Interview: Maxie König – I was fooling around more or less

As a DJ, Maxie König is very well established in the south west of Germany, where she has entertained crowds for more than 10 years. As a driving force behind the Ohral collective, she is a mainstay at the brand’s events, and enjoys a busy schedule playing at other events. Over the past year and a half she has also established herself as an accomplished producer.

Recently she releases Holding on To a Lovers Dream EP featuring Markus Homm remix.We caught up with Maxie for n interview

HMWL: So Maxie, you’ve had a string of successful releases over the past couple of years, how did you get into production?

Maxie: It was always a dream of mine to express myself through music. In the beginning it was quite hard to get into the swing of it, I was fooling around more or less. On one hand, it is quite an investment to buy all the equipment, and of course a lot of learning and I was messing around without getting anywhere for quite a while. In late 2018 I stumbled into a studio session of Alex Connors, more or less by accident. Alex is also part of the Ohral family. He listened to my demos and saw potential, and offered to show me some tricks, which really helped me progress. You know, we were already friends, but this brought us much closer, and we have had many studio sessions together since then. As well as helping me out with my own productions, we also started to work on some tracks together.

HMWL: Your home base is Ohral Recordings, but your first release was on Terry Lee Brown Jr’s Plastic City, and closely followed by a remix of Tim Engelhardt on the infamous Poker Flat Recordings. How did that happen?

Maxie: As my confidence with my own productions grew, I was searching for an outlet to release them. At one of our regular Ohral meetings, I suggested that we relaunch our own label. The whole team were super excited about the idea and with some hard work and planning, we relaunched Ohral Recordings in late 2020. Thinking back, it really sparked a lot of motivation in all of us. Everyone was putting in the hours in their studios, visiting each other in their studios, collaborating and helping one-another. By April / May 2020 we already had quite a lot of productions in the pipeline, probably helped along by everyone having more time on their hands due to Covid. We wanted to have at least enough releases for half a year ready to go for upfront, so it was always the plan to start with the relaunch around September / October 2020. In the end I have to say it was kind of perfect for me as an artist and I guess also good for Ohral as a label that we made a plan, and went for it! I guess nowadays it’s quite important to have at least an idea of what will happen within the next half year if you’re trying to establish a label, or even establish yourself as an artist.

Hardy Heller, mastermind of Ohral, spoke with a few labels and sent out some demos on my behalf. It turned out Plastic City were excited about my tracks and Hardy fixed a deal with them. At more or less the same time, Poker Flat did a remix contest and I thought,why not give it a try. Some weeks later I was informed that I won the competition and my remix of Tim Engelhard’s First Contact would be released on the label. As you can imagine, I was extremely excited to be releasing on Steve Bug’s legendary imprint!

HMWL: And how is it going with your productions now?

Maxie: I still go work together with Alex Connors to fine tune my productions, but as he’s quite busy nowadays it can be a challenge to schedule the time. I registered for a “Masterclass“ by Robert Babicz as I always want to develop my skills. Robert is a legend, and a really cool and patient teacher, he also did a remix for Ohral about a year ago! The masterclass group has some really talented producers, and everyone supports each other a lot, which is something that I really like!

HMWL: You’ve been actively DJing for quite a while. From your perspective, how have things changed for female artists over the years?

Maxie: The Ohral crew are very open and inclusive, so I haven’t really had any issues in the recent years. If I remember it correctly, my first gig for Ohral was playing after Gayle San. But yes, in the early days you’d been kind of a unicorn between all the male artists; something out of the ordinary. Nowadays, in my opinion, it’s slightly different as more and more female artists dare to show their talents on stage. But to be honest, I’m really happy to be part of the Ohral community; as gender, or other such labels don’t really factor in for us, it’s all about music.

HMWL: You’ve just had a new release, Holding On To A Lovers Dream, which also includes remixes by Markus Homm and Mar io (part of Colognes’s Form&Terra imprint)…

Maxie: Yeah, I did this track around half a year ago and sent it to Hardy. He was really excited and asked me if he should have a look for some remixers. I specifically requested these two artists, and thankfully both agreed. Markus Homm has played at some of our parties and Mar io is part of Form & Terra, where I’ve previously released, so we did already have a connection with both artists. It is a great honor to have such great artists work on my music. Another example of this supportive community that I really love. And even better, they both did an amazing job on the remixes, I really love what they both came up with! Surely not the next big anthem, but serious, credible, underground club music for sure… and that’s what I like.

HMWL: What can we expect from Maxie Konig in the future ?

Maxie: On the production side, I´ve just finished another breakbeat track, a follow to my track Caramoan, which was my first release on Ohral Recordings. I guess that will be out in July or so. I have another release coming on Form & Terra, a kind of a minimal tune, which is out this Spring / Summer. Plastic City signed two tracks for their sublabel Suburbia, but these still need a little fine tuning. So a lot of things are on the horizon… as well as some other exciting stuff in the works, but not quite confirmed so best to keep them quiet… Anyway, it definitely remains exciting on the production side. Regarding events, you know the restrictions in Germany have been so bad for our culture. Last weekend I played my first gig in six months, at our event Ohral Pres. la Boum, in an old cinema. No one can imagine how much I missed the contact, the people, those unbeatable moments of music. Next one for me will be our Ponderosa Winteredition in Sölden / Austria on the 9th of April. It’s an open air party up in the mountains and we have our friend Gorge as a guest DJ. I have some smaller gigs in between, and it also looks like I will play at a 3000 Grad Showcase 7th of May which they do in cooperation with Schlichtsounds / Danjo / Peer23.

And, last but not least, our Ohral On Air Radio Show broadcast every Wednesday 8-9pm (CET) on Evosonic Radio. I’m taking care of that together with Hardy Heller… I will be busy, no doubt about it!

About Alex Esser:

DJ, surfer and entrepreneur residing in Malmö, Sweden. HMWL label daddy. My music network is always open. Holler at