Sean Branton: ‘I don’t think there is anything that gives me more fulfillment than making music for people to enjoy’
Sean Branton returns to his own Oberres Records imprint with 'State of Mind' EP: two…
It is out now and will be followed by further remixes of his ‘Share The World’ album by Havoc & Lawn, BLR, and John Talabot. As we’re sure you’ll agree, that’s not a bad line-up of talent at all!
In case you’re unfamiliar with Mathame, they’re an Italian techno pair who bring real depth of emotion to their grooves. They release on labels like Tale Of Us’s Afterlife, Sony/B1 and have a truly emotive and deep techno sound that’s full of melody. Indeed, the boys are still riding high off the success of their globally acclaimed 2020 BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix, and have recently launched a groundbreaking series of mixtapes that have been put together with a brand new A.I. algorithm developed to test the power of the new M1 processor architecture by Apple. ‘Old Neural Mixtape Vol.1’ landed in March 2021, with further installments to follow throughout the year. But first comes this stunning new remix, which is the reason for our chat today.
We caught up with Mathame to talk about their latest musical projects.
Electronic Groove: Hi Mathame, thanks for joining us. How are you today? What’s good and bad in your world?
Mathame: We are good, thanks for the invite. The good is the music, the bad is the pandemic.
EG: How have you dealt with the pandemic, what’s it been like?
Mathame: Wow, what to say? At times it’s felt like a neverending limbo with little-to-no real space for genuine happiness and no real sadness.
EG: How does it work with you being a duo, do you both do everything or did you take care of certain sections or?
Mathame: We control the big picture altogether. Of course, day-by-day we decided to take care of some things individually. Let’s say that Ame is more focused on the live performance and Matteo is more focused on the production side.
EG: How did you first find out about the AI Apple technology? Can you please explain it to anyone who doesn’t know?
Mathame: We are tech enthusiasts like every techno artist. So definitely, we found it very engaging to play with such technology. In simple words, this technology allows you to go deep into a structure of a track. The real-time manipulation of stems is a hidden dream that every DJ had in the past. So there it is and it was a pure pleasure to play like this.
“The expressive potential to create a unique journey is definitely something we can envision
ourselves doing in the future”
EG: How different are the mixes done with it than traditional DJs mixes, and why? Does it allow for more blends, etc?
Mathame: Let’s just say that it is like the opportunity to have a chemical reagent that deconstructs the track into its element so you could recombine it in different ways. You could almost remix everything on the fly without original stems. So it’s a really fascinating concept for us.
EG: Did you still pick out the tracks or how did that work?
Mathame: This kind of power is very dangerous without control, of course. So the selection and the blending need to be done x 3, with different ‘lines’… From the beat, harmonic, and vocals, and study how to blend them together.
EG: Would you ever use this approach when DJing out?
Mathame: Right now it is too early to answer this, maybe during a special DJ set in a special location, which could increase the emotion. It could be a new radio format… But never say never.
EG: Do you think this approach actually benefits the mix as a whole? Or is it something you could have done without the AI technology?
Mathame: There are many ways to achieve similar results, but not in real-time and in a DJ-friendly environment where you could map your tips and tricks. So no, without this kind of integration it would not be possible to do it in real-time.
“We missed the contact with people, friends,
sharing ideas without fear”
EG: Tell us about your very first mix back in the day, How did you approach it then? What was the aim?
Mathame: That was a long time ago now! I think it was for a private party here in Italy. The details were totally missed, but there was a kind of taste, I guess. The aim was to make people happy with the music we like…. Simple as that. And it still is like this I think!
EG: Is this the start of a mix series for you guys? Can we expect more and will there be themes with them?
Mathame: It’s definitely something that we want to dig into a bit deeper. The expressive potential to create a unique journey is definitely something we can envision ourselves doing in the future. Stay tuned for more information on that front!
EG: What have you missed most in the last year with no DJing, no parties, no touring?
Mathame: We missed the contact with people, friends, sharing ideas without fear, sharing experiences. We miss the core of any musician mission, we guess, to share emotions.
EG: What else are you working on next?
Mathame: Our remix for Alessandro Martire, finally is out and you could check. What else? A long player…. Does this all sound a bit familiar? haha
Mathame’s remix of Alessandro Martire is out now via Carosello Records. Buy/listen to the release here.