Interview with Thomas Blanchot (Mato)

Your name: Thomas "Mato" Blanchot
You live in: Paris, France
Your current album: Scary Dub

What is your personal definition of Dub?

I would say Dub is sound art. It's a unique style that takes total control of the track - both in terms of composition (through edits) and mix (through effects). What we know today as a remix has its origins a long time ago in Dub. The prerequisite for this was a new kind of artist: The Dub-Mixer. In fact, the Beatles paved the way for it when they fired their sound engineers and took control of the recording technology themselves. The studio itself - that is, equipment including sound engineer - is undoubtedly a full-fledged member of the band when music is recorded. The sound tracks then become material that can be shaped without limits; similar to the improvising style in jazz. Ultimately, every moment is about refining every note or melody.

"Different styles of music as reggaeDub to adapt - that is my trademark. "

need Dub a reference, such as a vocal counterpart, or can it be created as an end in itself in the studio? 

At the beginning there was the edited version of a title. These are the roots of Dubwho became his own style as the repertoire grew. Producers like Mad Professor or Jah Shaka, on the other hand, have their own Dub-Tracks recorded and not used on pre-existing material. I see my productions somewhere in between; I look for well-known titles that can be easily adapted and then produce them from scratch - only about them dubto be able to practice. So I absolutely need a reference to my work and see Dub as a counterpart to something that already exists. However, my references are not found in reggae; that's the special thing about my work.

Of course you can do everything dubben - some styles are better suited for this than others. A hypnotic, melodic reggae bass can drop the listener into a trance for hours, while a harmonically supportive pop bass does not have this capacity. A melodic bass, the rhythmic skank and the placement of drum fills are, however, undisputed elements of a successful one Dub-Recipes.

"I see Dub as a counterpart to something that already exists. "

Is there a basic requirement for Dub-Production?

Knowledge and a feeling for the culture is always a good start - knowing which techniques are available and in which recordings they have been used so far is immensely enriching and provides orientation. I have hours and hours Dub Heard until my ears were bleeding. The further way one Dub-Novice is to learn and try to reproduce the classics of the genre. When you have digested it all and done it, then you “are” Dub, then you can express yourself in this art. Whoever masters the sound can tell a story without words.

How does the creation process of a typical Dub-Tracks from Mato?

Different styles of music as reggaeDub to adapt - that is my artistic identity, my trademark. And it's a good resource, the genre of music Dub To introduce people who have a completely different musical horizon. With familiar melodies I not only arouse feelings and memories, but also curiosity. It's my way of keeping music universal and my audience diverse; I and my productions cannot be taken over by a single community.

The melody is mine Dub-Adaptations. I need a fascinating melody that I fine-tune through tempo and arrangement. The rhythm has to flow of course: whether steppers, rockers, one drop - if it doesn't fit, it will be changed again. It is important not to dilute the intake; it has to remain an adaptation - by no means a complete transformation.

“The melody is mine Dub-Adaptations. "

Everything is recorded live on my recordings and no samples are used. I play keyboards, drums / percussions and bass myself; other musicians can join in if necessary. Occasionally, over the course of time, I was able to acquire a wide range of sounds and a wide variety of instruments - such as percussions, vintage synths, SynDrums and the like.

The best part of my job, however, is the mix: Coming from the old school, I've worked with different boards and techniques. I've only been using Pro Tools for 15 years; it allows me to revise the mixes as long as necessary. I also use a lot of old equipment like the Roland Space Echo RE-201, various spring reverbs, vintage phasers, self-made things, etc.

Mato productions have a typical, "clean" sound that reminds me of productions from the early 1980s - is that intended?

I'm a big fan of the 70's and 80's sounds, but don't want to imitate them - I just try to adapt the soundtracks to my own hearing. Anyway, I'm a big fan of the Channel One sound - that's my personal milestone to be reached. This sound still benefits from the glow of the 1970s, but already has a clearer, more precise sound. Add a small dose of “2.0” and the Mato sound is ready.

The drums on your recordings have their very own, unmistakable sound - soft, but with a heavy punch. Let me guess: You play the drums yourself. 

Right! I started playing when I was 13 because my brother needed a drummer for his band. After some experience I founded a reggae band - or rather: an orchestra with a brass section and all the trimmings. That was an important lesson for me not only in music: to hear the others, to perceive one another.

After school I started to study drums - first in France, then further in the USA, where I graduated from the Los Angeles Music Academy in 1998. So I'm first and foremost a drummer who plays his riddims. I adjust and tune my drums precisely to get the sound I want. This is probably the most time-consuming work in my productions, but it is the origin of my own sound identity. The drums must always be present and precise; They can only be bumpy when I'm doing hip-hop (I'm a big fan of Dr. Dre). So the secret is out: behind an album by Dub Mix producer Mato is actually a drummer's album!

Your productions don't have the extra-heavy bass that you would expect from Dub expected. He seems rather reluctant, possibly to adapt to European listening habits. How important is sound to you in general?

As with any genre of music, there is a Dub different possibilities and never just one way to get to the goal. Even if I use all means, I can still bring in my own style. As a drummer, I love powerful bass - there is nothing more effective in my music than the sub-bass because I use it. But unlike other styles where the bass is mixed in the foreground, I prefer the traditional, balanced mix. I wouldn't see that as Europe-related ... my audience is all over the world.

Your ingenious version of Daft Punk's "Homework" blew my mind at the time and I also really appreciate the albums that followed. Where does your inspiration come from, how do you choose the themes for your concept albums?

Thanks for the kind words. As I said - basically I'm a drummer, and as an instrumentalist it's hard to get a foothold in the international music scene - even if you have mastered a lot of different styles. I am in the fortunate position of being able to pack everything I like into my music: The drums are my superstar; Melodies are completed with echoes, sound gimmicks, delays and many other effects - wonderful!

"The drums are my superstar."

I'm looking for appealing concepts that allow me to implement my musical ideas. I started with two albums with reggae covers of classic French chansons (note: “Il est cinq heures, Kingston s'eveille 1 and 2"), To which the corresponding Dub-Albums followed (note: "Il est cinq hours in Dub 01 and 02"). Then I produced four reggae hip-hop remix albums that made me known internationally. In the end, I started the series of concept albums, which I've been expanding ever since. Fortunately there is no lack of inspiration - work on the next album has long since begun. 

I usually start with a concept idea - whereby it is important that the titles in question have strong melodies, can be transferred to the reggae rhythm structure and ... yes, are also spiritually acceptable. With simple sound gimmicks, titles like “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” are created Dub"Or elaborate, complexly arranged pieces like" Enter the Dragon Dub"(Note: both from"hollywoo Dub"-Album). 

“My Holy Grail is the 'Classical Dub'-Album."

The current “Scary Dub"Release can definitely be used as a sequel to" Hollywoo Dub“See, even though it wasn't originally planned. My "Holy Grail", however, is the "Classical Dub“-Album - it took me an infinite amount of time and energy, classical music as Dub to adapt.

At the "Homework“The manager of Daft Punk contacted me about the album and asked for a copy in advance. I was very nervous and expected a "no way" for an answer - Daft Punk had a reputation for being tough when it came to their music. In the end, they only asked if you could play the album at a party - the part was approved!

The tracks from “Scary Dub“Look to me like short comic strips with all the horror sound effects. Do you agree with me or do you see the tracks in a different light?

I absolutely agree. Like in the review very well explained, I am a concept artist. My concept albums invite you on a journey with unforeseen events; An acoustic adventure, so to speak, within a given framework, which is clearly new in its form. 

