Dopamine: At my Destination?
You couldn’t speak of good and quality Aussie breaks without mentioning the name Dopamine. Otherwise known as Matt Goddard, Sydney’s Dopamine has been in the DJ’ing game for many years now and in recent times has gone from strength to strength in terms of both his sets as well as his productions. His debut release Hold You out on TCR, was the opener on the Plump DJ’s Mixmag CD and was also featured in the DJ download Top 100 downloads for last year; which is pretty damn good considering it was his first release. Imagine how well his subsequent tracks are destined to fare considering the initial hype and success of his very first one. Having toured to Perth late last year for Hydrophonik, Dopamine is gearing up to head back west for the upcoming Destination? gig at Ambar on Friday 25th August. Here, he chats with ITM’s miss munnee about what he’s been up to and all things broken beat.
So what have you been up to over the last six months?
“Well I got back from the Breakspoll awards and then quit my Chef job not too long after that” he explains. “I’ve been really concentrating on doing music full time now and have been working a lot more closely with Klaus (Heavyweight Hill) on Title Fight Records as well as working on loads of different remixes on loads of different labels. I’ve been doing a lot of interstate stuff as well, quite a few gigs actually; Melbourne and then Halo a couple of times, which is in Hobart and then heading to Perth soon”.
You’re returning to Perth for Destination at Ambar. What were your thoughts on the Perth scene and your time spent here last time you were way out west?
“The gig I played at was a little quiet but I don’t think that was a fair representation of the scene in general” Dopamine says. “I’ve heard about Ambar and a few other gigs over there and so I think mostly that it was difficult for me to tell about the scene in general. But as for the gig I played at, I pretty much played a standard set for what I was playing back then which was a mixture of funky breaks and techy kind of stuff and a lot of my own stuff too which was kool. Back then I was playing a lot more vinyl as well but now I’ve switched mainly to CD’s, it’s easier to get around with them too which is good for me”.
What should punters expect this time around?
“My stuff has gotten a little bit tougher” he explains. “It’s definitely a bit techier too. I’ve always done a bit of an electro sound and so I’ve sort of been capitalising on that a lot more of late and mixing in electro and techno sounds into my stuff. I plan on going here, there and everywhere and sort of really just going with the feel of the crowd. You can never really tell what a crowd is going to be into until you start dropping a few tracks and then sort of get a reaction from that and go from there. I never stick to a guideline set, I always just make sure I’ve got plenty of tunes and then just work the crowd from there”.
Who do you personally rate as Australia’s best breaks DJs and producers?
“I’d definitely have to say Hook n Sling as one of my favourites at the moment” he explains. “I’m feeling a lot of their house and electro stuff which comes from a breaks background. It’s funny because he and I actually switched styles; I used to do a lot of electro and house and now I do more breaks and he used to do breaks and now does electro and house. His productions are absolutely amazing. Also, there’s Bass Kleph and obviously Klaus who has been a big influence on me. There’s also a lot of up and coming guys too, especially like Karlsav from Perth. He’s only been doing it for a year or so too. The winner of the Title Fight competition, Low Key Fu who is from Perth too, also has some amazing stuff”.
Which producers would you say have been the most influential and inspirational on your own sets and style?
“I’d have to say guys like Dave Clarke and a lot of the techno guys, Ben Sims as well” he says. “I was a bit of a sponge when I was younger and so I was really soaking up the whole music scene, long before I ever got into breaks. Their work really impressed me and so now even though I do mostly breaks, I still keep a lot of those sounds and energy in my own stuff. A lot of my own tunes can be quite stripped back and not as heavily layered as a lot of other breaks tunes out there. As for more recently, I really like Elite Force who just mix up a bit of everything which is good; electro, techno, house and breaks within the one set and so it never really goes into the one genre”.
You started off playing more house and techno kind of beats and now you play and produce breaks. What was the progression of your styles of choice?
“I’ve been DJ’ing for 12 years and I guess that constant beat, well I still love it but it’s more like hard beat music” he explains. “Whereas when I started hearing a lot of the new breaks stuff I quite liked it. I didn’t get into it all though. Stuff like early Krafty Kuts and that really party breaks sound did nothing for me at all. But when I heard the more techy stuff, I really got into it straight away. I love all styles but I guess I concentrate more on breaks because I find it a bit more fun to produce and a bit more of a challenge”.
What are your plans for the next six months?
“Knuckling down big time production wise” he says. “Since I quit my job as a chef, I have been really getting into it a lot more and knocking out heaps of tunes. But now I’m getting to a point where I really want to start taking this a lot more seriously and start writing some stuff under a different name as well. Some more sort of electro stuff and I have a stack of remixes I’m working on. I plan on working with lots of different people as well as lots of different vocalists and getting started on producing my own artist album too”.
With all that Dopamine has achieved and all that he has planned, there’s no doubt he’s going places. And really fast too. His last set in Perth was an absolute stormer and you can guarantee that his upcoming set at Destination? will be of the same caliber.
If you’re in Perth you can catch him at Ambar this Friday August 24th.