Shmaxi is the professional name of Max Oliver, a multimedia artist and producer from San Antonio, Texas. A lifelong musician, he spent his teen years playing drums in a number of bands and working as a session musician on dozens of recordings. Eventually Max found himself wanting more and dove deeply into the role of multi-instrumentalist composer.
Oliver found his creative home in the world of ambient instrumental music. Since launching his endeavor Shmaxi’s music has already met with success. He has composed and recorded music for commercials, skateboarding videos and independent films like Texture Cinema’s debut horror film, “You’ll Miss Me in the Morning.” Amidst all of these projects, the prolific composer has also found the time to release his debut solo album.
“Movies Before Bed” is the debut album from Shmaxi, released worldwide to all major streaming services on May 4, 2021. The 12 track record finds the visionary artist mixing the organic and electronic sounds to create hypnagogic scenes inspired by late night binge watching. The instrumental record is a concept album of sorts, with each song title riffing on the theme. The record’s otherworldly moods transport us to a sleepy couch floating somewhere between conscious thought and slumber.
From the analog synths and orchestral string swells of “Lost Footage” to the found sounds and lush tones of “Kindly Rewind,” Shmaxi combines the natural and synthetic to create a beautiful and transcendent experience. Throughout the record he incorporates guitar (“Home Video”), acoustic piano (“Kids Show”) and wordless disembodied vocals (“Cable Access,” “Something Real,” “In Black & White”). Nature sounds (“Premium Horror”) blend with digital scenes to reach a new dreamy and cinematic plane. There is an element of improvisation here that brings to mind the ambient chance music of genre pioneer Brian Eno. It’s a great vibe.
Watch Shamxi’s video for “Dream Sequence” below. You can also hear the piece on the Deep Indie Chill playlist. Or listen to the entire “Movies Before Bed” album on your favorite streaming service. Follow the links below to connect with Max Oliver. Get on his profiles and get in the loop on all of the music to come from this multi-talented artist.