Interview with Matao!
As you all know, we from time to time try and hook up interesting people from the music industry for interviews to get to know them a bit better. Today it is time again and we turn once again to one of the biggest countries around our planet, Russia.
Today you will meet up with one of the fastest climbing producers on the market, having in less than a year got the attention from leading labels such as Arrival, Swedish giant Macarize, Terminal 4, Nueva Digital and the great Silk Digital label were he was voted as a winner for the Shingo Nakamura remix competition for the track “Move On” and was awarded with a release on the label. Of course we talk about the very talanted producer with the alis of Matao.
Here you will get under his skin and find out interesting things about him, what is to come and of course how he is doing it while producing!
We hope you will enjoy it!
First of all, we are very happy to have you with us for an interview, we are true followers of your music and we are happy to see you’re gettingas much support as you do, it is well deserved.
1. Could you please give is a small brief about, who is Matao and how did you end up on the electronic dance music scene and the progressive house/trance scene?
Hello, my friends! First of all, I’m grateful to PHW portal for constant support of my work and warm words. No doubt, praise always makes us stronger and gives energy to every creator. J.
Matao appeared not long ago, in 2010, when my first work Ethnotronica II was released on Nellie Recordings. But a lot happened even before that. I love music because my father has always been a great music lover! As a kid I used to listen to reel-to-reel recorder, we had a turntable with lots of records and an acoustic guitar. I have always been into different music, but I really admired the records of the Latvian band «Zodiac», and much later I heard about the band «Space», Jean-Michel Jarre and other electronic music. By the way, I still find “Zodiac” very impressive! Since my childhood I’ve been a gearhead, I’ve been especially crazy about musical equipment and computers. It was accompaniment workstation Yamaha PSS standing at school that I first saw in my life. It was just amazing! All possible sounds from drums and piano to patter of rain and hoofbeat were in there. Resources of new instruments were a magic for kid’s imagination. Time has gone by, evolution of instruments influenced the ways of making music, the music itself, now the musician has everything he could just dream of. Now, possessing modern instruments, I cannot but produce music.
As I have already said, I have always been especially interested in electronic music but I understood what electronic dance music was only some time ago. All my ideas of music and its energy fully changed in 2007, when I first went to a big rave-party «FortDance 2007» in Saint-Petersburg, that night just sank into my heart. I realized there that real emotions were only where the dance was. I love dancing! J. At that time I worked as a sound technician in film industry and didn’t make music myself, had no time, but I couldn’t live without making music anymore. It was 2010 when I decided to try my hand at it and produced a couple of tracks. And music won in the battle “music vs job”. I went from Moscow-City to my native town in the South of the country to devote myself to music for some time. Now Matao is in Astrakhan.
2. You live in Russia, how would you describe the electronic dance music scene in general, and most important, the progressive house scene in your country? Is it played a lot out in clubs, on festivals and on radio stations?
From my point of view, EDM experiencing difficult times, electronic music has become a part of all music spheres, it has become mass music. From one side it’s good, but if we look into it all, we can easily realize, that money, but not music and new ideas, is the most important part of music mainstream. Promotion and shocker are considered by the pop-makers to be more important than music and I don’t like that. Dance music has been discredited by pop industry, which uses its musical techniques. That has existed and can remain for some period of time, real music lives in the shadow of different ratings and tops, it can’t be seen by unaided eye, it’s underground. Progressive house is not really popular in our country; it is electro house or techno which is played in our clubs, though it’s difficult for me to judge, as I’ve been producing a lot in my studio recently. Certainly, seeing many new, talented progressive house producers from our country I can say that Russian EDM market is up and coming. But there is just one shag. Almost all young Russian producers became popular in Russia only after they had gained general recognition all over the world. I suppose there’s a lot to worry about. I can’t but mention my favourite festival Kazantip, where all types of music can be heard, including progressive house.
3. There are so many good producers from Russia, what are your thoughts about that so many top producers come from your big country?
That’s just great! J I think it’s natural as there are so many people living in our country and many of them are creative and talented young people. It can be said about any country I suppose. It used to be difficult for us to have expensive instruments and equipment. Now, thanks to engineers and programmers, everyone can use state-of-the-art music technologies, and all other technologies that have been created. Computers and Internet have completely changed our life. Sometimes I can hardly believe that I can just turn the oscillators of the rare compressor in my studio, listen to it in my mix….only virtually, but the fact that I can do it, you know! Finally, we can go on the Internet and communicate as well as find almost any information we need.
