Ahead of the release of Fabric 81, which arrives April 20th, we had the pleasure to chat with the man behind the mix, Matt Tolfrey, a much revered artist in the scene, regular at Fabric and label manager of Leftroom Records. The talented producer and Dj gave us an insight into the honour bestowed upon him, the selection process and much more!
WWD: Thanks for joining us Matt!
Finally your appearance in the Fabric mix series will see its release in mid April! How do you feel about that?
Getting a fabric CD has been a goal of mine for a very long time, so it’s nice to feel a sense of achievement. I set myself pretty high goals, so it is nice to hit one.
WWD: You said that “fabric 81 is the mix I’ve been hoping to achieve my whole career”, so considering your statement, have you got other aims for your musical career?
It’s setting myself alot of goals and working towards them, ticking them off as i go along. This won’t be the last mix CD I do but it definitely is one I am extremely proud of. I’m working hard in the studio to get more music out at the moment, I love my time in there, and I’m getting alot out of it. Except alot more solo stuff from me over the next 12 months!!!
WWD: What was the main concept behind the track selection? Was it a difficult process?
Mix CD’s are always difficult because of the time constraint. It’s hard to fit everything into 74 minutes, especially when your used to djing for alot longer than that. If I was only booked to play at a club for an hour and fifteen minutes it would raise alarm bells. As I’ve been playing Fabric for over ten years I tried to capture that whole period of time in one mix. I edited nearly all the tracks used and told my side of the story. Craig Richards phoned me before I played at Fabric for the first time in May 2004, and his advice was “just do your thing.” Once you’ve heard the mix, you’ll understand from the first track what I set out to do.
WWD: Do you think that your style has been properly expressed in the whole recording?
This mix perfectly expresses my style of DJing for this type of CD but CD’s are often listened to in the car while driving or while your getting ready to go out, a club environment is very different. In a club you get to read the crowd, and create a vibe. When you’re doing a recording like this it is much more self indulgent.
WWD: Do some of these records remind you a particular moment or situation?
All of the records that are on this CD are tracks that I have played at Fabric before, I remember. They’re all records that have stood the test of time with me and I haven’t got tired of. The standout is most probably the Derrick Carter remix of 2nd Shift – I’ve never been asked “what track is this” so many times about any other record I own. I’m planning on playing a lot of the tracks at the lunch party on 25th of this month so there will definitely be some moments there.
WWD: What kind of setup did you use to record the mix? Is it the same as the one you use at parties?
Some of the tracks had to be recorded from vinyl so these ones were all digitally remastered and all of the edits were done in Ableton. To record the mix I used Ableton as the main source and rewired everything through an Allen and Heath mixer so that all the eq’ing had a human touch. I wanted to to fit as much as I could could into the mix, so I felt this was the best way to do it.
WWD: Lastly, before we leave you! Have you got any forthcoming projects you want to tell us about?
I’m currently working with Jozif on our Kerb Staller project, and we are debuting our live show at the Fabric CD launch this month. That’s my main focus at the moment, but there is also a huge ten years of Leftroom compilation that is out towards the end of the year that includes a lot of collaborations between myself and some of my favourite producers out there.
Pre-order ‘Fabric 81’ here.