Born in Italy but based out of the Netherlands these days, the heavy-hitter known as Maztek continues to rule the night with his razor-tipped tech-driven releases on imprints like Blackout, Eatbrain, Dutty Audio, Mayan, Icarus, and Renegade Hardware. Equally renowned for his skills as a DJ, the man has been smashing it up worldwide and as he prepares to touch down for only one night in the States we thought it would be good to chat it up for a glimpse into the past, present, and future of all things Maztek.
The last time we chatted it up your Three Point Zero album on Renegade Hardware album had just come out and you were riding that wave. Lots has changed since then including a public falling out with the imprint. Fill us in on the details.
What can I say other than it was very very sad it went down the way it did. I put a lot of effort and spent a lot of time working for the label, and I was proud til all that shit happened. The label was already supposed to be shut down at that time and to be honest I still do not understand what [the] problem was as I never did something that bad to be written about the way I was on Facebook. If you look at this person’s history, I’m not the only one it has happened to as there have been issues between him and Konflict, Spor, and more recently Gridlok – anyone who unfortunately is his target at that moment… There was nothing I could do to get things working better so I chose to move on and respect myself. With that said, I still love Hardware because of Scott Cold Fusion who put a lot of effort in making things work with me and other artists. As for the other guy, I hope he will be a better chef or restaurant manager… From my side I will just keep making music and learning.
All that aside, you are continuing to crush it on all fronts – give us a sense of why you’ve been up to production wise recently.
I’ve been studying a lot lately to be honest, I’ve been quiet for a while because I was experimenting and trying new things. I have an EP ready for Eatbrain and am working on lots of new stuff for other labels too. I just finished a new beat for the Dope DOD guys as well which is going to be on their next album and it’s quite interesting because it’s not just hip hop but also dnb. Gridlok also just moved to Amsterdam and we are planning to make some music together so keep an eye out for that.
Speaking of Dope DOD, we’re imagining you were into hip-hop before drum and bass? Fill us in on how you see the two forms being connected and how your love of one influences the other.
Most of my hip hop beats are basically half tempo drum & bass. I think they are strictly connected to each other both in history and style. With instrumental drum & bass you try to write “lyrics ” with the bassline or melody but with hip hop you let the MCs take care of that.
You’ve got a big show lined up in Los Angeles tonight for the Killahurtz family. For someone who has only heard your beats but hasn’t witnessed you live – what should they expect?
I’m playing hard stuff lately. I like to merge this new format of neuro jump up sound with old school kind of rollers and also something half-tempo; it depends on the kind of party really. What you can expect for sure is to have fun. I like to play fast switches, double and sometimes triple drops.
Any other Stateside gigs lined up we should be looking out for?
Actually this will be a one-off and I’m really looking forward to it. I will be in Bogota at the end of July and then my visa is going to expire in September so we’ll see what happens from there!