Really Good Recordings has turned three, and Whistler DJ Mat the Alien is really happy about it.
"It's a labour of love that is putting local producers and friends music out, so it's a great project," Mat says of his record label.
His father had record shops in Bury in the U.K., and also had a record label in the mid-to-late 80s. This had an impact on Mat, who worked as a DJ in the '90s club scene before leaving England.
He has been a Whistler clubland fixture for 20 years.
"These days, I travel every weekend to perform. A lot of the time, the guys you play with and open for are young kids who are making beats," Mat says.
"It's really cool to see them progress and make music that really stands up against the big guys. I wanted to build a good outlet for them to put their music out and to do something a bit different, too, to push a different sound."
Last year, Mat put out an album of original music and collaborations with DJs and other producers. "And over the past year, producers I know have been remixing songs from it. The result is 12 new remixes of my songs," he says.
Artists using his music include 6Blocc and Adham Shaikh.
Really Good Recordings is an outlet for his own music, too.
"These days there is a lot of collaborating, so I can collaborate with someone else in a different city. You don't have to be in the same room," he says.
"If I do a remix, there's not a lot of money in it, so a producer might say that since I've done a remix of their work, they'll do one of mine for free. A couple of years ago, I actually sat in a car going from one show to another and remixed one of Adham's tracks, 'Walter Prayer.'
"It became a big track on the season finale of Orphan Black. Everyone started doing this clone dance from the TV show and I didn't know what they were talking about at first! And I made most of that track through the car stereo with my friend driving on a road trip! Now it's had 120,000 plays on YouTube."
Really Good Recordings has now been going long enough for Mat to see what works.
"We're not doing commercial music. It's underground dance music. If someone makes a track I will know what scene it needs to go to," he says.
Last week, several of his bass tracks were picked up by a radio station in London.
"Things like that are pretty big, when they're being played among the biggest bass music names and getting a good response," Mat says.
Currently, there are four tracks recorded by Really Good Recordings that are lined up for release, and Mat has been ramping up the output.
"That will be 13 releases in total. In past years I've done two or three a year," he says.
Several tracks by Mat are being remixed at the moment.
"I'm really excited. It will be an album of remixes," Mat says.Another project is an album by Kelowna's Weston. "He does a kind of deeper dubstep sound," Mat says.
"And another album is by Calgary's Metflorr, and after that there are two more."
And just proving that good artists can come from anywhere, Mat is working with two young DJs from Salmon Arm, Leo Zen and Abstrakt Sonance on their own releases.
"All of these people have been to Whistler and played at my night Really Good Tuesdays," he says. "I've known them for a long time. At first they were just starting and it has been really interesting. They've been putting in a lot of work and making a lot of music."
He fully expects some of these performers to be popular in other countries. Leo Zen, he says, is already being played at London's Om Unit and Phelem.
How does it feel to be producing music in Whistler that is being performed in the U.K.?
"It's amazing. Somebody just told me that one of my tracks was played on Shady 45 on Sirius FM. B Junkies are a kind of legendary DJ crew and they just promoted a remix I did. It's amazing when someone you look up to starts playing your stuff or asking for tracks."
For more information on Really Good Recordings, visit www.matthealien.ca.
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