4. If we start to talk about your productions, how would you describe your sound? What are your influences when you create your music?
It’s difficult for me to describe my sound). I can only say that I like different music. My father helped me discover rock and disco of 70s, my bass-guitar teacher made me love jazz and funk. As a sound technician I used to record rock bands and set up music equipment. As soon as I got closer to techno I liked it, though before I couldn’t understand why people called those sounds music. Music is a phenomenon which hasn’t been fully studied yet. There is something catching in every stream, something that touches our hearts. Everything I do is an attempt to find a tasty recipe for happiness, where rhythm, harmony and melody are the ingredients. I’m a so-called music alchemist. J.
5. Any secrets with the producing part? What programs & equipment do you work with? Any specific VST’s you prefer to work with? Are you using both hardware and software?
Well, everything is pretty standard, no big secrets. I like Mac computers. I do improvisations in Ableton. For this I use Novation controllers. The main work is done in Logic. I don’t have any hardware, only software – I mean all synths and processing VSTs. I use M-Audio midi-keyboard. My favourite synth is Sylenth1, I like GURU drum-machine, processing VSTs: WAVES, Softube, D16 Group, BrainWorx, Soundtoys, Voxengo. When producing and mixing I prefer KRK monitors and AKG-K271 studio headphones. I still have just few secrets; I’m trying to find my own ones! The only thing I’ll tell you is that I always try to hear the sounds inside myself, not with my ears, but with my head, with my mind, it’s close to meditation, that’s why I strongly dislike being distracted. If I reach this state, I forget about everything, the world disappears; I can stay long like this. J.
6. We know everything about your producing skills, we can follow you a lot on big labels such as Arrival, Silk Digital, Macarize and so on. Is it possible to go and see you work as a DJ also in clubs or you work “only” with your productions?
When I lived in Moscow I sometimes appeared as a DJ, I’ve recently gone on a small tour to Kazakhstan. Progressive house isn’t asked for in our town, and in other Russian cities people still hardly know Matao. I love playing music and I’ll probably do it more often in future.
7. What would you say about the house music scene in general, is it possible to grow bigger or is it at it’s peak? if you get the chance to say something in general that you want to change on the electronic dance music scene, what would you say then?
I don’t think house is at its peak now. Because house is based on rhythm and dance, and these too things have always existed. Evolution of music and people is one process. People have always danced and they definitely will. Look into space, at solar system, harmonic vibration is everywhere; we can say the whole Universe sounds and makes everything move. Our future will be based on the synthesis of all the best we have already created.
What I’d like to change… I would put all the vulgar pop music at Beatport and other shops into a separate category POPS.
8. If we check in your Ipod, what do you listen to when you listen to music?
Well, different music, but lately, I prefer electronic music. Now you can find Guy J, Robert Babicz, c, Jaytech and lots of other interesting music in my IPod.
9. A lot of the music today is not sold, it’s spread through Internet and musicians hardly make any money at all on their productions. What are your thoughts about the sharing through blogspots, forums and all other ways for illegal sharing of music?
I suppose free sharing only helps to improve music. One day all producers thinking just of money will stop producing and music will be created only by those enthusiasts who love music more than money. And that will be real music, and a real musician can always make money on the stage.
10. Have you got any producers that you follow a lot, listen to, get inspiration from
No, unfortunately, I can’t name any; my tastes differ all the time.
11. If we go in a near future, what can we expect from you in the coming months? Originals, remixes, touring?
You’ll see the originals as well as the remixes and probably touring, too. Anyway, I’m willing to work and create, to go on.
12. If we move a bit further, were do you see Matao in let’s say 5 years time with your music?
It’s difficult to say what can happen in 5 years, but I’m not gonna give up. We shall see!
13. Okay, it is time to end this interview, do you have something special to to tell the viewers on Progressive House Worldwide as a final?
I’d like to thank my colleagues – DJs and producers who support my works, wish my followers more qualitative, beautiful and emotional music and every success to your portal. And the most important thing, I wish Peace, Love, Harmony and Happiness to the whole World!
Thanks for joining us here at PHW, hope to hear loads more in the future from you.
February 28th, 2012