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The Maxwell Implosion

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The Maxwell Implosion is the nom de plume of one Tortsten Heller, a hyperactive German-born DJ who's been loving up the ears of discerning European club-goers for nearly two decades. After receiving a degree in medicine and briefly studying Danish design, Maxwell turned in the mid-'80s to crafting smooth-sailin' lounge sounds, quickly honing a warm, leisurely style that doesn't adhere to any one genre, instead tapping downtempo electronic, soul, funk, soft rock, bossa nova, dub, jazz, R&B, and pretty much anything else Maxwell can get his hands on to create a mellow atmosphere maximally conducive to the consumption of slightly dirty three-olive martinis by fashionably dressed hipsters. He's Esquivel without the goofball factor, Burt Bacharach without the cheese.

In 2000, Maxwell set about recording his debut album in his new home in Italy, surrounding himself with the Small Circle of Friends that would become the record's title, with the intention of creating a relaxing and pleasurable hour of music for optimal living room enjoyment. This small circle included French chanteuse Lalia France, Brazilian vocalist Pat Cerqueira, and German hip hopper Brian Levin, among many others. Together this group produced an evocative and languid collection of gently funky songs that hearken back to the space age bachelor pad music of yesteryear, while retaining a decidedly modern and cosmopolitan edge.