Max Graef

Max Graef

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An exuberant smorgasbord of house, hip-hop and jazz.

Biography

by Dan Cole
2 February 2017

German DJ and producer Max Graef exploded onto the scene with his 2014 LP Rivers of the Red Planet, a heady mix of beats, house and jazz samples. The record’s sound lives in the grey area between J-Dilla and Moodymann, with some playful moments of youthful exuberance connecting all the various elements. It’s the product of having grown up in the city’s club scene, while listening to a fair amount of hip-hop, and having music in his family’s blood. Graef’s Dad, Gerry Franke, plays in Max’s live band, and together they released a father and son reocrd entitled Random Funktion, released back in 2014.

Max Graef’s versatile nature has enabled him to flex his creative muscles tenfold. As a producer he teamed up with one of his long-time friends Glenn Astro to release The Yard Work Simulator – a glitchy, broken-beat house and party-time LP on Ninja Tune back in 2016. He’s also released several EPs across a variety of labels including Brandt Brauer Frick’s imprint The Gym, Funkineven’s house outlet Apron Records and of course, the label Max Graef established with fellow friends and cohorts Glenn Astro and Delfonic, Money $ex Records. It was the latter DJ that helped Max Graef to get where he is today. Delfonic, a.k.a Marcus Lindner, is one of the key figures behind Berlin’s institutional music outlet – OYE Records, a locality that helped forge a strong music community built around an eclectic selection of musical palettes.

There’s still much more to this accomplished and humble German talent. As a multi-instrumentalist, he set up the Max Graef Band and has been hitting the live circuit over the past few years. The act released their debut LP Dog back in 2015, a weave of obscure time signatures, smooth Rhodes melodies interspersed with funk-basslines provided by Graef himself. Still at the ripe age of 23, the world is very much one that belongs to the German producer. A label owner, party promoter, crate-digging, jazz loving, hip-hop-house-soul crusader of the modern generation, Max Graef is as exciting and diverse as they come, embodying the open minded spirit of today’s liberal youth.

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