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Welcome to the website of Matt Barker: music producer, runner, digital artist, father and all-round motivationalist. Actions as loud as words. Be the change you want to see.

// NEWS


EPICENTRE ALBUM 'SUPERNOVA' IS ANNOUNCED 


Further details have been announced about the forthcoming Epicentre album. The title has been confirmed as SUPERNOVA, and several other collaborations have now been added to the list, with details about each of the performers involved. More info can be found HERE.

EPICENTRE REMIXES URBAN ARTIST A ME B 



After working with diva legend Angie Brown, the next Epicentre project is is a remix of the new single by breakthrough urban artist A Me B. In return, there will also be a planned collaboration on the forthcoming Epicentre album.

At just 18, she has been signed up to Affinity Records and already supported major acts such as Tinchy Stryder, Chipmunk, DJ Ironik and Akala, and recently performed at Abbey Road Studio’s in front of a hugely impressed Tom Robinson as part of the BBC Masterclass in London. Tipped by “BBC Introducing” as one to watch for 2011, A Me B has shared the stage with established and emerging UK artists at festivals all across the North West.

The track Outcast is already receiving great feedback, generating support from BBC Manchester Music, BBC Introducing in Manchester and Rinse FM as her star continues to rise.

A Me B is a fresh Urban talent, incorporating deftly delivered rhymes and catchy hooks for a commercial, but hard-hitting sound that is hard to resist. So much so that Amy has confirmed invitations to switch on the St Helens Christmas lights on 19th November, as a main judge and performing the single for Lancashire Boys and Girls clubs “got talent” night at Thwaites Blackburn Theatre on 17th November and as special support for Chipmunk and Mavado at Manchester’s Academy on 13th December.

Written and produced by Amy, Outcast is launched at Manchester’s Dry Bar on Thursday 10 November prior to its’ release on the 15th November where it will be available to download from iTunes.

Room Reunion Night Raises £650 for Charity 

What a weekend its been!

My studio compadre and Old Skool mucker Phil Urry headlined a charity event at Studio, formerly the legendary Room nightclub, in Hull. Room was at the very core of the burgeoning underground house scene in the 90s, with a unique mix of superstar DJs in the subtle surroundings of the grade 2 listed building. The Room Reunion night paid homage to these nights, as well as raising over 650 for a cancer ward at Castle Hill Hospital in East Yorkshire. Some amazing tunes were played that night, and I had the privilege making a cameo on the decks as well. It was a surreal moment for me dropping some of the tunes I first heard at played at Room by the legends of the dance music story and the experience is something which Ill never forget. Thanks to everybody that made the night a huge success, and paved the way for more events in the future

Music continues to have a pulse and its invigorating being involved in multiple projects with some really talented artists.

First up is the news that we should have a release date for the Definite Grooves / Angie Brown track early this week, so it will finally be out there for people to buy. Ive also put a series of music videos together to help the collab go viral.

After working with a legend in the music industry, I have also been working with an unknown singer / songwriter who is on the cusp of great things. She worked with a producer from Leeds, and their track was signed up by a big label. My remix of the track was 90% completed, when I got the call to say that the label isnt looking to release it yet. They havent heard any of my remix yet, so Ive bundled what Ive done so far a complete reinvention of the tune around some astounding vocals and Im waiting for feedback on what they want to do. Whatever happens with it, my track WILL see the light of day either as an instrumental or with some different vocals added over the top.

Aside from working on the Epicentre album material, there are some exciting projects lined up in the near future, including putting the finishing touches to a Seismic Waves EP with my studio wingman Ali Rumba and some exciting projects with Definite Grooves.

Stay tuned.

Room Reunion Night Raises £650 for Charity 

What a weekend it’s been!

My studio compadre and Old Skool mucker Phil Urry headlined a charity event at Studio, formerly the legendary Room nightclub, in Hull. Room was at the very core of the burgeoning underground house scene in the 90s, with a unique mix of superstar DJs in the subtle surroundings of the grade 2 listed building. The Room Reunion night paid homage to these nights, as well as raising over £650 for a cancer ward at Castle Hill Hospital in East Yorkshire. Some amazing tunes were played that night, and I had the privilege making a cameo on the decks as well. It was a surreal moment for me dropping some of the tunes I first heard at played at Room by the legends of the dance music story and the experience is something which I’ll never forget. Thanks to everybody that made the night a huge success, and paved the way for more events in the future 

Music continues to have a pulse and it’s invigorating being involved in multiple projects with some really talented artists.

First up is the news that we should have a release date for the Definite Grooves / Angie Brown track early this week, so it will finally be out there for people to buy. I’ve also put a series of music videos together to help the collab go viral.

After working with a legend in the music industry, I have also been working with an unknown singer / songwriter who is on the cusp of great things. She worked with a producer from Leeds, and their track was signed up by a big label. My remix of the track was 90% completed, when I got the call to say that the label isn’t looking to release it yet. They haven’t heard any of my remix yet, so I’ve bundled what I’ve done so far – a complete reinvention of the tune around some astounding vocals – and I’m waiting for feedback on what they want to do. Whatever happens with it, my track WILL see the light of day – either as an instrumental or with some different vocals added over the top.

