In Conversation With Chris Mac

Chris Mac has done many a mix for us over the years. with his last mix Midnight Scores getting a 1000 downloads in one day, we still know very little about the man. So I decided to ask him what’s happening.

Listen to midnight Scores while you read:

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So tell us who you are in 140 Characters or less, Twitter style?

I’m a 38 year old dad of two who quite likes music, thats about it really.

Tell us where you’re from and the best thing about it?

From Manchester, England, I guess the best thing about it is its sunny climate, Ha.. Its quite a vibrant place, there’s a lot of stuff going on, a good mix of cultures, people and places, so its a nice multicultural mix of everything.

So you’re a music man? What does good music mean to you?

Good music is music that moves me emotionally & internally, its the kind of stuff that has a profound effect on emotional states, stuff like that. Any music that is able to take you out of yourself into different places is pretty much good music to me. long as it takes you in a good way, doesn’t make you become suicidal.

kinda like a drug?

No not really I think drugs take you out of yourself, you’ve not got any control, music just has an ability to capture something inside you and pull you somewhere else.

Your mixes, people love them, So where and how do you find your music?

Most of it is luck and guess work to be honest, its just a lot of digging around on places like iTunes, Beatport and a certain amount of listening to movie scores sometimes its going through people I know make good music and just seeing what they’ve put out there, just a bit of donkey work, sometimes recommendations from other people.

So do you find a lot of stuff online, where’s your goto place?

yeah, Beatport obviously first place then iTunes its got the widest place to find stuff really, check out YouTube see what people are saying there,

So in your mixes, tell us a little on how you go about creating your mixes?

Start off slow and emotional get a little bit harder Ha! Thats a big question because I mostly start off with the first track and see where it takes me. I find bits of songs that I really like normally it’s like 10/15 second pieces of the music that are just beautiful, I tend to make those bits last a lot longer, I do a lot of looping, re-editing stuff like that, mostly its what tracks fit together. I want things to fit not only musically but emotionally. If I want to try and keep the emotion of a certain track going longer so the feeling that I’m getting from that track keeps going, then i’ll find another track that will keep that emotion going on a bit longer, I’ll maybe shift it into something different later on but for that brief period im just gonna keep you in that place, so I mostly spend a lot of time trying to find things that keep the emotional continuity and congruence of whats going on in the music at the time really.

Yeah yeah, So what do you compile them on what software do you use?

I use Ableton, I’ve got a really old version of Ableton Live, so there’s alot of warping going on. Ha!

So how long does it take you to prepare these mixes, it must take you along time?

Its takes me months to be honest some of them depending what I’ve got on elsewhere but it probably all in all takes about a week solid, to make one of the mixes properly to a standard that I’m happy with, it just takes a lot editing and re-eding, warping making sure everything’s right.

Its a lot more of an involved process than the normal DJ set?

Yeah it is, I started off DJing more house stuff, and its still nice to go back to that, but there’s alot more, not really composition but trickery, fiddling around and production skills that are needed in making these mixes than just the standard DJ mix where you just kinda put two tracks together using some effects here and there.

How do find inspiration?

In terms of mixes; its just music itself. God. Finding that emotional and spiritual space that music creates.

So what’s the most exciting project you got going on at the moment?

Spaces has been fun playing around with ideas and different things we wanted to do, Its been really good just playing around with stuff, seeing stuff grow from two of us talking in a pub one day about the idea of mixing music and Prog and how the emotional content of music would work really well. to actually seeing something as it is now that is drawing in people from further afield than just us and the people around us, it’s just interesting to see that happen.

Who are you listening at the moment or even in the past, who’s done the most memorable track?

Anything by Hybrid, for me yeah they’re the guys I listen to the most, also some of the early BT stuff This Binary Universe. I like all the old Journeys By DJs stuff and the old Sasha stuff, yeah generally anything Orchestral gets me, I’m a sucker for piano and strings.

Im more likely to get done over if someone just puts in a really beautiful bit of strings, Harry Gregson Williams is pretty special also really liking London-DC at the moment. really good, really nice.

OK, whats the future hold for you?

In some ways more of the same, I think it would be interesting to move into more production stuff but im happy just creating what I’m creating at the moment and having people enjoy it.

Last question. Any words of inspiration?

Take your opportunities and give everything a go.

Thank you Chris Mac.

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