Matt Darey: blossoming with time

August 6th, 2012

As the sum of the highlight moments of dance floor bliss, hard studio work and limitless creativity, Matt Darey has finally revealed his debut album, ‘Blossom & Decay’. Living the dream for over 18 years, it was right about time to finally have those masterworks out there. We titled him our Artist of the Week and asked him all about the album, the process behind it and what else he’s got in stores for us this year.

Hey Matt! Congrats on the release of ‘Blossom & Decay’. Does it feel like some sort of revelation, to finally have an album out there after 15 years?
Matt:”Thank you! Yeah, it’s been a while, haha. I only really felt like making an album in recent years, before it was just cool to make a track or 2 from time to time. I really focused on making one great track every now & then. Right from the beginning with ‘Li Kwan  – Point Zero’ & ‘Lost Tribe  – Gamemaster’ to tracks which crossed over into the top 10 pop charts like ‘Beautiful’. It’s a good feeling to have a collection of music that I’m happy with, especially for my DJ sets, so much love when you spin out a DJ set of all your own music, the feedback has been amazing and the range of different styles on the album keeps it interesting.”

‘Blossom & Decay’ is a beautiful title, but we do wonder about the decay part. What’s the thought or concept behind it? Isn’t music supposed to last?
Matt:”The title track was a song I initially wrote with a lyric about the cycle of life from birth to death that we all go through but not in an obvious way. I like to leave lyrics a little ambiguous and open to interpretation. I wrote the music and out down a guide vocal myself but then after meeting Catherine Porter from NYC, we decided to go a different route and she took the title, the essence of the track and her own interpretation of the tile.”

Though the album was already finished in December 2011, it has taken quite a few months to finally come out. What did those final changes include?
Matt:”I delivered the album in December but kept adding new tracks till finally the guys at Armada put a deadline on the release. New additions included some house tracks inspired by my time living in Miami. I also took the opportunity to tweak the mixes and arrangements of some other tracks after spinning them out and seeing how the audience reacted.”

When was the moment you decided: ’This is it. This is what I’d like to share with the world’?
Matt:”Haha, I wanted to keep adding new tracks. Would have been more like a double album. Armada said ‘hey, we got so much good stuff on here, let do this!’ I was like, ok, let’s go.”

In the past few years, you’ve done productions in an array of styles , yet this album is mainly prog, prog trance and breaks. Were you lead by the phase that you’re in, or what is the reason you didn’t include any drum & bass or house, for example?
Matt:”Well actually, there’s 2 house tracks on the album, ‘Too Far’ and ‘Hold On’. Thing is, there’s such a fine line, genres cross over into one another all the time. The drum and bass came out as half time beats on ‘Red Rising’ and ‘Blossom & Decay’, still bass music but not the crazy stuff. This is a more mature sound, classical and atmospheric. The album even has influences of my guitar band Urban Astronauts. There’s guitar present in almost every track on the album, I love those organic sounds and also my classical routes playing string instruments when I was young, some beautiful string arrangements on some tracks.”

There’s something special about your tunes with Kate Louise Smith. What makes working with her so easy?
Matt:”Yes, we first worked on my guitar band project ‘See The Sun’. It worked out to be an amazing track and then remixed into a track for the dance floors.  We rolled out 6 tracks on this album, they just seemed to flow, and I just wanted to do more and more tracks with Kate. She has the most amazing voice and also she was new to the EDM scene so it was a fresh voice that people hadn’t heard before.”

Matt Darey and vocals seem like a perfect match. Then again, ‘Hold On’, the only instrumental on the album, is also a masterpiece. Where did you hide all those instrumentals? ;)
Matt:”I was actually so close to putting a vocal on ‘Hold On’. Its title comes from the vocal I wrote and put down myself in the studio. It might even make it out as a vocal track, but I didn’t want to rush it especially as it does stand up nicely as an instrumental.”

What can you tell us about Stan Kolev and Aeron Aether, two of the guys you’ve done several collabs with on the album?
Matt:”I meet all the people I work with through my radio show. Stan started a 2011 remix of the first ever trance track I released, ‘Point Zero’, but it wasn’t working. I though it would be better if we changed it up, put a vocal on top, added guitars etc. I guess from that point on we clicked. Stan is a really cool guy, I was hanging out with him making music in Miami for a while. Aeron’s work reminded me of the break-beat I used to make under my Alias Takara in the 90’s. He’s from Hungary and we haven’t actually met, we just work over the internet. I started a track, recorded vocals and guitars and then sent them over to Aeron and bounced them back and forth till they were sounding just right.

Is there any track that’s your absolute favourite? Or perhaps one in particular that makes you most proud?
Matt:”It’s hard for me to choose, I love them all!! I guess I really love ‘See The Sun’, great track. Also ‘Blossom & Decay’, cause it’s a new sound for me.”

These coming months, you’ll be doing lots of touring for ‘Blossom & Decay’. Where will fans be able to catch some of the madness?
Matt:”All over the globe, I can imagine I’ll be circling it quite a few times in the next 6 months. I’ve already been road testing the album with DJ sets playing exclusively  tracks from Blossom & Decay.  I’ve been getting great reactions from London, that was the official, first launch party @ Ministry of sound, I just got back from Buenos Aires where I launched the album at Pacha and also did a mid week party here in Ibiza.”

Last but not least: is there anything else we should know that’s coming up?
Matt:”We’re going to be releasing singles from the album for a while with Remixes, next up is ‘I Still Remember’.”