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Matrix Reloaded

Matrix

Jamie Quinn, as Matrix, honed his early talent in the warehouses and small clubs of ‘90s DnB. After a detour into house music with Dan Goldstein, he returned to DnB with longtime collaborator Futurebound. Just off the stellar UK reception of recent single Don’t Look Back, they’re bringing their set to Metros on July 25 for Viper Records’ 10th anniversary tour. We had a chat with him from his studio over a morning coffee.

When you’re stuck in the studio listening to the same track loops for days on end, it helps to have a collaborator you work well with. Matrix has been working with Futurebound for nigh on ten years, with three top 30 hits in the UK since 2012. “We do very much have the same outlook – there’s always differences of opinion, that’s the whole point of collaboration,” says Quinn. “Part of the fun is arguing with each other.”

“We try to keep our sets really broad – try to bring every corner of drum n bass into our sets, try to keep it really energetic, and our sound is about a lot of melodic stuff and heavyweight production,” he says. “That’s kind of what we try to bring to our sets. In our DJ sets, we don’t play excusively drum n bass records. We definitely feel that nowadays people are a little more open with genres. As a DJ, you can play different types of music and people will like it, people who come for a drum n bass night are still open to other stuff. It’s like when I very first started, it was one big thing – dance music, rather than lots of separate pigeon holes. I feel like people are a bit more open minded now in that same way.”

An early breakthrough came with M&F’s massively popular remix of the American Beauty theme. “We used a big ambient piano breakdown for half of a big drum n bass track, and we were worried a lot of people would be like, “What the fuck are you doing?”,” Quinn says. “That sort of turned into one of our early classics.” It was a particularly unusual hit, because the boys don’t usually do a lot of sample work in the studio. “Our work’s mainly just based on synthesizers. I guess the way we try to hone and mask our sound, try to get a bit of life in it and give it that feel of real instruments – we keep the sound moving around. We don’t want it to sound too much like computer music – we try to put a bit of heart in it.”

M&F have been DJing in Australia for at least ten years. “We were just over there in November/December doing Stereosonic, which was really cool – that’s where you do five cities with the same lineup, and it’s lke being part of a travelling circus,” Quinn says. “Metro City in Perth I’ve not done before, but that’s a great venue we’ve wanted to play, so we’re really looking forward to that one.”

Amidst a hectic DJ schedule, M&F are working on a new album. “As for where our sound’s going, it’s hard to say, cause it’s off the back of this new track – there’s definitely gonna be some different-sounding stuff from us,” says Quinn. “The other guys we’re on the tour with – the Prototypes and Brooks Brothers and Rockwell – they’re all really amazing, and we’re gonna be having a great time ourselves, and we hope everyone else does too.”