Format draws from its Latin origin: “formatus”, meaning “to be formed”. Over two years, Germany’s Max Würden produced a variety of tracks using completely different approaches. It wasn’t until they were placed together in unison that the strengths from the variety of productions came together.
Max’s studio recordings lined up alongside live performances; field recordings of foot-steps and sounds from deep forests amongst broken leaves and custom synthesizers; processed guitar-loops weave amongst soaring ambient pads and energetic driving analog pulses segue classic 90’s ambient depicting the very furthest reaches of space. Max’s abstract impressions were weaved together and Format was born.
The result captures the very best of Max’s multi-disciplinary techniques we’ve come to admire throughout his many productions and collaborations over the years with the likes of Thore Pfeiffer and his releases on Kompakt’s Pop Ambient series.
Format can be enjoyed as individual tracks, one mixed journey (digital) or as unique mixed-edits for vinyl. Featuring artwork by Noah M / Keep Adding, who unfolds the track’s unique individual elements from the front into one expansive inside gatefold. Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri @ Black Knoll Studio and pressed on opaque purple vinyl, 500 copies worldwide.
In the mid 90s, while playing in bands, Max Würden started to record ideas on 4-track tapes. Amongst other instruments the guitar was his favourite. Since then the guitar is a steady constant during his sound production. Predominantly he utilizes the intrument in experimental ways: he sticks screws and metal pieces between the strings or let’s marbles run down the guitar neck, triggering a feedback, which becomes the foundation of a track. On his album MOMENTUM he went beyond the guitar, but he placed the intrument into focus of the production. Max creates energyladen and experimental ambient music that always aims for what genre listeners looking for: the ultimate relaxation moment. The tracks are carried by slowly building string-generated sounds. Live recordings and complex arrangements find a delicate symbiosis of ambient and strings.
It was a rainy day in October when the mail man knocked on Max Würden’s door. He had ordered an album from El Muelle Records in Malaga, Spain, but when he opened the package it didn’t contain only PEPO GALAN’s album STRANDED, he found a bunch of CDs in there, published by the same label. What a pleasant surprise, and it turned out to be a true cultural survival kit just in time for the following grey weekend full of rain. Having never actually met in person they came to realize that they already followed each others musical projects online for years, a vivid exchange ensued peaking with a question if they shouldn’t work together on an album. 30 minutes later Pepo had sent his first idea, and Max started working on it right away. Musically the two artists had found each other. They immersed themselves so deep into the tracks that at the end neither one of them was able to tell who exactly contributed which sounds to their album ALL OF A SUDDEN.
They also found commonalities in their work processes. Both like to incorporate cassette tapes (like Max’s album RETOUR, Kompakt 2016), and they also like to experiment with guitars and other string instruments which form the musical spine for ALL OF A SUDDEN.
UPDATE: The track STAY by Pepo Galán & Max Würden was released on the POP AMBIENT 2020 compilation by KOMPAKT RECORDS COLOGNE
*CD Includes two prints from artist CHRISTINE NGUYEN taken from her show „Cyanotypes: The Cosmic Long Return“ Images from her solo exhibition at Baik Art, Los Angeles
released May 30, 2018
All Sound + Production Pepo Galán & Max Würden
Album Cover | Tree of Life (2016) salt crystals, graphite, cyanotype on stretch muslin by CHRISTINE NGUYEN / www.lephant.com
Mastering by Südblock Studios, (Berlin, Germany) P & C 2018 Unknown Tone Records
After both of us- THORE PFEIFFER and MAX WÜRDEN – had a track on the POP AMBIENT COMPILATION 2015 from KOMPAKT RECORDS, we thought it was a nice idea to exchange a few ideas. Since then we exchange samples, sounds, arrangements, melodies and sometimes we even talk. We produce FEINHERBEN POP AMBIENT and this is our debut album!
Released December 1, 2017
C + P 2017 Würden & Pfeiffer / Headtractive Production Produced and Mixed by Max Würden & Thore Pfeiffer Mastering by Maximilian Wendling Graphic Design by Finna Leibenguth / www.eaudecollage.de
„…Würden really persuades here in taking his time to build a patient yet atmospheric record of crystalline, hypnotic pop reveries.“ OTHER MUSIC / NYC
„delicately crafted ambient house anchored by steady dub bass…“ BOOMKAT.com
TRANSIT is an intense ambient trip through lush sonic felds as well as dark sound tunnels. Atmospheric feld recordings invite their listeners to stay a while – right before the dub beats reliably push the tempo. So get in, take a seat and let yourself go. Your journey begins here.
released March 11, 2016
(c) 2016 BineMusic Music written & produced by Max Würden Distributed by Kompakt / A-Musik Design by Ordner www.binemusic.de
Album von RoN Schmidt & Max Würden Signierte, nummerierte und limitierte Digipack Auflage von 55 Stück.
