We welcome Matt Empyre, This amazing producer is our 9th Interview of Lights & Shadows Mixes and Interviews. Playing alongside artists like Carl Cox in NZ, in events like Elrow in Antwerp and in the Austrian alps at the top of ski resort and we asked some hard questions about his life in the music industry.

1.Share with us some words about your early years and how did you become a DJ/Producer?

I became a DJ around age 15. I had seen a video from Sensation White 2005 i think it was. I found it online at the time and my mind was blown. I decided to try throw a very scaled down version of it during school holidays and that was where I first DJed in front of a crowd. I managed to throw a lot of those parties until I went to university a few years later.

2.What were the main highlights that occurred for you since the start of your music career?

I think the number 1 would definitely be the Carl Cox gig in Wellington, New Zealand in 2014. I took a lot of work but the reward of playing a support set for Carl and having a good deal of time to chat and pick his brain was totally priceless. Other highlights would be playing New Zealands biggest New Years Eve party (Rhythm & Vines) two years in a row, playing Elrow Antwerp, playing in the Austrian alps at the top of  ski resort, many amazing highlights.

3.Is there a preferred artist that you like or look up to and/or strive to produce a track as powerful as his?

I’ve always been a huge fan of Whebba and ANNA’s production skills. They share a studio and a lot of tips and techniques between them, always interesting tracks they are coming up with. I had wanted to know their secrets for a long time, and thankfully over the pandemic they released a combined Masterclass which has been amazing in terms of techniques and support.

4.Tell us, is it difficult to stay innovative and maintain a fresh outlook while producing electronic music?

I think its very easy to get caught in the trap of trying to sound like the Beatport top 10 of the genre you are creating. The reality of that is that a lot of those tracks are 6+ months old and the label may have decided on a new sound for future releases, so you kinda end up endlessly trying to meet the demand that may not be there, while also only ever ending up sounding like a cheap imitation of another artist. The worst thing i feel is if someone heard your track in a club and then went and checked the artists page of the artist they thought you sounded like and not your own page. You don’t end up with the recognition.

5.What will we hear from you as you move ahead?

I think future releases will still be very techno, I try to make other styles but the tracks always tend to morph into techno as time goes on. I am part of a duo called Cronje Empyre and we tend to make more melodic techno, so you can hear more of that from us coming up soon also.

6.Top Five: (Share with us your top five tracks that you like to use on the dance floor)?

Joey Beltram – Energy Flash (Original Mix) – This track was so far ahead of its time! The production for 1990 is on a total other level. This track can still be played along side any modern well produced techno track and almost still outshine it. Always gets a good reaction.

Bushwacka! & Just Be – West Side (Christian Smith & Wehbba Remix) – One of the first remixes I heard from Wehbba. This track tears the roof of any place I play it. Its a tricky one to pick a song to play after as the energy is so huge. The roar and reaction this track got from the crowd at the final Carl Cox Revolution party at Space when Carl Cox played it was insane! It honestly felt like the roof was about to collapse. That memory will live with me forever.

SAMA – The Fallen (Original Mix) – Such a huge track also. Love the use of choir sounds as stabs.  It’s been amazing to watch SAMA’s career grow so well over the last few years. Every track he releases is worth checking out.

Faithless – Insomnia (Monster Mix) – Another amazing classic. I still get chills and bumps on my skin every time the main synth line plays. I love playing classic tracks near the end of my sets. Almost without fail once i’m done playing a few people come up to me saying how thankful they are that I played some old classic they hadn’t heard in a club in X number of years. Always great to give that to old ravers but also introduce new clubbers/ravers to music they may not have heard before.

Enrico Sangiuliano – X-Pollination (Original Mix) – This was the first track that introduced me to the incredible artist Enrico Sangiuliano. This track came out a few years before he would go onto make the amazing album Biomorph on Drumcode, but it was definitely a track that got people to notice him. He is such a unique producer, has a totally distinct sound and style. Along with Carl Cox,  he is one of the nicest guys i’ve met in the scene.

7.Besides music, what else do you like to do?

I’m a big fan of games and creating them. In my day job I work for EA DICE (the battlefield guys). I work on the frostbite game engine which is used by the vast majority of EA Games.
Outside of that I have a wife and 15 month old that keeps me busy :)

1. Matt Empyre – I’ll Be There (Drumcomplex Remix)[Friday Lights Music]
2. Tiger Stripes – Rocket (Original Mix)[Drumcode]
3. Loco & Jam – he Awakening (Original Mix)[1605]
4. Saytek – Isolation (Live)[Awesome Soundwave]
5. Loco & Jam -A Pinch of Spice (Original Mix)[MB Elektronics]
6. Adam Beyer Feat Dj Rush – Take Me There (Original Mix)[Drumcode]
7. Dr. Kucho! – Nexus (Danny Freakazoid Remix)[Haiti Groove Recordings]

You can find Matt Empyre on those social media’s

Facebook | Soundcloud | Beatport