Exclusive Mixtape: Max Binski AKA Cleymoore

This weeks mix was recorded by Bruno, better known as Cleymoore or Max Binski. Hailing originally from Portugal, Bruno has made a name for himself in his chosen hometown Berlin with countless gigs at clubs in the capital and all over the world. Bruno recorded a live vinyl mix for KALTBLUT at D59B, his favourite bar in Berlin.

Listen to the exclusive mix and read our interview with Bruno below.

KALTBLUT: Tell me, what came first: your love for visuals or music?

Bruno: My love for music came from my father. He’s not a musician and doesn’t work in the music business, but he was constantly looking for new music. Even when I was very young, my dad fed me all the good stuff that usually you don’t feed a child. Because of this, music became an obsession for me.

When I was young, all the other kids liked the Spice Girls. I’m from the pop star generation. But I was getting obsessed with underground music, like Portishead, Massive Attack and Bjork when I was still a child. As time went by, I became more and more curious about how music was produced. 

But, I was studying to be a doctor. My whole family are just doctors and economists. In Portugal, there was this idea that if you wanted to be successful, you needed to be either a doctor, an economist or an architect. Those were the only three roads you could take, which is a bit stupid nowadays. I liked art. I was always drawing stuff when I was in school. And since I was a good student, my parents convinced me that I should go to med school. I didn’t get into med school, as I failed to get the required score, so I went to a technical medicine school and studied nuclear medicine. I went there for three years, and then I did an internship at a hospital. I fucking hated it to my bones.

At the same time, I was already a local DJ, both in my hometown and in some small places in Lisbon. I started by DJing indie rock, electroclash, disco and even some rock music. One of Portugal’s biggest clubs was in my hometown, which was weird considering how small my hometown is. 

This put me very close to the music business in Portugal, and when I went to study in Lisbon, I started DJing in small high-end fancy bars. My music taste was constantly changing. I began DJing mostly Disco, Space Disco and Jazz at these places.

When I finally gave up my nuclear medicine course, I called my parents and said I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m depressed. I don’t imagine myself doing this. So I quit, and I went to study graphic design. 

I studied it in Lisbon for three years and in the meantime started to learn how to make music. And apparently, I was very good at making very unconventional music. So this guy, Pheek, from Canada, was running a well-known label called Archipel and found me on MySpace or SoundCloud. He liked my music and asked if I wanted to release an EP. So, I did a six-track EP for him, which was extremely experimental, especially for somebody that just started. This made me sort of famous in the underground music scene.

KALTBLUT: Internationally?

Bruno: Yeah, because Archipel had such a huge following and Pheek had a very long and established career. A lot of very famous people were releasing music on his label. 

And then slowly I started to make more and more music and then people started to invite me to do live acts outside of Portugal. My first gig where I performed my music was in Moscow, Russia. It was a very interesting experience. From this moment, I was playing quite regularly in Portugal but even more internationally, which led to me meeting so many extremely talented people who were from the same scene as I was. This made me think that it might be a good idea to start my label 

I had this thing with the visuals in my mind. For me, music and visuals are interconnected. Somehow. If I would go to a record shop, I would gravitate towards records that were extremely pretty.

KALTBLUT: I have a question about that. You live in Berlin, and you just told me how important visuals are for you. Why did you choose to move to Berlin clubbing-wise? The clubs in London, for example, have a much bigger focus on visuals than in Berlin.

Bruno: Berlin is rawer. Clubbing in Berlin is very focused on music.

KALTBLUT: But then why do you live in Berlin and not in London? From what you just said, it sounds like the British scene is more suitable for you because of the massive focus on visuals.

Bruno: Because my temptation and attraction towards visuals were always related to record covers, I never really thought about visuals inside the clubs, for example. If you would have asked me eight years ago if I wanted to live in Berlin, I’d have said no.

I moved to Paris instead because everyone was moving to Berlin. In my defence, when I moved to Paris eight years ago, it was booming. Everybody thought that Paris was becoming the new Berlin. All the big DJs were coming to Paris and the scene was buzzing. It helped me a lot because I started playing in all those clubs, but I hated my experience in Paris. So six months after I moved, I decided to leave again.

