Individually and collaboratively, GMJ & Matter AKA Gavin Martin & Matty Doyle have played a huge part in the development of Australian progressive house. We caught the two Melbourne producers in the run up to their eagerly awaited live performance at Forbidden TØNË this Friday...
RR Gavin and Matty! We’re excited to see you play this Friday – what have you both got in store for us?
Matty: Thanks for having us, we’re really looking forward to it! We will be starting off with a live GMJ & Matter set, featuring some brand new tunes we have been working on which is really exciting. Then going into a B2B DJ set which we will roll with for as long as we are allowed... we also have plenty of fresh stuff lined up for that!
RR So how did the GMJ & Matter collaboration come about?
Gavin: It all began after I read an article Matty had done with Progressive House Worldwide and really resonated with his vision and ideas about music and life. I had already been a fan of his sound so I reached out to him online... we caught up and started making music, and here we are!
RR As two of the most respected names in the genre, what do you think of Australia’s progressive house scene at the moment?
Gavin: In Melbourne, the scene is quite small these days for progressive in terms of nights. There is more interest in our sound from overseas and interstate, as evidenced by us coming up for Forbidden Tone! Having said that, nights like Darkbeat and Wildwood still fly the flag. I know there are still progressive nights all over the country, but the biggest exposure comes from festivals such as Rainbow Serpent Festival which brings down some of the biggest names in the world every year. Progressive on the whole is having a renaissance though we think - there are constantly more and more great artists from Australia producing the sound. Plus the sound itself is morphing & crossing over with artists from bridging genres, so things in general are very healthy!
RR The two of you have worked on some greats tracks together - one of which is ‘Earthless’. How did the opportunity to get involved with Anjunadeep arise?
Matty: Thanks for that! It’s a very special tune for us both. The Anjunadeep team contacted me at the time, looking for original music to release so I sent through ‘Earthless’ as we were working on that and they loved it! The inspiration for that tune was quite surreal as the main melody came to me during a deep meditation experience. I sent that to Gavin and the rest is history.
RR Awesome. There was also the superb 2-parter ‘Compiled & Mixed 025’ last year. What was the concept behind it?
Gavin: Thanks, yes it was a real honour to work on Compiled & Mixed. The Proton guys have been huge supporters of us both, and are some of the best operators and people in the business. The idea was to have 2 distinct mixes, the first being mine starting out with deep house and deeper moods, leading into the second which is Matty's - which builds the energy and focuses more on the dance floor. They both include our tunes and one really leads on nicely from the other we feel.
RR Gavin - congratulations on the recent one year anniversary of your Future Memory show; and Matty - your Ultra sound show continues to bring out quality mixes every month. Is there a process that each of you follows when crafting your monthly mix?
Gavin: Yes, for me I love building a journey with a mix. I was mixing long before producing and it is such a great feeling to create something that flows from start to finish.
Matty: Cheers! Each month I will create a new folder for the next Ultra Sound show and save any new promos, gems and unreleased productions to use in the mix. Each alternating month, I choose a local or international producer who I think is pushing the boundaries in deep/progressive music and invite them to do a special guest show. Each one has been quite unique and amazing!
RR Fantastic - we look forward to next month’s mixes. Now, if we asked each of you to pick one set you’ve played that really stands out in your memory, which would it be?
Gavin: There have been heaps over the years! But recently, last year’s Rainbow Serpent Festival, playing all my own music before D-Nox & Beckers - that was amazing.
Matty: I also have a soft spot for Rainbow Serpent Festival, and my most memorable mix would have to be my first appearance there in 2015. Seeing thousands of people lose their shit to my music was a feeling I’ll never forget.
RR Given your extensive careers, what advice would you both give to any aspiring Australian DJs looking to break into the scene?
Gavin: Follow your passion always - play or make the music you love that comes from the heart & soul. Don't worry about what trends say and don't worry if you don't see success immediately. Accept you do it firstly for the love, refine your craft and skills and the rest will come!
Matty: If you are a producer, write lots and share it with the world. If you are a DJ, mix lots and share it with the world. Over time your sound and your skills will improve, evolve and become something else entirely. It’s all about the journey and your fans will find you and want to evolve with you.
RR And what have been the biggest challenges along the way?
Gavin: As a producer, getting a presence or a brand for your own sound in the market takes a long time, and you are bound to have moments where you feel disappointed or that things just aren't happening. That has happened to me, and taking it personally or wondering why you aren't succeeding can be a painful ride. Music production is such a deeply personal and emotive thing, and sometimes you naturally go through peaks and troughs. It’s about learning to just accept that and keep going regardless... letting go of the need for a particular outcome.
Matty: As a producer and a father of two, my biggest challenge usually is finding the time in between my personal and professional life to produce new music. For this reason, I always have my studio powered up and ready to roll at a moment’s notice. You never know when that next inspirational wave might come.
RR Finally – what is lined up for GMJ & Matter in 2018?
Gavin: We have been working on brand new material leading up to Forbidden Tone, and will continue to do so throughout the year. Also we will be looking at ways to refine our live show to make it into more of a performance. There are some potential international gigs on the go, as well as local festival bookings. Individually we have lots of projects lined up too... stay tuned!
RR Thank you for the chat guys. Catch you on Friday.
Get your tickets to see GMJ & Matter at Goodbar here