Today we’re pleased to be chatting with Matthew Clugston, AKA Mattr. The UK based artist is set to debut on the iconic imprint Renaissance on February 25th, with his track ‘Shutter’ featuring on the latest instalment (Vol. 4) in the label’s burgeoning Merin EP VA series. (Pre-Order here: https://lnk.to/REN2204D)
The release adds to Mattr’s growing discography that includes releases on Faceless Recordings, Loft & Sound and more, as well as on his own label Helical Scan, co-founded alongside Lewyn Stan. Here’s what he had to say!
Hi Matthew, nice to meet you… How are things with you? Can you tell us where in the UK you are from and based?
Hello, I’m good thanks. I recently had a baby boy, so currently staying up late with him and gorging on music tutorials 🙂 I’m originally from Birmingham but living in East London.
For our readers who may not yet be familiar with you, how would you describe your DJ sound and style?
I would describe it as leftfield, I’ve been collecting records since the 90s and I’ve always veered towards the leftfield end of the electronic music spectrum, I love interesting and experimental electronic music in all forms. I tend to play a mixture of leftfield breaks, bass and techno when I play out, Overmono, Martyn, Client03, 1-800 Girls, Otik, Donnato Dozzy etc.
Your latest release is a track on the forthcoming Merin EP Vol.4 on Renaissance. It’s another superb instalment in the VA series from Renaissance and your track ‘Shutter’ makes a brilliant addition to the package. Can you tell us a bit on the inspiration behind ‘Shutter’ and what it’s like releasing through such a renowned label?
Releasing on Renaissance is a great honour, their first ever compilation mix really solidified my love of house music so it feels great to be contributing to a label with such heritage. ‘Shutter’ came out of some experiments with granular synthesis. I wanted something that felt emotional but had a rawness about it too, I used some distortion to amp up the tension in the second half of the record and layered this with the scattered vocal chop.
Can you give us a bit of background to your creative process and are there any crucial bits of equipment to your work?
Ableton is my core tool, I’ve spent quite a lot of time exploring how to randomise elements using midi expressions, modulators and granular synthesis, it gives everything a more rhythmic, and unpredictable quality which makes it feel more ‘live’ and can lead to some really interesting creative ideas.
Over the years you have worked alongside a variety of artists such as Steve Lawler, Sasha and Danny Tenaglia to name a few. Who have been your biggest inspirations over the years to get you to where you are now?
Artists such as Max Cooper, Moderat, Jon Hopkins, James Holden, Boards of Canada, Ulrich Schnauss have all played a role in sculpting the sound that I produce now I think. I’ve always swung between idm, electronica and then much more dance floor focussed records.
You lived in Berlin, where you began honing your skills and studying music production. How would you say your style has changed since then and what have been your biggest influences?
I think my sound was a little more progresssive back then, I’ve always created breaks, but my style was more melodic techno whereas I feel it’s a little more leftfield now but still rooted in emotive synth sounds.
Thanks a lot for chatting with us today Matthew and congrats on the release. To round off, is there anything else upcoming from yourself that you’d like to share with us?
I have another release at the end of March – ‘Lando’ which is out on Loft & Sound and premiering over at Getting Deeper on the 14th and 21st March and all my mixes can be found on my Soundcloud.
Merin EP Vol.4 – VA
Label:Renaissance Records Release Date:25th February 2022 Cat No:REN2204D Distribution:Above Board