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Interview: Mattari

Over the last few months we’ve been receiving a steady stream of new music from an East London-based duo called Mattari. The two producers (who would like to remain anonymous) have cultivated a blend of lo-fi instrumental chill-hop and jazz that feels particularly soothing during this period of lockdown and uncertainty.

Mattari’s sound is formed from creating a sonic soundscape comprised of chilled beats, jazz harmonies and horn-led melodies. The two producers grew up playing trumpet and saxophone in a jazz and classical music environment but there was always a desire to push their instruments into new genres. The influence of lo-fi chill-hop music soon opened up the world of production and sampling and with that Mattari was born.

Despite all the social distancing measures taking place at the moment, we were able to virtually “sit down” with Mattari and ask them a few questions about their music and what’s on the horizon.

Interview with Mattari

May 11, 2020

The New LoFi: The name Mattari has a wonderful nostalgic character to it. It feels both exotic and familiar. Is there any meaning behind the moniker? How did you come up with it?

Mattari is actually a Japanese slang word to ‘relax’ or ‘to chill out’ which relates to the music well.

TNLF: You’re a trained horn player. You grew up playing jazz and classical music on Saxophone and Trumpet. You can definitely see the influence that earlier training has had on you. What shifted you onto the path of writing and recording lo-fi jazz and chillhop?

It started with an interest in recording and capturing the sound of acoustic instruments. This led to opening the world of production which is huge rabbit hole! Chillhop encompasses a lot of what we gravitate towards when writing, beats, horns, harmony, ambient soundscapes.

TNLF: Who are some of the artists from the past that you’ve been inspired by?

That’s quite a big list. There’s a lot of inspiration from different genres – funk, jazz, hip-hop, classical, trip hop. Artist-wise: Arve Henriksen, Maceo Parker, Roy Hargrove, Tom Misch, Kenny Wheeler, Jordan Rakei, Chris Dave.

TNLF: Who are the artists that are blazing the trail in this genre right now?

There are a lot of great artists out there but, really enjoying a lot of Blue Wednesday and L’Indécis. Also Nymano at the moment.

TNLF: In the last two months you’ve released 4 new singles.  All of which seem to have a common theme of calmness and looking towards better times. Is it a coincidence that you’ve started releasing music during a global pandemic, or was it in response to it?

It is actually a coincidence. Most of the tracks were finished before things started to take a turn for the worse in Europe with the Pandemic. If our music helps people relax and look towards better times then that’s very gratifying.

TNLF: Your album artwork is quite distinct. Who creates the artwork, and is there any significance to the reoccurring cat and mouse characters?

The artwork is bespoke for each track created by a very talented illustrator called Beatrix Hatcher. The mouse and cat represent the two personalities of Mattari and the music.

TNLF: Today you’ve released your fifth single entitled “Loafing.” Are there any plans to release a full-length album this year?

Yes, we’re looking to release a full-length album towards the end of 2020! We are constantly writing new music though and we have another track in the works at the moment, looking potentially for a middle of June release date depending on a few factors.

To learn more about Mattari, head over to their Soundcloud page. To give them love on their social channels, take a virtual walk over to their Facebook  or Instagram page. What is most important however, is that you have a listen to the first five Mattari singles below.

Mattari – Loafing

Mattari – Chiringuito
‘Chiringuito’ is Spanish for “little beach bar.” The track takes the listener on an ambient summer voyage to a bar on the beach. It evokes memories of drinks and fun times by the ocean with friends whilst watching the sun set.

Mattari – Gloaming

Mattari – Daybreak

Mattari – St Paul’s
This was the duo’s debut release and it takes you on a tube ride through central London

Illustrator: Beatrix Hatcher