Swedish DJ, founder of Local Talk and GAMM record labels, former b-boy and Stockholm legend Mad Mats joins BBE with album 'Digging Beyond The Crates'

Mad Mats

The term “a DJs DJ” has probably never been more accurate than with Mad Mats. He is one of those rare DJs who is more comfortable playing a wild style session rather than simply playing it safe. Like Mats often states, real DJs got balls! He’s known worldwide to combine all style of black dance music with a flawless DJ technique and a healthy leftfield attitude towards the underground club scene.

Born in 1971 and brought up in the one of the less privileged suburbs of Stockholm music was never of importance until he around 1983/84 dived head over heals into the world of hip hop (Swedish b-boy champ 1985). He later excelled to become one of the resident DJs at Stockholm’s early hip hop jams in the mid and late 80s. In 1988 during a trip to London he witnessed the thriving rare groove scene that opened up his musical senses to discover a world of alternative black dance music. At the same time he also started producing hip hop and collecting breaks which made him search deeper for rare funk, soul, jazz and world music. The black music cycle was complete when he in the early 90s got into house music after a visit to the legendary Sound Factory Bar NYC. With this wild cocktail of music styles he became one of the most popular and respected DJs in the Stockholm club scene during the 90s and is today a DJ with a solid cult status and has on numerous occasions been voted Sweden’s best DJ.

Coming into the mid 90s he was tired of just DJing and promoting one off parties and decided to move up the musical ladder. In 1996 he started what would become one of the most long lived and respected club nights in Swedish history when he opened up the legendary Raw Fusion club as monthly party on the last Wednesday of every month. The Stockholm club was a mirror of Mats own musical references (100% musical freedom) and went strong for over 13 years with guest DJs like Theo Parrish, Peanut Butter Wolf, Jay Dee, Carl Craig, Laurent Garnier, DJ Harvey, Gilles Peterson and Kerri Chandler to name just a few. At one time Raw Fusion was so hyped that it resulted in two festivals and various sister clubs around Sweden and even London and New York. Today the club still do various one off parties in Stockholm and Gothenburg but always with Mats himself behind the decks spinning what he loves most…everything!

In 2001 the Raw Fusion brand also evolved into a highly acclaimed record label that for 10 years released a wide range of dance music from artist such as Simbad, Freddie Cruger, Future Beat Investigators, Spiritual South etc. Even though the label is now asleep the catalogue is still available on line.

Today Mats is working hard with one of the most hyped house labels of today, Local Talk Records. Together with his partner Tooli they deliver house in all colours and shapes with their trademark green/white brand through their releases but also via Local Talk club nights all over the world. Slightly below the radar they also run the disco edit label Basic Fingers and as a side project Mats also got a “little” finger in a mysterious little label called GAMM…hush hush ok ;).

Even though Mad Mats had a DJ career that’s been running strong for over 25 years and taken him around the world more times than he can remember, he’s actually hungrier than ever and is spinning every week around the globe. Basically, he really loves his job and especially when he’s free to play a full night with no hands tied. But that said…one of his strong points is that he can rock virtually any type of party. You can have him for your house or techno night, your hip hop/r&b block party or a classic old school retro session with soul, jazz, funk, disco, world music…or everything together of course! But maybe best of all, as the dancer he is its not unusual to see him dancing away behind the decks with big smiley grin on his face when he’s allowed to drop his favourite tunes. Remember…only real DJs know how to flip a b-boy windmill 😉

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