The first time we came across Matt Pond was in the Field Moves tent at Field Manoeuvres festival a few years ago. It was Saturday night and there was this no non sense, raw, deep and sincere energy omitting from the dj booth and as the dj grinned discreetly, the dancers effortlessly enjoyed the journey being shared through the speakers. Matt is one of a rare breed that quite simply lets the music do all the talking, front centre and then some. With an extensive period involved in the industry and an discipline and focus on his radio show check the skinny and also the exquisite podcast from this under the radar selector. For all bookings and enquiries contact Matt direct on any of the links below. For more features and podcastS follow K / D Keep It Deep on this site for words and here for sounds to be kept in the loop.
K / D: your teen years can you explain your first exchanges or interactions with music? Any significant artists, albums, places & faces that come to the surface?
MATT POND: It was through hip hop and electro when I was about 12/ 13 that really started things off. For years, I obsessed over hip hop and hip hop culture, but it really wasn’t until I heard ‘Rebel Without a Pause’ by Public Enemy that things got serious. I had a taste for hardcore hip hop- harder edged stuff, a lot of UK stuff from that time- artists such as hijack, gunshot, hardnoise, demon boyz, son of noise etc. a lot of the stuff id mix with was fairly up-tempo (for the time) so when I started going to raves in the very early 90’s I could really hear how this sound had inspired the very early rave tracks that were coming out of the UK. a lot of the same samples and breaks…
K / D: Djing and the process of coming into close encounters with 1210s, vinyl etc can you share some stories of this process of discovery?
MATT POND: Well I got my first pair of turntables when I was about 14 I think. It was a pair of Technics SL BD22 belt drive turntables with pitch control. That’s what I learnt to mix with. I was lucky enough to pick up a pair of 1210’s when I was about 16. Regarding records. it was never easy to get hold of records, especially growing up in a relatively rural area of the UK. We had trading post in Stroud (still open!) and occasionally id travel to Badlands in Cheltenham and even to London now and again. Obviously back then there was no internet, so you really had to be making the effort to get new records. Also, we’d always swap records too as it was hard to afford new stuff all the time. At the time, it seemed like a good idea, but so many classic records were lost in the process.
K / D: vinyl as the format of choice, digging, record stores and the entire community and ecosystem around this part of djing how important has it been to your career?
MATT POND: Well firstly it’s definitely not my career although I wish it was! However I did work in record shops for about 10 years, Audio Lounge, that I set up with a friend and then later I was manager at Hedonizm Records.. both in Brighton. So, the whole record shop community thing was and is very important to me, although I don’t get out to the shops as much as I would like these days. The knowledge I picked up working in the record shops was invaluable. I learnt a lot about the music, the industry and met some really great people. Around 2006 the record shops shut down and around that time I started exploring the digital side of things, mainly because there was very very little coming out on vinyl. So I got really into downloading around that time, vinyl has never been the format of choice as such, I just go where the music is. fast forward to 2017 and its crazy the amount of good music on vinyl coming through… so I’m really enjoying buying and collecting some great records.
K / D:The last few years musically can you share how you have grown and things changed?
MATT POND: Things got kind of slow on the gig side of things if I’m honest. I stopped enjoying going out to (most) night clubs a few years ago, so I guess I started to distance myself from the scene when I was living in Brighton. it became harder and harder to put on parties, finding good venues etc. Then there’s like a new wave of people come in and do their thing…. Brighton is very much like that, its constantly changing. 2016 I moved to Bristol, took a bit of time out to enjoy my new home and check out what’s happening here. I must say that it’s a very inspiring city with a great music scene. I’ve heard many excellent local djs and been to some great parties since I moved here and I’m feeling super positive about getting things moving again. musically, I guess you could say I am being more ‘experimental’ these days, as I don’t play out much I’m never really in that frame of mind where I am looking for something that ‘will work in my set’. I’m just seeking out the music that gets me.
K / D: You have a regular radio show deepsystems which you broadcast live can you share your thoughts and experiences?