KALTBLUT: Why did you hate it?

Bruno: I have a love-hate relationship with Paris. I had a lot of friends that I met in Portugal that moved to Paris. A lot of people also liked my label. They loved the concept, and I was treated with a lot of respect in the French scene. The kind of respect that I never felt in my home country. 

I sold all my gear. I needed to buy a new laptop because I had the idea that I would gig and work freelance. I needed a good laptop because I wanted freelance to be one of my main focuses besides music. 

Paris is extremely expensive. And I got a house in the north of Paris in a very dodgy area. I usually worked on my freelance projects in a Café, and my routine was to bring my clothes to the Launderette and go back to the Café to keep working while my clothes were washing. After three months of doing that little routine, somebody probably saw me with a laptop at the Café, and they knew that I usually put my backpack with the laptop inside on top of the machine. I took the clothes out from the machine, brought them to the other side of the room to put them in the dryer and when I turned back, these two guys opened my backpack and took my laptop and ran. There was nothing I could do. They vanished. There were no police around, and the cameras at the place were decoys. 

I cried for three days. I went to the police station who said they could not help me. At the time, I was also working on my first album. You know, when you’re making music, you go through a state where everything is making sense, and you have to do it at this very moment because, in those weeks and days, it all makes sense to you. And I was on this roll, but then all of a sudden, everything was gone.

I spoke to my friends and said I couldn’t even work here anymore because I didn’t have a laptop. I was depressed, and the people in Paris are very arrogant in general. It was also winter and raining all the time.

So, I decided to move back to the South of Portugal by the beach to clear my mind and reset. That’s when I realised that moving to Berlin made sense. I played in Berlin before, made loads of friends and joined an agency. And when I met my ex-boyfriend in Lisbon, we decided to move to Berlin after six months. We thought, why not? That’s why I’m in Berlin. It doesn’t have anything to do with me being a DJ or the art scene. I don’t even think the art scene here is bigger than anywhere else. The techno scene, however? Yes, that’s bigger here.

I feel in Berlin, there’s a big crowd that loves this stuff because there’s a really big after-hours culture. They appreciate this more mental kind of electronic dance music that usually is not present in people who like straight-up techno.

KALTBLUT: Do you feel limited as a musician because of the huge role techno plays in Berlin?

Bruno: Not necessarily because even though Berlin is called the city of techno, I still think that it’s got a huge scene of experimental music.

If you think about Berlin as the place that almost invented techno tourism that’s what it became. Ibiza and Berlin were the techno tourist places people would go there for techno just clubs to party, do drugs and be hedonistic for a weekend or maybe two. But at the same time, I think this punk vibe is still in Berlin, especially in the underground scene, I can feel it. 

There are a lot of punk places in Berlin that are extremely connected to the electronic music world. Berlin still has this very strong experimental alternative vibe. But because it’s not as famous and not as approachable as Techno, and certainly is not something for tourists, people don’t talk about it as much. 

When I started my label I had a very specific idea in my mind that I wanted it to be a bit different. I didn’t want it to be just a regular label, I wanted it to be vinyl because I like to collect stuff that I can touch. It makes no sense for me to download music. If I can buy a record and if it’s pretty then it makes total sense to me. So my label had to be like this. 

When I started my label, , I wanted it to be very visual, and I wanted it to please people that wanted to listen to dance music at home. Not necessarily music that you would rave to, but music that you can certainly dance to but you don’t have to. It’s very mental in a way.

I feel in Berlin, there’s a big crowd that loves this stuff because there’s a really big after-hours culture. They appreciate this more mental kind of electronic dance music that usually is not present in people who like straight-up techno.

