Even if you don’t know the name, chances are you already know the music. Tracks like Beautiful and remixes like Gabriel’s Rise and Delerium’s Heaven’s Earth: epic dancefloor symphonies which can work magic on even the most leaden feet. They’re the work of leading English producer/DJ Matt Darey, who’s taking his turn behind the turntable at Arq this Saturday night.
Now in his 30s, Darey says he spent most of his 20s in nightclubs -“ gee, now that really makes you think -“ and describes his live DJ sets as being a bit harder than the work he’s released on CD.
When I started off DJing, I went down the harder route, he explains. When I’m in a club, I play the music that I would like to hear. I love writing songs and making tunes, but they’re not always necessarily right for the club.
A case in point: he claims that his recent spin at Melbourne’s Magnitude party was the first time he’d ever dropped his own record Beautiful into one of his sets. He’s also been peppering his recent sets with other examples of his work -“ some of which are awaiting release, including the follow-up to Beautiful, called Voice Of An Angel.
And the response to the new tracks?
They’re going down a storm, he says. He’s even brought a miniature studio on the road with him, so he can refine and sharpen and remix tracks as he goes, depending on the response they get from the clubbers.
But then, Darey has always had an ear for the marketability of his product. He got his start in producing in an unusual way, by creating and marketing a dance single as part of a project for a business marketing course. He shopped it about and got a few people interested and, before he knew it, was needing to press more than the thousand copies he’d originally envisaged.
Since then, Darey has become a pioneer of the trance sound, and produced a string of original tracks and remixes too long to reproduce here. (Trance-heads and other obsessives are directed to his impressive website, located at www.mattdarey.com, for a full list.)
While the production work has kept Darey studio-bound, DJing has given him a virtual ticket to ride around the world. He’s played everywhere from Cairo to Tokyo, Ibiza to Kuala Lumpur. This current tour marks his second time in Sydney.
Darey’s a bit coy when I ask him what having spent so much time on the inside of nightclubs has done to him as a person.
DJing helps keep me on the straight and narrow actually, he says. I have to keep my head straight. It’s still partying every night, but I’ve got a responsibility to the punters.
But how does he calm down from the natural high of delivering a bitchin’ trance set? What’s his secret?
I just chill out in my jacuzzi with my gorgeous girlfriend, youknowhatImean? he says with a laugh.