Matthew Styles knows more about the dance music industry than most. He understands the interrelationships between record stores, distributors and labels, as well as the microscopic factors underpinning the music itself. Over the years, he’s mastered tasks that require an exacting attention to detail, whether it’s mixing down and mastering tracks for notable house and techno artists, or managing multiple record labels. He an expert in the language of frequencies and decibels but, unlike many skilled engineers, he’s also intimate with the ups and downs of the creative process. Whether it’s for Ostgut Ton, Running Back or Visionquest, Styles is an in-demand producer and remixer. For the past ten years he’s also been a regular at Panorama Bar, in Berlin, where he lives with his wife, the electronic music artist Dinky, and their young sons.
We skip over kiddy fences and squeaky toys on the way up to Styles and Dinky’s home studio. The pair used to share a space in the giant terminal building at Tempelhof, which was packed with classic and modern synths, drum machines and all manner of outboard processors. They’ve since downsized to a more manageable setup, allowing Styles to fit production time and mixing and mastering duties between trips to the daycare centre. Being equally sensitive to the fickle nature of writing music, the technical rigours of engineering and the realities of navigating the industry makes Styles’ perspective decidedly grounded. With so few illusions, he’s able to focus on the dark art of making his tracks slam.
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