Matt McLarrie is DJ / producer hailing from one of the most important cities when it comes to the electronic music scene, Glasgow; Scotland. Since his first release, which was back in 2011, he managed to sign his music to some respectful labels such as Elrow Music, King Street Sounds, Simma Black, Madtech, Mile End and others. On top of that, he successfully remixed Wally Lopez, Darren Emerson, Filthy Rich, Saeed Younan & Charles Ramirez just to name few.
To this date, some rather exotic names have supported his music either in live sets, radio shows or even charts. Carl Cox, Kerri Chandler, Mark Knight, Steve Lawler, Mihalis Safras, Harry Romero and Joeski are just some of the big league DJ's that played Matt's tunes. Some of these tracks have also featured on numerous worldwide radio shows including Ibiza Global Radio, Kiss FM & BBC Radio 1. We've invited him to share his experiences with us for our 101 article. Enjoy.
What’s your favourite piece of gear – something you couldn’t live without?
Has to be the Minimoog V soft synth. This was the first soft synth I ever bought and it’s the one I am the most familiar with. It was used for all my baselines for a few years and probably 80% of my tracks feature this synth. It’s a bit of a comfort blanket for me and if I am struggling with a track then I load this up and have a play around. I would also say more recently Xfer Serum. That synth can do anything!!!
Apart from that, I love random items lying around. I have inflatable flamingos, bongos, African masks, strange instruments and a little metal jazz band. My studio area is like a cross between Indiana Jones’s top drawer, an African school playground and an inflatable zoo! It helps me produce. Couldn’t imagine sitting in a very official studio without my props.
Which do you prefer – playing at enormous festivals or intimate clubs?
To be honest I haven’t had any experience playing big festivals. I have plenty of party experience at them if that counts. I would love to play a big festival one day though! I still think smaller intimate clubs are the perfect environment for house music. I feel what is special about the music can get lost sometimes the bigger the event and stage is. Nothing like a small collection of people with their eyes shut and jaws out while passing around one bottle of water between 100.
Which is the most mesmerising club that you’ve ever played at?
Definitely the Arches in Glasgow Scotland (RIP). It was sadly and wrongly closed down. Seems to be a common theme in the UK these days. The House of Commons (UK Parliament) causes more problems than British clubs. Close that down! I honestly don’t think the clubbing scene in Glasgow has been the same since. It was more than a nightclub, some pigeons lived there as well.
I don’t miss standing in the huge queue shivering under a bridge but in a way that made it even better getting in. You will hear a lot of big DJ’s including Carl Cox list it as one of their favourite places to play. I really hope one day it reopens and I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to have played there twice before it closed. On a good night, there was nowhere better.
What is your best and worst experience at a gig and why?
The best was playing straight after Enzo Siragusa in a giant inflatable igloo at a local festival called ‘In the Woods’. After I came off I was getting amazing comments and compliments about my set which was a great feeling. Most people were heavily intoxicated by that time so that helped haha.
The worst experience is also a contender for funniest. I DJ’d with one of my mates at that time and we got asked to play a gig which went under the name Zoo Project. We thought this meant the night would be animal themed like the Ibiza version so we went to a fancy dress shop and bought two feather peacock masks and green spray paint. We turned up at the gig with the masks on and bright green hair wearing denim shorts and V necks.
We walked into what was like a formal event and everyone was wearing suits and smart clothes. The DJ before us was hammering out music at about 130+ bpm. Safe to say we didn’t go down well as we came on playing tribal grooves dressed as a couple of weird looking homeless tropical birds.
Do you have any interests besides music?
I love to cook (food not meth) and in another life, I would have tried to be a chef. The main other passion I’m involved with at the moment is web design (not any dodgy websites). I am a bit of a geek and love to read fantasy novels – it suits the beard! I also am a chilli addict and I grow my own. A skinny man with a beard taking plants in and out of the house can look suspicious. The Police have been at the door on more than one occasion asking questions about them and all they have left with is a handful of Dorset Naga’s.
