Ministry of Sound Record Label
- 2005: Crank - Yoshitoshi Recordings
- 2006: Space Disco - Re*Brand Records
- 2006: Cosmic Funk - Re*Brand Records
- 2007: Smack - Re*Brand Records
- 2008: Carbine - Re*Brand Records w/ Armada Music
- 2008: Turkish Delight - Re*Brand Records w/ Armada Music
- 2008: Frozen - Re*Brand Records w/ Armada Music
- 2008: Power of One - Re*Brand Records w/ Armada Music
- 2008: Clear View Feat Jessica Riddle - Tell me - Re*Brand Records w/ Armada Music
- 2010: Sun in the Winter Feat Neev Kennedy - Coldharbour Recordings
- 2010: Dusky 2010 (Does She Know Yet) - Re*Brand Records w/ Armada Music
- 2010: Nothing Else Matters Feat Ana Criado - Re*Brand Records w/ Armada Music
- 1996: A Delicate Sound of Many - Unknown
- 2000: Cream CD2 - Yul Records
- 2001: Transport 4 - Kinetic Records
- 2004: Shine - System Recordings
- 2005: Mixmag Live - DMC
- 2007: Bal En Blanc - Bal En Blanc
- 2008: Re*Brand, The Story so Far - Armada Music
- 2008: Max Graham Presents Cycles - Armada Music
- 2010: Max Graham Presents Cycles2 - Armada Music
- 2011: Max Graham Presents Cycles3 - Armada Music
- 2013: Max Graham Presents Cycles4 - Armada Music
- 2014: Max Graham Presents Cycles5 - Armada Music
- 2010: Radio - Armada Music
- 2000: Bullitt - Cried to Dream - Virgin Music
- 2000: Starecase - Lost 22 - Hope Recordings
- 2000: Subgod - Velodrome TV - Polyester
- 2000: Vicious Cycles - Vicious Cycles - Platipus Records
- 2001: Uberzone - Bounce - Astralwerks
- 2001: Conjure One - Redemption - Nettwerk
- 2001: globe - Can't Stop Fallin' In Love - Avex Trax
- 2002: Conjure One - Sleep - Nettwerk
- 2002: Cultivate - Broken Pieces - Lost Language
- 2002: Barakka - Song to the Siren - Lost Language
- 2003: Strawberry Fields - Release Records
- 2004: Madoka[disambiguation needed] - Afterburner - Private Reality
- 2004: Jase From Outta Space - Do What You Want - Shine Music
- 2004: Tilt - Twelve - Lost Language
- 2004: DT8 Project - Winter - Data Records
- 2005: Sam Perez - Across the Ocean - Yoshitoshi
- 2005: Leah - Contact High - Wooden Records
- 2006: Filterheadz - Endless Summer - Love Distortion
- 2007: Purple Code - The Rising - Re*Brand Records
- 2008: Marcus Schossow - Swedish Beatballs - Coldharbour
- 2008: Jerome Isma - Vila Nova - Electric
- 2010: tyDi Feat. Tanya Zygar - Half Light - AVA Recordings
General information on this artist and his music has been gathered from: