DJ Disasters: Max Cooper

When it all goes wrong...
Max Cooper

Every DJ has one.

A night when everything that can possibly go wrong does - and it does so in spectacular fashion.

ClashMusic brings you DJ Disasters, featuring some of the most respected figures in the dance world reminiscing about those moments when it all went badly wrong.

Max Cooper is a producer of curiously contradictory elements. With a scientific background the beatsmith has a logical, mathematical approach to everything he does - yet Cooper's music often has an overpowering emotional element.

Crafting delicate, sometimes haunting productions, Max Cooper also moonlights as a clubland figure. Playing DJ sets across the globe, his fractured, left field take on techno nonetheless has an upfront edge.

However it doesn't always go to plan...

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I've had plenty of DJ disasters, usually of the standard broken deck format, someone spills beer on the laptop and all the music stops. Those sorts of things are always solved in one simple way - pretend like you did it on purpose and give a clap, maybe shout hello to some imagined friend in the crowd before making a point of putting on a new track with a great intro. It's a bit like Flight of the Conchords 'business time' where he turns his falling over taking off of socks into a 'sexy dance'. Generally it's more of a bit of fun than anything too bad, unless there's total silence due to something outside of your control….that's not so much fun.

But anyway, on to my chosen DJ disaster for today. It was during my last US tour, which had been built around my show at Decibel Festival, one of the best events I know, and one of the most important gigs of the year for me. Decibel is in Seattle, and the night before I had a gig in Mexico City. Mexico, and I'd say Russia, are pretty much top of the list for overboard drinking likelihood, so I obviously had to go and do the periodic "I'm never going to drink again" night. I have a vague memory of hanging my head out the window of car barfing en-route to the hotel, and then of course I missed my flight the next day. So all pretty standard DJ territory here, stuck in a strange place with a top 5 hangover and urgently having to get 3000 miles to somewhere else for the most important gig of the year. The fun and games began with getting through Mexico City to the airport and then running round like a maniac all stinking from the night before trying to find someone who could get me to Seattle. All the flights seemed to get in the next day, but finally I found one possibility, and ran for the flight to San Francisco from which I could connect to Seattle just in time to arrive before my set.

Sitting on the flight out I thought I'd got through the worst, but on arriving in San Francisco I was faced with the dreaded US immigration. I had less than 1 hour to get from one flight to the next, and in typical US style there was a queue of about 500 people, with 3 passport control officers thoroughly checking to make sure they didn't let in any terrorists. I realised I'd have to somehow jump nearly the whole queue to have a chance of making the connection, and of course when I asked the US officials they said there was no process for people with short connections and I just had to stand in line and miss my flight. So there was only one thing I could do, I'd have to fight my way through to the front. The disaster then took it's worst turn, when it became apparently that the 500 strong queue comprised exclusively of jet-lagged travellers from middle-Germany. Of course, I love Germans and Germany, but their reason and efficiency that day was at odds with my need to break the rules to get to the flight. What ensued was some sort of mass debate/argument/clambering obstacle course of me vs the 500. I had to try different pleads with different groups and just barge through the ones who wouldn't be turned by chat. By the time I made it through I felt like I'd tarnished my soul. But I did make it through, and arrived in Seattle just in time for the gig, which was great.

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Max Cooper's new single 'Numb' is out now on FIELDS. The producer is also set to go on tour, and will play Dalston's Dance Factory on May 31st.

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