If the concept is to score from horror classics as DubTo adapt s, the lightness of humor naturally offers an interesting perspective on it. Aren't fear and happiness two uncontrollable twin emotions? It's important, however, not to denigrate the music itself - I have a lot of respect for that. 

In my "Dub Top 5 "by the way, there are two albums that are one of my sources of inspiration and fit very well with my own work - Mikey Dread's" African Anthem "and" Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires ". Without a doubt, I have always been deeply impressed by the Scientist concept albums produced by Henry “Junjo” Laws!

The reviews of “Scary Dub" on have received good feedback - apart from the criticism that some of your Dubs are too short and end with fade-outs - or are these tracks, which are only +/- 3 minutes long, part of your success? 

I'm old school - even when I combine opposing styles of music, I want to keep the classic stylistic devices. My stories are short but substantial - also so as not to lose the listener's attention. We tend to wander, for example, when someone talks too much or too long. In this respect: yes, the short pop format is probably part of my recipe. Ultimately, it's always about the story - which you can arrange to end with an exclamation point or an ellipsis. I interpret these fade-outs as a dream that evaporates and disappears. 

"The short pop format is probably part of my recipe."

What does the future hold for Mato? Is there a concept for the next album, would you like to comment on it?

The new project will be a soul / jazz / funk tribute that is very close to my heart. Last fall I released a first single from it - one Dub-Adaptation of Herbie Hancock's "maiden voyage"And a new version of"Thus spoke zarathustra“, Which is inspired by jazz pianist Eumir Deodato. Next up are 45s from Kool & the Gang, Bill Withers and certainly more singles before the album is released. Stay tuned, this is going to be great!

Will there one day be a Mato album that will take place Dub-Adaptations contains original material you have written yourself?

Yes, and the project is already finished: an EP with 4 tracks, all of which I composed myself. It's a mix of my favorite styles: Reggae /Dub-Jazz / Soul / Funk and Disco. And this time the tracks are at least 5 to 6 minutes long and intended for use in clubs. On “Scary Dub“By the way, there are already three titles I have written to complete the album. Unfortunately, there are no instantly recognizable melodies for Dracula, Frankenstein or the mummy - so I wrote some myself.

If time and money didn't play a role - which project would you like to realize?

In fact, I always had to work with what was available. My first Dub I recorded it on a 4 track tape; with a microphone for the drums, a Roland synthesizer and a delay pedal for the guitars. Today I have a well-equipped studio, but the musical idea is still worth more than all the equipment.

"The musical idea is still worth more than all the studio equipment."

I am now in the fortunate position that I can do what I love and also work with a label that supports me in all of my decisions. It allows me to share my music with as many people as possible - which is a project in itself.

The “Classical Dub“-Album taught me that it takes time and experience to consider classical music with some flow Dub implement; that's why I'm planning an operaDub Project - actually more of a musical comedy that I would like to realize one day. This also requires more inspiration than financial opportunities; it should "only" be an album and not a live show. It's going to be a demanding project. Let's see how it develops.

How do you see the resurgence of Dub and roots reggae that has been taking place in Europe for some time? There are many European productions that sometimes sound more authentic than the current Jamaican output.

It is great! Music from a small island infects the whole world and you don't even need vaccinations against reggaemylitis!

Jokes aside, Jamaica is a very poor country and violence is ubiquitous on the island. Current productions are an expression of this present and the Jamaican government doesn't support roots & culture - on the contrary. Thank goodness there are many ambassadors around the world who keep Roots & Culture alive: Reggae musicians, singers, producers, sound systems, labels and sound engineers can be found everywhere - and they set standards. It's just like every creation: Ultimately, it escapes the Creator and becomes independent.

Who do you think is the greatest Dub-Artist of all time?

There are so many talented artists out there today and each of them has their own heroes - for me it's the ancestors, the inventors of the Dub: Scientist is probably my sound role model, but King Tubby is the creator of the Dub- Art as we know it today. Paul "Groucho" Smykle is my third Dub-Hero - you don't even need to read the credits if you like your stunning Dub Mixes listens. They are immediately recognizable from the very first bars. What an art, what a skill, what a finesse! It's a shame that Groucho didn't go further down this path.

