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Matt Tolfrey talks Zutekh, Leftroom and Word of Mouth

Ahead of his return to Zutekh this Friday with Thugfucker, Matt Tolfrey talks Leftroom, touring, and why getting a label manager helped him to sleep.

Jayne Robinson

Date published: 1st Mar 2013

So you last played Zutekh back in 2011. Since then you have been very busy. Let's start with the album. What was the inspiration behind it?

Lots of inspiration really, too much to talk about apart from in an autobiography. I hadn't put out a lot of solo music, and felt it was time to get into it. I didn't just want to go hell out and try and make a ‘hit’ again and again in the studio like a lot of people do, so I decided to put all my creativity into an album format. The name 'Word Of Mouth' came from me using my mouth to piece together a lot of the tracks using software that enabled me to hum and sing in parts, as I can't play the piano.

The album was released on your own Leftroom imprint. Tell us a bit about the label, who’s involved and how did it come about?

I started the label 8 years ago this October in my loft in Nottingham. I was getting sent a lot of new material from a lot of artists who were getting ignored from the larger labels at the time, so I thought I’d show my support by starting a label, and getting the music that I believed in out there. It’s been a lot of hard work, but I have enjoyed every minute of it. More recently I have taken on a full time label manager, as I could not devote the kind of time I was previously to the label, and also the label was growing itself. I am very hands on though, it is hard to let go of something you created 8 years ago.

Anyone that knows you, knows you’re a busy man. How tough is it to juggle your DJing career with the running of the label? Do you find it hard to find a balance?

I always promised myself that if it got to the end of the day and I hadn’t done everything I set out to do then it was time to get some help. If I haven’t done everything on my ‘to do list’ by the end of the day, I can’t swift off and therefore can’t can’t sleep. Getting a label manager has, in a weird way, helped me sleep…

We really enjoyed having you back in November 2011 alongside Dinky and Midland (how time flies!) but for anyone that maybe missed you the last time you played at Zutekh, can you let us know what to expect from your set on Friday at Sound Control basement?

Last time I played was on a laptop, but this time I am back on vinyl and will be playing unreleased material on USB sticks. Not a lot has changed, I always play the music that would move me if I was on the dance floor, but as I am getting older I guess the music I am playing is slightly more serious.

Your touring schedule is quite hectic, playing everywhere from the states, to Europe and even Iceland in recent months. Where's been your favourite venue to play at or host a party in the last couple of years?

That’s a hard question to ask as I really enjoy travelling and meeting new people. I love going to Japan, the US has a massive place in my heart as I have so many close friends there, and after last summer's stint in Ibiza I am extremely excited about going back there. Festival wise, I can’t wait to play Movement in Detroit in May. Gonna have to have a good think about that set!

So what can we expect from you this year? Any new release or big label parties planned for 2013?

Label wise we are doing Miami WMC and Sonar again, in a slightly different shape and form. I am taking on a new challenge in Ibiza, which is about to hit the web, and I am also getting married in August! Release wise there is remixes of my album forthcoming by a lot of my favourite artists, I have a track confirmed for the Cocoon Compilation out in June with Inxec, and there are a lot of exciting remixes being work on at the moment.

What Producer, DJ and Live Act is your hot tip for 2013?

DJ, Producer and Live Act: William Kouam Djoko

Finally, if you decided to hang up the headphones and become a boxer, what would your ring entrance track be?

Basement Jaxx, 'Where’s Your Head At?'

Matt Tolfrey returns to Zutekh this Friday night at Sound Control, with Thugfucker. Last minute tickets are available below. 


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