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Monday 31st, January 2005
Matt Hardwick Interview- Tidy Weekender

Matt Hardwick is something of a trance stalwart in the UK, having held residency at the legendary Gatecrasher while it was at its peak, as well as mixing CDs in their "Resident's Transmission" series. He's renowned for his brilliant track selection and interraction with the crowd. With the Tidy Dirty Weekender, a mainly hard dance event, fast approaching Matt has been booked to play as one of the sole trance DJs there. We caught up with him to see how he feels about the event...

You’re playing at the next Tidy Weekender – The Dirty Weekender. You've played at one before, what did you think?

It was an amazing event to play at. From the first record in the crowd seemed so receptive. The next one is an event I am really looking forward to.

How would you describe you style at the moment?

This is always a difficult question to answer so I guess I would simply say trance. But this can range from quite deep material right the way through to the harder side of things. Its all about "horses for courses" but ideally I like to play long sets where I can experiment a bit and move through different sounds, not just sticking to the strict trance sound I am perhaps known for.

What’s going on in your life at the moment?

I've just moved house and am now settled. I'm looking forward to stepping up the production work in the new year with my next single with Smith and pledger due out in the early spring... we've not started it yet so we need to get our skates on!!

You are most famous for being a Gatecrasher resident which you were for more than eight years? Which is your favourite Gatecrasher memory?

Playing to nearly 30,000 people at the millennium event at the Don Valley stadium. The sheer size of the crowd and the amazing sense of occasion will make this one a difficult event to top.

You’ve played alongside many of the best Djs in the world including Tiesto and Paul Van Dyk. Did you ever know or remember them when they weren’t as famous as they are today?

Yes - Tiesto in particular. But credit to him, he is still as polite and friendly when we meet as he was when I first met him.

Some dance music fans would argue that trance has ‘had its day’. What would your answer be to that?

As it was in 99-2000 it has had its day. The time when the charts were littered with trance records is gone. There can no longer be 25 weekly UK trance clubs filled to the rafters. But I tend to look at this in a positive light. There are now less commercial pressures on the scene and with this has come a new wave of creativity and a new wave of fresh sounding producers. It is no longer a scene for the masses. The clubs that are still prospering can be more daring with there line ups and- dare I say it- there is more of an underground vibe coming to the fore. This has meant that the scene has changed a lot for me as a DJ as there tends to be a lot more international travel as I tend to try and cherry pick the very best gigs in the UK.

The Tidy Weekenders have been traditionally known as a predominantly hard house event. However it is becoming a much more eclectic party with people like your self playing alongside funky house, hardcore, house and techno djs. Do you prefer mixed events or more genre specific gigs?

I don't really mind but it is nice to see people who attend the events being open to different sounds... it's all very positive.

Tidy fans are famous for really going to town with dressing up and the fancy dress theme of the first night of the Dirty Weekender is Pimps and Pornstars. What do you think about the crowds dressing up. Do you think it helps make a party?

The effort made by the clubbers is what made gatecrasher. It shows that they care. They are putting effort into their night out and it shows a sense of commitment and dedication.... you cant beat it!!

Using Final Scratch seems to becoming more popular with Djs these days. Is this something you are considering. How do you feel about walking into a gig with an Apple Mac rather than a record bag?

As a DJ I need to embrace the new technology and move forward with it. I am a little concerned that one day it may lead to DJs pre programming sets and this would take away from the live nature of a DJ performance. I have seen Paul Van Dyk use it very effectively and so it is not something I am ruling out.

You’ve played in clubs all across the globe. What is the strangest place you’ve ever played? Why was it strange?

Playing through an earthquake in Manilla- strange for obvious reasons.

Many Djs that play at the Weekender have been known to stay there to party (if their Dj commitments allow). Do you plan to join in the mayhem?

I may stay for a couple of shandies. No but seriously, I will have a lot of friends there so it will be fun to join in the party.

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