And who is currently the most interesting Dub-Artist?

There are now a number of bands in Europe that Dub also perform live - with videos, light choreography, etc. You have developed a very modern style that can keep up with current mainstream music performances. 

What are your personal top 5 Dub-Albums?

It was very difficult for me to choose - the list of my topDub Albums is very long. Here is an attempt to name the five most important:

Scientist - Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires 
Black Uhuru - The Dub Factor
Mickey Dread - African anthem
Sly & Robbie - A Dub experience
King Tubby & The Aggrovators - King Tubby's "Controls"

Editor's note: For the sake of the fluency of the language, we did not use gender in this interview.

17 responses to "Interview with Thomas Blanchot (Mato)"

Super nice and detailed interview with a lot of background information on the production of Dub. I had assessed Mato very differently. Would have been interesting to know whether he would manage to make a living in France Dub to earn. When you put so much effort and effort into music, it has to pay off. In Germany, in my opinion, that would be impossible. But reggae is much more popular in France than it is here.

And then there's the bass thing! For Dub according to my taste it is absolutely indispensable. The fact that Mato refrains from turning up the bass to the max is a drawback - which is why his album didn't do as well in my review as it did in yours, gtkriz. But interesting to read that this is based on a conscious decision by Mato.

Really great interview. Thanks to Mato and to gtkriz.

I always like to read interviews. Therefore I would like to say thank you very much MATO and GTKRIZ !!!
I don't mean that as a criticism (you don't always have to complain about every little thing) but the question of whether Mato can make a living from his productions was also, so to speak, “on the tip of my tongue”. In general, it would be interesting to know how the (supposedly) increased popularity of reggae and Dub in France for all artists of these genres
affects or pays off. But that doesn't necessarily have to be clarified by Mato and gtkriz for everyone.
Otherwise I would not have thought of any further questions that could be discussed in such an interview. I always find it very informative which “definition” of Dub the actual makers of this music have. "DUB IS SOUND ART “!!! So far, nobody has formulated it so clearly and in my opinion contributes a lot to the foundation of the definition of DubMusic at. Apparently I also see the "thing" with the bass a little differently than René. No question, I'm a Bass Adict or a BassLine fetishist. But for me, the bass doesn't necessarily have to be torn open to the maximum - maybe even torn over -. Almost all of the recordings from the 70s, 80s and 90s did not have the bass boom that exists today or can be. My bass control was basically set to three quarters to almost full capacity. With the more recent recordings, a quarter is often enough, and in the entire building the SubBass robs all musicians stadelkuckers (“Sunday Churge Goers”) the last spark of their peaceful disposition. In the end, I am also fascinated by a deep bubbling sub-bass, but for me it is the BASSLINE (!) That grabs me and not my "fluttering pants".
Bubbling bass and mystical or crisp bassline are of course still the icing on the cake.

But now something to the editor's note (!) ……………… .. “yawning”. At first it felt so creeping and it didn't bother me that much. In the meantime, however, the completely unacceptable "spelling" or "spelling" is spoken of as completely (you just have to call it that) insane that you
who speak like that and think that is "correct" just have to take it aside to make it clear to them that this will never lead to acceptance and that all of feminism is made ridiculous. Feminism backfires with this, because women simply cannot be taken for granted when they speak like that.

You knowin 'what I meanin'? …………………………… lemmi

hmmm ... i never thought the question of whether to be a sound engineer / mixer or producer makes a living with Dub can deny is of interest. I didn't even ask because the answer is obvious: no. At least I don't know anyone who Dub has successfully made his job and can make a living from it. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I can't think of anyone who doesn't take on other tasks as well - sound engineering for others (non-Dub-) Productions, live sound engineering, DJ sets, the lucrative Music Academy Circuit or even a completely different job. That applies imo from King Tubby to Scientist to Adrian Sherwood, Mad Professor or Umberto Echo. Again, please correct me if I'm wrong.

