Max Gardner




For over a decade, Max Gardner has dedicated himself to techno. His DJ career began humbly, as many did — mixing records on tables with friends in high school. Times have changed: He's now a constant presence in Bay Area techno, playing clubs and warehouse parties, hosting his own events, and producing his own hammerhead machine music, performing all-hardware live sets solo and in collaboration.  In 2011, he co-founded Direct To Earth, a party and event series. Inspired by a lack of proper techno in the East Bay, DTE's first incarnation was a Sunday night weekly party in Oakland. There, Gardner met a crew of friends and collaborators, and Direct To Earth began to blossom. Today, it's one of the most well-regarded techno affairs in the Bay Area. Through his work with DTE, Gardner has hosted, promoted, and DJed beside some of the world's most well-regarded techno talents — in dirty warehouses, hazy afterparties, and top-tier clubs. Max Gardner's DJ sets run through the gamut of techno in its purest forms, inspired by the heavy, synth-forward sounds of Detroit and Berlin classics and new-school players from the Netherlands, Latin America, and the U.S. Midwest. He focuses on driving rhythms and intricate, long-form mixing — hypnotic blends that provide just the right amount of subtlety to whipped-up dancers. He's played dozens of beloved clubs and festivals throughout the Americas and Europe: Beta and the Great American Techno Festival in Denver; MUTE in Medellí­n, Colombia; The Works in Detroit during Movement; Asylum in Honolulu, Hawaii; Desterro in Lisbon, Portugal; Public Works and Monarch in San Francisco; and many more. Gardner has also been producing his own material for years, and in 2018, he released his first 12", an EP entitled "Broken Knives & Pinkies" on Bay Area imprint Excise. It features two original productions — one moody and spacious cut, one cut tightly wound and joyously alienating — and two remixes. Besides his solo productions, Gardner also collaborates with San Francisco hardware technician Marc Kelechava as Transpose, an all-hardware techno duo whose debut performance tore the roof off a MUTEK San Francisco afterparty. He's been busy for years, but Max Gardner's just getting started in 2019. Watch this space.