German duo, Mat.Joe are well on their way to becoming heavy hitters in the global underground music scene with their unique style of flawlessly blending contemporary house with classic hip hop.
Hailing from Hannover, Matze and Johannes initially kicked off their music career as hip hop producers under their Twomanics guise in 2008 before shifting their focus towards electronic music in 2011.
The duo subsequently moved to Berlin to embrace their new artistic journey. “We were super motivated when we arrived in 2010 and were lucky enough that things were moving in the right direction,” they said.
We had a chat with the lads about their initial challenges when they moved to Berlin, their all-time favourite Wu-Tang Clan tracks and how Britney Spears describes their personalities.
You guys spent more than a week in Koh Phangan recently, how did it go?
It did go very well. It has been the longest time we’ve spent on the island so far, almost three weeks and it has been quite an experience. Friendly people, Slip’n’Fly, delicious Thai food and adventurous scooter rides. The 5 Senses Festival crew and the club owners have done an amazing job and we can’t wait to come back next year.
Koh Phangan has been one of Southeast Asia’s most favourite party destinations for years. What do guys like about the island?
What we don’t really like are the ridiculous Full Moon parties where everybody’s trying to get f***** up as fast as possible. What we like are the local promoters that keep pushing for quality events with quality sound systems. This has created magical vibes again and again during our stay.
Which other party islands are your favourites, and why?
Koh Tao was great as well. We played at Freedom Beach and the hospitality was superb. Super cool crew. We even got the chance to go diving although we only stayed for one and a half days. And of course we can’t wait to play in Ibiza this season. Watch out!
Did that part of the Asian tour give you guys enough time to discover the local talent?
Yes indeed. We met lots of talented guys like Lin and Steffie Ditzel and our boys Dan Buri and Roni Kush, they’ve been our friends for some time now.
House DJs with hip hop backgrounds aren’t new, how did you make that transition when you decided to test the electronic music waters?
House has always been a thing for both of us and it never felt wrong to listen to both genres so it was only a matter of time to release some house records.
Do you find yourselves still referencing hip hop/urban tunes when you make music these days?
Yes, in a way. Our ears are always super receptive towards any urban sounds. We’re in love with the culture and we can’t help but sympathize with urban sound aesthetics. The sub bass, the sizzling hi-hats, the super wide vocals and on the other hand the rusty cymbals, the crispy drums, the motherf****** rawness - the overall approach is just something we really like.
Wu Tang Clan is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year and incidentally they are one of your biggest music influences. What are some of your all-time favourites from them?
Protect Ya Neck
Shame On A N****
Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit
Can It Be All So Simple
As High As Wu-Tang Get
...just to name a few. Happy anniversary, Wu-Tang Clan forever!
Moving from Hannover to Berlin seems like a natural career progression. What were some of the initial challenges you faced when you first moved there?
Challenges...strong word. We instantly realized that our social network grew rapidly. You don’t just text people, you meet them. We were super motivated when we arrived in 2010 and were lucky enough that things were moving in the right direction. So the challenge until today is definitely to keep things moving, to stay relevant, to spend time with our families and friends.
The scene in Berlin represents various styles of music. What do they all have in common?
An infectious groove.
What will be top priority for 2018, more touring or more studio time?
Both, plus we’re launching our own label.
Do you guys pre-plan the amount of productions to be released in a year?
Not really but we always try to find a balance between the amount of releases and the time. Yes, this can be quite tricky sometimes.
If you were to describe your personalities with a track, which one would it be?
Britney Spears - Oops!...I Did It Again
Mat.Joe will be taking over the decks of kyo Kuala Lumpur on February 24th for Panther's Birthday Bash. Check out the details here. Get a taste of what they have to offer below.