As so happens between certain artists and labels, especially anything in the Anjunabeats family, Matt Lange and Anjunadeep are in a bit of a love affair. Continuing to show that the pairing is meant to be is the release of Lange's latest EP, Staccato. Featuring three uniquely tech, progressive and deep house tracks, the EP conveys Lange's understanding of subtlety and technicality in translating the classical nature of music into electronic measures. While the lead single "Staccato" has already created a name for itself after its feature on Anjunabeats Volume 11, "Ether" and "Underscore" help to round out the EP to its fullest.
We got to chat with Matt Lange ahead of the release of Staccato, so check out our interview with him below.
EARMILK: You went to school for music - did you grow up in a musical household?
Matt Lange: While my parents aren’t musicians, they certainly are fine appreciators of music. I grew up surrounded by it and they had me taking piano lessons when I was very young. They’re both photographers, so growing up in a creative household was of course very influential and supportive to later going off as an artist.
EM: When did you decide that it was electronic music that you wanted to make your career?
ML: I didn’t plan for electronic music to be my career necessarily, but I always knew I would be a musician. The advancement of music technology itself pushed me into the electronic vein more than anything else. I was in a band during high school and I started learning music production software so that I could record my own demos to later give to the band. Eventually I just skipped the band entirely and was able to produce every element needed for my music at the time myself. Taking sound design courses at Berklee College Of Music also pushed me to be more electronic as I was very inspired by the idea of creating brand new, unheard sounds and sonic textures.
EM: You're credited on a lot of other music outside of your own. What's different about producing something for yourself as opposed to working on someone else's record?
ML: It’s a bit of a different mindset. Typically, when working with or for someone else there’s a fairly definitive direction for what they’re aiming to achieve. This makes it a bit easier at first since the canvas is essentially already there for you and from there it’s choosing which colors to paint with. Working on my own solo work is a bit more of a process. Masochistic as it may be, I prefer to manufacture my own canvas, strand by strand. Ultimately the latter is usually more rewarding personally, but collaboration can be wonderful as well.
EM: What's a track or album that you find yourself consistently going back to for inspiration?
ML: There are two albums I always come back to. Tool’s Lateralus and Telefon Tel Aviv’s Map Of What’s Effortless. Both hit me so strongly on the technical and cerebral level as well as the emotional level. It’s a pattern I’ve always aimed for with my own music.
EM: Does your personal music taste differ from the music you make?
ML: I’d like to think my music is ultimately influenced from my favorite parts of my favorite music, especially in the case of Telefon Tel Aviv and Tool. The Tool influence is less obvious unless you listen to a record of mine like “Avalon.” Most of my taste has little to do with dance music. Recently I’ve been listening to the new Coldplay record, Tim Hecker, Thomas Newman and Bon Iver. As far as the one artist in dance music I can never get enough of: Sasha.
EM: Tell us a bit about "Staccato" and how it came to be. How would you describe it yourself?
ML: I wrote "Staccato" while taking a break from composing the score to a film called ETXR. It started entirely from writing with these staccato articulation strings and essentially just fiddling around until I found a pretty basic idea that worked harmonically for me. I was definitely in the film score head space while working on it. Ironically I used little, if any, strings in the actual score for ETXR, but just living in that headspace for 5 months is directly responsible for Staccato. For those who are familiar with minimalism, there’s no denying a very clear Steve Reich influence in "Staccato."
EM: What's different about this release for you?
ML: This release is a bit more “live” for me. In both Staccato and Underscore the lead melodies in the breaks were performed with a Juno 106 live, which leads them to feel more natural to me, as opposed to perfectly sequenced in Pro Tools. Also, much of the percussion was recorded directly out of the Elektron Machinedrum where I essentially performed the Machinedrum during the duration of the tracks as it was recording. The easiest way to tell would be to listen to the hi hats in both of those tracks... Something is always changing. Ether marks the first time in a few years I’ve sung on a record, even if it is just a rather small hook. I have a feeling my own vocals will be expanded on and featured quite a bit more in my future work.
- Buy Staccato EP on Beatport
- Matt Lange on Facebook
- Matt Lange on Soundcloud
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- Anjunadeep on Soundcloud