To explain to you why I started the label and how I did it. It’s going to be ten years old next year and when I started, I started it first with a podcast series. Having a mix in a podcast became popular, but everybody was doing it the same way. Everybody was recording a mix and releasing it. I didn’t want to do it that way, because I was a designer and I was doing curation. I knew a lot of artists so I asked some of them to record a nice, but completely different mix for me. I want them to give me a mix, that is jazz music, or ambient or IDM or contemporary electronics or whatever, something very personal. And as soon as I had the mix, I sent it to a graphic artist who’s going to listen to it and give me a triptych of three artworks that work as their interpretation of the music. This is already very ambitious because it requires a lot of logistics, but I also wanted to interview them. I wanted to know who they are, what inspired them to do the podcasts, and how they did it. Give everyone a voice.

And all of a sudden this project became famous in the underground scene because nobody was doing this. It was very ambitious at the time. I was also a freelancer, so I had a lot of time. I was doing this every 15 days. It was crazy. I spent my weeks working on this. I started receiving messages from people telling me that every two weeks they would be anxiously waiting for the new episode of the Pluie/Noir podcasts and when I was playing gigs all around the world, people would tell me how much they loved the podcast. This, for me, was more important and more beautiful than running a vinyl label. 

KALTBLUT: Where did you release the podcast?

Bruno: I released it on Soundcloud. But yeah, this was how the label started and then six months later, I released the first record by Petre Inspirescu, he was and still is one of Romania’s biggest minimal techno heroes. I followed that same principle with the records that I was doing with the podcast until today. Every time I get the music that I went to with this label, I’m going to get it to a different graphic artist, painter or photographer who’s going to listen to it and he’s going to send me something related to the music for them. I was exhausted after a few years of doing this podcast every 15 days. It was complicated and reached the point where I noticed I was creating anxiety for myself because I wanted to comply with the 15-day rule. Because it was getting so famous, it gave me this drive to keep going, but I was extremely tired. I had burnout and reached the point where it became too much. It was just stressful because I wasn’t making any money with this series. It was something that I was doing out of love, and because I enjoyed that people also enjoyed it. But it was one of the most tiring times of my life.

KALTBLUT: Did the tiredness and burnout make you end up hating the podcast?

Bruno: No, not at all. I ended up dropping this unrealistic idea of doing a podcast every 15 days. I started doing it monthly, but what happened was that I was getting a lot of unrequested mixes and I lost all control over the series. When these things started to happen regularly, it was driving me crazy. 

The whole thing became really, really tiring. I finished the original podcast series in 2019. Then, last year, I started the Interscapes series, which is the second series of the Pluie/Noir podcasts, but I decided that I would have complete control over it again.

KALTBLUT: How’s that going now?

Bruno: It’s slow. I don’t have a specific release date anymore, so I postpone it endlessly until I have the time or the mental disposition to put it out. But what I like about the series is that it’s done properly. I now have all the podcast series on a website accompanied by a proper interview of at least ten questions.

KALTBLUT: I want to ask you about your vinyl collection. What are your three favourite records?

Bruno: Wow. That’s a really hard question. I have about 2500-3000 records right now. I collect everything from ambient to downtempo, jazz to techno and house. I buy a lot of club related records for my DJ sets, but I’m finding myself buying more and more downtempo. It gives me much joy to play slow, exactly the kind of stuff you can hear in my mix. It’s really hard for me to tell you a favourite.

I don’t like to listen to dance music when I’m home if it isn’t melodic.

KALTBLUT: Well, what’s your favourite genre at the moment? 

Bruno: My favourite genre is, and always has been without realising, IDM. Something very melodic, very soothing, and maybe has some rhythm, but not too much. I like ambient music. I listen to ambient music all the time. Especially when I’m working. It calms me down. I like some techno music when I’m home, but it has to be very melodic and very soundscap-y. I don’t like to listen to dance music when I’m home if it isn’t melodic.

Follow Cleymoore on Instagram and Soundcloud!

Upcoming gigs

09/04 Rubi & Max @ D59B, Berlin
20/04 Rubi & Max @ Crack Bellmer, Berlin
07/05 Cleymoore @ Crack Bellmer, Berlin
14/05 Cleymoore @ TBA, Amsterdam
01/09 Rubi & Max @ Dimensions Festival, Tisno

Club photos by @berberan_
Cover photo by @prockcorn

Bookings here.