Photo by Lars Borges.
You may have noticed an addition to the Electronic Beats universe recently. Matt Digby is the new face of EB.TV, introducing Slices with a distinctly Antipodean cool. Aside from his taste in glasses and a mad slick undercut, it’s unlikely you’ll know much more about him though. Not any longer—it’s time to find out what’s behind the man in front of the EB.TV cameras.
What brought you to Berlin?
I’m actually quite far from my hometown of Melbourne, Australia. I guess you could say that I followed my ears in regards to what brought me to Berlin. Being heavily entrenched in the electronic music world, my friends and I always tended to idolise and romanticise the cities that the best music came from, or where the music was being understood the most, and for me that was always Detroit and Berlin. Basically, in a very Australian moment, I packed up, sold everything I had (including all my music gear, which still hurts a little to think about) and decided to roll the dice out of there. Secretly, I always had a plan to end up in Berlin, I knew this was the place for me, and I knew there was some good opportunities here work wise also. Somehow or another, I’m still here and I’m super happy about that obviously.
What do you associate with electronic music?
I’m not trying to sound too preachy, or overly spiritual here, but for me, electronic music always represents things that seem almost unattainable in reality, both artistically and socially. At the time I discovered it (pre-internet), it allowed a borderless and completely anonymous community; this created a sense of freedom that was unparalleled. Thankfully, although borderlessness (I’m inventing words) is now almost reality, that spirit is still there. Artistically, I feel it also represents freedom from an expressive sense. It allows musicians the impossible, or infinite to some extent, it’s fearless and that’s still a very exciting element of it for me.
What was your most embarrassing music experience ever?
This is purely contextual I guess, but me being me, I’ve had many an embarrassing moment; actually, I think embarrassing moments follow me. Thankfully the cameras are not around most times. A strong emphasis there on “most times” because recently, I would have to say my most embarrassing moment was my EB.TV audition. I am cringing just thinking about it, so in order to save myself more embarrassment I am going to keep that one for myself…
Who do you consider the best or rather the most innovative DJ right now?
Damn, that’s tough! Are we purely talking about DJs right now? I will take it this way anyway, no producers allowed. I’m not really into ranking though, I respect everyone—regardless of genre or attitude or whatever—who does what they do and expresses themselves truly. Innovation is a really strong and powerful thing too, and I think my opinion on that is not too necessary. Either way, there are loads of DJs that I am enthusiastic about, some I’ve seen recently and they’ve impressed, others continually deliver, and some just seem to have that spirit, there’s such a variety of reasons I gravitate towards people, so here goes: Ben UFO, Levon Vincent, DVS1, Amir Alexander, DJ Harvey, DJ Sprinkles aka Terre Thaemlitz… I could go on.
Which album are you listening to all the time right now?
I’m so mood dependent with music, it’s an absolute extension of where my head is at. I rarely play an album to death—I am manic that way. Plus, there’s so much material out there and my attention span is akin to that of an ant. A couple of things floating around though: the new Chet Faker record (supporting Aussie music!); I recently got the new Freddie Gibbs and Madlib joint, which is dope; Fatima’s new album on Eglo is amazing; Efdemin’s Decay is a nice listen; Oneohtrix Point Never’s latest on Warp was really interesting, and Max Graef’s album is also really cool.
Do you cheat on electronic music from time to time?
Is this a Jerry Springer style question? I answer yes, and everyone boos me? Seriously though, I like a ton of different vibes. It’s important for me to stay true to where I came from before electronic music, so I’m always getting a dosage of jazz, soul, funk and disco on a weekly basis, no doubt. That’s not to say I wasn’t listening to Sabbath earlier this week, or Paco De Lucia last weekend. And, we all have guilty pleasures too, but there’s no way I am letting those out of the bag!
Which track can you simply not get out of your head right now?
I am the weird ear worm champion sometimes. I don’t know how and why, but the weirdest things just fly into my head, normally whilst I’m on my bike, and then I feel the need to share them with everyone around me. Thankfully though, right now, it’s “Ridin’ Round” off Fatima’s album and not Bruce Springsteen. Normally, when we’re on set for EB.TV, the A-Team theme song gets hummed a fair, but I don’t start that one. Here’s looking at Romi right now.
For how long have you been presenting EB.TV Slices already?
I am definitely the newbie; I joined the EB.TV team at the start of February this year.
What makes your job as a host special and interesting?
Wow, where to start? One of the biggest things would have to be that it allows me to be as close to something I value so much—music. Also, it’s all so new and so challenging, I had never done anything like this before, I mean I have worked in a number of different fields within the industry for many years, but I had never done any hosting or anything on camera before. Most importantly, the EB.TV team is a truly special group of people, it’s like a family, and to be able to be a part of it is a privilege. Bottom line: it’s good for my soul!
You’re always in contact with electronic music and artists of that field. Is this contact a great source of inspiration for you and do you spin records from time to time yourself?
Absolutely! The communicative message of an artist has always been a big source of inspiration in general, and to be able to hear and understand that first hand is magical for me. Yeah, I have been known to play a few records, and was writing music for some time too, but I haven’t for a while, mainly because I sold my equipment before I left Australia, and all of my records are in my sister’s garage back home – thanks Rachel!
What does the usual day as a host of EB.TV look like?
Mainly, taking orders from Holger. [Laughs] Just kidding! It’s very dynamic, so there really is nothing usual or typical about the day-to-day, which is awesome. There’s always lots of planning, lots of question and script writing, lots of shooting and most importantly lots of laughs! Did I mention how much I love working at EB.TV?
Which interview has been your favourite so far?
I am really new here so I only have a few to choose from, but in general there are so many over the last nine years that I have enjoyed, and that I can remember watching back home in Melbourne and idealising. I have to say the standouts since joining have been: Moderat and Jon Hopkins—these guys are at the top of their game and it was such an interesting perspective, they are true fans of one another, it really was like eavesdropping on their conversation. The Mole was also memorable, that guy is hilarious in every way.
Which artist/DJ would you like to spend an entire day with?
The first answer that comes into my head here is: (Of course there’s two) DJ Harvey and Moodymann. I think a day chillin’ with Kenny and Harvey would be mad fun. Kenny’s always been someone with an opinion that is not forced, it’s a very pure view and I would love to hear more, and Harvey is just a pirate with more stories than a newspaper—what characters! I could just imagine rolling around, buying some records with them and then I’m sure there would be a bar open somewhere – I sound better after a few drinks (I stole that line from Moody of course). Finishing off at the Moodymann Roller Jam party in Detroit—Amen!
What is your favourite leisure activity?
I like to keep things as simple as I can in my time off. I’m into all things sporting and I like keeping as fit as I can. I’m a big football and boxing fan, so any chance I get I’m watching a game or a fight. Aside from that, one of my favourite things to do is cook; I love food (comes with the territory I think; it’s the southern European background). I also love reading as stories fascinate me.
What are your favourite spots and venues in Berlin?
[Laughs] There is no way I am answering this, considering the amount of crap I would get in the EB.TV office. ~
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