Diving deep into the rhythmic allure of reggaeton and the soulful undertones of Latin music, 1tbsp, also known as the Grammy Award Nominated producer Maxwell Byrne, admits, “I think maybe Rosalia was a big gateway for me into that world… it became more about the rhythm and tone of the voice rather than understanding the lyrics, and I wanted to explore that through 1tbsp.” This exploration has peaked in the release of his debut eight-track album ‘Mosquito Love‘, a refreshing journey that feels like Maxwell’s personal playground. It’s a genre-mixing adventure where predictability is thrown out the window, yet a distinct sound runs through the album like a red thread, binding each track to the next.
He further shares, “After a lot of experimentation, I made ‘mosquito pt1’, but it didn’t feel quite like a full/completed track to me.” This sentiment of experimentation and pushing boundaries is evident throughout his work, making each listen a delightful surprise.
In our interview, we delve deeper into his debut EP, explore where he finds the drive and inspiration, and discuss the stories behind his most captivating tracks.
photography by James Caswell
You said: “I made Mosquito Love over the last 6 months and it’s my first album as 1tbsp. Two things really inspired the direction of the album: over the last year I really got into reggaeton & Latin music, and I finally made the leap and bought some modular synths.“ How did your exploration into reggaeton and Latin music begin, and what specific elements from these genres were you most keen to incorporate into “Mosquito Love”?
I think maybe Rosalia was a big gateway for me into that world, and I quickly started researching some of the genres/sounds she was referencing (like dembow music from the Dominican Republic). It also interested me how English speaking people were fully getting around that music and it became more about the rhythm and tone of the voice rather than understanding the lyrics, and I wanted to explore that through 1tbsp.
The album features a two-part title track, “Mosquito, pt.1 & pt.2.” What was the intention behind splitting this piece into two parts?
After a lot of experimentation, I made ‘mosquito pt1’, but it didn’t feel quite like a full/completed track to me. I also was second guessing myself a lot while making the album, so I sent the song to my friend George Nicholas (Seekae) and he just had some fun and flipped it from a reggaeton track to more of a tech-house track. I wasn’t sure which version I liked better so I decided to include both. I’m thinking about releasing an extended version of the track soon where the two sides are connected.
“Rosalia was a gateway into reggaeton for me; it’s more about rhythm and tone than understanding the lyrics.”
“Sour Berry” is highlighted as the focus track of the album. What makes this track stand out for you, and why did you choose it as the focus tune?
It’s always really hard choosing the singles. About a month ago I DJ’d Vonge Festival in Estonia which is one of my favourite Festivals i’ve ever been to, and I played Sour Berry out for the first time and it landed so well. It was very picturesque and the sun was also starting to rise which might have helped, but I decided at that moment that I would do Sour Berry as the focus track.
I found myself completely captivated by ‘Best of Me’ – it quickly became a super favorite of mine and the vibe feels so fresh and incredible. Can you let me in on the story behind this track?
I’ve been using Tracklib a lot for the 1tbsp project over the last year. Sampling always felt tricky to navigate but that website has given me a really nice palette to work from. I came across this sample from Nicole Bus which was just vocals + bass + keys and was really slow. As soon as I sped it up and added drums + a few modular synths the track felt done. I feel like I lucked out with the perfect sample & was very easy compared to some of the other songs on the LP.
So, in relation to that, what would you say is the ‘best of you’?
Rather than it being a big statement, the lyrics make me imagine people dancing in a club while the DJ is playing this song and it hopefully captures and sparks the energy & pheromones across the room.
“Being surrounded by inspiring people and loving project creation keeps me driven.”
How does your work as 1tbsp contrast with your work as Golden Vessel? What inspired this new direction and name?
I’m kind of just working on both at the moment; it’s nice. Sometimes I’m feeling like I need to get some golden vessel stuff down and other times 1tbsp. It always feels like a conscious decision though. I think I just really wanted to make some music in this world and it didn’t quite work with golden vessel. Can’t remember how I came up with the name, I think it was a quick decision!
Your prolific release schedule is genuinely impressive, and I’m in awe of how much you accomplish. Where do you find the drive and inspiration to consistently produce and release so much incredible music?
Ah thank you! I’m sometimes a little surprised too about how much is going on, but I think I’ve just found my groove. A big part of it is just being surrounded by people that I can so easily be inspired by and make music with. I sample a lot of stuff that my friends send me and it makes things so easy. And I love creating & working towards projects / bodies of work, so it never feels that aimless.
With your upcoming North American tour and performances in Australia, how are you planning to translate the album’s sound to a live setting?
I’ll be DJing for these shows! I’ll be DJing for these shows, something I only started 3 years ago and have grown to love.