Press :: The Matyear Enigma on Inthemix

by ladylex for inthemix.

Original article :: here.

Fri 24th Nov, 2006 in Features

Pulling Back the Sheets on Brisbane’s Flourishing Talent

I remember the first time I ever heard Adrian Matyear play. I had wandered into Uncle at Family Nightclub and had been immediately ensnared by the sounds blasting from that immense system. I didn’t know this at the time, but he had been playing Jackin’ House, my first experience of this genre. Then, his music was laid bare; the innards exposed to all. Salacious basslines coiled with noxious rhythms while topped by buckling melodies. I also detected a sensitivity to his character; a resolute though subdued tone piercing his music. Then I had labelled his music as ‘androgynous’ – for it alternated between a determined masculinity balanced with vulnerable expression; indeed, I felt as though Adrian was getting in touch with his ‘non-masculine’ side (at the expense of making Adrian sound like a pussy). The most intriguing aspect of all was while many DJs expose their personalities immediately through their music, Adrian merely hinted at his. This indicated he had thorough control over his musical psyche – something especially fascinating; for in my experience, only seasoned musicians have such discipline. I was immediately intrigued and determined to make his acquaintance. In the pursuit for this interview, I have since come to know what makes Adrian Matyear tick and remain in awe of his vast talents.

Adrian’s liaison with music started while as a young child. He has been surrounded in music all his life whilst growing up in the mining town of Ipswich. In past articles, I have pointed out that the rugged town of Ipswich breeds an inner toughness into their people; a durability that provides an omnipotent mainspring of strength. Adrian is no exception to this dictum, for beneath his quiet and brooding demeanour, there is undoubted force and determination; qualities that propel this aspiring performer into the limelight. He entered Ipswich Grammar on a music scholarship as a classical percussionist and drummer, laying the foundations to what would be formidable skills in rhythmic subdivisions – the very substructures that outlines the ordinary DJ from the remarkable. I also have to wonder whether a particular experience as a young and impressionable teen on a musical tour in Melbourne being propelled through a hotel window by his accompanying school mates has anything to do with his probe into rock stardom. Giving piano and keys a bit of a go while immersing himself in the basic tricks and trade of studio recording, Adrian also started drumming for heavy metal bands and jazz groups. I have found that DJs with drumming and percussion experience veer towards the lure of Jacking House, a genre that is heavily based upon the timbre, textures and rhythms inherent to percussion.

After graduating from Grammar, Adrian entered the University of Queensland, his talent with words prodding him towards the direction in journalism. Adrian himself notes that he was going through a period in his life where everything did not seem to be going right. He was questioning his direction and purpose; a dilemma not at all assisted by a bout of illness. He had been involved in an electronic music collective whilst at UQ, and wanted to pursue this interest, but still, something intangible was effecting his sense of aspiration. It was as a glassie at the Press Club that his world changed and that feeling of being lost transformed into cool resolve; a change which Adrian credits solely to DJ Freestyle. Collecting glasses and wandering the tables of Press Club, Adrian watched the resident DJ Freestyle, unleashing his unique bag of House Music onto the Brisbane masses. That Freestyle’s music is inspiring, is a fact. That it would alter perceptions and change worlds, is a reality – especially so in Adrian’s universe. DJ Freestyle would often invite Adrian to come sit beside him as an observer during his performances to the Press Club patrons. Really, no aspiring DJ could have a better education than that from the talented fingers of Brisbane’s very own DJ extraordinaire. Adrian is extremely observant, open to his surroundings and ordering episodes logically in his mind. And it was whilst under the gentle and expansive tutelage of DJ Freestyle that the way before Adrian was exposed. There was no going back. Adrian knew he wanted to be a DJ and a Producer – a feeling he describes as penetrating to the core. It was not long before Adrian landed a residency in Uncle at Family Nightclub. He has since established himself as a connoisseur of the decks, his affaire d’amour with vinyl perhaps only slightly superceded by his love for coffee.

However, when Adrian loves something, he plunges into it with his entire being and mind. Being a wizard behind the decks is not enough. Adrian needs to conquer his mistress, every cavity needing to be filled and occupied by his single-minded sense of purpose and understanding. He has produced plenty of tracks as an accompaniment to MCs and instrumentalists, his previous skills in the studio coming to the forefront as a formidable implement in his musical arsenal. His mixes are true compositions of sonology; the tapestry intricate yet non-fussy. He sparks me as a conductor, lending his poise and expertise in the construction of beautiful masterpieces of seamless sounds. Likewise, Adrian’s succinct repartee with words has also benefited his talents in promotion and event organisation where he is propelled in exposing Brisbane to the qualities of Jacking House and Deep House. Adrian has been responsible in propping up Perth DJ Ralphski and South African DJ Troydon in Brisbane while being the leading authority for such events as Therapy, now featuring weekly at Brisbane’s BarSoma. Adrian has also supported such luminaries as DJ Heather, Johnny Fiasco, Migel Migs, Hilltop Hoods, Inland Knights, Carl Kennedy and Serge Santiago, among many others.

That Adrian has been instructed by one of the best DJ/Producers in the world is a testament to Brisbane’s subversive music scene. Adrian is now a rampant devotee to Freestyle’s mandate; a padwan to the Freestyle Jedi-Knight. Observing Adrian’s relationship to DJ Freestyle is like watching a disciple following Jesus Christ, such is the worshipful nature of his affection. Adrian often buries himself in the decks whilst wandering the vinyl lined corridors of Butter Beats or Central Station, learning to “ride the pitch”, scratching and harmonically mixing, while pitching tuning each track. There isnt one single album in Adrian’s extensive collection that he doesn’t know the key of. He seems to have a special connection with D minor and read constantly about the mathematical connections between notes and structures. He is deadly serious about his craft, retreating into a completely different world when behind his decks. Indeed, the depth of gravity into which Adrian descends while DJing is simultaneously remarkable and frightening. He remarks often about how much he loves to feel the grained valleys and clefs of vinyl beneath his fingers. You will often find Adrian performing with his shoes off, a technique perhaps taken from Freestyle – “all the better to feel the beats with”. As a Capricorn, Adrian is a tenacious worker, coolly driven, exceedingly patient and responsible almost to a fault. He is one of the most trustworthy people I know, is extremely shrewd though quite conservative in manner. But don’t let this seemingly cautious mien fool you – Adrian has told me enough stories that tells me there is far more to this “upright young gentleman” that meets the eye (these stories, I assure you, are a touch shocking for innocent eyes). To many, Adrian is an enigma, but take the time to really get to know him, and that ambiguous sense is replaced by a deep seated faith in his friendship and counsel, not to mention a grave respect of his incredible musicianship. Adrian Matyear has been cited by Freestyle himself, as one of Brisbane’s rising talents.

Alongside Andy Wallace, Adrian hosts “Therapy” each Thursday evening at BarSoma; a journey into the profundity and nebulousness of Deep House. “Therapy” has featured may talented DJs in the past, including rising sensation DJ/Prducer Rikki Rae, DJ Freestyle and Shannon Marshall, among many other notables. Tonight, “Therapy” will feature the expansive talents of Chris Wilson as well as the customary offerings of Andy Wallace and Adrian himself. However, it doesn’t just stop here. Adrian will also be supporting Belgian house music project “Swirl People” with Dimitri Dewever and Raoul Belmans in Uncle at Family Nightclub on Saturday November 25. Experience the enigma that is Adrian Matyear for yourself. Pull back the sheets on your flourishing talent Brisbane. Adrian Matyear will be a deluge upon your senses – one that is be most welcome.