Meet the Winner of the Carl Craig x Planet E Remix Challenge
Meet the Winner of the Carl Craig x Planet E Remix ChallengeJanuary 18, 2022
With a production grand prize package worth $6000 that includes an Elektron Octatrack, Elektron Model:Samples, AIAIAI TMA-2 Studio headphones, a Reason+ subscription, a selection of plugins by Carl Craig, a Beatport LINK Pro subscription and a Loopcloud Pro subscription, contestants were asked to remix Carl’s classic tune, “From Beyond,” using the 1989 track’s original stems as well as one sample from the massive Loopcloud library.
Hailing from Russia, our winner Max Shulgin has been producing for over two decades — though he’s only now decided to come out of the shadows and produce music for the public. We get to know this mysterious new producer, who tells us more about his unique history, his love of studio hardware, and how he made his winning remix.
Congratulations on winning the contest! How do you feel? Have you had a chance to celebrate?
First, I’d like to give thanks to the organizers and sponsors for a chance to take part in this contest. I’m a great fan of ‘90s/early 2000s music and I’m delighted that more and more people are starting to understand its aesthetics. The fact that I won is already a gala day for me and the best way to celebrate it is to close myself in a studio to produce a new track or a remix.
Where are you from, and how did you become interested in electronic music?
I was born in the USSR, now living in Moscow. I picked out electronic music among the other genres in the mid ‘90s. In general, I have a broad background in terms of active listening first, and producing various styles myself later.
When did you first start producing music?
My first opportunity to try writing music was back in 2000. It became serious in 2001 when I started buying synths, samplers and other instruments. Along with that, I made DIY electronic instruments (as I am an electronics engineer by profession). Till 2010 it was more like a hobby – hundreds of devices have come across my desk. I tried them, analyzing their electronic schemes, sampling them and then selling them to buy new ones. As a result, I got plenty of drafts for future tracks. After 2010 I started participating in many projects sessionally, as a composer, sound engineer, remix producer or consultant, but always in stealth mode. It’s been OK till recently, when the 2020 lockdown and some other personal occasions made me revise my goals. Now I wish to step out of the shadows and show the world the skills I gained during those long 20 years of “monastic” reclusion.
How did you approach the production process for your winning remix? Did you use any special gear or sample packs?
As already mentioned, I have a lot of instruments from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, though I also have modern tools plus those I made myself. I also have a computer on the mixing stage – I’m not one who stands for hardware only. Music lives in the head, and thanks to what it enters our world through software or hardware — it doesn’t really matter if the music is good enough.
And of course, according to the contest’s terms, I used one secret sample from Loopcloud.
What do Carl Craig’s music and Planet E’s discography mean to you? How did you first become familiar with the artist and label, and how does it feel knowing that Carl Craig choose your track over hundreds of other submissions?
I appreciate conceptual sound aesthetics. In this remix I consciously stayed in the cold, mechanical dimension without excessive lyrics and sentiments. I could’ve made a dozen of varieties closer to house or dub techno, but I did as I did and I’m glad I guessed the right mood.
Carl Craig is considered a founding father of the techno scene and it’s a great honor for me to pay tribute to one of the oldest techno labels, Planet E. I would like to thank Carl and all artists from the label Planet E for the aesthetics they’ve seeded in the minds and hearts of listeners across the world.
What are your plans for 2022?
As I said, I plan many releases in 2022. Several remixes. Live shows using my DIY devices are also near at hand. I’ve never been a “social media guy,”, but I feel that it’s important to create accounts in some social networks to implement what I plan. I promise that soon there will be a lot of proper techno and hot cosmic rays!
Listen to Max Shulgin’s winning remix below.