Mat Playford Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty Mat. Let’s begin with your new single for Awesome Soundwave: Kic 8462852. Tell us about the story behind the title and what inspired this particular fascination?

Hello, thanks for having me… well the track title came from an object in deep space that baffled scientist’s around the world , they thought they had found an Alien megastructure that was collecting solar energy, because of the light fluctuations. I found it fascinating, most of my track titles come from Celestial inspiration.

How did your relationship with Carl Cox and Christopher Coe aka Awesome Soundwave first came about?

I have only met Carl a couple of times, but he has been incredibly supportive of my music since around 2006. He’s played most of the records I’ve made on his radio show. I would love to tell you how I got the music to Carl , cos there is a story to it … but I can’t tell you as it’s a secret … and I’d get into trouble! I haven’t met Chris yet as he lives in Australia, but we’ve become friends over the last six months and he’s quite the gentleman and also a real talent in the studio. It’s been great working with them and there is more to come..

Talk us through how you produced the track, including any favourite software/ hardware you like to use?

I use protools to make music and old and new synths. I don’t use midi, I just play everything in live and chop it up. I worked with my friend Burty and have used him as a session musician, some tracks take months other a couple of days, this one seemed to be a quick process, I also have to give a close friend props on this one, I can’t say his name as you all know him but he gave me a little brief before I made the track. All the tracks come from different places in my head …. so I don’t feel like I repeat myself much.

Love the cover art. Please tell us about it?

It’s by a guy called Gustave and he lives in Holland.. it’s part of a larger picture that reveals itself in the final instalment of this project.

The space theme continues with, Solar your third album (also due on Awesome Soundwave). Tell us about some of the things which have inspired the making of the album – are there any particular influences outside of the world of electronic music too?

Well I named most of the album after a book that was written in the second century called The Almagest… it was written by a greco roman called Ptolmey. It’s the first real publication about the stars and planetary models,
deeply interesting stuff. Also there’s a link between the album title and my studio too, as it runs on Solar Energy, I have a huge amount of solar panels and I sell the Electricity back to the national grid. I’ve had this system for nine years now and I sold half my studio to afford it in 2010, I managed to buy my equipment back in three and half years, from the profits. Some people seem to think the most important element In electronic music is the kick drum, I believe it to be Electricity.

Which synthesiser could you not live without and why?

I love synths and I have an obsession with them, but I’ll have to say they are just material objects, I’d like to say I can live without materials objects..

There is an amazing picture of a beautiful table you have created for your studio. It must take pride of place. Can you tell us about the process of making it? And how does the physical act of creating something compare with making music on a computer?

The idea for that table was to build something that was at standing up high so that I was in the same position I would be when I performed… I’ve always thought it to be a bit weird how we make electronic music sitting down yet we listen to it and perform it standing up… I’m sure there is something in there… with energy flows. The tree came down in a storm in 2015 my friend mentioned it to me and I was like I’ll take it. We chopped it up and I was left with a huge lump of wood with the bark still on it, I had to let the tree dry before I treated it, that actually took me two years as I wanted to do it naturally instead of in a kiln. Then it took three months worth of sanding and varnishing… in some ways the table is quite ugly as it is rather odd, I think all creativity is kinda the same, you just have to make every element to the best of your vision.

What are your feelings on nostalgia in music? And what are the most important elements that signify music when becomes timeless – Can you name a piece of music (of any genre) that for you is?

I think nostalgia is personal to you and you alone, time and places spring to mind – even people that are not into music still have association when they hear a certain track. I think it’s what was happening in their life at the time that is evoked through music. I’ve got too many influences like that to mention and they start at around five years old and still coming… before I was old enough to go to school my mum owned an Aerobics Centre . My mum made me go record shopping to Woolworths to collect music to play to the ladies and men whilst they worked out. I remember hearing Marshall Jefferson – Move Your Body on a compilation….propa wtf moment…..

And finally. Where can people get to hear you DJ next? Can you also tell us about the experience of putting the live show together?

I’ll be performing the album live this summer and a tour soon to be confirmed.

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