Performance: DJ or LIVE
Promotion: Matthew Styles (Running Back, Ostgut Ton / Berlin)
Englishman Matthew Styles is a special one. Firmly schooled in the history of dance music as a DJ, his productions usually carry a uniqueness that cannot be located in time and space.
Kids often bemoan parents pressing a place in the family business upon them, but in Matthew’s case, he was only too happy to follow in his father’s footsteps. A disc jockey by trade and longtime member of DJ culture pioneers DMC, his father along with older friends in his hometown of Weston-super-Mare on the UK’s west coast, instilled in him the age-old tradition of moving a crowd with music. From his earliest gigs in the Southwest of England, through to regular appearances at clubs such as fabric, Watergate, T Bar, Harry Klein and the aforementioned Panorama Bar, Matthew’s priority has been intrinsically placed with servicing the needs of a dance floor. Undertaking the rite of passage that many of the UK’s music hopefuls embark upon, Matthew migrated to London around the turn of the millennium in order to further exhibit his already multiple years of turntable training.
The move proved to be a pivotal moment in all that was to come. A pair of seemingly casual events–purchasing an Akai MPC and meeting the then London Records’ A&R man Damian Lazarus through mutual friend Rob Mello–would in many ways shape much of his proceeding decade. Lazarus went on to set-up the City Rockers imprint along with his former-London Records colleague Phil Howell, and invited Matthew to take on some remix work for the label. Re-rubs for Luke Solomon’s Music For Freaks, Rob Mello’s Boots and Doc Martin’s Freestyle Ltd. followed thereafter, and, having established a relationship with Lazarus based on a mutual appreciation of fly fishing, was asked to take up a management roll at Lazarus’ new venture, Crosstown Rebels, in 2003. London’s fascination with Ibizan after-party culture and the reductionist house and techno movement were meanwhile beginning to take hold; Matthew and the imprint were–by accident or design, or perhaps a bit of both–at the vanguard of the city’s shifting musical and club cultural attitudes.
The middle of the ‘00s acted as a honing and refinement period for Matthew “the DJ” and also for Matthew “the producer”. While this former facet became a strongly established local and international presence, Warming up for the likes of Villalobos & Hawtin at fabric, co-mixing the Crosstown’s Get Lost compilation, and going on to set-up the Dig Your Own Rave Sunday sessions at Shoreditch’s T Bar, whilst conversely crafting away quietly in the background, amassing studio gear and preparing to release his debut 12-inch as a solo artist. At the beginning of 2008, the seeds of Matthew’s production labour bore fruit. The Sources EP for Dinky’s Horizontal label was rapidly followed by We Said Nothing on Diamonds and Pearls, which featured in the compilations of Ame & Deetron, whilst making the end of year charts of the likes of Roman Flügel and Dettmann.
Whilst solo releases normally are just annual occurrences for Matthew, the quality of production is unusually high and 'must listen’s' for many top DJ's. Bearing that in mind 2009 bought releases on Cocoon and Rekids under various guises emphatically imprinting a now Berlin-based Matthew upon the minds of house music buyers and clubbers from across the scene. 2010 there was a slew of well received remixes for Seth Troxler's Royal We Project, Dinky, & David Durango, and in 2011 Matthew's well received debut for Running Back released to critical and dance-floor acclaim. This year has seen an extremely well received second release on Running Back, as well as tracks and remixes for Ostgut & Tsuba. In 2013 there will be remixes for Franck Roger, Luke Solomon and Leftroom Recordings and Matthew has prepared a new live set, which he will perform alongside his usual DJ dates. Additionally there will a raft of new releases with some of his favorite labels.