TF Archives

INTERVIEW Shapeshifters

Author: Phil Watkins
Monday, November 22, 2004

If you haven't heard Lola's Theme as yet, it's off to the doctors to get those ears checked! Fast reaching saturation throughout the clubs, charts and radio, "Lola's Theme" was created by Max Reich and Simon Marlin aka Shapeshifters, who are currently the hottest property in house music at the moment and they are visiting our shores on Saturday 27th November. I got to ask them some questions over the speaker phone while they took some time out in their studio in London.

Although both of you seem so obviously immersed in dance music you both come from very different cultures, Simon, a West London boy and Max, with your roots in Sweden what was it like merging the two in the studio- Do your cultures still separate you or you both now very much European-

Simon: I think the thing is that me and Max have been together now for close to eight years and in that time I managed Max as well.

Phil: That was with Down Boy wasn't it-

Simon: Yeah I signed Max to Down Boy when I meet him in Sweden and then we kind of stuck together through various other projects so when we actually got to go into the studio I think we knew each other that well that it wasn't really an issue. And with Max's techier background and technical capabilities and my house head side of things I kind of just worked really..!

Max, what was the acid house scene like in the Mediterranean during the late eighties was everyone getting the same kind of excitement as London at the time or was it done in typical Mediterranean style, beaches and crowds with the most amazing amount of stamina- Do you still have flashbacks of what it was like back then-

Max: Yeah I started Djing in 1988 and you know I really into the hip house you know stuff like Fast Eddy and DJ International and then in the early nineties it developed in techno and I got into that big time and I think it more of a natural progression to start doing other styles within dance and I think in '96 I started doing more housier stuff and at the time where I meet Simon I gave him a tape of what I had been doing at the time and he really liked it and signed it to Down Boy records, I mean as I said I have done all sorts, electro, acid in the mid nineties so that was how I became a producer if you like.

Simon: He's had about fifty 12inch releases

Phil: Really-

Max: Yeah I have released forty eight twelve inch releases and three albums with the electro acid...

Phil: I was actually going to go and ask you about the parties that you used to do when you were a bit younger when you were working for the University of Journalism, I believe you got quite a name for yourself in the Mediterranean was that right-

Max: Yeah it was I grew up in Spain as you know , I'm originally from Sweden but I grew up n Spain, in Spain I was a very young teen so you know I wasn't doing that many parties but it wasn't until I went to Sweden that I started organised more the rave parties in the early nineties. In Sweden it is a very controlled, policed and governed country so it was very hard for us to do anything but we did through a couple of illegal parties and I was jailed a couple of times for making this but it was great, it was good fun it was cool...!

Phil: Yeah the ultimate rock star promotor is jailed for what you love the most. But what is like in Sweden back then, London at that time had its acid house thing although I was only about eight years I wasn't really a part of it at all but was it the same- I mean the European parties have always had this thing about the people's stamina and they always got a big vibe going there is it the same as you probably would have got in London where it was a very fresh and rebellious thing or was it a bit different, I mean you mentioned that Sweden was very controlled at the time-

Max: It was fun too, I mean I didn't really get to go to much to England, I mean I came over as you know in '96 but I went over loads of times too in like '92 - '93 and did some party