Matenda Interview – July 2005

Posted in Interviews by - May 03, 2006

Denis Matenda’s latest album, Mediteran, came like a breath of fresh summer air to psyreviews HQ. Scoring an impressive 9/10, we said that it "could be one of your best friends this summer." A great excuse, then, to catch up with Denis at his pad in Gothenburg and get discussing the important things in life: music, good vibes, and sunshine.
Matenda

 

Denis Matenda’s latest album, Mediteran, came like a breath of fresh summer air to psyreviews HQ. Scoring an impressive 9/10, we said that it "could be one of your best friends this summer." A great excuse, then, to catch up with Denis at his pad in Gothenburg and get discussing the important things in life: music, good vibes, and sunshine.


Okay, first up — where are you right now and how are the vibes?

I am in Sweden, Gothenburg and the vibes are great. The summer is here and everything is fine.


So Mediteran has just recently been released — and here at psyreviews we loved it. Before we go into the tracks one by one, how did the album come about?

After the first Chilling Matenda album I got real great feedback all over. This gave me inspiration to do another one immediately. So the last year I have only concentrated on the chilly side of me.

mediteran


And the Spanish theme, that must be deliberate? Did it come together because you wanted to do something with a Spanish flavour, or did it happen by itself?

It wasn`t deliberate, I suppose it happened by itself, that is if you say that it´s a Spanish theme. After the release I have heard several people (including psyreviews) that thinks it´s Spain/Ibiza influenced. When I produced it I didn´t think that now I will start to produce an album with a Spanish theme.
I think that this album is just full of positive vibes and of course I got inspiration from the Mediterranean area, mostly because I have spent a lot of summers in many of the Mediterranean countries. The Mediterranean is not only Spain even if Ibiza is the most famous spot for electronic music in this area and this is what people think of first.

Are you based in Spain now? Could you be? I gather that Swedes flock to Spain just like the English do ;)

No I am not based in Spain and sorry I am not there :)
It seems that I have to be in Spain, why not Croatia, Greece, Italy etc. Actually I am based in Sweden now but most of my vacations I spend in the beautifully Croatian coastline. There I can load my batteries and get great inspiration.

Psyreviews said of the album, "while Shpongle would go well with a rather large hit of DMT, Mediteran would go better with San Miguel, pizza, olives and a spliff." Is that a fair assessment?

San Miguel, oh no, not Spain again ha,ha! Yes, I agree with you, the latter fits better with the Mediteran album. After a great party, you can lay down on the beach, look at the sunrise, listen to the Mediteran album and I think you will have a great day.


Definitely agree with that! Okay, so to go throught the tracks then… i love the way Good Old Sun opens up, like the start of the day… the guitar here, is it live?

The guitar is not live, it´s actually a keyboard sound. It took me almost a whole day to make this guitar melody and to make the same feeling as if it was a real acoustic guitar, with that special flamenco flavor.



No Comprendo I absolutely fell in love with as soon as I heard it. There seems to be this sort of spaced-out, timelessness about it… as though you were writing the music on some beachfront bar watching girls walk by ;) Am I close?

I can´t remember if I had those pictures in my mind when I produced it, even if it sounds great. But if I had, I wouldn´t produce, I would rather enjoy life and keep on looking at the girls and not sit in a boring studio!!. But yes I can agree I had a similar feeling as you describe it.

Whats the story behind the title of this track?

What do you mean, No comprendo He,He! When you are in these sunny countries and you ask somebody something not so important, usually they are lazy, probably because of the sun, so they don´t bother to answer. The best way for them to not be rude is to say, No comprendo and smile. This is a little story, I hope you like it :-)

matenda


Wonderful Life sounds to me like it’s up there with Chicaine’s best work. Are you familiar with him as a producer? Do you rate his stuff?

To be honest, I am not that good remembering the names of producers. When I hear a good track then I remember what feelings it gave me, and not the name of the producer who made it. I think it´s better to not know who produced a track before I actually hear the track, this way I will not judge the track just because it’s a special producer. I think that a good track is always a good track. I have heard about Chicaine, but I can´t remember which tracks of him I have heard and if he have inspired me.

And with the title track, Mediteran… which for me was one of the highlights, just completely out there. not psycedelic, not chill, not house, but… this brand new style. It sounds like this track sort of came alive by itself as it was being written…?

