Maxxi disco track DJ Sam Watts makes beautifully melodious mixes out of samples, using a laptop and a record deck. Alone he is Maxxi Soundsystem.
Heavily influenced by the dirty, raw sounds and scenes Brighton boasts, wayward spirit Sam Watts is still trying to establish what kind of music he makes. Sam began making a name for himself a few years back, throwing various parties and club nights about his seaside hometown. Hosting events in dive bars and on beaches, the kind of get-togethers he organized were fully focused on who was behind the booth: music loving nights for real music lovers. Fast-forward to 2012 and Maxxi Soundsystem is set to release tracks via progressive Bristol based imprint Futureboogie and continuing to collaborate with Nervous Records, the label that discovered and signed him. Splicing together elements of house, disco and R & B, the USP of his sound-system is the instant likeability factor; the undeniably infectious tempos and steady pulsing anthem-like rhythms that command crowds when cranked up high.
Quite the maverick, his fully flavoured and fine tunes should be filed somewhere between Azari & III and Pillowtalk. Listening to hip-hop and drum and bass as a kid, Sam now cites everything from Street Sound’s electro series, to The Fatback Band and even his Dad’s saxophone practicing as influences on his trademark techniques. i-D online bowed down to the Brighton based boy and maxed out to his latest and exclusive i-D Online mix.
Your background is in events, what kind of parties did you put on? The main night I put on with my friends in Brighton is schtumm. We used to keep the venue and guests a secret. I remember once we had Radio Slave play to about 40 people in a tiny basement under a Moroccan restaurant. We are just about to get a regular slot at Audio in Brighton. Recently we’ve had some big names like Jamie Jones, Art Dept, Danny Daze and Tensnake so it’s a proper club party now.
What nights do you regularly attend? In Brighton I spend rather a lot of my evenings in the studio but I’ll always check a party that involves Wolf Music (who are local) in London. There’s plenty – Disco Bloodbath is always good fun.
How did you first come to be involved with Thomas Gandey? I booked him to play at my party, it was just before he really blew up with Cagedbaby. Been friends ever since.
How has the London nightlife changed since those early days, when you first began DJ’ing? My first trips to London clubs were to go to drum and bass events, which were mostly really scary. I think I liked the edginess of it though. I remember each DJ would play almost the same set. There is so much better dance music now that it’s far more common to hear lots of different music in one night. I think London has always been a really exciting place to go out, I just know where to find the good parties now. When I started I didn’t have a clue.
Who are you listening to right now? A DJ mix by Christophe.