Getting buckets: dreamcastmoe & Max D talk NBA, DC and the beauty of details
Fellow Washingtonians dreamcastmoe and Max D are linked by much more than just their home bases. The pair met in and around DC on the dance circuit and have since remained close pals.
It was only a matter of time before they’d capitalise on their shared love of music and so came their first collaboration back in 2018. With Max on the buttons, alongside Davon and his regular co-collaborator Will Dimaggio on keys, they crafted the smooth, twinkling jams of ‘Outer Space’ and ‘IOU’, which showcased their musical synergy.
Separately they’re reputations precede them. Vocalist and producer dreamcastmoe is known for his soulful G-funk stylings that have graced labels like PPU (on several occasions), Trading Places, In Real Life and, of course, the aforementioned record on Max’s Future Times imprint. Along with the products of Max’s label, which has housed records from Magic Mountain High, Kush Jones and Jack J, his own musical output has come in many forms, both solo under the guises of Maximillion Dunbar and Dolo Percussion and as part of Beautiful Swimmers alongside Ari Goldman.
In anticipation of Davon’s new release ‘After All This‘, we asked him to pick a pal to shoot the shit with, and Max got the call up. Giving them total freedom to talk about whatever came to mind they chose to focus on their favourite NBA players, cheap DC movie theatre tips and how, when it comes to production, the beauty is in the detail.
So here we have it, just a couple of friends having a good old natter…
dreamcastmoe: We both met in DC, in and around Washington DC.
Max D: Yes in and around Washington DC.
dreamcastmoe: Interesting question… who’s your favorite NBA player of all time?
Max D: I think I probably would have to say Olajuwon.
dreamcastmoe: Woah, Hakeem Olajuwon, that’s a direction to go in though.
Max D: You’ve got to enjoy the big man, you know giving people buckets. He’s like the biggest dude that’s still finessing kind of.
dreamcastmoe: Heavy footwork.
Max D: You’ve got people who are in the same boat that came later like Ted Bunken but Olajuwon is definitely the best, like his whole vibe. He won play off games during Ramadan, with no food and shit.
dreamcastmoe: Straight up blessed. What are three words to describe Hakeem Olajuwon?
Max D: Smart, strong, pezzaze, the whole thing. If he wanted you to go that way you would go that way.
dreamcastmoe: He’s giving you all types of moves, misdirection…
Max D: For a guy to do that to you, it’s gotta be really bad for the team. It’s hard to play that dude. I can’t even imagine trying to deal with that.
dreamcastmoe: He’s pretty much trying to give you every move he’s got in his bag, all game.
Max D: Yeah, that’s the other thing he’s got a lot of moves in the bag, so I guess whatever word that would be to describe him.
Max D: I don’t know, multifaceted.
dreamcastmoe: Yeah I would definitely say, multifaceted, smart and strong.
Max D: I mean that’s basketball shit right there, what else would you want?
dreamcastmoe: That’s what you want in your player, I will say that he won when Jordan was gone. It’s the one knock on Houston that I always go back to.
Max D: Yeah he beat ’em up, and it was the Knicks trying to get there for years. They beat him up too.
dreamcastmoe: He didn’t get an easy championship because everyone was gunning for it when Jordan was gone.
Max D: It wasn’t easy back then no matter what year it was.
dreamcastmoe: He was given prime Ewing buckets. We talking about Ewing.
Max D: And Ewing was bigger than Olajuwon.
dreamcastmoe: I think size-wise definitely a wider overall player, like shoulders and everything but Olajuwon is so quick bro. He’s quick and patient.
Max D: Yeah he can pass it too, all that stuff.
dreamcastmoe: This was a question I was thinking of, one thing I always wanted to ask you was who would you compare your music to, style-wise? What NBA player would you compare it to? Past or present, if you could hear your music what style of play would you compare it to?
Max D: I don’t even know.
dreamcastmoe: Come on, I know you’ve got one if you made a highlight tape for this one catch.
Max D: I mean yeah making music for someone in a video, it would probably be someone like Jamal Crawford.
dreamcastmoe: Do you feel like your drums hit like that?
Max D: Yes, it’s got that kind of style to it. I guess that’s kind of what swing is.
dreamcastmoe: A lot of little finesse and little tricks.
Max D: Yeah the last highlights I watched hundreds of times were the Jamal Crawford ones.
dreamcastmoe: Jamal had one of the nastiest mixtapes out.
Max D: Yeah it was like a 20 minute youtube, just watched that all the time.
dreamcastmoe: I definitely have to say music for me compared to, when I hear it, would be Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf. He was real in and out, his career was really short, but he was an assassin. He came in and you could not check him no matter what he did offensively. He was Currie before Currie.
