Catching Up With Irish, Techno Hero: Matador


When speaking of techno, there are certain places that just come to mind —Berlin, Detroit, perhaps the UK. But what about Ireland? It may not be the first place on your radar, but after speaking with Irish techno hero, Matador (sometimes referred to as Gavin Lynch), a trip over to Dublin seems pretty tempting.

An integral member to the Minus family, Matador has enjoyed a demanding, yet impressive past year with a brand new EP released just before Christmas, and already looking forward to the second part of that release later this month. Not to mention, he is currently sweating it out in the studio as he prepares for the release of a full artist album set to drop in 2015, while simultaneously embarking on his ambitious “Play With Me” tour which will touch down in Europe and North America this spring. Needless to say, Matador’s techno proclamation is being heard loud and clear— usually, (and thankfully) over Funktion Ones.

Recently, Godzilla Disco had the opportunity to catch up with Gavin. We spoke with him while he was stationed in his hometown of Dublin, Ireland enjoying some rare, but much needed downtime. Here’s what went down:

At last, you’re able to spend some time at home! Tell us about the underground scene there in Ireland. Which venues resonate with home for you?

Yes, it’s nice to be home! I guess my story really begins when I was around 17-18 years old. I was coming to Dublin for college and in terms of the “underground scene”, I’ve got to say I think is was pretty healthy. I’d say it was primarily driven by techno. You’d have the super clubs of course— there was one called Red Box, which eventually became Tripod and I think that’s where I really caught my teeth. Since then, the scene has gone in waves just as it has everywhere, but overall it’s a very techno driven city.

Just before Christmas you released your EP, Play With Me! and at the end of this month, you’ll be releasing the second part of that EP. Why have you chosen to title this as part II rather than its own separate release? What makes it feel like an extension?

Well, both EPs were written in the same time frame, in the same studio and in the same state of mind, so I feel it was written as a collective. It was last year and at the time I was living in Berlin getting my studio in place. I was using the same gear, it was a similar sound and there was just enough continuity to do it as two parts. Now, I can work on the release of my own artist album.

Do you hope to release your artist album on Minus as well?

Ya, hopefully it’s with Minus. I’m very connected with the guys, I’ve worked together with them from the start so we’ve got a great working relationship.

Your live sets have become very well known among your fans and industry peers— but could you explain for someone who is not so familiar with these terms, what is the difference between playing out a “live set” versus a regular DJ set?

The main difference is that in a live set, you’re playing your own productions. So, music that you’ve produced, your own remixes and original material as opposed to a DJ that can play many people’s music. So when I do my live sets, I’m only playing stuff that comes out of my studio, which means it usually runs around 1.5 hours in length.

Do you play live at every show? Why did you choose this route with your DJ career?

The thing is, when I was signed with Minus at 26 years old, I’d already been DJing for 10 years. So I think it was really a decision based on how I could be presented as a product. We felt that my strength laid in my productions, so live sets just made sense. 

WMC is right around the corner and I see you’ll be playing Paco Osuna’s Mindshake Records Showcase — how are you looking forward to that and have you got any other gigs lined up at WMC?

Ya, I’m really looking forward to that one! Two years ago we did a Minus and Mindshake party and it was absolutely wild! One of the best I’ve done at WMC, so I’m sure it’s going to be a good night. I’ll also be doing the Paradise party on the Thursday night, which will be great. I’ll be able to play out some of my tracks that have more house elements. I won’t be hammering it the way I would for my tough, techno. I’ll be slowing it down a wee, which is another sound that I think has been drafted into these EPs. One of the tracks, “Red Light”, people may even call tech house. So ya, it’s a cool time to showcase your work and I’ll be able to play my two different sides.

What is the most exciting part about working in this industry for you? Had it not been music, is there any other industry that you could imagine yourself working in?

For me, what I do is not work because you’re doing your hobby. It just so happens to also be my profession. I used to work as a chef— I’m not a big numbers man, I’m not really into literature or a massive academic, but I was being creative in the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve put the hours in and what you put in, you get back out. But there’s not a day that passes that I’m not incredibly grateful to be able to do what I love.

Matador’s first stop of his Play With Me! Tour will be Montreal for Stereo. Canada is looking forward to it! Catch him in a city near you: