Having come up hard in Los Angeles over the past ten years, both Dip Vertigo and MC J-Tec have made a name for themselves on both the solo tip and as the unstoppable duo known as Maximum Moves. With a unique sound and style that seeks to blur the lines between the traditional roles of the MC and the DJ, the boundary-pushing duo return from a short hiatus ready to unleash their live performance on the masses once again. With each performer at the top of their game, the duo hit us with an exclusive first look at their aptly titled ‘Maximum Moves Returns’ mix-project that is sure to be dropping jaws across the board so peep game and look out for these two at a dancefloor near you!
Introduce yourselves and where you’re coming from.
DIP VERTIGO: I’m Jeremy Eichberg aka Dip Vertigo or Dip as most people call me. Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley and currently residing in West Hills with my beautiful wife Helaena, but for those that don’t know where that is, we’ll just say Los Angeles. Drum & bass has been a part of my life since raving back in 1998, but up until 2004 I had only been in drum & bass rooms at raves. I had never been to a drum & bass party until I went to a Grapevinez event called “818” at the Little Rock. It was here I saw MCMC for the first time and it wasn’t long after that Grapevinez would throw the biggest DNB event in LA’s history called “History.”
I left that party saying, ‘That’s what I wanna to do.’ So I hit up the homie Devin Dilmore [of Divine Elements fame], an inspiration to me since high school and was like ‘Yo, what do I gotta do to be a part of that?’ He said it wasn’t easy, but put together a mix and I’ll give it to MCMC. I did just that and two days later I got a phone call from the general himself asking me to be a Grapevinez artist. The rest is history from there.
I joined a crew of amazing people, jumped into the Socal DNB scene head-on meeting everyone I possibly could at events like Respect at Larchmont, Funktion at Vangard, Muse at Casey’s, and Adrenaline at Hogie Barmichaels in the OC. It was only a matter of time before J and I would cross paths and it was only fitting that it would be my Hollywood debut in the summer of 2005. We met, we connected, he rocked my set and we’ve been rocking ever since and we owe it all to MCMC.
J-TEC: I’m Jonathan Mendoza aka MC J-Tec. Born and raised in San Dimas, California, and living happily with my amazing wife Ashley and perfect son Jaziah in North Hollywood, or as Dip called it… L.A. I’ve been listening to drum & bass since mid-2001 and my first time performing in front of a crowd was January 2004. I first met Dip in the summer of 2005 at The Dragonfly at his Hollywood debut and first gig as a Grapevinez DJ. It was here that I also had the honor of meeting MCMC, who would soon be the orchestrator of a major part of what we would accomplish… So thank you to him always.
Talk a bit about the history of Maximum Moves – how did you guys originally come together and what’s the meaning/vibe/philosophy behind the name?
After performing many sets together for Grapevinez and other places around Southern California, MCMC saw something in us that was unique and he wanted to explore it. His idea to have us go back to back on the mic while Dip was in the mix was something no group had done. He also told us to stay exclusive to each other and get ready for the ride. But the most important thing he told us was to stay humble no matter what. Both of us were coming up pretty fast as solo artists, so he thought we would dominate as a group. We took his advice and started working on our debut mix ‘Maximum Moves – Volume One.’
The name, Maximum Moves, was something J picked up from listening to live sets from all across the world. It was something said by a few emcees that still to this day inspire him. It seemed to directly state exactly what we were all about…That supreme energy that is drum & bass music and rocking every crowd to the max!
What were some of your early successes you had as a crew?
Our first appearance as Maximum Moves was opening for J Majik at Grapevinez presents Legendz at the Key Club. Our set opened with choreographed lighting: there was a spotlight on Dip while singing an operatic intro acapella quickly followed by a spotlight on J comin in with the hip hop flow. On Dip’s opening double drop the spotlights went off and we unleashed our first maximum hook and flow and the place went nuts. This crowd of junglists had never seen anything like this! A DJ singing a hook, in the mix, with an MC flowing off it? That was it. That was the max. And that’s what we’re bringing back!
A few months later we found ourselves opening up for Sub Focus, Chase & Status and more at Monster Massive. The crazy thing about that show is we opened for fifteen minutes before the gates opened and most of the people that heard our set were standing in the gigantic line trying to get into the party. It didn’t matter to us where they were standing, they were listening, and most importantly, they were having a good time. By the end of the set there were at least 400 people rocking out, the most we had ever played for at the time. After the set we walked through the crowd and people started singing our hooks to us and we’d flow off them. This was a crazy feeling. We felt like superstars. These are moments in our lives we will never forget.
What is it about Maximum Moves that continues to inspire you to this day?
Honestly, it always comes back to the vibe we have together. We just have a damn good time performing. It’s not just a DJ and an MC. It’s a performance that we spend a lot of time planning out. Which hooks and flows we are going to put with what tunes and when. But to get those hooks and flows we spend time writing. That’s probably the most inspiring thing for us. J taught Dip how to flow, even double time. We’re able to double time back and forth and even flow in conversation. Nothing we do is easy and we’re always challenging each other.
