Splendour In The Grass, Summerdayze, Groovin’ The Moo, Good Vibrations and Golden Plains – local DJ/producer Mat Cant has done them all. In 2011, it’s time to add his “favourite festival” to the above list as Cant hits the stages of this year’s Parklife while getting ready to release two brand new EPs.
“I actually made the decision this year to cut back on gigs quite a lot,” he claims. “I wanted to focus on production and to bring back a bit more value to the Mat Cant name instead of just playing gigs five days a week. I’ve cut back to two gigs a week now which has allowed me to still do heaps of international supports in Melbourne but it’s letting me do more production. When something like Parklife comes along though, obviously you’re going to jump on board. I’ve always wanted to play Parklife, it’s been my favourite festival since it started. A lot of the other festivals I’ve done have either been as part of a group or with [rapper] 360 who I’m a tour DJ for. I’ve found a lot of the time that some of the festivals get really relaxed with the locals they choose to perform, they have the same local supports every year. I’ve been DJing for about eight years and I’ve done 70 international supports in just the last two years, so it’s good to finally be able to get on the back of a festival like this.”
And Cant is pretty thrilled with this year’s Parklife lineup, claiming he can’t wait to catch Katy B’s set as well as give Melbourne audiences a taste of his own new tunes.
“I’m really happy with the artists this year, it’s really good to see the promoters catering for different angles as far as the punters are concerned,” Cant offers. “I’m really more into the UK funky club music so I am really looking forward to seeing Katy B, I think she’d be amazing live! My set it usually pretty hectic but mainly what you get is a lot of Caribbean-influenced club music and a big variety of bass. It could be UK bass to more regional ghetto bass, like New Jersey Club, I play some house too but I don’t play a 4-4 time structure or anything. I love the more garage sort of vibe but I’m really into big bass drums and big kicks!”
With a club-oriented EP set for release by the end of the year, and a vocals-based, more commercial EP dropping early next year, Cant also reveals his plans to relocate to the UK sometime in 2012 and relaunch his career abroad.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to get one of the EPs out before summer and then the other one probably some time around January next year,” he states. “I’m looking at working with more dancehall emcees and including more dancehall aspects into my music as well because I play that style too, as well as hip hop. I’m really aiming to bring that big carnival summer party vibe to the music. One of the EPs is more for the club, the other one is more commercially viable with vocalists on each track. It’s something I could hopefully push to radio. My favourite producer has always been Toddla T, ‘Skanky Skanky’ was a big influence on me and the direction I ended up going in.”
Before his big move to the UK, Cant adds that he is hoping to complete a tour of New Zealand to coincide with his upcoming EP releases. And while he may miss Australia, Cant reckons he’s done his bit here in Melbourne and that the time has come to branch out into new territories.
“I’ve been really proud of the outcome that we’ve had with Scatterblog and Scattermusic,” says Cant of his involvement with the label and blog. “I started Scattermusic with a few friends back in 2008 because Scatterblog was getting sent so much good music from unknown producers, so we decided to put it out for other people to hear it. We felt some real talent was underrepresented in Melbourne and Australia and we’re still getting a lot of music coming in. There’s no signs of stopping it, it’s had amazing response form DJs and producers around the world. I’ve developed a lot of contacts in the UK and moving over there seems like the logical step to take because I’ve got dual citizenship anyway so it could be a great opportunity. My priority has been to keep hustling away and keep grinding and doing as much as I can to help push good music. The UK seems like the destination because it’s getting hard to push this sound in Australia as much as I love it here.”
Mat Cant [AUS] plays Parklife alongside Santigold [UK], Kimbra [NZ] and MSTRKRFT [CAN] and more at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Saturday September 24.