TF Archives

Slipmatt- The Only Hardcore I Play These Days is Old Skool

Author: Jonty Adderley
Saturday, April 19, 2003
As well as releasing seminal breaks/ jungle anthem On A Ragga Tip in 1993, Slipmatt (aka Mathew Nelson) has long been recognised as of the founding fathers of hardcore, though these days he's more likely to spin funky house or trance. In fact, his latest single Space (co-produced with his original SL2 partner Lime) is a trance tune in its purest sense, complete with uplifting, harmonic chords, massive breakdown and final euphoric take-no-prisoners conclusion.

Though chatting to Skrufff's Jonty Adderley this week, he's equally keen to maintain some distance from the equally maligned genre.

"There's loads of commercial tripe coming out and it seems like the music's going downhill," says Matt.

"The same thing happened with the hardcore scene."

Skrufff (Jonty Adderley): Did you make your new single with Ibiza's Space superclub in mind-

Slipmatt: "We didn't actually, the tune just came out that way and there's no real connection though I do play at Space. We actually made the track over two years ago and have been playing it out for a couple of summers, no-one picked up on it then I ended up sending it a friend Tony Byrne (industry player), he went mad about it and he got us a deal."

Skrufff: What are the predictions for the track's success now-

Slipmatt: "It's looking alright we're hoping to go top 40 though I'm not sure how it will do. We've had some good feedback, we were number three in the tag chart where people phone up to hear tunes and we were next to Coldplay and Atomic Kitten and people like that, so looking at signs like that it looks really promising. But on the other hand John (his production partner Lime) went down to the HMV store in Lakeside today and they're not even stocking it."

Skrufff: Everybody still seems to think of you as hardcore, where do you stand on the genre-

Slipmatt: "A lot of people do, yeah, but the only hardcore I play these days is the old skool stuff. It depends what you call hardcore, I still enjoy it though what I do much more is play trance sets."

Skrufff: Paul Oakenfold recently suggested one of the main reasons UK superclubs are struggling is because they've abandoned commercial trance, would you agree-

Slipmatt: "Possibly yeah, lots of the mainstream clubs have gone R&B, which I quite like but it's not proper clubbing is it, at least in terms of clubbing in the last ten years. I don't know. Miusical styles change constantly and always have done from the start of dance history. Nothing lasts forever, though you still get your revivals and there are always little pockets of diehard fans that stick with genres. Look at (UK) garage, that scene seems to have died off now. Scenes only have a certain lifespan. Trance won't go away. I remember in 1991 doing a radio interview, and this was even before the big hardcore explosion, and they were saying 'everyone's saying the scene's dying, what do you think-' and that was before it had even got really, really big."

Skrufff: What stage is trance at, at the moment-

Slipmatt: "It was big in 1999 and 2,000 then it took a dip and it seems to be coming back at the moment. But a lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon, you can't blame them for that, but there's so much cheesy stuff coming out. There's loads of commercial tripe coming out and it seems like the music's going downhill. The same thing happened with the hardcore scene."

Skrufff: As SL2, you produced On A Ragga Tip in 1993 that was both ground breaking as well as hugely successful commercially, did it change your life, make you rich-

Slipmatt: "I wouldn't say it changed my life, we had a number 11 hit before that. It brought me some money but I wouldn't say it made me rich. I learned from it too and it helped my career. I was doing well before it came out."

Skrufff: Did you go on Top of the Pops (Britain's then most influential music show)-

Slipmatt: "Oh yeah, we went on before, with DJs Take C