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Family members: Matt Raistrick

Matt, like a lot of us, has been there from the very start. I was happy we got to discover more about him through his mix! I met the "I'm no DJ" guy, and we had a fantastic chat!

 

1) Hello Matt! I’m thrilled to welcome you to our Home! If I understood things the right way, you used to DJ in the past. Can you tell us more about how that passion started?

Thanks for having me, Artur. I only really did a small amount of DJ-ing over 20 years ago when I was a uni student at house parties. I’ve always been passionate about music from a young age. I can remember making my own compilations from the ‘Now that's what I call Music….’ tapes I had, basically just compiling all the dance/hip-hop! I was slightly too young when acid house swept the UK, but I used to love the endless tapes that used to get passed around (Sasha at Shelley's was a big favourite as that was local to me). I also used to listen to a lot of local radio, like the ‘New Dawn’ show on Signal radio. When I went to Uni, I got my own decks and used to love going into town on Mondays and trawling through all the new releases. I think my musical tastes really matured in the 2000s as I started listening to a much wider variety of music. If anything I’ve become more obsessive in the past ten years than ever!


2) How did you feel when Colleen asked you to prepare a mix for Balearic Breakfast? What was the most challenging part of that journey, and how did you get things done?

I was really pleased to be asked, my first thought was that I probably couldn’t do it as I’m a little out of practice on the djing side. The most challenging part was technical, just getting the setup working on my Mac, getting it recording etc. (I’m quite a technical person and I know it’s not that hard but it was just being a bit stubborn).

The actual mix and song selection came together really quickly; I started with about 40 tunes and just played around to see what was working. I guess working with the range of bpm was also slightly different as I’m used to mixing more 4/4 stuff. Getting it all down to an hour also made me appreciate how hard it must be for Colleen to juggle everything every time she does a show. In the end the actual tune selection came pretty easy and I did the mix in one take. I went from saying ‘maybe’ to Colleen to submitting a finished mix in about three days!


3) We both share the « no dj » label spirituality as I call myself « the record cueer » (laughs)! There are a lot of people starting this musical adventure nowadays, often for bad reasons with mitigated sonic results. According to you, what should a « true » DJ be like both spiritually and technically?

It’s weird; I read so many conversations on X and Threads from younger DJs obsessed with BPM, technical mixing and working social media (which I guess is inevitable these days). I think the best DJs are the ones who you know would still be doing it passionately as a hobby even without success because they are just obsessed with the music and the culture. For me, Colleen, Bill Brewster, Luke Una and Tim Sweeney all optimise that (I think of Tim doing his show on student radio for 15+ years).

I think true DJs don’t put themselves into narrow lanes musically and don’t get bogged down by trends and formats. They listen and play music across the decades and not just new tunes. There also seems to be an obsession with ‘how can I make this bigger’ instead of ‘how can I make this more intimate’.


4) An active member of the Balearic Breakfast family, your requests are very often “of quality,” if that makes sense (laughs)! How do you listen to music, and, most importantly, how do you keep yourself up to date?

I love this question! To be honest, Bandcamp has really started to dominate how I listen to music; it has the perfect blend of social that means you have close contact with the artists/labels and get great recommendations from the people you choose to follow. I love how you can ‘subscribe’ to labels you want to support too. I’m amazed the other music sites haven’t followed their lead. I still use Apple Music a lot to listen to albums, make playlists, share music and go through new releases. I also subscribe to a few people on Patreon, like ‘The Reflex’ to get exclusives; again, it’s great to support those whose work you appreciate. I also listen to a lot of podcasts and radio stations like WWFM, BBC 6Music and NTS. Good music can come from anywhere, though, really - Instagram stories, WhatsApp recommendations, TV shows, etc. I just like to keep my ears open. I’m not really one to be found in the basements of record stores though, I leave that to the true obsessives ;)


5) If you had to choose, let’s say, 3 Balearic Breakfast shows, which would they be and why? 

Hmm, that's trickier. I think the ones that stick in my mind are…

  • Episode 15 - I think this was the first one I got a request played - Apiento/She Walks, that gave me a real bug for trying to get requests on;

  • Episode 124 - International Woman’s Day Special - I think Colleen did about 4hrs, avoiding filling in her taxes and making sure everyone’s request got played. I asked for Jessie Ware/Remember Where You Are which is one of my favourite tunes from the past 5 years;

  • Episode 127 - Children on the Sun. I think Paul Hilary’s mix truly blew everyone away, he takes digging to a different level.


Also, before I go… Having done the mix for BB I’ve really got the bug back for dj-ing and making mixes. I’m gonna try and do at least one every three months and try and do something with the music I spend so much on! So can I plug my Mixcloud page and the first mix I’ve done (which is much housier than the one I did on the show)!


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