dha-int-matador

Interview: Matador

Published On 27/12/2017 | Interviews

Last year, Matador launched his RUKUS imprint with his own artist LP ‘Ructions’, eventually inviting his close network of like minded producers to rework & remix the LP.

Ultimatley leading to a collaboration of musical synergy, this set the tone for a full on brand identity focusing on artist expression, music creativity and soul, since welcoming the likes of ANNA, Florian Frings, SHADED, and Carlos Ruiz into the mix.

Ahead of the massive RUKUS showcase in Buenos Aires (and following a brand showcase launch at London’s fabric) on 30 December, we caught up with Matador and discussed his vision for the imprint, it’s present and future. On this date, Matador will be joined by Pig& Dan and ANNA at the Estadio Malvinas.

“The music is the core.”

Can you introduce RUKUS as an imprint?
It started as an outlet for my own music, which was around the time I was finishing my album. Then, I release of the remix package of the album where I would introduce other artists, friends and people I really respect as artists. Then, the natural step was to introduce a series of artists with totally original music. That came about first with ANNA.

The imprint is driven by melodic style Techno. When we’re talking about the brand, this is what I am after. There are no real boundaries. Now we have Carlos Ruiz, Florian Frings, SHADED, myself, and ANNA at the start of the year. I feel like we have covered a lot of ground in terms of artists and have defined the brand we are about.

Was this the plan all along or was there an evolution in expanding the artists featured?
What came first was all the music that gets sent to me; from ANNA in particular. I was playing her records a few years ago when she was just getting started. Her team are good friends with my manager, they sent us some music, and I knew straight away that she was aligned with what I was trying to do and where I was going.

Another aspect of a brand would be its on site prence. I know you recently had a fabric showcase. How does the RUKS philosophy translate to on site events?
The music is the core. That warm, analogue feel translates to the visual feel for me. December was the month we launched at frabric. It was incredible! It was a real experience. Not just to play but also to curate Room 1 and have our label above the door. It was a really nice time to shocase one side of what I want to do with RUKUS, showcase intimate club shows driven by the energy of the music. Then, the flipside is what we are doing in Argentina on the 30th…

Ya, 7,000 people in a stadium is hardly an intimate club show. That sounds lie a pretty serious event…
Ya, for sure. This is the flipside from fabric, where Room 1 holds about 500 people. That night was amazing, though. ANNA opened up, then I played, and Paco Osuna closed it down. On my remix album, Pacio delivered one of my favorite remixes of the whole collection. He is a really good friend of mine. Now, on to the next thing, which is more how we will frame the music. This event will really showcase the look and design. We are bringing our own crew over from ireland. I don’t want to give too much away but it will be something very different.

How did you settle on Buenos Aires on the city to do this event?
It stems back to when I started in 2011/12, and one of my first shows there was at Creamfields. I met promoter down there and we got on great. I also connected with the people down there. Eventually i was invited back to do a club night at Pacha, which is a 5000 capacity venue. I went there with Hobo and we sold out the place. From that, its been the way its been for me in Buenos Aires and South America in general. It is a strong territory for me.

So, you’ll be spending New Year’s in Argentina?
I will indeed! I have a New year’s off this year for a change.

Can you speak on what RUKUS has planned showcase-wise moving forward?
We will definitely be doing something in Miami this year for MMW. Before that we will do 1 or 2 weekends in Eastern Europe. Then, throughout the summer….I’ve been sworn to secrecy.

Soundcloud Artist Page

30 December | RUKUS Presents | Tickets | Estadio Malvinas Argentinas

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About The Author

Steve comes to Amsterdam by way of Brooklyn, Connecticut, Mumbai, and Tokyo. He researches media culture at UvA, while already holding degrees from UCONN (CT) and The New School (NYC). Aside from DHA, Steve is the Senior Editor for cinema platform IndieNYC.com, and writes on issues relating to film, culture, politics & electronic music. Every so often he also dabbles in photography and filmmaking.