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Q&A: Mat Zo

Mat Zo is on his way to Asia and he made us an exclusive mix

  • Olivia Wycech
  • 19 February 2015
Q&A: Mat Zo

Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Despite being only 24-years-old, Mat Zo has grown a lot since becoming known as a trance DJ and producer. And despite releasing his debut album called Damage Control on Anjunabeats, the label belonging to Above & Beyond, he still doesn’t want to be pigeonholed into any one genre. And that’s exactly what his first album depicts – an artist who isn’t afraid to use his creativity and curiosity to experiment with varying textures and tempos. Following an adventurous 70-track Essential Mix, a non-conformist album shouldn’t have been much of a surprise.

Ahead of his tour of Asia, he sent us over an exclusive mix and answered a few questions to get us excited.

What was the most surprising thing that changed in your life following getting picked up by Anjunabeats?

Anjunabeats fans are pretty die hard, so for the first time I had a lot of new die hard fans.

You’ve said that DJing and producing are two different things. Do you think it’s possible to be great at one and not the other?

Sure, it’s also possible to be great at both, and terrible at both.

If you had to choose between them, which one would you choose and why?

Producing, because it’s what I love foremost.

Everyone remembers the moment they went from listening to teenage angst to electronic music. What was yours?

I’m still listening to teenage angst music, and most of it wasn’t made by teenagers, they had real anger about real issues. I don’t think there’s enough angst in music these days, when there’s clearly a lot of reasons to be angry with the world we live in.

You also make drum and bass music as MRSA, which style of music is more difficult to make? Which fulfils you more?

No genre is inherently easier or harder because every track has a different level of complexity. A more complex track might be harder to make but a simpler, easier track to make might get a better response in people. I don’t use aliases anymore. There’s no point being a diverse artist and then trying to pretend you’re a bunch of genre constricted artists with stupid names referencing infectious diseases.

In fact, Damage Control is extremely diverse in terms of style where as you were once labeled as a trance DJ. What’s the message you are sending with this album?

I was labeled a trance DJ because people only heard the trance. I didn’t randomly start making loads of different styles of music when I started Damage Control, the album was just a way for my other stuff to see the light of day. I’ve never stuck to one genre, privately, and the album was just a way to make that public and fix the damage that making trance had caused, hence the name.

You started a label so you could release your own music fast but do you not think speed can compromise the quality of music put out?

I try not to rush making music, and I also don’t set a release date until I’m 100% satisfied with the music. It’s the time from completion to release that I wanted to cut down.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you get booked for an Asian tour?

Amazing food and beautiful people

How would you compare the EDM industry in Asia to the rest of the world? What are the main differences you see in Asia?

Asian events have a lot more corporate sponsorship. Other than that, the only difference is the Asian dance music culture seems to be growing faster every year while in the west it seems to be plateauing a bit.

If you weren’t a DJ, what would you be?


What’s the most interesting thing you have planned for 2015 so far?

Just working on my next album, that’s the main thing. My last album took 4 years so who knows how long this one will take.