A couple weeks ago, I presented to you the first episode of the year for our little underground podcast. In the post, I explained that each month we will be inviting a guest to mix things up for us, as well as exclusive interviews. Today I present to you our first guest, a good friend and a rising talent, Matt Ossentjuk. A member of the Rolling Tuff crew, as well as a major component of the Gari Safari. He's played some incredible gigs, such as the Minimal Effort NYE party, and just recently with Agents Of Time. He has provided an eclectic mix for your Wednesday listening pleasure, as well as an interview that gives us a look into this future superstar's mind.
1) First and foremost, how are you Matt? Second, for our readers who have no clue, who are you and where are you from?
Everything’s groovy, thanks for asking. I’m a 24yo music nerd from LA.
2) How long have you been in the scene? What got you into it?
Hard to pinpoint… I’ve been raving since like 2009, but I started sneaking into warehouse parties sometime around 2012. Owe a thing or two to Cooper Saver of Far Away and my classmate Justin Jay for helping me unearth the good stuff.
3) Every artist has that defining “oh shit” moment, that made them decide electronic music would be their life path. What was yours?
I was just fucking around with DJing/producing and promoting for a club night in Hollywood that some friends had started, which wound up landing me my first club gigs. I caught the bug, and realized that if there was a way to make a career out of geeking on records and dancing I wanted to give it a shot.
4) Who are some artists or labels you are currently digging right now?
whole mess of stuff right now… the FUSE crew, a:rpia:r and all associated. Afriqua, Barac, Arapu, iO, Premiesku, Varhat, Apollonia etc… also Reelow, and just about everything on Yoruba Grooves
5) Anyone we should look out for?
6) So you’re part of the RollingTuff crew. What is that, and what is your roll?
ROLLINGTUFF is a media & party brand based here in LA, founded by a couple of darryls Ryan & Conor several years back. We’re going through a bit of a changing of the guard right now, where myself and some younger guys are taking over the reins and figuring out how to move forward in a post-blog world.
7) You’re also part of the Gari crew, and you’ve all been touring around the US and even Mexico. How did that come about, and how has it been? What does the future hold for Gari?
This started all the way with my high school friends Anabel & Jackson Englund and Diego Cuevas. As we all independently and collectively wound our ways into the music world we met Matt Wasley (Human Life) and started spending a lot of time partying and working on music together. One thing led to another, our inside jokes started to take on a life of their own, and next thing we knew we were curating sold out parties together in LA with the rest of our extended music families. It’s been an absolutely brilliant experience planning, learning, and touring around the country with some of my closest friends. We’re currently working on taking the Safari to Chicago, Miami, Palm Springs, and Ecuador, among other places, and plotting our first few collaborative releases.
8) If you could play any party or festival on the planet, what would it be?
So many amazing looking festivals have been cropping up across Europe in the last 3 years… haven’t had the chance to attend any yet, but apart from the obvious, (Sunwaves, Dekmantel), I’ve just heard about Into The Valley in Estonia which sounds and looks incredible. The exotic locations are the most alluring to me… beaches, castles, ruins, jungles etc.
9) Now, if you could throw your own party with any lineup, who would you book and why?
would just take me days (weeks) to decide.
10) Let’s talk production. How long have you been producing?
Something like 5-6 years, becoming more dedicated in the last 2-3.
11) What is your DAW of choice? What do you like about it?
Ableton — to me it’s super fast, fluid, and intuitive — perfect for creating happy accidents.
12) So you’ve just sat down to start a new track. Walk us through your process?
Always different… many times it starts with sampling some bizarre internet artifact, or being inspired on the dancefloor. The rest of the time I could be trying out a new drum rack or piece of gear and just throwing things at the wall and working with what sticks.
13) Any favorite hardware or synths? What do you like about them?
My hardware “collection” is only a couple of synths/fx and meagre at best, but while I work on expanding on that front, Sylenth, Diva, and SubBoom are my go-to tools.
14) Are you more sample based, or do you make your own sounds?
It’s a mixture. I love playing with found audio, so I frequently wind up making new sounds via manipulation and samplers.
15) You’ve had some pretty solid success, with Beatport putting your track in one of it’s essential playlists. That’s got to be pretty exciting. Tell us what that felt like.
Thanks for noticing! Yeah I put my first three records out on Beatport in October, and one was charted by Beatport and another was featured on the front page. It was well beyond what I expected and incredibly validating and encouraging, as I’d been sitting on a huge number of tunes for a long time, but had always been hesitant to release things publicly. Definitely increasing my output this year.
16) Any new tracks you’ve got in the works? Where should we keep an eye out?
Thrilled that Santé has been banging out a new one I’ve done with Human Life on his tour, including on Get Physical Radio the other week — I’ll let you guess about the release plans for that one, but it’s due sometime around WMC. I’ve also just signed a house EP to San Diego’s Late Nite Jackin and am currently working on a techy remix for BluFin Records in Germany, also due sometime in spring.
17) Last question. You’re still a rather fresh face in the global scene, but do you have any advice to any new DJs or producers out there? Things that you’ve learned, or mistakes you’ve made that they should know or avoid?
In production, the power of scheduling and learning how to finish stuff have been massive for me. It’s an ongoing process, but it’s only in the last year that I’ve managed to train myself to call things done at a certain point and move on to the next project, and the upsides are well worth any reservations I might have had.