Wednesday, 29 September 2010


Mattix & Futile are D'n'B-heads Jack Wakeman and Mike Davis. They are both originally from Horsham in West Sussex and have been DJing together for 7 years. With new promo 'Rising Up/Substance' set for release on Cyntax Error Records in October, Mattix & Futile tell Ellie Wilcox about themselves, the social implications of DJing and the atmosphere within the club scene at the moment...

Ellie: Describe your sound without mentioning any current artists and genres of music.

Mattix&Futile: We like to make uplifting and energetic music which has impact on the dance floor.

Ellie: And now describe your sound using current artists and genres.

M&F: We are heavily influenced by artists like Sub Focus, Brookes Brothers, Culture Shock, Camo & Krooked, Shock One, Furlonge etc. They all share a similar style of melodic, dance floor driven drum'n'bass.

Ellie: How long had you both been DJing before you decided to collaborate?

M&F: We have both been DJing for about 10 years [individually].

Ellie: Can you describe the drum'n'bass/breakbeat genre in layman’s terms?

M&F: In real basic terms we’d describe drum'n'bass as music between 165 & 175bpm that orientates around huge drops, deep sub bass-lines, big energizing breakdowns and complex break beat patterns.

Ellie: Which particular genres or artists have influenced heavily on your sound?

M&F: The majority of music we listen to inspires us as listening to other genres and artists gives us ideas to try in our own music. Electro has probably been one of the biggest influences on our sound over previous months alongside Sub Focus as we really liked the way he began to fuse Electro with D'n'B in his tracks, ‘Join The Dots’ being a great example.

Ellie: Who would you love to share a line up with and where would this take place?

M&F: We managed to share a line up with Andy C last year which was probably one of our greatest DJ moments to date but I guess our ideal set would be playing at a label night like Ram, Shogun, Hospital etc alongside DJ’s that have influenced us along the way. We would have loved to have played at Matter when it was open!

Ellie: Are there any artists that you would like to collaborate on a track with?

M&F: Loads and to be honest, we’d love to collaborate with artists in all different sub genres of D'n'B. Netsky, Noisia, Sub Focus, Alix Perez, Camo & Krooked, Culture Shock, Spor, Xample & Lomax, the list could really go on forever.

Ellie: Are there any other genres you would experiment with in the future, for example; jungle, 2-step, bassline, fidget?

M&F: We’ve done a couple of dubstep tracks in the past and messed around with different genres like electro and fidget. We like all forms of dance music so we would be open to experiment again in the future.

Ellie: Do you prefer DJing live or producing music?

M&F: We prefer to DJ live - its such a buzz, especially when we play our own tracks and see the crowd's reaction.

Ellie: Do you have a regular day job and is it inconvenient when combined with perhaps having to work the next day?

M&F: We both work for a computer company. It’s not hard work but we work long hours. It doesn’t really interfere although we would much prefer to DJ/Produce full time.

Ellie: Do you drink on the job or do you think this is a bad idea?

M&F: Yeh we like to enjoy ourselves whilst playing. We try not to get too smashed until after our set though!

Ellie: When you've finished a set, do you stay out and party or go home?

M&F: It all depends on where we are and if there’s anything to do. We are always up for staying out though!

Ellie: Have you ever found yourselves DJing at an impromptu 'post-lash' after a set?

M&F: Sadly not since we were about 17/18 and there used to be decks set up at the house parties we were at. Wish that answer could have been a bit more exciting!

Ellie: How do you go about getting signed?

M&F: It’s a long LONG process! You need to get artists/label owners to listen to your tracks and that can be the hard bit. Labels are only really going to listen to something once, if they see potential in it and like the track they will be more inclined to listen to follow up tracks, offering help where they can and maybe look to sign the tracks or you as an artist.

Ellie: What do you think of the current ‘scene’ you’re involved in and the target audience it draws into clubs?

M&F: I think drum'n'bass is currently one of the strongest music scenes around. The following is huge and continues to grow. The good thing about D'n'B is that there's so many styles on offer to suit peoples tastes. I'd say the cliental a club draws in depends on whose playing on the night. Artists like Chase & Status and Sub Focus are going to pull in more of a commercial crowd as opposed to a night that had more underground acts playing.

