Mother: The ‘Shine A Light On’ Mix


Today's 'Shine A Light On' mix comes courtesy of Scottish DJ Mark 'Mother' Maxwell. Now involved with Rubadub, Mark used to work as John Peel's Radio 1 assistant in the early 2000s, and was later part of the Fortified Sessions crew that first brought early dubstep DJs like Mala and Loefah to Scotland. He also runs the Heated Heads label who've released music from Shady P and Shit & Shine. He's turned in some stellar mixes over the past few years for the likes of Berceuse Heroique, L.I.E.S. and The Trilogy Tapes, as well as a cassette mix for Hamburg label V I S, so we're very pleased to welcome him to the site. Listen to Mark's mix below – hit the download button if you like! – and then read on for our Q&A:

Please introduce yourself…

Hello. I’m Mark Maxwell, aka Mother. In the context of this interview, I’m someone who’s been playing other people’s records to other people for about 16 years. I do a bunch of other shit too, of course.

What does your music sound like?

I’ve garnered a rep for playing darker, stripped-back and predominately instrumental music, although my tastes are very varied really. And the things I get asked to play at are often, from one to the next, quite different. Which luckily enough is exactly the way I prefer it. This mix I’ve recorded for you has a markedly less ominous tone than most others I’ve done this year though, it has to be said. It’s also almost devoid of rhythm.

Where was the mix recorded?

At home, on two turntables and a mixer, with the addition of some outboard effects.

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

Fuck knows really. Unless you have an impressive home listening set-up in which you can engage playback at extreme volumes, then I’d recommend the headphones for this one. Somewhere that isn’t too cold. At least sitting down, if not fully horizontal.

What should we be wearing?

Absolutely nothing, save for a pair of white M&S cotton-rich quarter socks.

What would be your dream setting to record a mix?

At home, but one in which all my records were filed away properly. And maybe through a nice amp / passive speaker set-up, instead of the cold, calculating studio monitors that get used for the cold, calculating mix downs that I never do.

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

The Vera Dvale & Psykovarius one.

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

Aaaah. It changes too often depending on mood. Sorry, I know that’s a complete cop out. Recently been revisiting Scion’s Basic Channel mix for Tresor. Notable for being more than the sum of its (already excellent) parts.

If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

Keiji Haino. I’ve never actually heard any of those mixes he’s done, but fuck it. You know you could definitely get loose with that one.       

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

Just the classic combo really, and it’s pretty much the same now to be honest. Except now it’s made up of better shit. I’m still exclusively playing wax, except for the odd occasion when I’ll also use CDJs when playing out. But I have no idea what’s stopping me ditching all that and using djay 2 on my phone. Know what I mean? If UDG don’t get their act together then I might…

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?

One should put one’s best foot forward.

What were the first and last records you bought?

The first couple were Max Ernst and Sound Signature 12”s, if I recall correctly. The last one was the Pessimist LP on Blackest Ever Black.    

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

C’mon now…

If it was an animal what would it be?


One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?

Where there’s a will, 3-band EQ and a low pass filter, there’s a way.

Upcoming in the world of Mother?

Herrensauna’s two year anniversary at Tresor in October (14th – 16th), as part of an arrestingly good line-up. Then over to Copenhagen in November (18th) to play for some friends alongside Beneath and re:ni of Siren. I’m not out there doing this thing 2/3 times a week, but I’ve been lucky in the fact that almost everything I’ve been asked to play has been run by the sweetest of souls who strive to put on interesting events, which I always look forward to playing. That’s actually true btw.

Anything else we need to discuss?

Environmental and ecological disaster, structural economic, racial and gender inequality across the board, the homogenisation and corporatization of subcultures, why Twitter is shit, the last season of Narcos and the shocking price of meat. But we’ll save that for next time! On behalf of all DJs, I'd like to thank everyone who actually makes music, without whom our profession / glorified hobby wouldn't exist.

Image credit: Dasha Miller

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