Festivals vs. Clubs: How House Music History Influences Mason Maynard’s Sets

Aug 12, 2023

Luca Rizzello

2 min read

Manchester-based maverick Mason Maynard has become renowned as one of tech house’s fastest-rising artists. Supported by the likes of Pete Tong, Danny Howard, Skream, Richy Ahmed, and Patrick Topping, he’s released through celebrated labels like Cajual, Repopulate Mars, Defected, and Relief Records.

Maynard is heavily influenced by early Chicago house artists like DJ Pierre, as well as classic tech house from the 1990s and early 2000s. “I’ve spoken with a lot of the guys who started this, the Chicago guys,” he says in an interview with Attack Magazine. “I was with DJ Pierre last week in Chicago and I was asking him his story and what he told me, just to hear it from the source and to know these guys created this music, and most of it was by accident, it was eye-opening.”

But these days, Maynard believes that old-school tech house works best in small and intimate club sets. “I think in a smaller dingier club the older tech house sound can thrive, more than on the main festival stage.”

Tracks by tech house seminal figures like Terry Francis and Pure Science were never intended to gel with crowds expecting big drops and dramatic moments. Instead, their tracks developed in nuanced and subtle ways. “Now, with the big festival stages and bigger club rooms, I think that kind of stuff can get lost, but it’s the basis of what tech house originally was.”

For Maynard, modern festival sets often seem to demand a drop or build-up just to keep the crowd interested. “Everyone’s anticipating the drop.”

He emphasizes the importance of how tech house has changed over time. “There was a time when there were no festival stages for tech house and the music was catering to small dark clubs,” he says. “You didn’t need to switch it up every minute and a half.”

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