Timo Maas 12.6.00
by Shannon Petrick
Venue: Riviera - Atlanta, GA
Learning that Timo Maas was coming on my birthday made my day (thanks to Mirage and Fidelity Flip). I've heard countless remixes and productions of his and I've been a fan for a long, long time. He's had years to perfect his art, as a DJ and a producer. Timo has stormed the dance music world with remixes like "Doomsday" by Azzido da Bass, Green Velvet's "Flash" and most recently, Madonna's new single, "Don't Tell Me." He's been around the world and he was finally coming to Atlanta to promote his new CD, Music for the Maases.
Hours before Timo's performance at the Riviera, I interviewed him. It was evident when he answered my questions that he had such a passion for the music. Not only was he charming and nice, he was also very patient, considering he had three interviews after mine (including one with CNN). At the end of the interview, he politely let me know that he was going to "mind-fuck" Atlanta tonight. God, I hope so.
Needless to say, the excitement was in the air. My friends and I made our way to the Riviera and arrived just in time to hear some of Jason Hitt's set. My significant other, Chad, is the Kinetic Records representative for Atlanta and was busily hanging "Music for the Maases" posters in the club. Everywhere you turned, you saw Timo's huge face smiling, seeming to say, "Oh yes, I'm going to mind-fuck you tonight."
The Kinetic vibe was in the air: flyers for Kinetic DJs and girls running around with Kinetic "K" stickers on their breasts (looked good on you, Bubbles!).
Jason Hitt's set was the standard opening set for a big name DJ/producer: lots of steady beats with the occasional hit thrown in. Good for you, Jason: leave the mind-fucking to Timo.
Finally, the moment arrived and Timo made his way up to the DJ booth. I looked around and wasn't sure if anyone was elated about this event as my friends and I were: a genius' debut in Atlanta. I noticed there wasn't even a huge amount of people there...did the clubbers of Atlanta realize what they were missing?
Eventually, more people wandered in as Timo began his set. The first track was hard and pounding unusual, considering the current popularity of epic trance (start slow and build it up) but Timo was adamant about the fact that he is NOT the typical DJ.
The entire night, I stood mostly in the back with my group of friends. I listened intently to Timo's entire set the tracks, the mixing, the feel and I hate that I felt this way: he could have done better. For a DJ/producer of this caliber...I expected so much more.
But I'm not going to spend the entire review downing him there were positive aspects too. On the flip side of the coin, he is excellent at constructing his set with so many different genres of electronic music, you're not quite sure how to label him. What kind of DJ is he anyway? Trance? House? Techno? Breaks? That's the genius of Timo Maas: he leaves you guessing. Labels are too confining...who needs them anyway?
Timo's set wasn't a catastrophe not by a long shot. He played some good tracks and his mixing wasn't a disaster. Just not that great. The entire set stayed steady with a ceaseless, perpetual hard beat. This made for a very happy crowd add in a hard beat and you've got people dancing. Timo integrated tracks like Saints and Sinner's "Pushing Too Hard," a song with a driving beat and a groovy melody, and the breakbeat version of "Better Make Room." This kept everyone going wild for hours on end.
Timo Maas probably wasn't as mediocre as I thought. I've listened to countless productions and remixes by this guy and have been thoroughly impressed (doesn't hurt that he's affiliated with one of my favorite DJ's record company: Leon Alexander's Hope Recordings).
PLUS: I glanced at Timo in the booth and saw him completely absorbed in his music...fully mesmerized. I believe THAT is one of the key factors in a good DJ.
Rating? The night was almost perfect for several reasons: It's Timo Maas, for God's sake! And even though his skills were slightly lacking, the man's still amazing. Next, it was my birthday...and I had so much fun! And last...all the beautiful, wonderful people of Atlanta were there: Chad, Sean, Eddie, Frank and Marcos, Darryl, Bubbles, Cobradoll, Kat, the mah-velous lunarmagazine staff, the promoters, and countless others...an evening no one will forget.
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