When I heard Matt Lange was coming to San Francisco’s Audio, and better yet Adrenalin Room was bringing him here, I won’t lie. I got a little panic-y.
This is the guy who had released with Anjunabeats and Mau5trap, two of the coolest labels in dance music in my book, and been featured on numerous podcasts which I had jammed out way too hard to. A guy known for his insane production skills and unique sound. And I might get to be in the same room as him.
What should I say? How should I act? Should I wear my special pants? What does that even mean? Indeed, all these questions and more were running through my head as the night rapidly approached. But when the time finally rolled around, and Adrenalin Room co-founders Ryan Russell and Swapneel Ukhalkar told me to meet them at Akiko sushi house on Geary st., the result was different than expected. I walked in, and there was just 3 guys at a table, sitting down to a nice meal. When I came over, Ryan said “Coleman, this is Matt.” We shook hands, and then continued with the dinner’s proceedings in a quite ordinary fashion.
As the night carried on, I soon came to realize that this iconic figure was, in fact, just a normal human being like everyone else, famous or otherwise. That being said, he is one fascinating guy. In the hours we spent together, topics of discussion included “scoring for film and video games”, “past and present collaborations”, and a very lengthy “love for good beer”. Let’s delve a bit, shall we?
Mr. Lange is no stranger to making music for outlets other than just the DJ booth or your home stereo. His production skills have been displayed in TV productions, advertisements, and most recently (and coolest), online video games. His most recent addition to this front was a music kit for Counter Strike (gamers, take note). As we discussed the process of scoring for the game, Matt expressed not only that he generally enjoyed the different challenge presented by making tracks for video games versus simply releasing music, but it was also one of his most lucrative sources of income at the moment (producers, take note).
Another thing about Matt that tickled me quite a bit, as well as really brought him down to earth for me, was his deep appreciation and love for a good IPA. We spent nearly an hour in his hotel room discussing the subtle differences of Russian River’s infamous Pliny the Elder, and his little and much harder to locate brother, Pliny the Younger. After having a good, long laugh over what was essentially the underground railroad of micro-brewed beers, I had a feeling this guy was for real. And not just because he likes his ale with more then 5% ABV.
I could sit with Matt, Ryan, and Neel and have a regular, enjoyable conversation. Nothing was forced; it was allowed to just flow. I know I’ve had this experience more than once where someone I hold in high regard becomes at my level, and there are times when it has been pretty brutally honest. But there are also times, such as this one, when they turn out better than I could have hoped. Matt Lange is simply a cool guy who makes music for a living. He’s recorded and released music with labels that I’m familiar with, and that music has made me swoon quite a few times. If you’re a fan like I am, than you should be just as excited about his full-length debut album, Ephemera, which is out now via Mau5trap records.
Take it from the guy who just saw his live show: it will behoove you to buy it immediately. And if he’s ever in your town, buying him a nice pale ale before his music makes love to your eardrums could never hurt either.