Artist Intro – Monika

After a slight break in his musical offerings, Monika – real name Maxwell Sweeney, has broken the silence with his debut release on Soulvent dropping last week, titled Vector. In light of this, we thought we’d have a cheeky interview with the man himself and see what he’s got to say! AND he’s delivered you a 43-min mix packed full of dubs to keep your ears busy whilst you read!


Hi Maxwell! What got you into drum & bass?

Maxwell: Initially, like a lot of people at school in the 2000s, it was artists like Pendulum, Sub Focus, Mampi Swift, and early Chase & Status. I remember my friends giving me Drum and Bass Arena sets and then listening to them on repeat. Tunes like Ebony Dubsters – The Power of Ra come to mind.

How did you start producing?

M: A little later on from the 2000s a close friend introduced me to another side to DnB that I’d never heard before. He showed me London Elektricity – Just One Second. I was astonished that there could be such beautiful artistry in a genre that I thought was reserved for grimy dance floors!

I became totally obssessed with Hospital for a while. My friend and I went to a Hospitality night at (now closed) Matter at the O2 in London. I became so inspired by the amazing vibes on the dance floor that the DJs were creating, and I wanted a part of it. Getting a laptop and a copy of Logic was the next step.

What’s your chosen software?

M: Logic Pro 9. I tried Logic X for a bit and I didn’t like it so I’m sticking to what I know best!
Maybe I’ll give it another go in the future but 9 delivers what I need.

Do you play any instruments?

M: I’ve played the piano for most of my life, and I recently learned some of the basics of the violin.

What’s the DnB scene like in New Zealand?
M: Sadly, I don’t really know! I moved over to live with my girlfriend and we’ve been living in a small town on the South Island where DnB is all but non-existent.
However, we have plans to move to Wellington within the next year. NZ’s capital has DnB in it’s veins, and I’m going to tap into it.

What’s your proudest release to date?

M: Without a doubt it was getting on the NewBlood 014 vinyl. I’d been a huge fan ever since the fantastic 010 album, which showcased early Enei, Synkro and Stray. It stands as a physical representation of my hard work and passion.

Which 3 label’s inspire you the most currently?

M: Samurai/HORO, Exit & Stones Throw.

Quick-fire round!

Dancefloor or Liquid?
M: Shiiiiiieeet………Liquid.

Fried, scrambled or poached?

M: Gimmie dem buttery scrambley eggs fam!

Noisia or Ivy Lab?
M: Ivy Lab.

Labour or Conservative?
M: Labour.

And finally…. what’s in store for Monika for this year?

M: – Moving to Wellington
– Future releases with my house alter-ego Jesse Bullitt
– Writing/pitching more choonz, innit!!

Thanks for your time Max!

Written & edited by Joe Goss.

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