I am a huge animal lover (inflatable or otherwise) so anything to do with them I am interested in. Baths are a big thing for me and there is nothing better than putting on some Jose James and splashing about in the bubbles! I have a very active mind so need to keep it busy with loads of things. When I first started producing and didn’t have a job I used to only make music for 12 hours a day and nothing else but now I try to spend some time on these other interests.
Do you enjoy sunset or sunrise sets?
We don’t have the sun in Scotland so playing a sunrise or sunset gig is pretty difficult haha. I’m not sure I want to play when the sun comes up as that’s a roosters job and I don’t want to put them out of a job. The anticipation as day turns into night and the tempo of the tunes increasing is more exciting to me. I play a lot of Transylvanian house in my sets so Vampires are my target market. Also usually I would be in no fit state to play properly at sunrise.
What do you like and what do you hate about the music industry?
I’ll start with the positive. I LOVE the people you meet. Some of my strongest connections have been met through music. Meeting my now best mate Jonathan David was initially through music and that changed my life as we are in the process of starting a label together. We now speak daily. I have also collaborated with some incredible and inspiring people across the world who I know I can contact if I am ever in that country and meet up. The worst thing for me at the moment is the amount of poorly run record labels around.
I’m talking of some of the bigger labels as well. Artist relations comes last on the list to many of them. Having to wait months when sending a demo, not getting replies, no release dates, poor artwork. It’s all frustrating but it’s part of it now and you just have to get on with it. On the flip-side, recently I have dealt with some smaller labels that have been incredible. I also hate the number of black t-shirts, producers who solely use loops, arrogant vinyl purists, illegal downloads, the egos, the crippling self-doubt and the words BOMB, nice and “downloading for”.
If you could pick any artist to do a b2b set, who would it be?
Well in a dream DJ world it would have to be my hero Kerri Chandler but I fear I would get too hyper and drunk and just hug his legs naked and crying. I also can’t wait for the day I get to share the decks with Jonathan David. I think it’s incredibly important that you have a connection with whoever you are doing a b2b with and your styles and ethos on music merge and gel together. There are far too many b2b sets around at the moment that have been thrown together to sell tickets. I do quite enjoy playing alone though as I am very picky about my music choices haha.
What’s your biggest fear?
A giant spider wearing a Justin Bieber mask and a Donald Trump toupee singing ABBA on karaoke while everyone laughs at my beard falls into my lap only for the barman to tell me that the worlds rum supply has officially run out. That about sums it all up. Oh and going deaf. That terrifies me as I have to have music in my life. In fact, throw in the death of David Attenborough, men called Adolf, a world without Haribo and the return of Voldemort.
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you on a gig?
I and a group of friends booked a villa in Ibiza and we took our DJ controller and laptop to have pool parties. We managed to get a few gigs at a small bar as we knew one of the guys that worked there. The laptop screen got broke and we ended up going to a local computer shop and buying a desktop monitor so we could continue DJ’ing. It looked ridiculous thinking back haha.
We got offered to play what we thought would be an “official” Space pre-party. We ended up playing to one old German couple in this random tiny bar and the staff had set up the controller and desktop screen in front of the TV. I had to keep ducking so the couple could watch a German Soap opera which we were blocking haha. If you see me DJ’ing while hunched over this is where it came from.
Could you pick one timeless track?
This is an easy one. Has to be “You’re in my System” - (Kerri Chandler Remix). For me, this is House music perfection. It has everything you want in a classic house track. It was the track that got me addicted to this sound. I heard Kerri Chandler play this at Sub club in Glasgow and it stands out as my favourite clubbing moment to date. It has also become mine and my girlfriend’s song.
I will never tire of it and if it doesn’t get played at my funeral I will haunt whoever is responsible.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Thank you to everyone who read this and whoever has bought or supported my music in the past (or future). Remember music should be a collaboration, not a competition. Put out positivity and it will come back at you.