Kids often bemoan parents pressing a place in the family business upon them, but in Matthew’s case, he was only too happy to follow in his father’s footsteps. A disc jockey by trade and longtime member of DJ culture pioneers DMC, his father, along with older friends in his hometown of Weston-super-Mare on the UK’s west coast, instilled in him the age-old tradition of moving a crowd with music. The similarities between grandmothers gently swaying to chart hits at a wedding, and the heaving throng of rave that is Sunday afternoons at Panorama Bar may at first seem laughable. But from his earliest gigs at [humbled places played], through to regular appearances at clubs such as fabric, Watergate, T Bar, Harry Klein and the aforementioned Panorama Bar, Matthew’s priority has been always been intrinsically placed with servicing the needs of a dance floor.
Undertaking the rite of passage that many of the UK’s music hopefuls embark upon, Matthew migrated to London around the turn of the millennium in order to further exhibit his already multiple years of turntable training. The move proved to be a pivotal moment in all that was to come. A pair of seemingly casual events—purchasing an Akai MPC and meeting the then London Records’ A&R man Damian Lazarus through mutual friend Rob Mello—would in many ways shape much of his proceeding decade. Lazarus went on to set-up the City Rockers imprint along with his former-London Records colleague Phil Howell, and invited Matthew to take on some remix work for the label. Re-rubs for Luke Solomon’s Music For Freaks, Rob Mello’s Boots and Doc Martin’s Freestyle Ltd. followed thereafter, and, having established a relationship with Lazarus based on a mutual appreciation of fly fishing, was asked to take up a management role at his new venture, Crosstown Rebels, in 2003.
Matthew’s six-year stint at the helm of the world-renowned electronic music purveyors brought in acts like Pier Bucci, Minilogue and Ost & Kjex to the attention of the wider world, and while this often-aired association of course represents a key time period in Matthew’s music adventures, it really only summarizes a single chapter.
London’s fascination with Ibizan after-party culture and the reductionist house and techno movement were meanwhile beginning to take hold; Matthew and the imprint were—by accident or design, or perhaps a bit of both—at the vanguard of the city’s shifting music and club culture attitudes. The middle of the ‘00s simultaneously acted as a honing and refinement period for Matthew “the DJ” and also, in a very different way, for Matthew “the producer”. While this former facet became a strongly established local and international presence, holding down residencies at Crosstown Rebels’ Slash & Burn parties, mixing the label’s Get Lost compilation, and going on to set-up the Dig Your Own Rave Sunday sessions alongside Dave Congreve at London’s T Bar, the latter was conversely crafting away quietly in the background, amassing studio gear and preparing to release a debut 12-inch as a solo artist.
At the beginning of 2008 the seeds of Matthew’s production labour bore fruit. The claustrophobic Sources EP for Dinky’s Horizontal label introduced the club-going community to Matthew’s rejuvenated production acumen, and was quickly followed-up by the relentless funk of We Said Nothing for the Diamonds and Pearls imprint. The release proved to be something of a “smash” for the now Berlin-based Matthew, with Innervisions duo Âme using the EP’s title track as the centerpiece to their Fabric 42 mix, and, perhaps most pertinently, established Matthew as a dual DJ and production force in his new backyard.
The move also garnered him fresh opportunities for collaboration, striking up partnerships with Tobi Neumann (the pair remixed the classic “Transformation” by Transform and opened the Cocoon Compilation I with “Extra Lunch”under their EMT guise), Pier Bucci (see the beautifully poised Volatile they produced as Oblique Strategies), and Ed Darling, who in concert as Worst Case Scenario emitted the 2009 sleeper hit “Hot Beef” through Matt Edwards’ Rekids imprint.
Despite the comparative fluidity of releases these past few years, you may be perusing Matthew’s discography and discover something quite striking: The list is short. And you know what? That’s just the way he likes it. There’s simply too much to be discovered in the depths of modular synthesis and at the back of dusty record bins for Matthew to be hastily releasing new records each and every month. So while he continues to straddle the last two decades of house music in some of the planet’s foremost nightspots at the weekends, you can usually find Matthew tinkering away on a drum machine or analog synth during the week, quietly outlining his next carefully considered musical expression.