Renowned US DJ, Producer and Label Boss Victor Calderone’s 20+ year track record speaks entirely for itself. Considered by many an influential and inspirational talent, Victor has entertained millions of people, both as an individual artist and the driving force behind his well-respected MATTER+ Recordings imprint. The latter is being resurrected impressively in May. Victor welcomes his cousin and fellow industry titan Avision to the table for the label’s re-launch in a scintillating collaborative EP, ‘Chemical’.
Stepping back into the fore five years after the last MATTER+ release, Avision picks up where he left off, teaming up with Victor to curate the label’s future releases and help steer the brand.
In the first instance, he’s on hand to deliver an undeniably head-turning body of work alongside Victor that will undoubtedly put the label well and truly back on the map as a pioneering Techno imprint.
You can check out the exclusive ‘Intro Mix’ of the lead track from their EP below:
To celebrate the re-launch of MATTER+ and their forthcoming EP, we caught up with Victor and Avision for a highly insightful Label Spotlight feature:
What was the catalyst behind your ‘Chemical’ EP, and how did your collaboration come about?
Avision: The Chemical EP started when Victor sent me the original concept of Chemical; I remember hearing the vocals and loving where this record could go. We started building the foundation from there and started working on this breakbeat, bassline-driven type of vibe. Through the last few years, we’ve worked on a bunch of stuff, but to us, it wasn’t special enough. This time around, we felt that Chemical is a record we are really proud of and matches the expectations of us working together. It was only right to come in with big vibes throughout the whole EP.
How has the initial response been to the announcement of re-launching MATTER+, and how do you plan to build on that for future releases and events?
Victor Calderone: The announcement has been met with a ton of excitement from us and the long-lasting fans of MATTER+. We both felt that it was time to re-brand and build this thing together with our music. We want to build the brand with some newer talent and musically want to be able to push the envelope. We’re not looking to be a label that fits the form; we’re looking to branch out and develop artists that can be diverse so the brand can have its own identity. Eventually, we will be doing more of the MATTER+ branded events, but for right now, we are focusing on re-branding, establishing the artists, and developing the sound of the label. From time to time, you will see us throw an event with venues and cities we have an amazing connection with, so the event means just a bit more.
How has the evolution of the electronic music industry influenced your approach to producing and running a label?
Avision: The evolution of the electronic industry has influenced us to go in a route that may not be as mainstream. We both feel that there is a bit of a musical gap at the moment, as things have become a bit more conventional. Although the explosion of electronic music within the last decade has been amazing, we want to shed more light on the underground sound and push the city where we are from (NY).
What have you been up to in the five years since the last MATTER+ release, and how did that affect your creative process for your ‘Chemical’ EP?
Victor Calderone: Besides going through the pandemic due to a health diagnosis, I also decided to take a step back, focus more on my health, and spend time with my family. After being away from the studio for some time, that’s when we decided to get back into the studio and finish what we started. I was re-energized, motivated and inspired to dive into the creative process for the Chemical EP.
Looking back over the MATTER+ catalogue, have any specific releases stood out for you regarding echoing the brand’s ethos?
Victor Calderone: Looking back at the MATTER+ catalogue, I can’t pinpoint just one release. Over the past eight years, the label developed into something I always wanted to represent. I always tried to select records that I would connect with and see my fans enjoy. The artists who have been involved with the label’s previous releases are all super talented and helped me bring the brand to life.
How do you balance running a label with your music production and touring schedules, and what are some challenges you’ve faced?
Avision: Running the label, working on music, and touring can definitely eat up your year. I blink, and my week is over sometimes, lol. Although Victor and I are a team and we have no problem balancing our priorities. We also have a team behind us to help with all of the logistics and behind-the-scenes work. There are many texts, calls, and emails that go out throughout the week, but it all comes with a reward. For us, it never feels like work.
What sets MATTER+ apart from other labels in the industry, and how do you plan to continue to differentiate yourselves in the future?
Victor Calderone: The difference between MATTER+ and the rest of the labels in the industry is we will take risks, we won’t fit the form of one genre, and the artists on the label will be willing to push the boundaries as well. We want all our artists to have some serious chops because this isn’t for clout – money is not the focus, and this brand is for us to shed light on the true up-and-coming talent that can represent our brand in an impactful way.
What can we expect from upcoming releases on the MATTER+ label, and are there any collaborations or featured artists you’re particularly excited about?
Avision: We are still planning the remainder of the year. So far, we’re starting off the label with the Chemical EP, and then we have a collaboration EP from Victor & Mykol called “Club Life”, which also includes a remix from myself. Then I will be coming back with a collaboration EP with Xander called “Whatever”, and towards the end of the summer, we will have a VA coming out with some fresh talent from NY, which we are really excited to present.
How has your relationship evolved throughout creating and releasing the ‘Chemical’ EP and re-launching the brand?
Victor Calderone: We’ve always had a close relationship, being that we’re related. The EP has definitely brought us together even more as we always shared a bond over music, and now that we are partnering on the label, there is no way we can get rid of each other, LOL.
What are your ultimate goals for MATTER+, and what role do you hope it will play in the future of electronic music?
Avision: The goals for Matter+ are endless, but we will hone in on building our sound and developing the brand. We obviously want to host events/stages and build this together as much as we can to make our brand a mainstay in the industry. Musically we want people to pull our records 20 years from now and say, “damn, that was such a classic.”
Victor Calderone & Avision’s ‘Chemical’ EP is available to buy/stream from 26th May. You can listen to an exclusive ‘Intro Mix’ of the lead track and pre-order the EP here: https://fanlink.to/MAT015chemical
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