Mathew Jonson: Let’s get weird

The last time Mathew Jonson made it to Australia, playing both solo and with Cobblestone Jazz, his sets were greeted with the usual superlatives. “Jonson’s tireless working of the huge mixer was, as ever, amazing,” our reviewer wrote of his Sydney Festival performance. “Bringing in loops, manipulating them, floating countless others over the top, Jonson is something of a magician. However the new set-up he’s using makes this arrangement all the more fluid, and makes each set all the more unique.” This New Year’s, he’s back to floor us again. Ahead of the tour, inthemix checked where his mind is at.

Tell us about your connection to Goa and what makes it special for you – do you still spend quite a bit of time there?

It brings me back into myself. I spend my time at the beach and hiking, if not at home relaxing. All the food I eat is made from the local market so there is nothing processed in my diet. Simple things like diet, experiencing nature and exercise are very important to me but with the lifestyle of constantly touring it can be hard to stay in balance.

What’s next for Cobblestone Jazz? Is there an album in the works?

Yes, there will be one out before the summer!

What have been some standout live experiences for you this year? You’ve certainly been busy…

It’s hard to even remember actually. I guess the shows with The Modern Deep Left Quartet, Cobblestone Jazz and Midnight Operator were the most fun as you’re with your friends on stage making music that is really new and present. Detroit Electronic Music Festival was the best event I was at this year by far. But mostly because of hearing the other artists that were there. Kevin Saunderson and Jeff Mills closing the last night especially.

How do you feel you fit into the Ibiza picture, because I know you went out there for ENTER at Space and also Marco Carola’s night?

The first time I really felt at home in one of the big clubs was at ENTER. Rich had me play before him so the room was jammed. He has always supported me in that way. I remember opening for him at Sonar years ago with 12,000 people in the room. It was nuts! Underground club is my real home in Ibiza though. I feel like I’m playing live for friends at a house party when I’m there. Juanito, the owner, is the man.

You relaunched itiswhatitis earlier this year, buying the rights to the label. What prompted that move? And how’s it all going?

I wanted the music to be available without having to re-release it all on Wagon Repair or somewhere else. So it just made sense – I mean, it has always held a special place in my heart as Spencer through IIWII gave me and a lot of my friends our start. Oh, and it’s going great!

What have you learned in the process of remastering that earlier material? How have you seen your production style has developed?

The production is like night and day. All the IIWII stuff is super noisy and is not really mixed very well – thank god I had a good mastering engineer back then. The funny thing, though, is that aside from the production, the soul of the music is not so different really than new stuff I write. I’m still the same person I was back then, only a bit more wise.

Can touring and writing music go together for you, or do you need defined, concentrated studio time?

The best for me is if I have a good chunk of time. But when I have the schedule that I do you just have to improvise. It does take a toll on writing good material though. It’s hard to have the energy to write good music when you’re beat up from the weekend. This is another reason why Goa works for me, as re-fuels my batteries.

Anything in particular you’re looking forward to giving a run on the dancefloors here this time?

The music I have ready is almost 80-percent new and unreleased so with that and some live jamming it’s going to be super fresh, spacey and weird. See you there!