Who are the people behind the world’s most important new initiatives in music right now? Who is doing what and where can you find them? That is what the ‘Trailblazers’ series wants to spotlight. Following dancehall innovator Savana “Omen” Painter, the second session is dedicated to the man leading the world’s most creative avant-garde in club music: Matt Lutz, also known as DJ Rueckert, of the Classical Trax platform. More than a tastemaker and a DJ, he is a online network coach who manages to keep the world’s most exciting talents from many different backgrounds tuned together like a team-like community.
Born in Baltimore, living in Hanover Pennsylvania, Matt has been a passionate fan of many kinds of music since childhood, from classic rock to hiphop, and a faithful follower of 92Q Jams radio, which acquainted him with the sound of Baltimore Club. After exploring the ‘indie rock’ scene during his high-school years, at college discovered internet forums for innovative electronic and urban music such as the Hollerboard and DubstepForum, where he developed a lasting love for grime.
Matt is also a talented writer. He commonly expected his future to be writing about sports, until he realised around 2011 that writing and a love for innovative music are a perfect combination. From writing for music blogs like Mishka, he went into making his own mixes, and everything just developed from there…
Now he is curating the Facebook community Classical Trax: a family-like collective, accessible by invitation only, where club music from Baltimore, Jersey and Philly and its derivatives are blended with grime and ethereal ambient sounds. The most fascinating thing is that the people in the group are not, like in most groups, producers spamming their own work, but label owners, producers, DJs, organisers and designers who are truly interested in engaging with and inspiring each other.
What makes it even more exciting is that they extend their unique sound, in turn, with flavours like baile funk, tarraxo, dancehall or gqom, not ripping these sounds from their contexts, but directly integrated with the innovators in those respective scenes, entirely bypassing the ‘so-called global/tropical bass movement’.
I asked Matt what he thinks why these sounds go so well together.
M: I can’t really say that they go well together per say, but it sounds good to me. Sometimes I just picks songs I am feeling and play around with them and make sure people can listen to my mixtapes, for the simple fact that they can hear what I am listening. I do think sometimes you can mix bubbling and grime, or disco and club music but I don’t suggest everyone to try it haha.
I always try and read and listen to as much things as possible can to get a better idea of sounds and things. It really is a hobby for me.
GB: You realease music, yet you’re not a netlabel. You share the most exiting new music, yet you’re not a blog. You refrain from labeling your movement with a specific genre name, etc. Is that on purpose?
M: I do that on purporse for several reasons, but the main one is to make people think. Websites and magazines are constantly trying to pin everything down with a name, are they a label? Are they this or that? I just want people to enjoy Classical Trax for what it is.
I guess I want the CT community to build and for people to develop their own way musically, whether they are with us or not. Not everyone in CT comes fromt he same background, country so they aren’t all exposed to the same things like many people think. Classical Trax at the end of the day is a really great community and I want to push and have it continue to grow.
GB: Building a full blown new scene has become incredibly difficult in times of the internet. In the past, scenes had strong roots in IRL communities and could become permanent enough to mature as movements. Nowadays, new things stay online and either blow up or are swept away by another fad before reaching anybody. Do you think it is possible for URL communities to acquire some enough permanence?
M: I really can’t answer this question in full because I can’t predict the future haha. I want CT to grow and it already has. We have already spread out into the world of events, we are doing mixes for several different countries we have members from every corner of the globe, we have guidelines but sometimes they are meant to be broken.
One thing I think CT has done well with is building IRL movements. Club Bread (San Francisco) allowed us to host a room at their recent event and we got a lot of members to go out and show support, DWMS (NYC) with Geng (PTP) and Note PTP has brought people from the CT together to see several different type of DJs-producers and artists put on shows. We are growing but its also a process and it will take sometime. We have to put in our dues and we have to continue to push.
GB: I usually call this movement the ‘Trax Club’ avant-garde because it seems to be common among platforms pushing this type of sound to write ‘track’ as ‘trak’ and ‘tracks’ as ‘trax’.. do you know where that comes from?
M: For me its based on the Chicago label.. Trax. But I would rather not give our scene a name. I think a lot of people want to eventually shy away from the term club music(trax scene) because it doesn’t pave way for the original club sounds coming from Baltimore, Jersey and Philly.
However, that being said, its hard to blame young people from other countries who are familiar with music to know it as ‘club’. All in all we need to do a better job of explaining the past and giving the original artists the credit.
GB: You are blowing up now.. What will Classical Trax look like a year from now?
M: Lot of plans coming out in the next year. But a bit of advice I always got and learned the hard way, was to never announce what you are going to do to far in advance and keep your moves to yourself. But there are definitely more surprises on the way. Shout out to everyone supporting us and showing us love especially the CT community!
This month, Matt hosts our very own GBMIX #6 session!
Want more? Check out his fresh mix and interview for THUMP that came out this week!
…the Corrupt Data takeover mix!
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