Diesmal haben sich RoN Schmidt und Max Würden nicht 10 Jahre Zeit gelassen, wie bei ihrer vorigen Produktion „wir haben die welt schon gerettet!“, dafür enthält die CD einen durchgehenden, langen Track (55:55), der es in sich hat.
Das Ergebnis ihrer Zusammenarbeit ist eine spannende, musikalische Grenzerfahrung. Schwebende, weiträumige Momente geraten in dramatische, akustische Verwirrungen, um sich wieder zu klären und dann in neue Dimensionen aufzubrechen. Für den aufmerksamen Hörer eine unvergleichliche, abenteuerliche Innenraumfahrt mit bewusstseinserweiternder Wirkung.
The album RETOUR is based on 4-track tape recordings that Max Würden originally made in the 90s. Luckily, he kept these analog treasures hidden behind his studio sofa for all those years – to unearth them now, brush the dust off and rework them with modern means, making them sound like they were only 3 weeks old. The result is an album as if made from one piece that knows how to satisfy the aspiration and wit requested by this kind of music – and how to function as pure, immersive ambient listening experience. RETOUR is the second release in the EXPONATE CD series curated by WOLFGANG VOIGT / KOMPAKT RECORDS
released November 6, 2015
(c) 2015 Kompakt Records / Exponate Music produced and mixed by Max Würden Mastering by Jörg Burger Image editing inlaycard by Finna Leibenguth / www.eausdecollage.de Portrait photo by Sibylle Mall
All tracks composed with sounds taken from 4-track tapes recorded between 1995 and 1999.
Album von RoN Schmidt & Max Würden Signierte und nummerierten Auflage von 99 Stück.
Das Album beinhaltet 10 Stücke unseres gemeinsamen Schaffens der letzten 10 Jahre. Immer wieder haben wir uns in unseren Umlaufbahnen getroffen und zusammen getragen, was wir zusammentragen mussten und konnten. Immer wieder kam dabei eine Verschmelzung von unterschiedlichen Arbeitsweisen und Klängen zustande, die wir nun nicht länger für uns behalten möchten.
A. Nitsche meint: „Eure Musik finde ich sehr dicht und in sich abgeschlossen, die Stücke scheinen sich aufeinander zu beziehen und gehen als Klanglandschaften eigene Wege jenseits aktueller Elektromusiktrends. Mir fallen Beschreibungen ein wie: prähistorische Gitarrenspeerspitzen, Tiefseegeschnatter, Orbitalschrottklang, Sonnenwindheulen.“
„…percussive structures and textural forms that you have heard nowhere else.“ „…top-notch pioneering ambient.“ electronicmusicmall.com / 02/2013
„WÜRDEN ist ein meister der sogkraft….“ stadt revue köln / 02/2013
„… ein klares Statement zur Flüchtigkeit klanglichen Erlebens…“ musiksocke.de / 02/2013 ______________
A dream fulfilled or lost? On his new ambient album OR LOST, Max Würden explores what happens when you find the perfect moment. During its eight tracks you can join him on his quest and are invited to ask the question yourself.
He works with many diverse samples – from atmospheric field recordings (collected, among other places, in Cologne and Italy) to unusual instruments (like a parasol stand) to create moody, vast soundscapes and complex rhythms alike.
Accordingly, OR LOST began with a search for the perfect samples. Würden used a contact microphone to discover the world of sounds hidden in an old hard drive and reinterpret the well-known clang of a porcelain bowl. Even though he recorded it all digitally, it was very much an analog process. As a result, OR LOST manages to sound profoundly different and strangely familiar at the same time. It’s darkly mysterious in one moment, like a deep rumble in the far distance, only to become powerfully intensive the very next.
He worked together with the author Thorsten Nesch (Rowohlt) to find the right song titles.
Released November 26, 2012
All tracks based on fieldrecordings and sessions with various instruments. Music written and produced by max würden.