Timo Maas Biography
There’s no greater indication of Timo’s desire to evolve as an artist that his forthcoming second album Pictures, released on Warners/Hope Recordings. Pictures captures the essence of what made his debut production album Loud so important and yet evolves in such as a way as to confront the norms of what dance music should represent in 2005. It also features guest appearances from Kelis, Neneh Cherry and Placebo’s Brian Molko.
“We made the necessary progression to make our sound more 2005," says Timo with evident devotion to his craft. “Now there are more rock influences, hip-hop influences and more alternative stuff. It’s important to prove that dance music can be pushed into new directions”.
Timo recorded Pictures over the course of two years with his production partner Martin Buttrich, primarily in their studio in Hannover in which they’d also recorded the bulk of Loud.
“Why change a winning team?” laughs Timo. “We used a lot of the same musicians also. Our studio complex has ten or eleven studios in total and it’s a really creative atmosphere as all sorts of music is being worked on -- pop, hip-hop, electronica, avant-garde. In that kind of musical environment where everyone is working on something interesting and different, it really does have an impact upon your music”.
The eclectic approach of Pictures and the sheer strength of its music prove Timo’s point. The insistent rhythms and irresistible hook of the first single, "First Day," is as addictive as the best of Timo’s work, whilst the inimitable vocals of Brian Molko interplay perfectly with those of newcomer Jo Kate (“she’s so talented and has a great vibe”). Sure, it’s dance music, but its creativity and originality breathe fresh vitality into the genre.
“The most important thing is that the power and the energy of the music fits the power and energy of the vocals,” he emphasises. “Also the lyrics and the whole package must be perfect. When you have a strong song, you need a strong vocalist.”
Timo and Martin invested a huge amount of time in finding the ideal vocalist for their work. Molko was a natural choice; having first met when Timo remixed "Special K," the trio have maintained a strong friendship as well as developing an artistic connection. Aside from "First Day," Molko also guests on the album’s title track as well as "Like Siamese." Timo and Martin have also been working with the band, which he considers “one of the coolest in the world," on their forthcoming studio album.
Aside from Molko, there’s a plethora of other vocalists who create a rich tapestry of sounds. Having collaborated on "Help Me," one of the highlights of Timo’s debut album, Kelis (“she’s to r&b and hip-hop what we are to dance music… she’s a genre within herself”) reprises here role by adding her sensual vocal gift to "4 Ur Ears." Neneh Cherry guests on "High Drama," a song originally written for P. Diddy’s long overdue dance album, and the ethereal, dreamlike qualities of her voice help to provide one of the strongest tracks that Timo has ever worked on.
Timo is renowned for his remix work on classic crossover hits such as "Doom’s Night" and "Mama Konda," as well as being in demand for mainstream work for the likes of Madonna, Fatboy Slim, Tori Amos, Kelis, and more recently, Depeche Mode’s "Enjoy The Silence" and Placebo’s "Twenty Years." With Pictures now completed, Timo is excited by the offers of remix work that continue to flood in.
Having first performed as a teenager in his native Germany, Timo’s DJ career has gone from strength to strength. An early residency at Hamburg’s Tunnel gave him the opportunity to hone his talents as well as make a name for himself. A prestigious residency at New York’s Twilo followed and Timo has been in huge demand on the international club circuit ever since. Further more, his talents have also been requested at events as varied as Glastonbury, Creamfields, the Malaysian Grand Prix and at Naomi Campbell’s birthday in St. Tropez.
“I’m having even more fun as a DJ than ever before,” he exclaims with infectious enthusiasm. “I’m playing the music I love, I get a lot of support from the crowd and am having a great time on the road.”
Timo’s also heavily involved with the business side of the industry, working in A&R at Four: Twenty Recordings, part of the Hope Music Group. Its ever-growing roster features the likes of Loco Dice, DJ Hyper and Daniel Taylor and it gives Timo the freedom to contribute further to the dance music culture that has shaped his life and, in turn, that he has helped to shape.
“It’s all so essential to my life," he concludes. “I couldn’t live without it.”
(Ben Hopkins, March 2005)
Timo Maas Bio from Discogs
Maas bought his first set of turntables at the age of 17 and played his very first DJ set in 1982 at a party in his friend's home. In 1992, he started to Dj in the European rave scene, earning a name in the electronic underground world. In more than 30 years of career, Timo has been collaborating with and remixing many artists such as Depeche Mode, Fatboy Slim, Garbage, Jamiroquai, Madonna, Moby, Moloko, Muse, Placebo, Roger Sanchez, Tori Amos, Paul McCartney & Wings (2)
Maas' first record, "The Final XS", was released in 1995. His second record release was a collaboration with another producer, Gary D., "Die Herdplatte", which was a bigger success than his first. Gary D also gained Maas a residency at Hamburg's famous club, The Tunnel, between 1994 and 1996, playing also at the historic Bristol club Lakota. Maas also began to release records through record labels such as Hope Recordings, both under his own name and the alias, Orinoko. Maas has also recorded under many aliases such as Mad Dogs among others together with his friend Leon Alexander. In 2000, Timo Maas had a residency alongside Deep Dish at the New York club, Twilo. Since 2008, Timo runs his own record label Rockets & Ponies, releasing artists such as Wolfgang Haffner, Ricardo Villalobos, Maetrik, Nightmares On Wax and Addison Groove.