Matthew Dear on UK tour to promote Black City
Electronic avant-pop artist to play live in Glasgow and Edinburgh
‘Yeah, I think I’m pretty much crazy,’ responds Matthew Dear with a wry laugh to the suggestion that a psychiatrist could probably write a fascinating case study with the Detroit producer/avant-pop artist and his variety of split personas – Jabberjaw, Audion and False – lying on their couch.
Under his various aliases, Dear restlessly knocks out micro house and minimalist techno, and does remixes for the likes of The xx and Hot Chip. But it’s the crepuscular, cerebral 4am funk he delivers under his given name (‘It’s on my driver’s licence’) which he insists is truest to himself. ‘It’s what I come back to as my nest when I’m in the studio,’ he says.
Dear’s latest album Black City sees him continue on the same path, beginning with 2007’s highly-regarded Asa Breed, away from the shelter and comfort zone behind his laptop towards performing as frontman for a full live band. He still DJs extensively, and it’s the ‘pendulum’ experience – swinging back and forth between the two poles – that keeps things fresh for him, as he explains.
‘I did DJ dates all summer, in Ibiza and all over Europe, and when I first came to rehearsal for this tour I was getting on the mic and thinking “what the hell am I doing? Now I’m trying to sing with a band?” But days became weeks became months, and now I’m thinking “I’m in a band – why would I DJ tomorrow?” I like things to feel fractured I guess,’ he adds. ‘I’d actually go crazy if I had to just choose one.’
Stereo as Part of Huntley & Palmers Audio Club's Third Birthday, Glasgow, Sat 4 Dec; Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, Sun 5 Dec