Matt Newman is one of the key players in the highly influential Dallas DJ crew Soundslike, but his roots in dance music go back to his days slinging records in Michigan. Newman’s career began in Chicago and Detroit, epicenters of techno and house, and those cities had a lasting impact on him as a DJ. Newman found that common ground with the Soundslike crew when he moved to Dallas. For this week’s mixtape, he takes us on a tech-leaning journey filled with the audio bounce the Soundslike crew have become known for.
Dallas Observer: How long have you been a DJ? How did you get started?
Newman: I’ve always had a penchant for music in general, but have always been drawn toward anything electronic. Growing up I played the violin for nine years and listened to everything from Pink Floyd to Nine Inch Nails, and when I moved away to college in 1997 I traded in the violin for turntables. In the late ’90s I got involved with P616 and cut my teeth in the West Michigan underground electronic music scene, and was further influenced in Detroit, Chicago and Toronto.
How did you get involved with Soundslike?
My wife and I moved to Dallas from Detroit in 2010. Before we had even arrived, I met Jason Lovel and John Baugh [in an online forum], and as it turns out they were also the first people we met in person here in Dallas. After moving across the country, it was kismet to find such like-minded people so quickly.
What is going on with Soundslike nowadays?
Over the last six months Soundslike has been in a state of mourning with the loss of our founder Jason Lovel. We’ve made the decision to move forward but with renewed focus on our core values, so you can expect a return to unique experiences showcasing the music. Anticipate reinvigoration through perspective, and [us] honoring our brother by continuing his legacy using our own voices. Mark Saturday, June 3, on your calendar.
Tell us about the Soundslike podcast.
The Soundslike podcast is envisioned as a vehicle for expanded sonic exploration outside the confines of our events. Over the coming months we hope to use this to reintroduce you to our residents, music and perspective.
Where do you like to dig for tracks? Online or in stores?
These days I find myself mostly buying online using Beatport, and perusing Bandcamp and Soundcloud for digital white labels. I’ve also been spending more time crate digging at Retroplex Records.
What new producers have been getting you excited?
As of late, what’s old is new again. I’ve been pulling out a lot of older-ish tracks I felt did not get the attention they originally deserved from artists like Klartraum, Michael Mayer, Julian Wassermann, Boris Brejcha, Extrawelt and Kiwi.
What has been your most significant music experience of the past year?
Exposure of the Arts, a collaborative effort last fall between Soundslike, Our House and Love Rich, opened my eyes to how much can be accomplished simply by supporting our local artists and musicians with a venue to explore their creative output.
How different is Texas’ electronic music scene from Michigan’s?
It’s not very different to be honest. Dallas in a lot of ways reminds me of the scene I grew up with in how extremely close-knit and family oriented it is. Combine that with the obscene amount of raw talent we are surrounded with and it shows how truly special it is here.
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What has your relationship with the Movement Festival in Detroit been?
I’ve had the pleasure of watching Movement grow over the last 15 years, from its humble beginnings as a free hometown festival celebrating techno and the city of its birth, to the world-renowned music festival it is today. I’m proud of what it has done to promote the city of Detroit, and am glad to enjoy all the varied music it showcases.
Do you have musical interests outside of electronic music?
I’m a huge fan of music in general. Whether that’s a night at the symphony, a DJ session with friends, or Sunday Funday Yacht Rock sessions, count me in.
What gigs do you have coming up?
Soundslike kicks off its monthly rooftop series The Come Up on Friday, March 24, at Wit’s End in Deep Ellum with a special resident night. Myself, Myles Francis, AllenMD and Addison will be opening it up to set the tone for the coming year.
Lee Burridge & Lost Desert – "Lingala" [All Day I Dream]
Danny Clark & Jay Benham – "I Knew You (Darren Flecta Remix)" [Hatchwork]
Ruede Hagelstein – "Footprints (The Drifter Remix)" [Watergate Records]
Love Over Entropy – "Worth While" [Something Happening Somewhere]
Baikal – "Pelican’s Flight" [Maeve]
Rampa – "Necessity" [Innervisions]
Audiofly – "In the (Last Moment)" [Crosstown Rebels]
Milan Euringer vs Tube & Berger – "Lovebreak (Wild Culture Remix)" [Kittbal]
Michael Mayer – "Und Da Stehen Fremde Menschen (Patrice Baumel Remix)" [K7 Records]
Manuel Moreno – "Drunken Butterfly" [Hive Audio]
Mihai Popoviciu – "Can Do" [Cyclic Records]
Nicole Maudaber & Skin – "You Like This (Hector Remix)" [MOOD]
Asadinho – "Jaslemere (Version 1)" [RvS]
Klartraum – "Moogly" [Lucidflow]
Pointbender – "Three Complications" [Harmonious Discord]