For instance, Dip will challenge J to write a track list flow turning the entire track list into a story, or using all the names of the X Men characters in a flow over the tune “Mutant.” J will challenge Dip with mixes. Drop “Warhead,” “Back Up,” and “Download” together, or bring Pendulum’s “Slam” and “Voodoo People” in on top of this track. On our second studio mix J challenged Dip to sing a verse with Jenna G and Charlotte we like to call “Dip’s vocal mix.” Some of that can be heard below. Constantly challenging ourselves keeps us moving forward and we aren’t looking back.
You guys went quiet for a while as a group. Fill us in as to what’s been happening in the interim.
Over the past six years both of us have continued to push our solo careers. We’ve both been fortunate to play huge shows and hold down big residencies. Dip held down a residency at his event LA Beatdown from 2010-2012 opening for the likes of Nero, John B, Feed Me, Infected Mushroom live and more and a second residency in 2013 at Bassology in Orange County playing direct support for Andy C & Armanni Reign, Dirtyphonics, Noisia, Loadstar and many other big sets including an opening set for Flux Pavilllion and Cookie Monsta to a packed house.
J-Tec continues to hold down residencies at Timeless DNB and Xcellerated playing sets with Original Sin, Mediks, Taxman, Prototypes, Dara, Bailey, Heist, Crissy Criss, Mampi Swift and many more. Timeless continues to run smoothly and stay a constant for almost eight years now, and we both continue to play big events as solo artists all over California like Respect and Bassrush and hope to continue this as Maximum Moves.
The major thing that has happened in the interim though, is we’ve grown up. As we said before we’re both happily married and J is a father. We still don’t know how they put up with us but they are our biggest supporters and we love them more than anything in this world. Ashley’s been pushing for a Maximum Moves return for years, so we needed to make this happen. So Ashley…this is for you!
Now you’re coming back full bore and preparing for the takeover. Talk about how this rebirth came about and what kind of energy you guys have going in.
Timing is everything, just like when we first started. We always kinda knew we’d link up as Maximum Moves again and get back to our old ways of working together. It just had to happen naturally. With this reunion, the energy level is as elevated as ever. We have already gotten back to playing live as Maximum Moves and it’s as if we never stopped.
I understand you’ve put together a monster mix for us. Hit us with the details and where Maximum Moves is headed from here!
It’s our best one yet. It really feels like one of our live sets. Tons of tunes, 55, that really don’t stop coming at you. Just as time helps a fine wine, the same goes for experience. We’ve had time to hone our skills and really test our technical abilities both on the decks and the mic. Were both at the top of our game and we hope it shows.
This is by far the most challenging 3 deck mix Dip has ever put together. It’s relentless! He hit’s you from the beginning with a huge intro and double drop and then puts his foot on the gas hitting you with double after double, constant seamless 3 deck mixes, maximum drops, teases and most importantly musicality.
With the vocals this time, we wanted the most natural feel as possible. Normally we would have 2 to 3 months to put a mix like this together, but this time we challenged ourselves to get it done much faster. This meant less time writing and practicing together, but there’s something raw that comes from that. To still have that after a 6-year break made getting back in the studio so much fun. We hope that comes across to each listener and we hope you enjoy the ride!
As we said before we are starting to get bookings again so if you’re looking for a unique set for your party’s promoters get at us. We truly bring something different and we hope this mix shows that. From here it’s just trying to spread the word about our live show. We really try to give a performance when it’s Maximum Moves. A lot of time and effort goes into it. We also already have a few projects in the works involving us in the studio producing and recording vocals over our own tunes and for other producers, and we look forward to what the future holds.
Any final shouts before we jump into the mix?
Before we go, we want to thank you Chris and DNBVault for the opportunity to tell our story and let the world hear our mix. We’d also like to once again shout out our wives, Jaziah, and family who we love dearly. To our PPC, Bass Dynasty, Splat Media SFVDNB and SD family, thank you all for the amazing support you have given us through out the years. It wouldn’t be the same without you. To the rest of our junglist community, Bassrush, Junglist Platoon, Wreck-Ignition, Xcellerated, Resinate, and more, thank you for the support and opportunities you’ve given us throughout the years both as Maximum Moves and as solo artists. Finally, we want to thank MC Dino, for the ridiculous post production on this mix, Wil Dumaop for helping us record the vocals, Adam Grod for letting us use Sound Control Studios once again and Ryan Pepple for the sick artwork!
Okay one more…definitely the most important…thank to the fans of drum & bass. Thank you for the many years of support you’ve shown us and the many DJs, MCs producers and promoters in this scene we are all apart of. Drum & bass would die without you. It’s you that keeps it alive and it’s you that keeps us artists doing what we do. We hope to see you at our new live shows rocking to the max!