July 1 | 2022
About Fab Massimo
A breath of fresh air coming to break out the commercial funk that’s currently swarming the tech-house scene comes in the form of Fab Massimo. Long gone are the days of repetitive and predicable music of the genre, and in comes a fresh, dark, and seductive sound.
Hailing from western Germany, Fab Massimo has always been a producer at heart. With a background in classical piano he quickly became hooked to the exciting world of electronic music and its limitless opportunities He started to experiment in different styles on Ableton, getting a feel for what his flow was.
As the years went by, he settled into his own unique interpretation of tech-house that is endlessly energetic and takes inspiration from the rawness of techno and the groove of house music.
Since his first release in 2019, he has created hype around his steadily growing reputation. Fast forward to the present, and it’s evident that Fab’s hard work is visibly paying off. in 2021 his single “My Man” sky-rocketed on the Beatport chart, hitting the overall all genres #11 and got 450k hits on Spotify, receiving showers of praise.
His follow-up single “Smile for Me” cemented the success with over a million streams on Spotify to date. This was just the motivation he needed to know that he was really getting into his own and to go with his gut feeling of putting his stamp on tech-house music.
To date, he’s touched shoulders with Wade, Guz, Monkey Safari, Hugo Cantarra, Pete Sabo, DONT BLINK and Format:B, and his contemporary and cutting-edge sound has caught the attention of esteemed labels such as Glasgow Underground, Myth of NYX, Night Service Only, Terminal Underground, HOT FUSS, Get Twisted, Medium Rare Recordings, Bunny Tiger Dubs, Hood Politics, RIM, We Are Freaks, Groovement, and Playbox. With the help of his refined music knowledge, he also manages the renowned Power House imprint LOW CEILING.
In the future, Fab strives to break the mould of traditional tech-house and continue to surprise the dancefloor crowds with his original sound. Having already played at the hottest German venues like Sisyphos, Berlin Waagenbau in Hamburg, Bunker in Rostock, Matrix in Bochum and Favela and FUSION in Münster, you can bet you’re going to see much more of this promising young talent.
First of all, what made you want to start producing?
I sort of slipped into it. I grew up playing the piano so I always had a strong connection to music. At some point I wanted to get into cinematic sounds and learned how to use a DAW. Later, at the end of high school, I started making these ridiculously trashy EDM-remixes of my friends’ WhatsApp voice messages which got me hooked on electronic music production so badly. I played Ableton like other people played Minecraft!
What would you recommend to starting producers?
Be patient and cultivate your own sound. A lot of people start out wanting their first release after one year or so. They don’t focus on improving their producing skills or they just copy what is popular at the time. Take your time and be aware that music production is like any other skill - it’s like mastering a sport or an instrument: It takes years to become really good at it and you will never stop learning. Get someone to help you manage the first steps since at first it can often be overwhelming. Also, if you start off having no musical background, it helps to learn some basic music theory using a cheap keyboard of some sort.
What’s the first thing you do when starting a new track?
I try to start off by having an idea, which can mean many things. It can be a particular sound, sample, melody or vocal. That makes it a million times easier to get my creativity going. Then I go on to picking a good kick and bassline. Those two are the foundation of every track so they have to be on point.
How long does it take on average to make a track from start to finish?
It really depends. When I am in a state of creative flow I can get a track done in four hours. Then, I will usually take a break and go back to mixing and making everything sound polished. That usually takes another four hours if I’m quick. But often –that iswhen I am not in that inspirational flow state– it can take several days or even weeks to get a track done. This is usually a sign that the basic idea wasn’t working the way I intended. It’s important to not get stuck and learn when to let things go.
Which of your tracks are you most proud of?
I think “MY MAN” is still the one I am most proud of because it represents my sound 100% and I had a good feeling about it before it was released. It sort of proved to me that I can trust my gut feeling. My darker tracks like Fragments and Claustrophobic also work really well and are quite unique sounding.
What is your favorite part of producing music?
The fact that I can dive so deep into it that I forget everything happening around me. It really helps me to calm down and clear my head, it’s like I’ve been meditating. Of course, also the times when ideas that I have in my head translate into a good song. That’s also a great feeling. Further down the line, it has just created so many amazing moments and experiences I am incredibly thankful for.
And what is your least favorite part?
