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What he wants, mind you, is to get the people on the dance floor moving. He wants to make it fun. He's no dubstep purist either — he'll spin funk, drum 'n' bass, glitchhop or whatever's necessary for the time and place. It's the DJ's (some say sacred) duty to inspire the audience to dance, to feel the pulse of the room, to play to it and to move it along.
If you've ever seen Maxx Fish on a Tuesday night, with the dance floor jammed to the tilt with kids grooving right along to what Mat the Alien is throwing down, you'll get the idea. Mat the Alien certainly knows what he's doing.
Born and raised in a town outside of Manchester, England, he started DJing in 1988, fascinated with the dominant electronic music at the time (acid house, etc.). He immigrated to Canada with his family in 1994 and settled in Whistler, where he snowboarded by day and scratched at night.
He first discovered dubstep in 2006, just as the genre was first emerging. He'd been playing more drum 'n' bass, breaks and mashups at the time, but in dubstep he saw (or, well, heard) the potential for bringing diverse crowds together.
"There's a lot of different sounds within dubstep — there's the heavier stuff, there's the reggae influenced stuff, the dub-influenced stuff, of course," he says. "When I got into it, it just seemed like something different to do."
When he first started playing it, he says some people "didn't know what to think," but it took no time at all for the Australian and English kids to latch on to it. They started coming out on regular nights and the scene started growing from there until today when, he says, it got "crazy busy."
"It's funny how (dubstep) got, I don't want to say commercial, but so popular so fast," he says.
"Of course, as it gets more mainstream it gets a bit watered down maybe but there's still the underground scene. Just to see these guys that started the scene or are going from playing 200-person shows to 5,000 and selling out arenas, in the end it's all about getting the music exposed to more people," he says.
"It just brings more awareness to electronic music."
This summer, he'll make appearances at all the major Canadian electronic music festivals this summer, including Shambhala and the Basscoast Music Festival, along with a recently announced spot in LIVE at Squamish.
He's also prepping the release of seven records through his re-launched record company Really Good Records, including music from Piranha Piranha and Miles Away, along with some of his own beats. He says these releases will run the board from dubstep to glitchhop with some rock influences peppered throughout.
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