Hi Matt, first of all thanks for spending time with us on Differentgrooves.com
What is the idea behind your Balance double CD mix? How did you get in touch with the Balance team and how did you go about preparing the compilation?`
First of all James Masters and I had been planning to release a mix or compilation to celebrate my 20 years of DJing last year and in the end we decided to approach Balance, and Tom from Balance had already had me on his list for compilers so we knew this was the best route for such an in-depth and musically diverse compilation. From there I sent over track lists and the guys got to work with clearing the songs, and of course this took far longer than expected and we had to push the release back to this year. I was also really sick after a minor operation back in January so I had to delay mixing this project until after Miami. But I think it was worth the wait and I’m super happy with both the mixes.
Tell us something about your tracks choice for Balance 023?
For the Balance mix I really wanted to give the listener an insight into my record collection and so with the second mix “maestros and memories” I really dug deep into the songs that have been truly inspiring to me over the years. Songs that I still love and some new tracks that I really enjoy at home or with friends. With the first CD I wanted to paint a clear picture of what I love to hear or play on night cubs. New and old tracks that I hope have a timeless quality and that people might enjoy in their car or at home, maybe even at a after party !
This is not your first mix CD, tell us what your artistic approach is when tackling projects like these?
Commercial mixes are a difficult beast as it’s not easy to get the tracks you really want, but Tom and Balance guys really did a great job in getting some really rare and obscure songs like Herbie Hancock’s “Nobu”. So my approach was to really explore my collection and it’s kind of like being home and playing my favorite tracks over drinks with friends.
Your track selection contains a lot of different styles, why was it that you decided to approach the album like this?
Well it’s tricky to paint a picture of all my musical styles in 160 mins and I did my best to create a snapshot of what I’m into. And Balance series has always had this approach like the mix from James Holden which was amazing.
This double mix has drawn on personal experience, the months before the Balance album was recorded you were going through a difficult time: if possible, tell us how your past events influenced the compilation?
I always feel very connected to music and its emotion powers and I find that I’m drawn to certain songs in certain moments of my life. And when I was mixing the Balance CD’s I was going through a horrible breakup and recovering from an operation so my life had been turned upside down and music was the best thing to focus on. So there are some real messages in the tracks I chose like DJ Bone’s “Change” and Sakamotos’ “Only Love can conquer Hate”.
There is a scheduled Balance tour which you must be looking forward to? Do you enjoy the traveling element of being a DJ? Do you have a favorite destination and crowd?
Well…I have my favourite cities but I’ve doing this for a long time and you can never tell how a night will end up until you put that first record on and I’m always excited about touring and travelling. Being a DJ you never feel like a tourist as you get to meet local people and party with them.
Continuing with the gig side of things, what has been your best and worst gig in last 12 months?
Worst gigs were the ones I had to cancel due to being sick….The best one so far was the Panorama Bar on May day. It was so good I missed my flight to Tokyo.
What are the future plans for Radio Slave? Any big releases or remix projects in the pipeline?
This year I hope to release some new music as “rekid” as it’s been nearly 8 years since my LP came out on Soul Jazz and I’m also hoping to record and release a Radio Slave LP of some kind. I’ve also nearly finished my next sample pack which will be “500” loops. I made these when I was sick and just sat there making loop after loop. It was my therapy.
Thanks a lot for your time Matt, was a pleasure for us
Thank you….Hugs from Bali x
Interview by Gill