"Being in Seattle is great for me as a musician," says Corwine, "because creatively I need a bit of space to function well. Plus, my formative years here were a time when there wasn't much division between house and techno, much less between techno and electro and tech-house and microhouse and, and, and... The DJs played a great mix of whatever they liked... and exposed me to so much great and inspiring music."
Now Corwine's making his own inspirational music. His new tracks glide gracefully among house, techno, and electro without making facile allegiances to any of them. At times, their carefree quirkiness and funky lope recall local-global luminaries like Jacob London and Jeff Samuel; at others, Corwine's cuts evoke the bawdy bounce and surreal sonics of Perlon and Musique Risque's rosters. The vivid punch and Technicolor brilliance of Corwine's productions will bring smiles to many intelligent DJs (and their dancers).
As for his creative methods, Corwine switched to "an all-software setup--Logic and a PowerBook, all the usual suspects" in 2002, but his music sounds far from coldly digital. His forthcoming single on U-Freqs (out in February and released under the name Mister Leisure), "No Scene," is an oddly galloping electro stomp in which Corwine pokes fun at geeks who go gaga over new software and the chatter spewed whenever DJs and producers gather.
"I do think of the dance floor first, because I love the energy and presence of great dance music," says Corwine when asked about what motivates him. "[It] was that energy that drew me into this in the first place. And that's entirely what drives me when I play live. And I love it when I hear people listening to my live CD in their car, cleaning the house, wherever. I do try to keep the sounds interesting and unique, because I'm easily bored myself, but I'm not really into making 'interesting' music. I'm a shallow fucker--I want to make music that lots of people like."
Looks like Corwine's woodshedding will pay dividends when he takes the stage December 9. "Finally, after lots of tinkering, I got a live setup going that lets me do really rich arrangements on the fly and do live vocals. I'm trying to get beyond the whole 'pasty-looking guy with a laptop' image around live sets and do something that's interesting to people who aren't technically inclined. Since I'm not much of a dancer and my hair's not that cool, I try to make the music itself as engaging as possible." DAVE SEGAL
Matt Corwine plays Thurs Dec 9 with Swayzak and Matthew Dear at Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000, 9 pm-2 am, 21+, $10 adv.