Dubstep duo Matta talk to us about their plans for their new album on Ad Noiseam, their recent EP for Boka and what they have in store for us when they play our free Kmag Presents Faze 2 Agency at Cafe 1001 in London on Thursday July 5th.
Please introduce yourself briefly...
We're James and Andy and produce bass orientated music under the name Matta. We've been releasing music for just over three years now.
Where are you from and to what extent would you say this influences your music?
Both of us are from in and around London so having everything on your doorstep you could ever want in terms of new and fresh music and creative stuff happening always helps to shape you and your music.
When did you first try your hand at DJing and producing?
James: I was first a DJ from about 14, then went to the Academy of Contemporary Music and did a music production degree and this is where we met. For me it was listening to tracks that I liked in certain genres but some of the elements I liked from other genres were lacking.
Andy: I've been producing seriously for about six or seven years. My interest started from listening to DnB. I was fascinated by the twisted sounds and intricacy of the production and always wanted to try my hand at it.
How would you describe your approach to making music?
It's just really about trying to make music you want to hear and to keep it interesting. We work together mostly in the studio so we can both have input into the tracks. It also means that you can bounce ideas and experiment a bit, which sometimes works and vice versa.
What's your studio setup like?
It is pretty digitally based. We work on a G5 Mac and then both have separate laptops when we are not together. We have a few bits of hardware but to be honest we don't even know where the wires have gone, but they are nice to look at. On the software side we use a few choice synths and effects as having everything and not knowing how to use it is pretty ineffective in our eyes. We also do some recording of samples ourselves, which we have used in a lot of tracks and sometimes brings up some pretty interesting results.
Tell us more about your recent Matta EP on Boka, what did you have in mind when you made it?
Our approach to the EP was similar to others. Pretty simply it is getting a good atmosphere to the track, drums that have a lot of weight and a sub capable of knocking a wall down. We had been getting into the more sub based side of dubstep and bass music and it was a bit of a progression from some of the things we've done in the past.
Your second album is forthcoming later this year, what can you tell us about that?
Our first album was a compilation of our singles and remixes from Ad Noiseam, this one will hopefully be seen as a more complete album as we try to experiment and poke our heads into different genres without losing any of what we feel is the crux of our music. Currently we are just getting a load of material together and will then choose what makes it and what doesn't.
Got any other releases / remixes in the pipeline we should look out for?
We've got a collab with Niveau Zero coming out on Ad Noiseam at the end of June which is called Riot / Be Real. It is a pretty heavy hitter and we've had some real good support and reactions to it so far. There should also be a video coming for this as well in the near future. We also have a remix for Statix' track Samurai as well as a remix of Kidnap Kid's track Vehl which will hopefully be seeing the light of day soon.
Are you making any other styles of music apart from dubstep?
We've been experimenting quite recently with a lot of styles and tempos. Some of the tracks on the album are not dubstep and range from being glitchy 120bpm tracks to dark drum & bass. We also have worked with some UK rappers (LDZ), on some more grime and hip hop based bits which is always fun. We've also been working on a genre we came up with called deadbeat which was named after the first track we did in that style. It can only be described as trying to walk through mud on the day the world is ending, pretty bleak.
Tell us a bit more about the mix you are giving away with us and how you went about selecting the tracks for it...
It's what we think is some of the best bass music around at the moment, hopefully put together in a way that keeps things energetic and interesting. We selected some of our most recent material along with tracks from artists who we respect and like listening to ourselves.
What can people expect from your set at our forthcoming Kmag Presents Faze 2 Agency event at Cafe 1001?
Much of the same from the mix. Bass and more bass along with some rhythmical drums to keep people dancing.
Where else can people see you play in the near future?
We mostly gig in Europe, our next gigs should be in Austria in early August.
What do you get up to outside of music?
Actually music does take up a lot of our time as we do it full time. Otherwise it is mostly seeing friends and getting away from that damn computer screen. The Euros have been a good thing to break up the day with especially whilst betting on it, makes things more interesting, but detrimental to our wallets!
Any advice for any aspiring producers / DJs out there?
We got given a bit of advice once from Ivan (Cooh / Balkansky), it was basically that to succeed you have to be completely dedicated and use all the time you have to do whatever it is you want to do. You'll have a lot more chance of success if you bury yourself within the world you want to be in. The other thing is that being original, although extremely hard, is a million times better than copying another persons style exactly. It might mean you don't produce anything complete or releasable but if you persist you'll get something worthwhile which is more likely to get you noticed by people.
What tracks, producers and labels are you feeling at the moment?
The people we are liking at the moment are, Laxx, Kuedo, Killsonik, Icicle, Rudimental, Kidnap Kid, OM Unit, Daedelus, Niveau Zero, Habstrakt, LDZ, Hecq, ASA, Culprate and loads of others. All of those guys are doing a lot of great tracks and the labels they are on also need to take a bow for discovering or believing in them to release their music.
What's the best gig you played in the last six months?
We had a great time in Russia as we were playing in both Moscow and Yekaterinburg with Broken Note, Enduser & Nicolas from Ad Noiseam. The gig in Yekaterinburg was a bit of a shock as we entered through the back entrance and didn't realise how big the place was or the size of the sound system. Everyone soundchecked in about two minutes. The system was pretty amazing and we just kept laughing about it. Also everyone treated us really well and met a lot of cool people.
Download Matta's Kmag guest mix here
For bookings contact Stevie Mac at Faze 2 Agency - [email protected]
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