Photography: Ryan Fallon / @FilmFallon

Max Graef

  • +
  • Breakwave
  • Feral State
Más x Loose Lips x SISU @ 24 Kitchen Street 4/8/18

Saturday sundown is the perfect setting to arrive at 24 Kitchen Street for the Más x Loose Lips x SISU Liverpool all-dayer, a collaboration between underground rave specialists, a diverse music collective and a female led DJ community. Arriving early, I cast my eye over the impressive set schedule comprising of MALISSA, LUPINI, CALAIDA, MEDALLION MAN and KORTZER, split between the 24 Kitchen Street club and outdoor space to allow for the opportunity to roam between DJ sets effortlessly without fear of missing out.

Liverpool-based trio FERAL STATE set the tone outside blending percussive tech house with tropical rhythms for a deeply layered set. DJs Sean Tierney, Antony Morgan and Callum Butler also unleash spontaneous live conga drum sessions over the diverse Feral State sounds, with Mordor Disko by Jonathan Kusuma a standout.

Renowned Berliner MAX GRAEF is among the crowd enjoying the local sounds of Feral State before starting off his two-hour vinyl set. This starts with one of the greatest soundtracks of the 16-bit console era, Streets Of Rage 2 by Yuzo Koshiro, and further shifting the mood outside by opening with In The Bar (Alternate Version) to lead into his symphonious, low-slung house selections. Graef delivers a genre-shifting set made up of a diverse selections and infectiously danceable jams. Several left turns keep everyone on their toes and congregated around the outdoor DJ booth which, by now, has become a makeshift dancefloor. I find myself repeatedly leaning over to observe the vinyl artwork, though I am not the only one. Having released tracks on Money Sex Records, Tartelet Records and Ninja Tune alongside Glenn Astro, it’s clear Max has plethora of material to work into his sets. However, I find myself waiting patiently for Max to spin his latest project, Ratgrave, a collaboration with fellow Berliner Julius Conrad (Acoustic Funk), which is pure electronic P-fusion. Sadly, it doesn’t come, not that it spoils the set.

Speaking to Max after his set re-enforces the intimacy of 24 Kitchen Street and why is a go-to spot for music heads in the city. We discuss Liverpool, records and his new label, Tax Free Records with Funkycan. There’s not many music spaces in Liverpool that you can enjoy a pint with the headliner afterwards, but Kitchen Street is one of them. As darkness falls, Liverpool-based producer BREAKWAVE (Meine Nacht/Deep Sea Frequency) leads us all inside and into the night with a scintillating assortment of tribal house, breakbeat and techno. Breakwave’s understanding of Liverpool nightlife gives her the upper hand when it comes to crowd-pleasing delivering a pulsating set of infectious rhythms.

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