Wow, a new style, this is a real nice compliment! Yes, I also think that the best tracks come alive by themselves. It happens from time to time, and when it happens its just great. So yes, it´s one of those tracks.

I also had that vibe about Lucky Smile, that the song wrote itself in a way… Is this close to how you’d say you write?

No it is not way I write, it just happens. This happens mostly when I take a break from music making, after a while I am full of new inspiration, then I go to the studio and then it sometime happens but not always. When I produced Lucky smile, I had a big and lucky smile on my face when all the layers came together.



mediteranean coastline Lucky Smile also has this thread that comes out in a lot of your music…a sort of introspective, reflective vibe that’s… that’s sometimes almost sad. Would you agree with this?

You are probably right, I have heard this before and it´s nothing that I do delibirately. I think that I am a nostalgic person who is often looking back on lucky memories which also reflects in my music. Much of my tracks gives a sad feeling but in the same time you also can feel a great hope, in most of my tracks, what do you think?

I think it’s all definitely got a positive vibe to it, definitely. Just like Adio Raj, which was my favourite on the album, if I had to pick one… what would be your favourite one?

Adio Raj means Good bye paradise. I like all of the tracks, each track in a special moment. But if I have to choose one track, it would either be Mediteran or Lucky Smile. Most because of what we talked about earlier, that these tracks just became of themselves. It feels like somebody else did them and then I am not as critical compared to the other tracks I produce.

And Flashback, seems a little different to the other tracks on the album… like it’s more of a journey by itself, whereas most of the other tracks feed off and into each other nicely. Does it come from a different place?

Not a different place but a different time. Flashback, Good old sun and Wonderful life I did in one time period and the other tracks I produced after a long break from the studio, but I think that this also gives variation to the album.


It’s all bloody good basically. The album deserves to be a huge success. Is it getting picked up by wider, non-psy circles?

I really don´t know. The release is still fresh and I am getting feedback intensively all the time. If it´s a success or not, only the time can tell, but for now I am more then happy about it and only getting positive reviews and great feedback of it. Besides that some people thinks that this album is not psycedelic enough, as you also mentioned in your review, but what can I do, you win some and you lose some.

Personally I love that it’s not psychedelic. But more importantly, is the album’s success taking you out on the road this summer? Where can we see you play?

I have a gig outside Athens the 23 July, otherwise its rather calm on this front. Maybe I am not psycedelic enough for some promoters and to psycedelic for others hehe!!

And what next for you?

I have started to produce my next Matenda album which will hopefully be released next summer. So if you like the Chilling side of me, then you can prepare for some faster beats with that same, great Chilling Matenda feeling. Maybe a new style will come out from this, as you mentioned before :-)


Do you have a preference for the Chilling side or for the progressive music? Are the two different names different sides of your personality?

I have always liked tracks that build up slowly and thoughtfully, either it´s fast or slow ones, so I call my music progressive and nothing else, either they are chill / house / trance. As I said before my preference is not for special producers but good tracks that make your feet move and harmonies that stimulate your brain. The chill side is more experimental and with chilled music you have more room for big sound pictures, compared to the fast tracks where the kick and bass are the focus, and take all the energy.
When I started to produce music I liked that there was no borders in making electronic music, but as it has developed, you have more and more genres to fit into and get judged by. With chill music you still can do much more experimental things, and this is what first got me started.
I think that as a producer you have to develop all the time and if that means to enter new areas either it´s chill or something else then fine. It seems that chill is right for me after all the nice response I have got for my two Chilling Matenda albums.

Moving on slightly…. who are you listening to at the moment? Are there any producers or albums you rate?

I usually like to listen to tracks that have a groovy beat/bass with lot of atmosphere and a trancey touch, but please don’t ask me about any special producers/albums ;) .

sunset


What do you like to listen to when you’re not after anything psytrancey or electronic?

Just any good music, and no special genre.

whats the last thing you watched on TV?

A film called Meet Joe Black.

do you think psytrance will still be here in five years?

Yes, but with hopefully with some new developments.

girls with dreadlocks: good idea or bad idea?

Not on my top list but a nice girl is always a nice girl :)

and finally, do you have anything else to say in your defence..???

Be true to yourself and don´t do things that you will regret. And if you still do them, make sure that you learn from your mistakes.

Denis, thankyou very much mate. I hope to enjoy the album for a long time to come, and wish you all the best with this and future projects!

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