“Klangkunst” is my translation of “the art of sound”. Sounds 100% cooler in English :-)

I'm also a big bass fan - especially if it's a short, memorable, hypnotic, repetitive bass run in a minor key. These early recordings that lemmi mentions sound different today than they did back then, let alone like a YES pressing or playing through a sound system. Technology has also changed or developed further, and listening habits, like everything else, are subject to a hmmm ... "change in values" (in the spontaneous lack of a better word).

Regarding gender: I don't mind, I'm used to it professionally. Originally I wasn't particularly enthusiastic either, but since the asterisk * has also included everything between the binary man / woman system, I think it's appropriate. Of course, a text like the gendered interview with Mato is more than bumpy to read (I've tried it) and yes, the English language solved that much more elegantly.

jooo ... mankind, humanity ... nobody's perfect :-)

As long as it doesn't degenerate in more ways than with us, where the dentist in the coffee house calls the wife “Frau Doktor” ... * eyeroll *

Dear people!

Do we really have no other worries and worries?

Greetings ……………… .. lemminnen

uhhhh lemmi. ... if right then:

Dear people!
Do we really have no other worries?
Greetings ……………… .. lemmi * inside

I think as a woman or non-binary * I don't care about gendering. Yes, it is tricky - especially when dealing with non-binary *, because new words have to be used, e.g. "Hen went on lunch break". But you can do that after a while, because you are confronted with it again and again in everyday life. And somehow it improves everyone's self-esteem.

As interesting as I find the topic ... this is actually about the Mato interview ... just sayin ':-)

You are absolutely right gtkriz! It's pretty "off-topic"!

On my keyboard you have "left out" this "asterisk" as a wise foresight. I would have pounded a nail in there by now anyway.

Ok, I think I got across what I think of the gender madness. It's been simmering in me for a long time and you certainly did not want me to say “the editor's note”
given the Steivorlage. I find it even worse than the “asterisk notation” if you pronounce it that way and don't notice how ridiculous it sounds. That goes in the direction of verbal harassment (if I may say something about it).

And for consolation for all women: It's called THE earth, the sun, THE Milky Way, THE love and much more. So why “rape” the language so that there is a little bit more placebo justice here and there. And so that not everyone thinks that I am the great “woman who understands”, I like to say here.


In this sense …………………………… .. lemmi

Language changes thinking. That's why gendering makes sense from my point of view. However - this is a comment from the designer - the asterisk disrupts the typeface massively. That's why I prefer to use the colon (Dubmixer: in).

The colon looks very good / beautiful. We use the * because it is the official notation accepted by the non-binary in Austria - ex officio, so to speak. How do you do this, the official spelling - which symbol stands for “Divers” in Germany?

Sooo off topic.


My opinion about it:
There are three genera in German: masculine, feminine and neuter.
That is why we say the hamster, the rat or the piglet - regardless of what sex the animal actually is. A gender is also used in relation to objects: the screen, the record or the knife. If you want to use gender-neutral language consistently, you would also have to write the hamster, the rat, the screen and the record. That, in turn, is grammatically wrong because the German language has more than one gender.
The fact is: Even the German language was and is of course still not a rigid construct that is not constantly developing or changing. However, I find that right now it is mainly the people who are telling us how we should use our language, who have the greatest political power. The introduction of gender neutral language, as it is being done right now, is simply not organic. It is more like a violent linguistic change that hinders our natural flow of language.

