Very few have the capacity or grit to maintain longevity within dance and electronic music, many have tried but become swept up amidst the chaos and strife of the industry in a fickle and uncompromising climate. Bushwacka! is a producer and disc jockey with whom many will be familiar and fond - he remains a UK icon of sorts having released amidst the classic era of acid house and then evolved through his collaborations with Layo during the golden age of dance music in Ibiza. He has dabbled in a spectrum of genres but most notably during the nineties he was involved in an emerging, interesting tech house sound which has since been reborn as of late with reissues by the likes of Holding Hands amongst others. Perhaps an unsung hero of the genre his music sounds just as relevant and enticing now as it did back in the 90's...
These days appearances from Bushwacka! are sparse, a man with no need to impress he is now in a luxurious position in which he can pick his own gigs with care and attention to detail. Hence having the chance to observe him play at present is rare.
This summer Layo and Bushwacka! will return for a special appearance at Campo Sancho, a small countryside festival with a big heart and a passion which was born amidst the hedonistic days of Notting Hill Carnival. It promises to be a blistering demonstration of what the duo have achieved through their sound and commitment to dance music across many years.
In celebration of this, we invited Bushwacka! to take us through some of the formative music in his career, a deeply old school set showcasing fantastic take in deep house and tech house in all their glory. This one is a little bit special....
Listen and read the interview below:
Please introduce yourself…
Hi, Im Matthew - AKA Bushwacka! - AKA Just Be - AKA Matthew B. I dont intend to change my name in the near future.
Who are you, where are you and what are you?
Im still trying to figure out who I am. Its a lifelong journey. Im in Hampstead in my new abode. I am a fairly complicated, neurotic, but brilliant DJ, producer and recording engineer.
What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?
My DJ sets are often accused of being too banging, too fast, too slow, too soft, too this, too that, from the sheep following only what they believe to be trends. My music as a DJ sounds dynamic, versatile and powerful in the clubs. As a producer, I like to play with moods, and grooves - I am a techno boy at heart, with an Acid House mentality, and I like to use breakbeats a lot. Musically the styles range from ambient dub jazz fusion to banging Techno and House. I just love good music that makes me feel good, or makes me feel emotional.
Where was the mix recorded?
I ripped all the vinyl over a long period of time, and then I put the mix together in my studio - I had so much music to choose from, and I wanted to experiment with swapping tracks around, so I did this on my computer.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
When you aren’t sure if you want to go out or not, and you need warming up.
What should we be wearing?
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?
Space Terrace, Ibiza, - except it's not there anymore, sadly.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
Voyage to the Bottom of the Bass - (Metrono - the Breakbeat track on there)
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
JDJ - Coldcut
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
Danny Tenaglia - he is the DON!
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
First decks were Citronic Belt Drive decks, and mixer was Phonic MRT60. I got Technics SL1210s when I was 18. I still have them now.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
The track I end on, the track I start on, and all the ones in the middle - all have to be great, but the ending is important to me. I want the tune to be stuck in everyones head.
What were the first and last records you bought?
First single was This Ole House by Shakin Stevens, and the first album, on cassette, was Ant Music by Adam and the Ants. The first LP was Electro 3 on Streetsounds. That changed my life.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
If it was an animal what would it be?
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
Yellow Magic Orchestra - Firecracker (1978) I still play it loads.
Upcoming in the world of…
New single “Get Up” out soon with Mason Manyard on the remix, on Ultra. Rereleases of some of my classic vinyl tracks imminent, from Plank records, and other rare sources. Also I am releasing a compilation on Oblong Records, of some of the bullets from the label, and will be putting out new music digitally on the platform too. Im also working on new music with some really cool vocalists, and a sample pack for Zero G, which has been a long time coming.
Anything else we need to discuss?
Vinyl VS digital? Err actually, lets leave it at that.