Matt Lush Interview

Read on for some insights from Matt Lush in this exclusive interview.

1) Are you an early bird or a night owl?
100% night owl at the moment. In fact I’m writing this now at 3.30 am but I am still adjusting from a long haul flight. Dance music culture unfortunately forces you to have unusual sleeping patterns and I guess as I get older I need to be a little smarter about how I handle that.

With some of my work for Decoded Magazine can make that a little tricky too. If I’m in Sydney wanting to talk to Ian in London or I’m in Berlin trying to talk to Damien in melbz’…so I guess I’m both whenever required haha.

2) What is your home city and what makes it special?
I was born in Melbourne, Cabrini hospital. It’s just an amazing town, I don’t think many people would argue. I grew up pretty much in the city, Richmond, St Kilda. They were rough areas when I was a kid but it fascinated me. St Kilda in the 80’s and the punks scene and then when the rave scene exploded in the early 90’s. I feel so fortunate to have been there to see some of those days, every weekend at Global Village and every Wednesday at the Lounge. The “Strange” parties were amazing, always the most bizarre music. Their party ‘Be Strange´ changed my life musically, Derrick May and Stacey Pullen played, along with Swy and Zen Paradox I think and the other Strange regulars…I remember thinking I’d never heard anything like it, I had to know more. Before that I think I was just so dazzled by the scene generally that I didn’t hear any music. Those epic chill-out rooms at Global were hard to move from some nights haha. Club Filter was the same, always on point tunes. Gezz I wish I just knew what some of Rod’s records were. Most of them are still a mystery. I was there the night Claude Young gave back his deejay fee and put it over the bar for everyone. Friggin’ crazy! Some of the things you used to be able to do back then. The day parties in flagstaff gardens, or completely closing off Chapel St. on a weekend for a freakin rave. No chance that would happen anywhere else in Australia I don’t think.

I’ve lived from Hobart up to Nth Queensland and in between and now currently in Berlin but Melbz’ is always home!

3) The term DJ’s DJ gets thrown around a lot these days, who is your DJ’s DJ?
Laurent Garnier, no contest for me. He inspired my taste in electronic music more than any other deejay. From the beauty of house to the raw emotion of techno and beyond. When I was young I was listening to PBS Radio and they played about half an hour of his Labouratoire mix and I was captivated. I was really into acid music at this stage, AFU, E Top, Woody McBride, Underground Resistance, Freddy Fresh and the like (of which Garnier had contributed the gnarly acidic number, Astral Dreams) but this showed the beauty of house to me…and the mixing, my lord. That first mix made me wanna learn how to do that. The next year I heard Jeff Mills’ Live At The Liquid Room and naturally there wasn’t a techno deejay on earth who wasn’t inspired by that but Garnier just pips him, his X-Mix is an absolute staple too. I remember picking that up from Octave but they had to order it in. My mate Rick leans over my shoulder and says to Rudey, ‘make that two please?’ It’s one of those mixes I always go back to remind myself. I still listen to his radio shows regularly too and his productions are still on point. Garnier is a techno deejay as much as I am, sure that’s where my roots are but trees grow and change.

4) What first comes to mind when you think of electronic music in Australia?
Ahh, well at the moment Nightime Drama obviously haha. The amazing Australian based label that I’m a resident deejay of. I feel pretty blessed to have been invited into the NTD family. I not only get to work with some of my best friends and amazing people but just to be part of a globally relevant record label is really exciting for me.

I believe generally we have a great scene in Australia, alas obviously at the moment certain freedoms are under duress but the scene is still as strong as it’s ever been in spite of this. Some of the productions that are coming out of Australia at the moment, from the Butter Session guys down in Frankston, our own Jensen Interceptor is holding his own effortlessly on labels like CPU and Cultivated Electronics. Trinity obviously who’s tracks get played by everyone from Fred P to DJ Spider. People can be so negative about our scene but its ours. My family, I love it and super proud of it at the moment.

5) What has been the stand out track that you’ve playing this month?
You know most days of the year if you asked me this I’d have about 6 tracks in my mind but at the moment there is a very clear winner, John Heckle 4am Chord on Super Rhythm Tracks. It’s just so simple, so beautiful. Life affirming, I don’t know, I’ve had a lot of ´change´ in my life lately, some strange times. This has been the anthem that has really helped my get through that. As lame as that might sound. I don’t know, it just makes me walk a little taller, see a little clearer, facing the world with anticipation instead of fear and then I heard the other track off this record. I was playing b2b with Ben Fester one night and we’d been talking about 4am Chord and he asked me if I’d heard the flip, I hadn’t…what a tune too. He rarely disappoints Heckle but this is something else! What a record. 2017 record of the year imo.