Interview: Crispy Urban House Originators Mat.Joe On Fusing Hip-Hop, Soul & Tech House Into A Unique Sound

They also share their biggest dance records of the summer.
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Mat.Joe

Mat.Joe

A decade ago the Berlin-based production duo now known as Mat.Joe was steeped in hip-hop culture. In between skateboarding sessions, the two young producers created authentic hip-hop for independent artists. It was there that they learned the sampling and crate digging techniques that would eventually lead to them creating the funk and soul-laden tech-house grooves the two have become known for over the last seven years. The only thing that has really changed since then (aside from the growing support from the industry at large) is the vessel with which they chose to deliver their beats. They may have traded drum breaks and rap ciphers for jackin’ rhythms and lasers, but the boys can still breakdance to house music.

Since their transition to dance music Mat and Joe have become sought after producers and remixers, releasing on some of the industry’s most notable labels. Hot Creations, Sola and Defected have all called on the duo to get funky in the studio. Most appropriately however, they’ve formed a long-standing relationship with fellow Hannover natives and this Ain’t Bristol co-founders, Maximono. Mat.Joe returned to the label recently for “Ya Know.” With a soulful vocal and an uplifting piano riff that’s grounded in a classic house sound the boys definitely channeled the summer heat into what can easily be described as a potential summer anthem.

We had a chat with the guys to find out what their favorite summer jams are, how their ever-expanding vinyl collection plays into their sound, and if they plan to return to hip hop in the future.

You guys have a serious summer anthem on your hands here. Can you name some of your favorite big summer tunes in dance music?

Thanks for the love and support for our new track! Definitely got some favorites in our music cases that are real-life time classics: 

You guys hail from Hannover and now live in Berlin, a town famously dedicated to techno. What’s it like representing the new wave of house music producers there?

Berlin has always been a mix of different music scenes. It’s known for good techno, but also good urban house music. It’s good to be a part of an ever-growing scene and for us it’s important to do our thing instead of following the trends.

I hear you’ve developed quite a collection of vinyl. How important is having that tangible connection to the past in your music?

Yes! a lot of hip-hop and soul stuff, but also some house classics. Our productions are always inspired by urban music. Every track got a hip-hop, soul or funk element and that’s our sound...we call it Crispy Urban House.

Speaking of vinyl, it’s also interesting that you have a strong background in hip-hop culture, how did you connect the dots between hip-hop and house music?

We both come from the skateboarding and hip-hop culture...with  graffiti and breakdance coming with that. When we used to produce more beats, we already had a big inspirational connection with artists like Pharrell or Timbaland. Both of them are known for combining genres and that’s exactly what we do.

You guys left your hip hop project behind when you switched to house, any thoughts on reviving that project under a different alias?

We definitely wanna work again on some Hip Hop tracks (we never really stopped)...but at the moment we’re focused on working out Mat.Joe to the fullest.

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