As a self-proclaimed workaholic, Matt Tolfrey has spent the last few years forging a unique sound through his DJ sets and production and has somehow still found time to create and nurture one of the UK’s most respected, not to mention cutting edge house/techno labels in Leftroom. Matt has been ever present at Stealth since its inception several years ago. We put some questions to him.
What have you been working on recently Matt?
Recently it has been my tan and getting fat in USA. Music wise there is tons on, and never enough time to do it…Can you tell us what we can look forward to from your Leftroom label in the coming months?
I just finished a new remix solo for a new British label called Kaluki from Manchester by a guy called Joseph Kindred. Really happy with it, and seeing as it is only the second remix I have ever done on my own it has inspired me to produce more again.
Chris and I have remixes pending on Rekids of James Teej and Cityfox of Lee Curtiss. We’re also working really hard on our debut album, which we’re hoping to have finished by the end of the year.
We are promoing Left019 at the moment, which is by Eric Johnston a newish comer from Detroit. It comes with a remix from Ryan Elliot also. After that we have a big 20th release with tracks coming from all the Leftroom crew. 6Six tracks in total, four on vinyl and two digital exclusives. Then on Leftroom Limited we have an ep by iO and Westboy called With Love from Ukraine, then next up after that is an ep by London’s Jozif. Then the Left’d002 (Leftroom’s new digital label) is about to drop and we have various artist ep’s from then on every 4-6 weeks. We’re really busy with the label at the moment, we just changed distributors and took on Leon Oakey as our new label manager. After such a long time not putting out many releases, we have got everything in line again and are ready to take over!!!
Technology has always played a key role in the evolution of house and techno. Do you think that this influence has become less important in recent years as producers have tended to look back for inspiration?
The idea of only playing promo’s is totally gone now. I play as much old music as new, so this has definitely changed. Technology wise it’s only human to always evolve and get better, faster, more efficient, etc… Producers have always looked to the past for inspiration, it’s all based on disco in the end isn’t it…Who would be your singularly most important influence on your production work?
To be honest we try and not be influenced too much when it comes to production as we’re trying so hard to forge our own sound. But a producer I have a lot of respect for and who is getting insanely good at the moment is Lee Curtiss. He just finished a track that got signed to Culprit in LA that has me doing vocals on it, and if he can make me sound like I can actually sing, he can do anything…
You’ve played all over the world, where do the clubbers most connect with what you are trying to communicate in your DJ sets? Why do you think that is?
I am lucky as I feel I make a connection with all the people I play for. It is in my personality anyway, I get on with most people if not all, so I think comes through in my dj style. I’m not one of these dj’s that thinks I am educating people or anything like that. I just play what I would want to hear if I was on the dancefloor myself, which I still do a lot as well, everyone loves a good party and supporting people!Your role model?
Mum. She is the toughest cookie on the planet and inspires me a lot. She has just beaten cancer and my world revolves around her. I’m a big mummies boy at heart.
Your top 5 records of the moment?
This is always hard to do as there is a lot more than 5 records that I am buzzing off at the moment, but here we go, in no particular order…
1. Robin Ordell – The Show – Leftroom Limited
2. Lee Curtiss ft Matt Tolfrey – Candy – Culprit
3. Pezzner – Balboa Park – Freerange
4. Adonis – We’re Rocking Down The House (Basement Jaxx Remix)
5. Losoul ft Malte – Lies – Playhouse