I guess that sometimes what you really like comes to you with a lot of serendipity. What happened? Maztek just dropped a new EP called Grinder under the rising star Budapest-based label Eatbrain owned by Jade. We must say that this EP has really set the bar high for the other ones to reach. It rocks the features of June Miller, Leah Vee and Mob Tactics with a remix of Maztek’s track Stompin’. The reason of this huge hype I have about it is that it has been a while since Maztek released something, and even if he was extremely active as DJ, I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we were all waiting for this.
Matteo Cavo (his real name) is a kind and cool guy, and while talking to him you never feel any VIP-like distance, his experience and fame don’t spoil the pleasure of an informal chat. I had the opportunity to dig a bit under the surface of what you see of him, and now it’s your turn to come to know what he told me.
First of all, we [Liquid Audio Network] really liked your new EP a lot, for its sounds, variety and vibe. There were many innovative sounds in all the tracks, which is definitely not usual. What did influence you the most, from 3.0 to now?
I spent around one year experimenting during live events, listening to new releases and hits, and I had the feeling that many of the new tracks are perfect from a technical and engineering point of view, but also very similar between each other and soulless; indeed, I can count on one hand the ones I really liked. Thus, I simply tried to avoid following the mainstream and I did what I like instead, trying to find a compromise between what works on the dance floor and what is personal, peculiar and not aseptic.
How did the collaboration with June Miller begin? We all went bananas after the drop of your song, and started dancing like mad monkeys in the room (should I have omitted this detail?). Did this happen to you as well?
It all started almost two years ago when I moved to the Netherlands. I went to their Rotterdam studio and we did this collaboration track [Blaffer] which didn’t come to life until now because both me and them were busy. Those days have been fun [laughs], it’s always cool to be in the studio with the guys; we also became good friends and this makes things easier and better, and yes, we also went bananas.
I got impressed by the deepness and the thickness of the basslines of all the tracks in the EP. The bass sounds are fat but quick and neat, and the outcome on a proper sound system is truly deflagrating. What is your secret?
Nights and days spent in the studio, several live events and finally trying, trying, trying until one day you start dancing like a mad monkey in the room.
Has this EP a particular meaning for you, or is it just pure creativity put in action? It punches you in the face so hard that you feel an insane desire to play a Tekken 3 tournament. Which character would you choose if you had to play against us? (careful, this is where the fans split)
Yes, it has. It is sort of a cheer to my fans: “Hey, I’ve been gone for a while, been busy and shit, but now I’m back and I’m finally doing what I like the most, with several new projects already started, new ideas and my enthusiasm to let them out. I hope you will like them!”. In Tekken 3 I would choose Panda, just because it’s fun. Or maybe Tiger Jackson, because he’s funky.
Tokiwa is one of my favourite tracks from 3.0 as well. I got inspired from the figure of a female samurai, which I am still looking for.
How is it to work with a label like Eatbrain, which is young but nonetheless big and ascending, after the holy Renegade Hardware?
To be honest I feel way better, being young doesn’t mean that they’re not professional enough; on the contrary, they’re very dynamic, fresh and enthusiast.
Huge respect to Renegade Hardware, I will always keep it in my heart, but the show must go on.
This one is for the producers out there: what part of your studio you would never give away, neither if tortured? When you start with a new track, what is your first move?
My ADAM a77x, my Virus TI2 and my recently bought Subpac. When I start something new, it all starts with an idea, without it it’s harder to do anything decent. It usually is a drum line or a bass line.
What is the worst thing that ever happened to you in a live?
A blackout. You’re there standing, with the people getting angry and mad at you like it was your fault.
I always liked you both as a producer and as a DJ. From your point of view, who did you always like the same way? And is it there among the contemporary producers someone that really impressed you?
I think that Audio is really on another level on both sides, I learned a lot playing back to back with him. I think he is the only one for which I can say that I like both producing and live performing. Among the producers, well, Noisia never stopped impressing me, then also Current Value for the amount of tracks that he drops, and June Miller for the quality of sound and the sound design in general.
You’re the banner of italian Drum & Bass in the world. How do you judge the italian movement, with respect to the one of the other countries you’ve been to? And how do they see our movement from abroad?
Some time ago I wasn’t happy at all of our drum & bass movement. Too much wicked competition, that does nothing but destroying instead of building something durable. Now I actually think that who is capable of pushing this music in Italy is to be respected, especially who has been doing it for many years. Hats off to them, and respect for the new producers as well.
For what concerns the foreign artists, they didn’t even know that there was a drum & bass movement in Italy when I started, apart from a handful of underground events. Now, they’re all happy to come and play in the beautiful Italy. Full throttle, then.
A last curiosity… Sometimes, when you’re alone, you?
Sometimes when I’m alone I go for a ride with my bike, I try to do sports, I listen to music, I eat pizza and I chill watching documentaries about aliens [laughs].
At this point we ended the questioning, which has been really a nice insight into a drum & bass producer’s life. Our maximum respect goes to Maztek and his new Grinder EP, which you can find at the links provided at the end of this article. We also included one of the premiere tracks here in the article as well, to make things easier for you, lazy fucks. Have fun! The EP will be sold digitally from August 29, but it will be premiered on Beatport starting from August 15. Plus, you can listen to it on the SoundCloud page of Maztek or of the Eatbrain label, which we provide here.
Grinder EP (Eatbrain part):
Grinder EP (Maztek part – Blaffer feat. June Miller):
Maztek on Facebook:
Maztek on Twitter (yes, with 2 k):
Maztek’s official website:
Eatbrain official website:
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