Aside from working on the Epicentre album material, there are some exciting projects lined up in the near future, including putting the finishing touches to a Seismic Waves EP with my studio wingman Ali Rumba and some exciting projects with Definite Grooves.

Stay tuned.

Secret Thundercracker Anthem Set For Release 

Never have I spent so long on perfecting one track - but it was worth it. Everybody who's contributed on this release are really excited with the finished set of mixes -whatever happens, it's been a supreme honour working with one of my idols and exchanging ideas with her!

After a couple of months out from thinking about the album, I've booted up my sessions and started finishing off a few part-completed tracks. I've also begun laying down a suitable collab with singer Finny, from Manchester outfit The Rainband, along with some other musicians. Really buzzing with creative zest at the moment - and can't wait to blow the lid on Operation Thundercracker with you all....

Rebuilding the Dream Machine 

Not logged onto here for a week or so, as I've been busy polishing off that remix. Both the producer and I are at the mastering stage of finishing things off now. It's been interesting submitting drafts, then waiting for feedback and suggestions on how to improve the final track.

I've also had to overcome some serious hardware issues due to a corrupt registry. Despite several attempts to fix, I had to reboot my lappy back to the factory settings. Luckily I back everythin up these days, so not lost any data. The time lost has been a pain, but could've been worse.

On the album front, I've lined up a couple more collabs which hopefully I can crack on with in the next month.

I've got quite a few tracks sorted out now, and it's gonna be mad unleashing so much new material at once. The patience will be worth it :-)

Deadlines... 

I've been given a 2 week window by the producer to finish the legit remix of a new track by a well known vocalist. Really exciting! It's early doors on the remix, but I received the vocals through yesterday, which I've been working around to reinvent the track.

Took the MIDI parts provided to me, changed the intrument of choice and slightly changed the chord arrangement to make it a bit darker. After applying some plugin effects, in essence that's the main riff of the new track right there. We continue..

In other news, me and Al finished the latest Seismic Waves track last night. After wondering which direction the track would take for a few sessions, a random bit of cut and paste with a few elements in the wrong place worked wonders and half the track was completed in about five minutes. Genius :-)

'Splintered Sails' now has a beginning... 

After cramming in some monumental studio sessions over the last week, I've finally finished the opening track of the new album. Exhausted but a small price to pay to give the album it's opening act.

'Stop Off n Go' is an energetic progressive track, which includes guest vocals from one of Yorkshire's emerging talents, MC Ricko.

Lyrically, his contribution to the finished track is the business. I relished every minute of chopping, slicing and looping Ricko's session material, to oblivion and back again! This track benefits from some really powerful Ableton plugins, which really gives the finished mixdown some significant oomph. Stay tuned to hear some exclusive preview material soon...

The Studio... 

This post's for all you tekky geeks out there, so give it a wide berth if you just wanna listen to the music!

Took a step back from production this weekend to concentrate on configuring the studio setup. Been trying to sort it out for years and finally it's getting somewhere.

Everybody has their own way of working, but the main piece of software both me and Al use for sequencing is Propellerhead Reason. The GUI and manipulation of internal devices is fantastic. The only thing it doesn't allow for is importing of VST plugins, so I use Ableton Live to manipulate sounds in this way, which I then import back into Reason as processed wavs. I use a variety of programs to master the loops, wavs and tracks, such as Adobe Audition, which all go towards giving me the mixdown of that final track.

Now this weekend has been all about configuring the performance setup rather than any production time. I've wired in Virtual DJ and my custom presets into the back of Ableton Live. In addition to having my USB mixing console for the two decks in VDJ, I've assigned my USB MIDI keyboard a stack of Ableton Live presets to manipulate the output from VDJ into the master output. Gave it a trial run at the weekend and the potential for live performances is massive! There's the option to switching from VDJ to Traktor, as well as outputting from Reason into Ableton instead of vice versa, but we'll leave that revolution for another day. An unwanted issue was with my 64 bit machine not being compatible with some 32 bit software I use, but working around this...

Despite all this tech, I've still got one of my vinyl turntables and a multitrack cassette recorder in the studio, as I still find myself looking back before looking forwards from time to time. There'll always be a bit of old skool in there somewhere.

An equally big part of the revamped studio is the decor. Thrown a load of tat out and redecorated it a bit, complete with an Epicentre-eque colour scheme. It probably doesn't sound like a big deal, but it makes me feel like it's a place to escape from everything and focus completely on music. Now let's go play...

MC Ricko and the Robotic Stutter Machine 

Spent all last night splicing, stuttering and vocoding the MC Ricko vocals onto the opening track of the new Epicentre album. Got a kinda Jaytech and Dinka sound going on with it and the energy is amazing! It's lunchtime and I'm at work now, so just having a sneakies with earphones at my desk, which might explain the head bobs to those sat opposite me....

Also trying to put the wheels in motion with a long overdue collaboration with a couple of guys from way back. Would be nice to tip the hat to something old to create something new if we can work it out...
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