Our latest spotlight interview features Matty Doyle aka Matter. The Aussie producer has been much hyped this year and has a brand new remix of Lanvary ‘Skyjack 303’ out now on Stellar Fountain.
1. Hi Matty, thanks so much for joining us here. Let’s give the people some sort of background info on you so we’ll start with some basic stuff. Where are you based and how long have you been DJing and producing?
Matter: I’m currently based in Melbourne, Australia and I have been producing music and DJing for at least 8 years now.
2. How did you first discover electronic music? Where do your musical roots lie and when did you know you wanted to pursue electronic music seriously?
Matter: I started out making electronic beats using an old school DOS program called Impulse Tracker around 1996! It was this awesome little tool that you could make crunchy 8-bit tunes with on a vertical scrolling screen with 16 terribly ugly colours. It was basic, but surprisingly effective at the time. I was experimenting with all sorts of electronic styles from house to trance and drum n bass and regularly breaking the BPM speed limit!! It wasn’t until years later when I started playing with some more powerful tools like Reason and Ableton when I knew that I had found my passion.
As for my musical roots; I’ve played various acoustic instruments over the years such as guitar, piano and sax. And as for the electronic side, well, I was a child of the 80’s and it seems i have been heavily influenced by it… Trashy 80’s synth heavy UK pop with super over processed, reverberated snare drums! – I can’t get enough. 🙂
3. You grew up in Australia which was a real hotbed for progressive house especially through the peak of the genre from 1998 – 2004. How big of an impact did guys like Luke Chable, Kasey Taylor and the Vapour Records crew have on you? How is the scene there now? and do you get a chance to DJ much in your home country?
Matter: Prog house was huge in Melbourne during that era and it has been a big influence on me and my music. I remember Sasha would play three or four Luke Chable tracks in a row and even commented “consider it the Luke Chable appreciation hour!” during one of his sets. I was pretty impressed with how far reaching the scene was at the time. Kasey has been a solid player for so long now and he still knows how to destroy a dancefloor! The Vapour records releases are always tight, and get a lot of plays from me… I’ll actually be playing alongside Kasey Taylor on the 21st of June at Prognosis @ Loop Bar here in Melbourne, amongst some other local legends like Moskalin, J-Slyde, Simon Murphy and Aaron Static.
4. Do you get out to events much and if so who if anyone has blown you away recently?
Matter: I recently saw Guy J, Henry Saiz (live) and Matthew Dear at a massive gig here. All were amazing, but Henry Saiz was the standout for me here because he was playing live with drummer and a vocalist, which sounded sublime and kept an amazing energy level throughout.
5. What do you do outside of electronic music? what is a regular day like for Matter and what do you enjoy doing besides producing and Djing?
Matter: 2014 has not only been my busiest year yet, production wise, but I’m also a super proud new dad! So, if i’m not producing music, chances are i’m changing a diaper or bouncing around the house with the little man in my arms. He seems to dig my tunes so far but can be a tough crowd to please 😉
6. Your relationship with the Hungarian imprint Stellar Fountain has been a very fruitful one. They are one of premier outlets for underground progressive + deep music. You’ve now appeared on the label three times, is it one of your favourites? How did you initially meet the Stellar guys?
Matter: I am stoked to be involved with the Stellar Fountain crew. They are putting out some serious quality and I have lots more lined up with them for the second half of 2014. My entrance to that world was via Greyloop, who got in touch with me via a tune that I posted on Soundcloud.
7. You have a new remix out this week for Lanvary’s ‘Skyjack’ on Stellar Fountain, tell us a bit about the remix, how did you approach this one?
Matter: This is the second time I’ve done a remix for Lanvary. The original is a pretty driving tune with loads of energy, so from the get-go my approach was to deconstruct the main melodies in the tune, strip things back and provide a deeper, atmospheric take on the original but all the while keeping a solid bed of energy throughout the track. Some of the original synth parts worked well as syncopated stabs, so I started there and just built a hypnotic groove around them. The final step in the process was to fire it over to my trusty mastering engineer Drew (a.k.a. SunControlSpecies) at www.humblegrovemastering.com, who always delivers!
8. You’ve really gained a great following over the last 6 months or so, a lot of electronic music fans have been talking about your productions and certainly want to hear more. What can you tell us about what you’ve got coming for the rest of 2014?
Matter: So much more is on the way! I’m pretty excited to have a three track EP due out on FutureForm Music very soon – these are three originals I spent quite a bit of time on, and playing them out always seems to get a great crowd reaction, so I can’t wait to release them to the world.
