Matrixxman makes his Sub Club debut alongside Palms Trax this coming Friday May 20th. The Dekmantel producer caught up with George & Wrick from Bigfoot’s Tea Party to talk about everything from Artificial Intelligence to smashing it in Berghain…
You aren’t such a fan of doing interviews, is that right?
Haha. I actually enjoy interviews.
Where are you right now, physically?
At the moment, I’m visiting Southern California working on music.
Personally I am quite excited for the future. The pace at which technological advancements are occurring in the field of artificial intelligence has been speeding up considerably. For whatever reason, most ordinary folk I encounter have a hard time wrapping their heads around the implications of ‘exponential growth’ with regard to such pursuits.
Talk of AI and a post-singularity civilisation is met with a subtle sense of incredulousness albeit one that’s totally understandable. People tend to dismissively chuckle a bit, or get apprehensive and opt to not think about what it all really entails. I don’t blame them (as it is difficult to fully parse) but it’s a subject no longer confined to distant-future sci-fi tales or mere conjecture. This is something people at Google and Tesla take very seriously and for good reason. “What the hell does any of this have to do with techno?” you may be thinking. But to me, this is a matter of the utmost importance. It’s the driving impetus for the bulk of my work.
We are looking forward to welcoming you to Glasgow, has anyone told you what to expect from your time here?
I’ve heard many lovely things about Glasgow actually. Everyone told me to expect a rowdy bunch of heathens shouting, punching holes into ceilings and what have you. I trust I’ll be in good hands.
If you could sum up the last year of your professional life, how would it go?
The last year of my professional life has been an epic but humbling adventure with a few unforeseen plot twists.
What’s it been like to blow up as a musician and performer on a global stage over the last couple of years, playing Berghain & Awakenings / the best bits and the worst bits of touring?
It is surreal. You spend ages making tunes alone in your bedroom while fantasising about what it might be like to “make it” and be heard by the world. Several years ago, I pretty much stopped caring about any desired outcome and focused solely on the craft. Around this same time the music I was making started taking on a life of its own. Subsequently many doors started to open up themselves. It goes without saying the traveling part of the job can be tiresome at times but all things considered, it’s still a dream come true. I am super grateful for the opportunity write music and play some weird futuristic stuff for eager crowds.
Can you give us some insight into your studio, what kind of gear you like to work with at the moment, who you have been working with lately, and any releases you have lined up for the rest of the year?
Studio-wise, my setup is in complete chaos as I recently relocated to Europe and have been rebuilding my studio slowly. Fortunately, a rather important project I am working on at the moment has afforded me access to a number of synths that are insanely fun to use. At the moment, I’m spending most of my time with a Synthex Elka, Modal 008, Moog Model 15, Erica Black Eurorack System, and a Koma Komplex sequencer among other things.
It seems like you have been working on some very interesting projects recently, can you tell us about it? Do you hope to work outside of club spaces more often over the near future?
I can’t disclose who/what I am working with at the moment but it’s something that transcends the work I have done thus far so I’m quite excited. Incidentally, there will be an announcement later this month about a series of 12″s also. You can most certainly expect some music that is wholly removed from the club realm too, so stay tuned.
You once told FACT magazine your work was subversive. Subversive against what, philosophical or physical institutions, which ones in particular? And for whom – you as the author, or do you want the listener to feel affected by the music in a certain way?
The remark in question was referring to my outsider producer background specifically in the context of techno. Prior to my forays in underground dance music, I was predominantly making rap with a number of established artists like YG, Ty$, Riff Raff, Elephant Man, etc., so this path has been “subversive” insofar as it’s not every day that you encounter someone who makes gangster rap but then migrates to techno or house without some critical missteps of sorts. Left to their own devices, your typical rap producers might easily conflate proper techno with heinous EDM and conversely many techno producers couldn’t be bothered to entertain the notion of making something like rap.
At a glance the two disciplines are very much mutually exclusive in some senses (although I personally don’t subscribe to such thinking). Urban format vs techno issues aside, I still have many disparate musical aspirations that I would like to see through at some point involving shoegaze, proto-industrial, and even some film score stuff, should the opportunity present itself. I know it sounds a bit mad but it’s important for me to follow these inclinations. Besides, it’s not like techno is just going to up and disappear anytime soon so…
You seem like you are ready to embrace the future, so what were you “Homesick” for?
I guess you could say I’m homesick for the future, if that makes any sense.
How did you fall in with the Dekmantel crew?
Casper Tielrooij from Dekmantel personally hit me up. It was around the same time The XX Files Part 2 came out, if memory serves correct. They are some cool ass dudes. I’m very much honoured to be in the squad with them.
What do you listen to when you aren’t in the studio or a club?
When not at the club I listen to all sorts of stuff: The Smiths, Chopin, Cocteau Twins, Depeche Mode, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, lots of old Studio One and Coxsone records. I’m also really into northern soul ballads as well.
Where would you like your musical output to flow over the next year, what else do you feel like you want to discuss with your work?
Over the next year you can expect to hear the bizarre results of me playing around with a bunch of modular synths. Lots of loopy techno, the odd rhythm track or two, some acid perhaps. Also noise-y techno stuff as well.
Is there anything you don’t get to do anymore that you want to get back into?
I used to draw a ton during my art school days as a youth and I miss using that part of the brain. It would be nice to have a go at it again.
Do you think the human race has another 1,000 years left in the tank?
1000 years from now I don’t think we’ll even remotely resemble the species we are at present. A vast majority of humans will have elected to go post-corporeal or at least have themselves thoroughly backed up. Disease will virtually be fully eradicated. Age and death will become a choice, more or less. Chances are we’ll get really bored with affairs here on earth leading us to establish countless outposts in the far reaches of the universe. Machines will have souls, our domestic pets will become sentient. With limitless intelligence at our disposal, we’ll be able to tackle any problem in physics we can dream of. I predict we’ll even get claustrophobic in this universe and most likely have venture off into the multiverse at some point as well.
What is the single greatest influence on your music?
The singularity :)
Thanks Charlie, see you very soon!
Final release advanced tickets for Friday with Palms Trax & Matrixxman are on sale HERE or in store Tickets-Scotland, then more on the door from 11pm.