to eleven

To Eleven vs. Minty Fresh Beats: an interview with Max Tannone by jason
April 23, 2010, 1:45 pm
Filed under: Interview | Tags: , , , ,

To Eleven readers may have noticed that we like a good mash-up. Every Monday is a kind of holiday here, and several of our readers have told us that Mash-up Monday is their favorite regular feature.

These same readers have told us that amongst their favorite mash-ups are the works of Minty Fresh Beats, AKA Max Tannone. Indeed, his Jaydiohead and Mos Dub albums have not left my MP3 player since I found them. Though his work often takes the music of two artists, each project stands up as music in its own right.

Recently, To Eleven got the chance to ask Max Tannone a few questions about his approach to mash-ups. Here’s what he said:

To Eleven: Do you have a certain philosophy in what elements you look for in the songs you use to mash-up. Like, are there certain qualities in the songs that tell you that they will work well in a mash up?

Max Tannone: The first step is the concept. For example, with Mos Dub, I wanted to bring Mos Def and dub/reggae together. From here I collected Mos Def acapellas and a lot of dub/reggae music. I would listen to the dub tracks for tempo, vibe, vocals, mood, variation, etc. Anything that caught my attention I would revisit later when I knew what acapella I wanted to work with. The only real philosophy is the concept of the project – once I begin the process I find out quickly if the remix is not working.

To Eleven: When starting a mash-up project, do you start with songs you think would work, or just an abstract concept that you fit the songs into?

Max Tannone: Both. Similar to what I said above, the concept determines my source material. I’m not really into mash-ups for mash-ups sake. For example, mashing Lady Gaga with Outkast just because it works together, or some other random combination. The mash-ups I enjoy are usually longer, more in-depth projects rather than one-off songs. Not to take anything away from people who make crazy mega-mix style mash-ups, it takes talent and skill, its just not something I’m listening to.

To Eleven: Did you ever try to create a mash-up only to find that the songs you were using just won’t mesh?

Max Tannone: Yes, often. For all of the remix projects I do, there are at least a few tracks that I had to give up on because they just weren’t working out. If you have to force it too much, its usually an indication that you should try something different. The tracks that do make the final cut have to fully stand on their own. Sometimes it can be frustrating, but its part of the process and comes with the territory.

To Eleven: Besides yourself, who are some of your favorite mash-up producers?

Max Tannone: To be honest I don’t listen to a lot of mash-up stuff. I have been continuing to listen to a lot of dub music, Lennon solo stuff, Beck, Rusko, checking out the popular tracks on hype machine. Actually I just remembered, DJ Swindle has done some really cool mash-ups, he is my favorite mash-up producer.

To Eleven: Who are some of your favorite musical artists?

Max Tannone: Too many to name. I’ve been listening to a lot of different music, including the names I listed above. I’m going to put my entire ipod on shuffle and name you the first five songs that come up:

1: 9th Wonder – “December 4th” by Jay-Z (black is back remix album)
2: Sublime – “Chick on my tip” (second hand smoke)
3: 50 Cent – “The Good Die Young” (Power of the dollar)
4: Common – “Chapter 13 rich man vs poor man” (resurrection)
5: A Tribe Called Quest – “The Hop” (beats rhymes and life)
6 BONUS!: Diplo – “Way More” (florida)

To Eleven: Are you working on any projects right now? Can you give us a hint about what it might be? 🙂

Max Tannone: I’m not sure what my next project is. Anyone who is interested in collaborating, let me know. All of my contact information is at

If anyone is interested in general and wants to know what I’m up to, check out and

Thanks go out to the “To Eleven” blog and its readers!


And thanks go out to you, Max!

Be sure to check out the above mentioned projects, as well as Tannone’s Doublecheck Your Head!


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[…] Your Head, Max Tannone, Skills to Lighten Up It’s mash-up Monday again! In honor of our recent interview with Max Tannone, here is one of his mash-ups from his Doublecheck Your Head album! Leave a Comment No Comments […]

Pingback by Mash-up Monday: Beastie Boys vs. Beastie Boys-Skills to Lighten Up « to eleven

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