Max D: He has got this lifetime in the 90s free throw.
dreamcastmoe: Over 90% from the line! He’s definitely hitting something.
Max D: Yeah you don’t want to send him to the line.
dreamcastmoe: No. Not the free throws.
Max D: No man, he had a 50 point game?
dreamcastmoe: He had a 50 on Jordan I think, he dropped 50 on the bulls. No actually he dropped 50 on John Stockton… everytime he put one up he had Stockton look up and be like…
Max D: Oh no! I have a question for you. What was the movie theatre you went to as a kid? Or in what scenario would you go and see movies? What was the first thing you did like that?
dreamcastmoe: The movies that I would say I went ot as a child, under the age of 10, was randomly out there by Iris and Mall. It was a theatre out there that had like two dollar matinees for kids, so my mom would always take me out there like “2 dollars!?”. It’s still open and right now they do $5 dollar matinees so it hasn’t really gotten that crazy in 20 years.
Max D: They survived the pandemic too. Shit. That’s crazy.
dreamcastmoe: They definitely have to own the building, that’s the reason they’re still there.
Max D: They used to have one in Maryland, when we moved there. They used to have one in Aston Ville, and show the movies that had already left the theatres, they would show it there for cheap. Yeah movies that were already on VHS.
dreamcastmoe: Like a buck probably.
Max D: Yeah 2 bucks.
dreamcastmoe: That would actually be so good for me because you could go back and watch good movies.
Max D: Yeah I think we saw Jurassic Park a year and a half after it came out.
dreamcastmoe: After you had heard about it in school and shit.
Max D: Oh yeah, I already had the lunch box or whatever.
dreamcastmoe: Do you think growing up in a rural space helped your ear at all?
Max D: Maybe, I never thought of it like a conscious thing but yeah maybe.
dreamcastmoe: Yeah because there are certain things I pick up on in your music that I always connect to people who have a distinct ear, who hear little things in nature and record things all the time that they hear. That detailed shit.
Max D: Yeah when the perfect detail happens, it makes something even more special. When there’s layers to things and you get like three or four layers in there, and the sound detail in the background is really good. When you get an impossible moment. Like in real life when you see five people dressed in all the colours that match the buildings and you’re like… why did the detail of that happen? You know when it’s that good, you just try to re-do that.
dreamcastmoe: It’s lush. You get it from different types of spots which is nice.
Max D: Yeah, like when you can’t tell what sound it is in a neighbourhood of some type, and you don’t get what it is. Those are cool moments too, that we just don’t understand what the sound is.
dreamcastmoe: Along that sort of that lane too is when you know that you can’t describe it exactly and can’t pinpoint it, is it hard when people ask you to describe your sound?
Max D: Some of that stuff yeah but the Dolo stuff, that’s just drums you would DJ with and stuff. From my solo stuff, I always try to think of it like DJ stuff, but then also those little details and impossible moments, I wouldn’t keep it all via live hardware. I’ve always tried to like augment things.
dreamcastmoe: Yeah that’s definitely something I’ve noticed and been drawn to, that’s what sort of sets you apart. There’s so much of the same percussion out here and some of it is like they’re running out of some sort of hardware and it’s not just straight out of Ableton but it’s more than likely you’ve heard it before. And once you get into that sound, making those hi-hats and sort of jerk back a little bit, that’s when you get that different texture.
Max D: Yeah sometimes I really like a track with straight ahead drums on it, but I usually can’t leave it alone without picking different sounds and you know…
dreamcastmoe: That’s the thing, not to cut you off but ‘IOU’ is very straight ahead, but there are these moments in the track where you basically just wanna pull a body up with the sound.
Max D: Yeah it’s just like a detail.
Max D: Or you wait a while and then something kind of comes in, like with the symbols in ‘IOU’.
dreamcastmoe: My favourite side of that is in ‘Up 2 U’, the end of ‘Up 2 U’, when you bring those Sade chords in that flips the whole song. Do you have an artist that you never admitted to being a superfan of?
Max D: I don’t really keep it hidden. I don’t really have a secret. There’s probably a lot of stuff that I like that not many people like.
dreamcastmoe: Are you secretly a fan of the Chuck Norris band?
Max D: No, he seems like a weirdo. Texas Ranger and what not, nah I’m good. I really like ‘Bad to the Bone’, that song.
dreamcastmoe: What is your favourite Go-Go song? Spending so many years in and around the city…
Max D: If I was going to have to pick something, it would be ‘North East’… song wise I don’t know. A lot of the stuff I listen to from Go-Go is the stuff on YouTube where they have different pockets or whatever.
dreamcastmoe: A little bit of smoke sprinkled in.
Max D: There’s this one called ‘Kitty Cat socket’ where they do a lot.