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Interview: Catching up with house duo Maur

Emerging from the vibrant heart of London's electronic scene, Maur, composed of Dan Clare and Dylan May, has carved a niche with their distinctive melodic house grooves. Since their union in 2015, this dynamic duo has captivated audiences globally, earning a spot as Tomorrowland’s artists to watch in 2021.

Their journey is marked by a string of successful releases on SOLA, showcasing their ability to craft stadium-sized dance anthems that resonate deeply with the electronic music community. Maur's sound, a blend of potent rhythms and immersive melodies, represents the new wave of house music, poised to leave an indelible mark on the genre.

With their new single Disco Tool out now on Toolroom, we caught up with them for a chat.

How has your journey from established DJs to forming Maur influenced your music production?

We understand what a track means to a DJ and where it can fit in a set. For example, 'Disco Tool' was made as a bit of a dancefloor weapon, one we hope stays on a DJ's USB for many years.

What inspired the melodic and high-energy direction of your tracks, particularly 'Deep Inside'?

It stemmed from our desire to create something unique. The market is very crowded at the moment, and we didn't want to follow a certain sound/trend. The arpeggiated synth sounds of our first few tracks received amazing feedback across the board, so it's just something we have developed over time and adapted to different styles.

Can you share the creative process behind your breakthrough track 'Set You Free' and its impact on your career?

In March 2020, we released a track called 'Back in the 90's' on ViVA. Unfortunately, clubs closed, so we never really had a moment with that track. We decided to make something similar with 'Set You Free' and then work on getting an original vocal. We wanted something reminiscent of 90s house music and were luckily put in touch with Faber by a mutual friend. We wrote the track on WhatsApp in an evening, and it all came together quickly. It kickstarted our career, giving us our first Beatport number 1, our first Radio 1 plays, and much more.

How do you balance individual creativity within your partnership to maintain Maur's unique sound?

Dylan works on a lot of the sound design, and Dan on the songwriting side. Then we tend to come together to structure and finish the track. We try to stay on our own path, but it's hard not to be influenced by what's going on around you. Some of our releases this year may surprise people.

Tell us about your new single for Toolroom... any specific inspiration for this one?

We've made a lot of music that's very vocal-heavy over the years and have neglected the more club side of our sound. This was an ode to the indie dance records we always play. The big, timeless, synth-heavy tracks that were so popular from 2012 to 2016.

How important is it to choose the right label for your music?

We are learning as we go. The vibe has to be right. The most important thing for us is that they are excited about the music. Many of the labels we are signing with at the moment don't usually release music that sounds like ours, so it's really exciting to see.

Reflecting on being named Tomorrowland’s artists to watch in 2021, how has this recognition shaped your goals?

It's great to be recognized by such a huge festival. They continue to support all our releases on Tomorrowland radio, and it's a great buzz every time. It helped us realize that we have support outside of the UK for the first time and helped us grow our international market.

You've had significant Radio 1 support from industry figures like Pete Tong, Annie Mac, and Danny Howard. How important is radio play for emerging artists today?

The feeling of getting played on Radio 1 is insane. It'll never get old and feels brand new every time it happens. It's definitely important for emerging artists; it's one of many areas that you need to tick in order to succeed.

How do you approach the integration of vocals in your tracks, and what role do they play in your music?

We are very particular with vocals. I would say about 9 out of 10 vocals we receive don't make it onto a release. A good vocal can give you that unique sound that sets you above the rest.

Looking back on your exponential rise since 2015, what would you say has been the key to your success?

Staying true to our sound and really learning our craft before we put music out. Maur was created after we'd both been making music individually for 5-6 years. Solardo were key in our breakthrough in 2020 as well.

As you continue to evolve, what new directions or experiments can fans expect from Maur in the future?

A lot of our releases this year will surprise people. Collaborating with artists outside of our zone has helped create some amazing music. We are working with some of our favourite labels and artists this year, and we are super excited for everyone to hear the new music!

Maur - Disco Tool is out now on Toolroom


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