There hasn’t been a sub genre that has seen more changes than jump up these last years. The style evolved radically, bringing new artists to the forefront of the scene. One producer who grabbed everybody’s attention is Matthew, who you may have heard of under the name “T>I”.
Well, let’s introduce this guy to everyone. DJ and producer for years, he’s made himself known with “Minimal Genocide”, released 4 years ago on Co-Lab Recordings. Quickly becoming one of the most respected producers in the jump up scene, his bouncy rollers have been putting dancefloors on fire. Tracks like “Swington”, “Dye Migration”, “Tek it Back”, or “Rotations” are playlisted worldwide and he’s got direct support from Andy C, Hype or Noisia.
I’m sure you’ve heard about the drum and bass version of Bob Marley ‘Johnny Was’. Well, that’s ‘Shot Down’ from T>I and Upgrade. The man is everywhere!
So, when Critical Music announced an album release party for his debut album “Blank Canvas”, we had to go to London. The perfect opportunity to discover it before the official release!
– Hey Mathew, thank you for giving us your time. We appreciate it a lot.
Hey guys, hope you’re well.
– Great! Well, you have been in the game for 20 years now, mostly as a DJ and promoter, what made you want to start producing?
24 years this year man. It’s mad where the time has gone. I’ve been producing for 15 years of that too, just my tunes were shit 7 or 8 years ago. So, I didn’t push them onto anyone really until around 2012.
Anyways that wasn’t the question was it? Real easy answer would’ve been shorter and that’s: because I loved playing records so much I wanted to play my own, so man purchased a Z4 akai sampler and got to work.
– You told us that you played about 9 tracks of the LP during the party, which means there are more. How many?
So, in total there are 13 for the full release including the “Flick the Switch” tune I made featuring man like Inja.
– Oh! Inja is a don, we couldn’t be happier to see him on this project! Back to you and regarding your discography, it’s not the first time you released a multiple tracks project (6 tracks Rollage EP on Natty Dub, 6 tracks Next Step EP on Co-Lab, and the mighty 10 tracks Circuits in 2 parts on Serial Killaz), but it’s your first actual album, why now?
Good question. There’s no reason really apart from Kasra and I chatted about what tunes I had unreleased.
At the time I had a fair few that I was playing out in raves week in week out which seemed to work, but didn’t have a home, so I thought ‘f@@k it let’s do an LP’. So I went back in on some of the older tracks. I say old, they were only 8 or 9 months old but in today’s rat race that’s old school. Anyway, I made some fresher tracks, Kasra liked them and the thing was finished.
The tunes I make are DJ tools, so it came together well on the job as the year progressed I suppose.
– Speaking of Circuits part 1 & 2, is the LP going to be released in one time, or we can expect something different?
Yeah, the full Album is coming on a USB and I think we’re going to do a little t-shirt USB kind of package for a limited amount. And then a normal digital release.
– Nice. You released a lot of tracks on Natty Dub Recordings, Innerground, Murky, Co-lab, why did you choose Critical to release that album?
I just love the fact Kasra and Badger give me the time of day with my tunes, and they’re very picky which is really good A&R right there so it keeps me trying harder. I don’t make Critical tunes as such but I catch a vibe the lads like so I’m more than happy with that.
– How much time did you work on it?
Since Autumn 2018, so around a year and a half.
– If you had to describe it in one word, which one would it be?
– So it’s a very personal project. By the way, “Blank Canvas”, poetic title. Interesting choice, considering the fact it was for a musical project. How did you come up with that name?
I work in the print & textiles world as a day job where I take customer’s designs or pieces of actual art and turn them from a digital format to an analogue background in the form of clothing, and my template page for doing the seps is called “Blank Canvas”.
– Sometimes, the inspiration comes from unexpected things haha. Which track is your favorite on the project?
I’m really liking them all at the moment which is well out of character as I hate my own stuff usually, but for banging in the mix I love ‘Takem to the cellar’, ‘Thin Line’ and ‘Oxymoron’.
– Can we hope for a release date soon?
Yes!!! sooner than you think.
Well, we cannot wait for this! And to all our readers, keep your eyes peeled for the official release. Because after what we heard, it’s totally worth it !