I think the discussion about gender-neutral language is important! Also because it reflects a change in our society. However, careless and hasty language reform is not the best way to lead to more emancipation and equality. The result is more likely that we consider spelling mistakes and inaccurate information to be correct. As long as there is no uniform and consistent form for a gender-neutral language in Germany, we should not use half-finished alternatives, because this situation would lead to even more confusion and neglect of minorities. The general problem is only shifted. I am totally d'accord that we need to keep talking about the inequalities in our society and that all people should be adequately represented in texts, not just women and men.
My summary: As long as no binding spelling has been established (mixers, mixers, mixers or mixers), I will do the devil to gender.

well said, Ras Vorbei. I see it in a similar way, but always ask myself how this will be received by the addressees, especially women and all human shades, including men, who also have to deal with this formal expression of social change. The young will probably find it easy (or take it for granted), while the older ones will find it difficult. Thanks for your input!

Sorry to Mato for this "open air" and sorry to all of you here, because I am only able to answer a very simple question because of my very simple point of view.

Why can it not be completely indifferent to two or more sexes whether it is the name of the bus or the bus? If you have both or more genders in you anyway, you can find yourself in both the one and the other form of address ?! Perhaps that does not correspond to your intellectual demands either, but I will speak out. So it goes on:
Basically, I don't care if a woman-looking person - a woman-looking person - stands next to me at the latrine in high heels and lets it go uninhibited. Where is the problem ? Should it be the other way around, and the latrine would not be able to hold everything, the person (shouldn't one write the woman here now?) Just pee with the women. I don't see a problem either. Ok, now I'm on the tube. I don't know of any other form of body opening that would make it necessary to invent additional toilets. Man and woman in the same toilet. Isn't that true tolerance? Then the women would not have to stand in line for so long at the festival or ease themselves stickum with the men.
I think this yawning has come up with people who have nothing else to do and somehow want to make themselves important. I have a particular suspicion of a certain tax evader.

You know where to find me ……………… .. (lemmi) ……… .. I'm standing again between the two posts with the crossbar on top and, ideally, a net is also there ……

Welcome to!

It's about those who find themselves neither in the male nor in the female identity, lemmi. These * or _ or: are attempts at linguistic inclusion. And unfortunately it is a reality that there aren't that many people who are as open and relaxed as you are.

As a man, however, I wouldn't dare to use a women's toilet - the risk of being tarred and feathered and called a pervert is too great. It can happen the other way around, but man is not like that :-)

However, my approach assumes that those who feel as "neither nor" could also feel as "both and". If that is not the case, then I really lack the necessary empathy. Then I go back into the gate.
Man cannot explain the universe to himself because he always comes from the absolute
Nothing goes out. But if energy can neither be generated nor lost, then one cannot start from nothing, since energy must have always been present.
I don't think much of theories, but I always like MINE very much ;-)
And to close the circle again, I would be happy if the "neutrinos"
(I hope I don't see it too loosely and they put me in the corner again because of my "attempt" to include or include it linguistically) could manage to look at the whole thing from the original side . And my theory just comes to the conclusion that they are both and not nothing.

(I stayed in a Kabadose again today) …………………. lemmi

"It's about those who find themselves neither in the male nor in the female identity ..."
Last Thursday there happened to be a report on Kontraste (TV) on the subject of "gender" and the effects on the German language. According to this article, there are only around 1600 individuals in Germany who do not know whether they are male or female. About 1600 people in relation to about 83 million total population. From this point of view, I find it almost better, I do not even formulate my resentments regarding the changes in the German language.

[…] Thomas Blanchot aka Mato is virtually a guarantee for excellent analogue productions made in France – just remember his interpretation of Daft Punk's “Homework”, the film music tribute “Holywoo Dub", the excursion into e-music "Classical Dub' and finally his nod to the horror genre 'Scary Dub". So far there has been good to very good reviews, although we are more concerned with instrumental than Dub-Albums have to do. Not that Mato is stingy with effects - on the contrary: Echo, Hall & Co. fit so well into the overall picture that the focus is more on musical excellence and fine arrangements. […]

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