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Newcastle pop quintet Maximo Park contribute this morning’s FACT mix.

Singer Paul Smith’s stupid hats aside, the band have taste beyond that of their peers – their session for FACT features underground techno deity Thomas Brinkmann, tracks from Madlib and J Dilla’s Champion Sound collaboration, Moderat and more.

Tracklist follows the download link. We also caught up with the band to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re currently into, and what they’ve got planned for the year ahead.

(Available for three weeks)

Harmonia and Eno ’76 – Lundeburg Heath
Thomas Brinkmann – 2suns
Jaylib – The Red (with elements of Raw Shit – Instrumental)
Moderat – Beats Way Sick feat. Busdriver
Cougar – Atatl
Nomo – My Dear
The Gossip – Heavy Cross (Siriusmo remix)
Matias Aguayo – Bo Jack feat. Ladybumbox – vocal version)
Ame – Rej (Hundred Birds beat-less remix
Shit Robot – Simple Things
Underworld – Holding The Moth
La Roux – In For The Kill (Skream remix – Lukas’ Philip Glassed revisit)

What’s new in the world of Maximo Park? What’s been interesting you of late?

“Not touring has been interesting me a lot! We finished touring in Oz in November, by which time we were very tired and physically starting to fall apart. So its been great to be at home, do a little of bit writing for fun, be with our partners and families, see our friends, have lie ins, buy some records, go to the gym. Normal stuff.”

How’s your new album coming along? Can you tell us a bit about how it sounds, or what to expect?

“New album wise we’re not really thinking about putting something together straight away. We feel like, after 3 records, we need to get out of the album/tour cycle for a while. We’re looking to do some creative projects that don’t involve sitting in a room together and writing 12 songs. In March we’ll be playing a live instrumental soundtrack to a silent film in a cinema run by some of our friends in Newcastle called The Star and Shadow.

“At the moment I’m setting up a remix project for artists based in the North East to remix our last LP, Quicken The Heart, as a way of getting new up and coming producers and bands to a wider audience. And we’re looking at doing some one off collaborations with different people, songwriting or whatever, although we don’t have anything else to say on that yet!”

You covered Vincent Gallo for the Warp20 boxset. Why that song – what appealed to you?

“Well, Mr Gallo is a bit of one off isn’t he! People always raise their eyebrows when they see he is on Warp – much the same way they do when they find we’re on Warp! So we feel a certain kinship with him.”

How would you say the musical tastes of each band member differs? What are you each into?

“We definitely all have different tastes, which can be frustrating when we’re writing as trying to incorporate 5 opinions can be hard. In fact we still haven’t found a way of keeping everyone happy all the time yet! But generally we all agree that melody should be paramount, whether a vocal or an instrumental part. And emotion is a large part of what we do, we want people to keep returning to our music, and find something relevant in there every time, and that involves writing lyrics and music that appear simple but have more than one layer to them. In terms of what we each listen to, you only have to have a quick look at our myspace current listening to get a flavour of the differences.”

What artists are you excited about in 2010?

“We are very much looking forward to the 3rd Field Music LP. As usual they’ve gone one step further and this time it’s a double. We’ve had a sneak preview and its awesome. Will someone please give them a Mercury Nomination? Also Fourtet, Ikonika, Joker, Fenn O’Berg (Fennesz and Jim O’Rourke) and Best Coast.”

Tell us about the mix you’ve done for FACT.

“It was put together off the back of the release of our 12″ remix EP, featuring remixes from some our favourite producers including Clark and Martyn, which came out in November. We’ve tried to put songs in there you can dance to but whose vocals weren’t your usual dancefloor fare. The idea came from the Matias Aguayo track and some of the other stuff on Comeme, one of my favourite discoveries of ’09.

“Starting with Eno and Harmonia seemed obvious – I love his vocals on whatever he does, he’s a good example of someone who isn’t a ‘proper’ singer, but demonstrates how an emotional resonant vocal doesn’t require those traditional skills. Thomas Brinkmann is another one, and he also shows its never too late to discover your voice! I chose some Moderat as we’re big Modeselektor fans – we were lucky enough to work with them on a track for their 2nd LP which featured on the CD version. It was actually Gernot who sent me the Siriusmo remix of The Gossip as an exclusive, but this mix was made a few months ago now, so I’m not sure it’s very exclusive anymore!

“Cougar are a post rock band we all love in Maximo and have toured with twice. The La Roux edit is something I did myself, under the Philip Glassed moniker. It seemed an obvious thing when I first heard the Skream remix, it was like ‘this is great, but it needs to really kick off somewhere’ so I put some synths on the end. Its our secret weapon when we DJ – if the floor is going well then playing this track at the end really twists people’s heads.”

Any books, records or films you recommend right now?

“Personally, I really enjoyed reading You Never Give Me Your Money by Peter Doggett, a really well researched book about the financial side of The Beatles. Sounds boring, but there are some great insights about their personal dealings, often quite shocking. I enjoyed reading snippets out on the tour bus. And me and my girlfriend have just finished watching Lars von Triers darkly funny TV series The Kingdom. We only found the 2nd series a few days ago, but we’re filling the gap with Twin Peaks – only 27 episodes to go!”

What’s your all-time favourite dancefloor anthem?

“Gosh, thats a very hard question. Usually, what in my head should be a massive floor filler, just isn’t, like ‘Bull In The Heather’ by Sonic Youth. But when we’re DJing we have a few bankers. I love playing Smart E’s’ ‘Sesame’s Treet’, and some DJ Godfather works surprisingly well sometimes. Technotronic is a great party starter. And Marvin Gaye, and Joe Jackson too… the list is too long!”

Where do you hope/expect Maximo Park to be in 2, 5, 10 years time?

“Still around. And if we are still around, still creatively interesting. We’ve no long term plan but we’re still excited by the band and what we can do with it, so when that stops it will be time to move on. We won’t be flogging any dead horses.”

Answers by Maximo Park’s Lukas Wooller

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