ELECTRONIC VIBES WITH
A ROCK ‘N’ ROLL SOUL
“I’ve always said that the guitar is my true voice. That’s why some of my house tracks feature the guitar. It speaks for itself.”
Max Alford-Sancto, 23, is a London-based guitarist, producer and DJ. He writes and produces contemporary house music.
Many of Max’s tracks are influenced by the urban, dance and relaxed vibes of the 1990s, “Ibiza beach music”. Others are darker and more industrial, grounded in his love of rock, rap and hip hop, “with a bit of reggae and blues thrown in there”.
Max’s first release is the guitar-led track ‘Feel’, with ‘That Vibe’ and a deep house flavoured track ‘Hangar’ to follow shortly. They come from a bank of 100-plus track ideas across a range of genres, many also vocally led.
His music is driven by musicianship (composing on guitar, bass and piano), quality production values gained via a diploma in sound production, and his passion for house.
“Learning about sound production and engineering gives you critical listening skills. Its not just about understanding how a song works musically, but also why those elements work together.
“I want people to feel some strong emotion from my music. So bringing a human element into my electronic tracks is important to me. That’s why, for instance, I’ll use real guitar and bass amps to bring grit and texture.”
He credits Disclosure as having reinvigorated the idea in electronic dance that “the song rules” above all else.
Current artists and producers he admires – Huxley, FKJ, and George Fitzgerald – are in the same mould as Disclosure. “They may represent different sides of electronic music, but they all hold one thing in common: memorable quality in song and production.”
Max co-produces upcoming singer songwriter, Abi Riggs ‘Rivers’, with her manager Clyde Jones.
“I love being integral to the creative process. Our combined skills in production and songwriting provides the environment for Rivers to develop as an artist.
“I think about our partnership in River’s potential like this: if Nirvana hadn’t got the right producer in Butch Vigg for ‘Nevermind’, Nirvana and grunge wouldn’t have become what they did.”
He DJs simply under his forename Maximilian: “Maximilians on the German side of my family date back to the 1800s”. And as a gigging musician, he is lead guitarist with Irish singer-songwriter Sample Answer.
A vocalist in his own right, Max is drawn to emotionally powerful singers like Hannah Reid of London Grammar, and lyrically, to rappers.
“Hip-hop and rap excite the writer in me. I watch rap battles online. It’s another form of expression where creativity can flourish, even when its just some guys spitting they want to kill the other guy. That’s modern poetry for you.”
Max is searching for other likeminded artists with whom he will gel.
“Production values are important but people are more so. I’m looking to collaborate with other artists, especially rappers and female vocalists, because more creative minds together can achieve greater things.”