MATT POND: My radio show is so important to me. I’m not sure I’d still be doing this if it wasn’t for the radio show. It’s what keeps me in the loop, it keeps me sharp, keeps me in touch with my record collection and its great discipline. Internet radio has always interested me since the dial up days, I remember discovering websites such as groovetech and betalounge and being blown away. Plus I was always a mix tape kind of guy, so doing this live on the internet was an exciting prospect. It’s also been a great way of logging all my music, its rare I will sit and listen to a 12” record so having all these mixes is just a nice way to listen back to what I’ve been buying and collecting. The show is now in its 10th year and I’ve recently started broadcasting on Timeline Music.
K / D: What have you been up to more recently and what does 2017 hold in store for you?
MATT POND: As I mentioned earlier, I recently moved to Bristol so I’m just getting grounded here. The radio show will be continuing as usual every 2 weeks. Gig wise not a lot in the immediate future but I’ll be playing in Brighton around Easter time and over the summer I have been confirmed at a couple of ‘festivals’, more new on that coming soon. Fingers crossed I am going to get the label going again too. DeepSystems Music started in 2015, we did one release (systems001) and never did a follow up… that is going happen, hopefully this year.
K / D: What has taken your particular interest lately from the creative fields, producers, djs, parties, labels etc?
MATT POND: Glenn underground, Larry heard, Ron Trent, Anthony Nicholson, needs… those guys have been inspiring me for years. But there are so many new producers that I really love, too many to mention really. Last year I picked up on this guy called Terry Tester, a hip hop producer from Copenhagen who has also been making some amazing house music. House Of Mora is another one, don’t really know anything about this artist other than the 2 incredible ep’s they have released. This is what I love, finding out about new artists, new labels. Label wise Neroli is a massive favorite, such a great label. Also, I really love NDATL, it reminds me of classic labels like Guidance, real roots deep music. One of the best dj’s out there right now is Volcov from Italy, who runs Neroli funnily enough. I had the pleasure of having him at one of my parties a few years back and since then I’ve been a huge fan. Not only is he an expert selector through many genres of music but has a super humble nice guy, if you get a chance to hear him make sure you go! But really, the best djs I hear are usually mates at house parties or smaller events. Actually the Field Moves tent at Field Maneuvers is nuts, loads of djs you never heard of before but all totally amazing. That’s actually my favourite place to play at and go to, also Freerotation never fails to disappoint. I’ve been going to these parties in Bristol by this crew called Dirty Talk, really great parties with a super friendly atmosphere at interesting venues, well worth checking if you’re in the area.
K / D: With the increasing use of the internjet and social media, can you describe how this has affected the scene and your take on it?
MATT POND: Social media has seemed to turn a lot ‘djs’ into idiots to be frank. It’s all self-promotion, selfies, here I am djing at a stadium, logos, name dropping, branding, pics of my hotel room #this #that…… trying to elevate themselves to some kind of god like status. All image and no substance. All this kind of stuff has made me realize how much I hate dj culture, it’s almost embarrassing to say that you’re a dj because of this rock star image that djs aspire to these days. It’s really something I have no interest at all. I think in some respects this has held me back in the dj world in some ways, I find it really hard to ‘blow my own trumpet’, as they say, without cringing, especially on social media. On the flipside, I’d say it’s fairly obvious that social media has its benefits, especially with people promoting a release or a party. It’s something I wish I could live without but in current times it feels like it’s necessary to use social media to keep in the loop.
K / D: Can you explain the mix provided in terms of tracks, artists, labels and intentions for the 70 minute journey of deepness?
MATT POND: Umm well to be honest its mostly new purchases, just a bunch of new stuff that all kind of clicked together. Featured artists include Reggie Dokes, Fred P, Pitched Black, Darran Land, Ron Trent, Jus Ed, Terry Tester and Aleqs Notal to name a few. The whole mix has an overall deep and atmospheric vibe to it with a few punchy numbers. I usually plan my mixes over a few days, get it at written down and work out how’s it going to fit together. I try and make it special, something that people will want to come back to. I guess it’s obvious, well to me maybe, but it’s got to flow like any good story, it has a beginning, a middle and an end. It was recorded at home using two turntables and a mixer… no frills!