Ellie: Elements of the dubstep genre have recently permeated into the mainstream (e.g. Magnetic Man, Katy B etc), which many 'steppers' dislike. Do you think this has happened with drum‘n’bass, what with successful artists such as Chase & Status, Pendulum and Subfocus etc making it into the charts?

M&F: Yeah, we know there's definitely D'n'B heads who think that but then there's always going to be people in any genre of music who begin to dislike an artist because they go down a more mainstream route and try to make a success of their music or “sell out” as the majority of haters put it. Personally we don’t really see anything wrong with wanting to make your music successful.

Ellie: What do you think about commercial music? Would you prefer a genre to maintain a smaller, more dedicated and knowledgeable audience or do you think it's good that mainstream audiences can appreciate the music too?

M&F: We don’t dislike all commercial music but we’re certainly not too keen on it. I think with D'n'B, not everyone who likes the mainstream side of it is going to like the more underground scene but nowadays there seems to be nights and artists to suit everyone who likes the music. You still get club nights, labels and artists who have a more dedicated and knowledgeable following anyway. The mainstream audiences help the genre to grow and if they can appreciate good music for what it is then it's all good.

Ellie: Do you endeavour to play a wider club circuit or is it difficult to secure a set at clubs? - are any clubs notoriously difficult?

M&F: 'We hope, in the future, we’ll be playing all over the place. It's very hard to get sets in clubs without being an artist as we’ve previously found so we hope, as we release more tracks, the bookings will come flooding in. We do know some clubs that are notoriously difficult but sadly not going to name and shame them!'

Ellie: Are you making a living from DJing? If not, at what stage can you start making a decent living?

M&F: Sadly were not making a living from DJing. If we start to get regular bookings then we can start to think about leaving our jobs but it’s hard and risky to do so unless you’re in demand.

Ellie: Is it an expensive hobby and lifestyle what with set up and maintenance costs, travel etc?

M&F: Over the years it has been expensive buying equipment for production. As it has been a gradual process it hasn’t really affected us. Buying vinyl on a weekly basis can get expensive, but when we really want [to produce] a tune then we don’t think about the money side of things too much.

Ellie: What do you think about illegal downloading? And as opposed to buying a CD, what do you think of the digital realm? I.e. downloading from itunes/beatport/other?

M&F: Illegal downloading is definitely something we don’t agree with. We understand why people do it with massive artists as they make so much money regardless but a lot of smaller labels rely on sales of records to help better the label and fund more releases. Downloading legally is obviously easier and much cheaper than buying vinyl. In the past D'n'B was only available to buy on vinyl, so if you haven’t got a set of turntables it’s no good to you. Downloading means a lot more people can access the music.

Ellie: Describe the importance/relevance of streaming from sites such as youtube/soundcloud/mixcloud etc.

M&F: It helps up and coming artists get exposure and current artists to promote themselves. Plus it’s really helpful to preview forthcoming tracks and ID them if necessary. Also youtube has a massive library of music so you can pretty much find anything you want.'

Ellie: Where do you aim to be with Mattix & Futile in say, 5 years time?

M&F: Ideally? Successful artists! Working on a second album with our own record label and an array of talented producers on it and our own club nigh! Yep, that’s the dream! Seriously though, in 5 years time if were making a living out of music we will be more than happy.

Ellie: You've been played on Grooverider's show on Radio1, are you actively promoting yourselves and do you intend to 'make it big'?

M&F: Yeh we are always promoting ourselves through social networking sites like Facebook, soundcloud, Twitter etc. Also sending tunes to the top artists for them to play out. The intent is to make it big, we just need to keep improving and getting the tunes out there.

Ellie: Do you wish to play any festivals next summer?

M&F: 'Yeh we’d love to play at a festival, that’s what it’s all about!'

Rising Up/Substance is out on Cyntax Error Records in October

Other links:

Ellie Wilcox

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