In many guises, Matthew ‘Bushwacka’ B has been around since 1988 and to this day continues to make killer music and rock dance floors globally. He has remained a firm fixture in the global dance scene since first cutting his teeth in the acid era of the late eighties. Regularly reinventing himself, his production catalogue boasts releases on Ultra, CTR and Get Physical as well as a host of other industry-defining labels, whilst his legendary residency at London nightclub The End has given the British-mainstay a lifelong legacy. Later this month, he set to release a debut collaboration with Darius Syrossian on Crosstown Rebels. With the release approaching, we’re pleased to be chatting with Bushwacka today!
Matthew, a pleasure to have you with us today! First off, how are you doing and where are you based currently?
Hi there. It is a pleasure to have been asked by you. Thank you. I am pretty good thanks. Anxiously waiting to find out about restrictions being lifted, as are most people in the music and performance industries. That aside, things are really going well. I am based in London, close to Hampstead Heath, these days.
We’re speaking to you ahead of your upcoming collaboration with Darius Syrossian on Crosstown Rebels. We were super excited when we heard you two had been working together and we love the result. Can you tell us a bit about your relationship with Darius and how the collab first came about?
Well lockdown did have its benefits and collaborations were certainly one of them! I love Darius’s energy and commitment to his music, and he is a great DJ. I am also a fan of his label, Moxy, so choosing to collaborate was a no-brainer. He had track ideas to send me, and me to him, so we were off to a good start already.
What was it like working together on Return To Jericho? And with both of you being long-standing producers, we’re interested to know, were there any little tricks or ways of doing things in the studio that either of you picked up off eachother?
We both worked remotely and bounced stems and ideas back and forward to each other until we were happy. Sometimes D would send me videos from his phone of the work in progress, from his studio, and I could feel the excitement as he captured the work in progress. I bounced videos back to him, and so forth. For me his energy is what reality shines through.
What has your day-to-day been like over the last 18 months or so since the onset of Covid?
Well I qualified as a psychotherapeutic counsellor last September, and launched Listen Up Therapy at the end of last year, while on a gap year from my MSc degree, and have been putting lots of energy into my private practice, online and in Harley Street. This has taken up a lot of my time, but I still managed to do weekly live streams – 90 mins to 2 hours, every Thursday for a year, called “Vinyl Love Affair” and had over 2 million views, which has led to all sorts of other projects. This alongside remixing and collabs, releasing a sample pack with Loopmasters, and trying to cope with the lockdown restrictions, has kept me both busy and sane.
Times have been difficult for many through the pandemic. We have a lot of respect for your efforts to help others mentally through recent times. Can you tell us a bit about the Listen Up Therapy mental health series that you have been involved with recently?
Listen Up Therapy Ltd is a company I started in late 2019 with my partner, soon to be wife, Belinda. The thinking behind the company is that both therapy sessions and meditation practices compliment each other and help people to become more aware, grounded, and able to deal with life’s ups and downs. It officially launched in December, and is getting busier by the week. I will be employing more therapists over the summer to meet the demands of clients, as so many people are struggling and in need of professional help right now.
One thing we’ve all missed greatly is the club environment. What was the last gig that you played before the current restrictions came in?
Well the two that come to mind were 1st – a 7 hour set at the amazing Public Records in Brooklyn, NYC. The second show of my quarterly residency. The 2nd was a secret party in the jungle in Ko Tao. Both were incredible. I miss playing to a crowd so badly. It has been part of my life since I was 13.
The gradual return of clubs and events in the near future is a very exciting prospect. What aspect of events are you most excited about for when they return and do you have anything lined up yet?
I have 12 good shows in my diary over the summer, mostly in the UK.Lets hope they can go ahead. I am waiting to hear from the 4 venues I held residencies at before lockdown happened, hoping that we can reopen the dialogues, as for me residencies are where I feel I love to thrive and grow. Creating a special vibe regularly and knowing the room means a lot to me.
Thanks so much for chatting with us today Matthew. We wish you all the best and can’t wait to see you back in action in the near future. To round things off, is there anything else release-wise from yourself on the horizon that you can let us in on yet?
More fresh music will be released over the year, with a couple of great remixes too. My energy is mostly on the therapy work as I feel it’s time to give back and use my experience to help those who are struggling.
Darius Syrossian & Bushwacka – Return To Jericho. Released 25th June 2021 on Crosstown Rebels buy link