Mat.Joe – Matze and Johannes are two German artists with a Hip Hop and House affection. Their productions come to life in a backyard where studio equipment and DJ decks meet desiccated plants. A natural development when music has become the top priority from dusk till dawn.
We had the chance to talk with them after a recent United States tour.
Electronic Groove: Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. You have a background in Hip-Hop and House… what was it that made you choose a more electronic path for your career and does hip-hop still influence you?
Mat.Joe: Yes that’s right. We both grew up with the Skateboarding and Hip-Hop culture. But we always listened to different kinds of music genres. Years ago we started a Producer team called ‘Twomanics’ for Hip-Hop and R’n’B productions. And then we also founded Mat.Joe on the end of 2011, as we loved electronic music as well. That’s our main focus at the moment. You can hear the urban influence. We call it ‘CrispyUrbanHouse’. I guess when we decide to produce an album in the future, we’ll do something that reveals all our influences: Hip-Hop, Funk, Soul or maybe even Punk!
Electronic Groove: You just have finished a tour in the United States. How was it?
Mat.Joe: It was great. Different highlights and ace events. We were happy to show everyone our love for House music…Definitely the US is a very special place, because that where House comes from. The crowds were really lovely…that’s the good thing with the good vibes music…it brings cool people to the same location and that’s dope.
Electronic Groove: You’ve describe your sound as ‘CrispyUrbanHouse’… How did you arrive at this sound? Was there a lot of experimenting in the early part of your career?
Mat.Joe: It started off as a bit of a joke, but it probably sums up the sound we love and play as good as anything else we could say, and in far fewer words. Although we love House, we also love music that sound Crispy and has that Urban touch. Most of the people would just call it House… but we named it ‘CrispyUrbanHouse’. We’d like to think that you can guess what kind of experiences we’ve had by the music we make. So we started with the more ‘Deep House’ , and although it’s developed and got a bit tougher, it still has a soulful quality.
Electronic Groove: You currently live in Berlin, do you see that as the best possible place to be for a career in electronic music? If so, why? What about the city inspired you?
Mat.Joe: We guess, you can do good music everywhere…but Berlin gave us a big inspiration. The city is really open-minded, has a big electronic music scene and it’s also really crispy and urban, haha! You can connect, hang and party with a lot of other artists. Sometimes the weather could be better, but then you just spend your time in the studio or in bed, both of which are fine places to be! And for sure a big pro for Berlin is, that unlike so many other ‘cool’ cities, it is still a cheap place to live.
Electronic Groove: You both have a shared passion for skateboarding… tell us about some of your best experiences skating and what it means to you?
Mat.Joe: Skateboarding is a natural part of our lives. We identify ourselves with the culture and it has influenced our personalities, especially when we were growing up. In our childhood, there was almost no day without skateboarding, we were always hanging out with the whole crew, discovering or even building new spots and seeing skate parks or halls come and go. Barcelona for example is a true skateboarding Mecca so we always try to bring our decks to Sónar. It’s not easy and we rarely find time at the moment but every now and then we get the chance to take them with us. If you’re familiar with the movie ‘Kids’ you know what kind of moments we witnessed in the past, and sometimes even get to relive them today.
Electronic Groove: How does your relationship in the studio work? Do you specialize in certain aspects, or both do a bit of everything?
Mat.Joe: We both have our home setups, Mat in Neukölln and Jo in Friedrichshain. We’re constantly working on sketches when the other one is not around, it often happens that one of us starts something which then we finalized together. But most of the time we’re working at one place because you can talk through ideas much more directly and create a more defined vision of what you want the result to sound like. It’s always a good thing if we’re able to instantly agree over track elements, the vibe and the mix. That’s definitely the way we prefer to work.
Electronic Groove: Tell us about some of your upcoming projects, what should we be looking out for?
Mat.Joe: We have two EP’s coming up in early 2017 and we just finished a remix for one of our favorite artists. And you might also wanna check out our new mix series called ‘CrispyUrbanBeats’ on Soundcloud. In January, we’re looking forward to playing at BPM Festival in Mexico, another Asia tour and our first ever WMC in March.
Electronic Groove: Finally, as we’re nearing the end of the year, if there could be one positive change in the music industry in 2017, what would it be?
Mat.Joe: It would be great to see more support for local music culture. We’ve been to so many cities that don’t really have a musical infrastructure, an early closing hour and very poor opportunities to develop an event series with good conditions. It often seems like the municipal authorities don’t care about improving the day and nightlife happenings. We’ve met so many artists and label owners that can’t develop properly because their country is not investing enough money in music… That’d be great! 🙂