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Interview with Maztek

25. 02. 2018

Maztek is starting his own new label, the '0101 Music' and to top it all up he is also letting out his next album entitled Warpath. Mike Kryptomedic took the opportunity and sat down with the italian veteran to talk about what should be expected of himself but also of his new imprint.

2018, a new year full of new possibilities. New promoters and new events, new fans, new ravers, new emerging acts, and even new labels... A trend as old as the genre itself with artists like Goldie behind Metalheadz or Andy C behind the goliath Ram, the last years of drum and bass have seen the rise of new labels in a wave of force with noteable names such as Xtrah's Cyberfunk, Alex Perez's imprint - 1985, Ulterior Motive's – Guidance, Camo & Krooked's – Mosiak ...and now enter 0101 Music headed and backed by none other than one of the rawest names in the game today, Maztek!

Having previously worked together, dnb portal asked me to sit down and have a chat with the man himself about the new venture.

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First off, thanks for sitting down with us. Fans and readers will know who you are but for anyone who does not, how would you describe yourself and your sound?

Hello everyone and thank you for your time! My name is Matteo and I’m an Italian dnb producer settled in the Netherlands. I see myself as a DJ who likes to dance and an artist who likes to express himself. In fact, producing music and playing with sound systems was my only escape from my full time job few years ago. I’ve been playing music for my whole life.

I’m about to release my second Album since I moved to Holland in April 2014, and it will be my second album in 3 years. My latest one, ‘Three Point Zero’ was released on Renegade Hardware on December 2014.

I don't consider drum and bass to be a commercial music. I'd like to think about it as a sound system culture and this is the reason why I produce D&B and not some other dance music style. I still like the albums that came out 20 years ago. An album is a long lasting experience, something I will share with my nephews one day.


For many artists starting a new label gives them the freedom to release when and how they want as well as embark on new sounds or experiment with different BPMs. What can we expect from you going forward with 0101 Music?

I agree, and I also started my career on my own Subculture Music label before signing to other labels. Now, years later, I finally decided to go back to my roots and start a new label called 0101 Music. Binary music being the theme mainly because it is what we do in the end. We use algorithms to write beats, we use numbers to write music. And it also was what I had been studying at the university.

With your own label you are definitely free to release what you like and feel the most, without the need to fit into other label's style or sound. It is your own imprint. And to answer your question, I will release experimental stuff as well. When it comes to the artists, I consider this new label something very personal, so I will focus on my own material and my friends' material. For all the rest there is still Subculture Music on which I have been releasing the very first EPs of some of the names that are very well known nowadays. As far as label nights go, I would definitely like to organise some in the future. So far I will be bringing my new LP with me to festivals the like of LIR or Boomtown and many other gigs around Europe. Most of the people still do not know that something is going on here.


With a laundry list of names set on your forthcoming Warpath LP, what other releases are to be awaited as follow ups this year or even in years to come?

After the Warpath LP I am planning to release a follow-up remix LP from some of my favourite artists. I also have a couple of other singles already in the pipeline and I will be releasing another LP from myself under another alias, with purely half-time tracks and beats. On this particular LP you will hear collaborations with my mate Aeph who is finally back in full effect, Gridlok, Redpill and many MCs as well, like Mota, Verse, Miss Trouble, Virus Syndicate And Nuklear.
I picked up these particular artists because the label is a mix between the old and the new school... as you are about to hear soon!


Fans of the genre will have known of your now infamous split with Renegade Hardware. Could you talk to us a little about how this experience perhaps helped shape the landscape that is to be 0101 Music and how you plan on running the label both for artists and fans?

I’m proud to have been a part of Renegade Hardware and to have been releasing the last artist album of such a historical label.  The actual split did not originate from me or the label but from the label owner and his 21 personalities. So it is not really something anyone can manage.
It was hard to accept it, especially when you give the label 5 years of your life and then the owner decides to spread rumours and fuck with your career, feeding people's hate towards (not only) you. And you have to stay quiet and patient, because there is no right answer to ‘mental’ people. So all and all, not a real reason for the split, just unconditional hate. I have other values in my life and other things to think about. The one thing that I would like is for them to stop charging people for my releases and streaming, considering they shut down and they do not pay royalties since forever.

But it is what it is and still a good experience for me. I’ve also learned many things about labels, releases and promotion and from the many artists I had to chance to meet during that journey. So it definitely helped to shape the landscape that 0101 Music will be.

What I do know for sure is that I won’t run my new label this way. I will give the artists the respect and love they deserve and keep doing what I do for the love of it. Also I won’t waste my time working for someone else, in the end nobody cares about our music more than us and nobody will look after you better than yourself (in most of the cases...)


With Warpath LP already announced, how will it be released? Three-part series or one full album? 

The original plan was to release two or three samplers first but as the time is rushing and I have other releases planned with other labels, I don’t want anything to clash so as you might know the first sampler with myself and Aeph is out on beatport since the 19th of February. I might release a second sampler now or go with the full album. I haven't decided yet.


What makes a good LP for you, what defines a win or a loss as an album to you and how long did this one take to make?

It took a while to make this one. When you work with vocals it takes a bit longer and it is always hard when you have 15 completely different tunes, going from dancefloor bangers to deep tunes all the way to jungle. The details are a never-ending work. What I’m proud of on this LP, is that every tune was a different journey for me and a different project/tale. I don't like starting a new tune by opening another project and just changing sounds. I want to start them from scratch and that is a long work especially with the mix-downs.

For me what defines a win or loss as an album is how much of yourself you put into it. We are all unique as artists and that is what makes the difference. It is the music itself, someone may love it, someone may judge it just for the mix-downs, while others wont give a shit and just like the music itself. In this case I think this LP is a good balance between all of these things and above all it’s my own music so I hope people will like it like I do. A good balance between originality, personality and engineering makes the difference for me.


And finally, with the album done, in the wings and waiting, what is next for Maztek the artist? Where does the hunger now lay?

I will be touring and producing as well. Unfortunately just producing does not pay bills, and I love some action too, without being on the stage I get bored. I also have some releases planned on PRSPCT and Program and other remixes for other labels, so I think 2018 will be a busy year music wise. For now I hope you will enjoy what I’ve done so far and I want to give a big shout to all the artists involved in this project and all the artists and people who are supporting it, it means a lot for me.

Interview conducted by Mike Kryptomedic


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