I’m also currently working on a remix for Progress Inn which will be coming out on either Sound Avenue or 3rd Avenue soon… The original is insanely good and I’ve been spending a LOT of time on this remix to do it justice! What i have so far is sounding amazing, lots of depth, massive melodies and throbbing sub bass. I can’t wait to see where it ends up.
I have another original due out on Stellar Fountain any day now, and some pretty chunky remixes coming out on Elliptical Sun and Clinique, so keep an eye out for those in the next few months.
9. How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? Did you take any Audio Engineering programs or production courses to help you out or are you pretty much self taught? And did anyone give any advice early on in your career that really helped?
Matter: I am a 100% self taught musician. The odd video tutorial here and there is always nice, but that’s more out of sheer curiosity with other peoples’ approaches compared to my own. There are so many ways to achieve the sound that you are after, so I suggest that people experiment until they find their own methods and tools that work for them. And the best piece of advice i received early on “create as much music as possible, before sharing anything with the world…” Learning the tools is relatively quick these days, but it takes time and patience to refine your ears!
10. Your initial productions came courtesy of the UK label Underphunk, how do you think your sound has changed since those 2010-2011 productions?
Matter: Loads. I was listening to a lot of prog house and prog breaks and you can hear that in the productions i was making at the time. Also, my studio was a LOT smaller and my production techniques were a little rougher. 😉
11. So you’ve been producing for 8 plus years now, how has your studio changed in that time?
Matter: Originally, I was making music using just a laptop, an entry level midi keyboard, a few soft synths and the ubiquitous KRK Rokit RP8 monitors which are also somewhat entry level.
These days my studio has expanded to include; KRK VXT8 monitors (which sound amazing) a Moog Little Phatty Stage analogue synth, an Access Virus TI synth, Maschine, Akai MPK49, Novation Launchpad S, MIDI Fighter Spectra and my newest fun toy to play with: the MIDI Fighter Twister.
12. What parts of the production process do you find the toughest? and what comes easiest for you? When the writing or production process gets tough, what gets you through it?
Matter: Toughest: creating a tight percussive groove takes time and tends to take me a few iterations before i’m happy with it. A great percussive mid/high end is so important for the energy of the tune.
Easiest: Melody, bass and atmosphere.
How to get through the creative blocks: Take breaks. Lots of them. Go make a cup of tea / head outside for a long walk. You’ll get some fresh perspective on the project when you return and your ears will thank you.
13. Thoughts on the DJ Mag Top 100?
Matter: It had relevance during the late 90’s and early 00’s. Now it’s just pants.
14. If you had to pick one track which solidified your love for electronic music early on what would it be?
Matter: Orbital – Halcyon and on and on
15. What was your first and last DJ gig?
Matter: First: Breakdown @ Aura bar, Melbourne, Last: Instinct Vibrations @ Rubix warehouse, Melbourne
16. What was the first and last record you purchased?
Matter: By record I’m going to assume you mean vinyl 🙂
First: Trancesetters – Roaches
Last: Unkle – Psyence Fiction
17. What would you say is the highlight of your career thus far?
Matter: Hearing one of my tunes dropped at my favourite festival here in Australia, Rainbow Serpent, for a few thousand people was pretty amazing. It’s the exact reason why I do what I do.
18. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
Matter: I am addicted to growing all sorts of various Cacti.
19. Who are some of the best undiscovered talents in your eyes?
Matter: Certainly not undiscovered, but more people need to be aware of the amazing talent of Funkform as he is one of Australia’s best exports! As for internationals… Feri, D.X. Xavier and Controlwerk have been doing some impressive things recently.
20. Which producers consistently inspire you?
Matter: Guy J, Juan Deminicis, Navar, King Unique, Jamie Stevens, Ott, Simon Posford… the list is long!
21. What artist or track would you love to remix? and who would you love to be remixed by?
Matter: Any of the above listed producers!
22. Record labels are a dime a dozen these days and the majority of people feel most of them are mediocre music factories. Which ones if any standout for you?
Matter: Lost & Found, Found, Futureform, Stellar Fountain, microCastle, Lowbit, Balkan Connection
23. What would you say is the best mix compilation of all time?
Matter: Nick Warren’s GU 28 Shanghai (Disc 2)
24. Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)
Drink: Kombucha tea
Animal: Sausage dog
TV Show: The Wire
Movie: The Cube
Video Game: Fifa
Album: Leftfield – Leftism
Track / Song: Luis Junior – London
Producer / Band: Ott
Record Label: Found
DJ: Guy J
25. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
Matter: Ott – A Shower of sparks
Matter’s remix of Lanvary ‘Skyjack 303’ is out now on Stellar Fountain, you can purchase the release: here