Mathew Jonson (fabric 84)
I’m Canadian. I was born in small beach town in the Okanagan Valley named Penticton. I spent my early years living in a small house with an apple orchard.
My parents’ love of music has been the biggest influence in my career. Without their support I would not be doing what I am today. I was enrolled in classical piano and percussion from the age of 7 and had always been surrounded by musicians and musical instruments - mainly from the folk and blues world. My father sings and plays guitar mainly but collected many instruments he can play quite well. We had a harpsichord, a lap dulcimer and hammer dulcimer, tin whistles, multiple acoustic and electric guitars, a banjo and dobro for a while, different kinds of percussion and a drum set, and folk instruments like washtub basses, washboards, saws, spoons, autoharps, kazoos, mouth-harps - pretty much anything my father could get his hands on. Musicians that came through town frequently stayed with us as my dad had a part in running a theatre. It’s fair to say I come from a musical background.
Growing up in Canada my friends mainly listened to hip-hop and r&b but I also had my parents influence of classical music from my mother and blues, rock, and folk from my father.
When I was 9 my parents bought a digital piano and a very basic outboard synthesiser module and sequencer (MT-32, PT-100). This was my first exposure to being able to create my own music and I picked it up quite fast as I spent every night after school making music. It drove my parents a bit crazy so most of the time it was in the headphones when actually I was supposed to be practicing my scales and conservatory pieces. In the early 90s I switched to writing with a keyboard and computer. Then around 1996 I switched to analog equipment. This took quite a few years to learn and then in 2002 I felt like the music I was writing was at a level worth releasing.
"The mix was done live on stage in Room One of fabric on the 15th birthday party [October 2014]. It’s a costume party so I was wearing a full body Japanese bunny suite (if that’s what the character Stitch is I’m actually not sure). It was a bit hot under all the lights. I knew Ben UFO would come out strong so following him I decided to play my techno material first rather than play the funky tracks like I usually do." - Mathew Jonson
LABELS & PRODUCTION:
Itiswhatitis Recordings was the label to release my first solo work. I had released some remixes on Dreamworks prior to that for Nelly Furtado. I started Wagon Repair with some friends around the same time as releasing my first tracks on Minus, Perlon (with Luciano), and Sub-Static. I then released on Kompakt with The Mole and numerous releases with Cobblestone Jazz on Wagon Repair and !K7. Most of my recent work has been on Crosstown Rebels. I also joined Cocoon for some of their compilations, and remixed the likes of Model 500 (Clear), Kevin Saunderson (Good Life), Moby, The Chemical Brothers, and VCMG to name a few.
The first time I was invited to play at fabric it kind of felt like a confirmation that my music career was real. It’s just one of those few clubs in the world that everybody knows about and respects. I write special live shows every time I get booked as it feels like it’s always the right time to drop new music and edits. The people are open minded about what comes out of the speakers, the sound is great. I feel close to the staff and always have a really great time performing - it feels like my London home. I’m really happy and honoured to release this set from the last fabric birthday party as my first commercial live recording. It couldn’t be a better fit.
The mix was done live on stage in Room One of fabric on the 15th birthday party [October 2014]. It’s a costume party so I was wearing a full body Japanese bunny suite (if that’s what the character Stitch is I’m actually not sure). It was a bit hot under all the lights. I knew Ben UFO would come out strong so following him I decided to play my techno material first rather than play the funky tracks like I usually do. Judy was talking to me about 'Decompression' prior to the show so I decided to play the extended remixes I had made in the middle - one for the first time that was a mash up with Ghosts in the A.I. I played some new cuts like ‘The World Will Come Around’ and also lots of unreleased tracks and edits that I am constantly changing to keep things fresh.
Last year I decided to give myself a lot of freedom in the studio to experiment with new directions. I started writing music for piano and also a lot of ambient and breaks. I would like to perform that eventually. Midnight Operator is doing a lot of music at moment so prepare to see lots of new releases coming out there. I’ve decided to give up my place in India to spend the winters from now on in Japan. I’ll be studying Japanese doing some work with Roland but my main reason to go is to learn about the music and art scene there and hopefully collaborate with some new people. Let’s see what the future holds - I can tell right now that lots of change is coming.
fabric 84: Mathew Jonson is out now.
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Photography: Jimmy Mould