Working on the arrangement. I can get a bit impatient. It requires listening carefully to the whole track or long passages which just takes time. Also it involves making many difficult decisions about which elements to keep and which ones to let go.
What is your #1 low-end mixing tip?
Make sure there are no phase issues between kick and bass. Invert the phase of the kick and check if energy is lost or gained. Listen to the low-end only by filtering out everything above 120 or even 70 Hz and do it on good headphones and not just your studio monitors unless you’re in a professional mixing studio. Use a visual aid, like a loudness metering tool and check how your kick and bass measure up. Regarding the sub-frequencies in your bassline - you need less of them than you might expect. The high-pass filter is your friend. And use reference tracks for comparison.
How did you get in contact with record labels?
For one part, networking with other artists helped a lot. I worked on a lot of collaborations last year which has helped me get in touch with new labels. Networking in the real world can also really be a game changer. I met the guys from “DONT BLINK” at ADE 2019 and we have stayed in touch since and became friends. And then of course, you can try just the labels’ demo drop or try to google their email address and start sending out stuff. Definitely a long process but can be worth the effort. I would recommend starting with smaller labels that are on Beatport Hype. They can give you the best exposure and if you are good labels will also reach out to you, guaranteed.
Who was your greatest mentor, and what was the best advice they gave you?
Rather than having one single mentor to guide me I have met many different people down the road that could teach me valuable lessons and to this day. I am constantly learning new things all the time. I do find that the advice you get can be contradictory so in the end it’s also very important to make your own experiences and form your own opinions. It’s generally very important to keep in touch with the people around you and to have an open mindset.
One piece of advice that really stuck to me is to try to make friends rather than just business partners. That also means being your authentic self when meeting new people because it’s the best way to find true connections.
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Invest in Bitcoin haha! Well, that’s a tough one to be honest. In a way, I am even thankful for the traps I fell into early on, otherwise I would not have learned from them. I’d say be patient and don’t be deterred by what other people do. Don’t compare yourself, but try to learn. Stick to your own sound and it’s okay to fail sometimes. That’s part of the deal.
How is the tech house scene in Germany?
I can speak for most big cities in Germany and we seem to be more of a Techno Nation. The market for House Music in general is considerably smaller which makes it also tricky to establish. Most people don’t even know what Tech House is, hence the demand is small and booking an international Tech House artist can be tricky.
On the flipside, we also know for a fact that when people actually hear Tech House –even when they come from Techno– they love it! Artists like Format:B or even our Berlin-based Tech House Crew with Elternhouse and Dennis Beutler consistently make crowds go crazy. So you could also say, there is a big niche that needs to be filled which is an opportunity that me and other Tech House artists want to take on! That’s why we launched a Tech House Event Brand in Berlin called Operator to rebuild the scene and bring back good Tech House!
Where do you see the Tech House scene in 5 years?
That’s a tough one. With Fisher opening the doors for Tech House to go mainstream a few years ago, we have seen a pretty crazy uprise of the genre to a point where it has even pushed aside the Dutch EDM wave, which was the most popular genre for almost a decade. At the same time, Tech House has also adapted many of the features of mainstream EDM, causing it to be controversial and move away from its origins. I can imagine that this type of mainstream Tech House might be replaced by something else in the next few years as other influences will slowly seep in and shape mainstream music. I believe that the more underground types of Tech House will live on independently from the mainstream and retain their true origin which is based on swingy grooves, ongoing rhythms, oldschool vocals and funky basslines.
What kind of music do you listen to in your spare time?
I love listening to Funk and Alternative stuff - music that tends to bring me down or in a good mood. Most of what I play or produce is just peak time energy so I need something that brings me down. I highly recommend Tom Misch, Tess Parks, Radiohead, Dam Swindle, Chet Faker, Kaytranada, Jungle and also some German Hip-Hop.
What can we expect from Fab Massimo in the near future?
I am going to release some pretty heavy tracks in the next few months that I have been playing out a lot in the past months like Once Again, Oh Boi and my Champanja Remix. Also, I am working on some new collaborations with a vocalist called Meaghan. My bookings are slowly multiplying – also internationally– which has been amazing to see. I try to take it one step at a time and try to enjoy the journey as much as possible rather than having set goals. This industry is so incredibly complex, it’s important to not try too hard. When opportunities arise, take them but stick to yourself and who you are.
We can't wait to hear it all! Thanks again for being here, and we'll be following you closely!
Thanks for having me!