The guys at Multivitamins are counting down the hours until they welcome their very special guest Matt John to London for his exclusive performance. We caught up with Matt ahead of this Friday (and after his marathon weekend at Panorama Bar!) to discuss his feelings about playing overseas, partying in warehouses and how holograms hold the key to his sound.
Hi Matt. This weekend, you’ll be playing in London for only the second time this year, yet the majority of your gigs are in your hometown, Berlin. How do you find playing in Berlin, and how are things different when you play abroad?
Playing in Berlin is certainly different to playing abroad. On the one hand, I often find the crowd in Berlin to be very in to the music, and I have really great parties when I play in Berlin – especially when I get to play outside. On the other hand, sometimes the people in Berlin are exposed to so much music that they don’t always realise what the really good music is. They’re overloaded, and this can be a problem. But when I go abroad, I find the people to be very open minded. They always really listen to the music, and there’s great energy. It’s also sometimes a little bit more exciting, mentally, to play abroad, especially when I see that some people are saying “Matt John’s coming and he hasn’t played here for ages!”.
Have you always lived in Berlin? And were you in Berlin when the wall came down in 1989?
No, I moved to Berlin in 2003. When the wall came down I was living in a small village in the middle of Germany. But I remember clearly when it happened. It really was a great moment for me.
Back in the early days of techno, warehouse-style parties played a very important role, and many parties were in extremely raw industrial locations. Nowadays, many of the most talked-about events seem to happen in club spaces. How do you think things have changed? And what kinds of events do you personally prefer to play at?
When I moved to Berlin, the old Tresor was closing and the old Ostgut was closing, before they each built clubs in new locations. In fact, around the time when I moved to Berlin, everything was changing. It was like there was a new techno wave; a new explosion. Suddenly, many artists came from all over the world, and there were so many parties. For me, I don’t really like the whole “heavy industrial” thing – I’ve always found it too cold. I love a warmer atmosphere, and I love also to play in open spaces, particularly spaces with no roof. And wherever I play, the most important thing is always the sound. In order for it to be a good party – both for me and for the crowd – the sound is key.
Back when you played at the legendary Bar 25, you were often given very long sets and developed an evolving sound that could soundtrack the sunrise or the sunset. Can we expect a similar journey when you play in London this weekend, or will you be focusing on a smaller number of specific elements?
There’s no difference for me. The most important thing is that every time I play – wherever that is – I’m telling a story. It doesn’t matter if I’m playing 2 hours or 30 hours: there’s always a story.
Back in April, when you released “Hello Again” on the Bar 25 label, you also made a video to accompany the track itself. Is this a medium you’d like to explore again in the future?
Definitely. Working with animation was an exploratory thing, and in the future I’ll do more videos for sure.
Can we talk a little bit about your label, Holographic Island? How has running the label allowed you to develop your sound? Do you feel that having your own label for your releases gives you more freedom?
It’s funny – I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. I started Holographic Island 3 years ago. The name was supposed to represent the idea that the label was an island where people could produce great music together. 3 years later, we’ve only released 3 records, but I’m really happy with it. So I’m thinking that actually maybe I should close this label, then build a new one! (Laughs)
Continuing with the label name, “holographic” is also a word that you’ve used yourself in the past to describe your sound. Can you explain what you mean by that?
When I use the word “holographic”, I mean that there’s no age to the music, and no sense of time – that the music is timeless and special. So that you can leave your body, and your mind travels.
Thanks for chatting with us, Matt – we’re really excited to see you this Friday!
Words by Martin Gould
MEOKO is giving away 2 x Copies of the Multi Vitamins Release and Guest List to see Matt John
at MULTI ViTAMINS this Friday.
Email email@example.com quoting “Friday night”. Winners will be announced on MEOKO facebook.
Artist name: Alka Rex
Title name: Maslo EP
Catalog: mV 21
Format: Vinyl 12″
Label: Multi Vitamins
Release date: 2011
B1 Punk PimP
B2 50 BAGG
Matt John at Multi Vitamins this Friday 09.12 at a secret Warehouse Location in Shoreditch.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for location & guest list.