The King is back! Yes you read that right. We catch up with the legend that is Matt Thomas and get the lowdown on his brand new remix on Mango Alley.
Matt, it’s great to have you back and feels like forever since we’ve heard something from you. We’ve heard you’ve replaced digging crates with digging holes? Are you planning on joining Time Team any time soon?
I have, archaeology called and I answered. It’s the classic cliché DJ career progression isn’t it? People are either completely confused as to why I’ve done it, or they totally get it and think it’s the coolest thing ever. Bottom line is you live once and then vanish like smoke – do everything you think is worth your time while you can.
What music have you been listening whilst you’ve been on a break and what has been inspiring you?
Recently returned to all the Cypress Hill albums and soaked myself in the production genius of DJ Muggs. The sounds he pulled out for the Temples Of Boom album are a masterclass in the lost art of sampling. On the electronic front some Com Truise 80s synth gear, Clark’s last album for Warp and the David Douglas album of synths and wobbly tape-echoes. I also finally found Stars Of The Lid and wonder how it took me so long.
We’ve just premiered your upcoming release; a remix for Dan Sieg called They Won’t Find You. How did Mango Alley encourage you to give up digging long enough to make the remix?
I put the music on hold while I learnt the last 960,000 years of British history. This summer I finally missed it enough that I decided to do a couple of leisurely remixes to enjoy myself. Alex the label boss at Mango just happened to have a good tune and asked at the right time – apologies to everyone else I had to say ‘no’ to for the last 18 months.
The track is a really interesting melting pot of styles. It has this dubby, deep tech house vibe going on and then some unexpected beautiful trance-like melodies. There seems to be a resurgence of people playing big trance licks at gigs. We think Nina Kraviz started it all of again? Was this your intention with the track?
Well I’m glad you think it works, it’s a mixture of the mood of Dan’s original with a few completely different approaches to his material. I’ve not really looked at the scene too closely whilst my mind was elsewhere, but yeah, even I’d noticed an en masse move to trance from the techno big hitters. Did it influence this track? Not really, this is from the same place in me as the remix of Radiance by Saiz & Marzenit or the rework I did for Digweed on Bilder. I heard a lovely thought recently – all art is propaganda for an idea. So this is simply more of me ‘shouting musically’ about that idea – as soon as I can put it into actual words I’ll probably stop making music.
You’re one of the more vocal and outspoken artists out there, never one to hold back from airing your thoughts on the important topics of the world. What role do you think artists have in shaping these conversations?
As I said at the start, we’re here just once – if you have any sort of philosophical curiosity about why we’re here that tends to lead to you forming principles of how you think we should behave and treat each other. Of course it’s not necessary to inflict that opinion on everyone – but if people follow my personal page rather than KU then all bets are off. Fans who think musicians should be forced to take a vow of cautious circumspection just after they’ve mastered Ableton need to think about how stupid that idea is.
So now you’ve got the music bug again, does this mean we’re going to be hearing a boat load more King Unique productions soon? Spill the beans.
There’s a remix package coming for one of the biggest names in prog right now – sounding absolutely immense so far. After that it’ll depend how long it takes me to prove the existence of cosmologically significant entropic motifs in the designs of northern European Iron Age coinage
Are you still up for playing gigs again and if so, how can people book the King?
Yep just the usual – send a carrier pigeon or offer cash bribes and flights via the KU fbook page. Throw in a side-trip to a pyramid and I’ll be there.
Thanks for chatting to us Matt.