OK, I got back from California a few days ago, and will be hopefully putting together a new mix or two very shortly. I was thinking of doing a Skream tribute mix (since he’s my favourite producer of the last couple years, and he’s involved in two new albums at the moment) – any thoughts, anyone? Or should I do ‘Cold World’, my old skool techstep mix, first?
TWU: Your music seems to have a very minimal and simplistic approach, but very effective and bass influenced. Do you think you’ve found the best formula to writing dubstep? Wouldn’t you like to mix things up with maybe more vocals, synths etc?
Matty G: I do love the minimal approach. Part of that is by choice, but also out of necessity. I really fell in love with early dubstep, which was very minimal, so I’ve kinda held on to that style by choice. For a long time though, regardless of what I wanted to do, I was limited by the equipment I used, most of my releases were produced on an old iMac G3 in OS 9, for all the nerds out there [laughs]. It wasn’t really able to run synths, so most of my tunes are sample based, which has helped shape my style. I’ve since upgraded and have begun to incorporate more instrumentation, but still like to keep it minimal and rely on samples for the meat of the tune. As for vocals, I had quite a few vocal tracks on my album ‘Take You Back’ and I have to say, mixing them down was the most difficult task I’ve undertaken as a producer. I would like to continue working with vocalists, but have been on more of the instrumental tip lately.
TWU: Who would you consider your main influences in writing music?
Matty G: Wow! That’s a tough one [laughs]. There’s so many that cross a wide spectrum of styles. I’m a huge fan of old soul, R&B and reggae and each of these genres has multiple producers I admire. Lee Perry, King Tubby, Isaac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield, Phil Spector, James Brown, they all have influenced me in different ways. As far as hip-hop, I would say the founding members of NWA, especially Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, those are the most obvious and it almost sounds cheesy, but kids were bumping the hell out of ‘The Chronic’ and ‘Predator’ when I was growing up. I definitely got mad love for the East Coast too though, Wu-Tang and Mobb Deep taught me that beats can be minimal, dirty and still be bangin’. Early Ed Rush and Trace back in the ‘No U Turn’ and ‘Lucky Spin’ days, that is what I draw a lot of my electronic influence from. They used quite a few hip-hop samples themselves and created a musical vibe that was just straight up dark.