TFword in Conversation With Matt Fax

Following the release of his third studio album, we had a chat with the progressive house wizard about the release, his journey, the evolution of his sound and lots more.

Over the years, progressive house has gone from being one of the most popular dance music sounds a decade ago to arguably being the leading style in nearly everything that is being made on the mainstream and underground end of the scene. For a genre so popular, artists have to be on top of their game with every release they make in order to stand out from the masses, let alone be called a pioneer of the genre’s modern-day exploits.

Starting his journey over a decade ago, the French DJ and producer’s unparalleled concoction of smooth, melodic mixture of trance, progressive house, and techno has rightly placed Matt Fax alongside the modern pioneers of the genre. After phasing out from his Mike Duz moniker, Matt Fax began releasing his music on Enhanced Music’s sub-label Colorize before landing some of progressive house’s most emblematic releases on labels like Armada, & Anjunabeats, Garuda, and Statement!, before setting up his own Chromattic imprint last year.

After releasing two genre-defining long plays on Colorize, Matt Fax delivered his fourth studio album ‘Story of the Fall’ on his label, which is a representation of the progressive synth melodies and driving basslines he has been pioneering through the years.

A chance to speak with Matt Fax after the release of his album was an opportunity we simply couldn’t miss. So, we sat down with the revered Frenchman to learn more about his album; starting with his thoughts on how he feels the release has taken shape.

“It feels great. After three years of work that has gone into making this album, to finally put this one out is an incredibly satisfying feeling. The first few singles from the album received great reception and now I am looking forward to how people receive the full album.”

After releasing three progressive house magnum opuses in the form of ‘Contrast’ in 2017 and ‘Progressions’ in 2020 and ‘X’ in 2022, we asked Matt Fax how his latest one feels different from the previous four; and here is what he had to say:

“This one feels quite different because, in my previous albums, I would write a bunch of tunes and then pick the best ones to add to the album. This time, I wanted to do things slightly differently and make the album more of a story and a journey. It’s not just a collection of tracks anymore; there is a purpose behind every tune that is a part of this album.”

Matt Fax started working on the album three years ago, which was the time when the whole world was facing extended periods of isolation during COVID-19. While a big source of income was taken away for artists due to the cancellation of shows, it gave them the creative explore their creative abilities with greater freedom and expression. For Matt Fax, however, it was slightly different.

“The whole lockdown period during COVID forced me to sort of lock myself in the studio and that is when I decided to use my love for making music as a form of therapy. But it’s not just this; there were numerous external factors that transpired in the last three years that have led to the album’s release and ‘Story Of The Fall’ has given me the chance to articulate my emotions through music.”

During the conversation, Matt Fax mentioned that he had road-tested the album prior to its release and shared his expectations regarding how people would react to it. “When I was playing a couple of tracks from the album, especially ‘Abyss’, which I have been playing for the past couple of years and the reaction was fantastic. Their reaction gave me hope that the album will be successful when it is released.”

We were keen to learn about how Matt Fax’s amazing journey began; and in our conversation, he shared a quirky fact about his alias that we found quite interesting. “My journey started 11 years ago when I was producing under a different alias called Mike Duz, which I didn’t really like. It was more of an electro house alias, but I wanted to start something new which resonates with the style and sound I believe in and that is when it all started. The name Matt Fax came about when I had listened to a Mat Zo – Bipolar and Jeremy Olander – Fairfax. I picked up the Matt from Mat Zo and Fax from Jeremy’s tune, and voila”

Matt Fax’s trailblazing journey has ensured that he inspires many generations of producers, but we were keen to know the definitive moment in Matt’s career when he decided to take the progressive house route and how he believes his sound has evolved in the last decade. “When I started making progressive house, I didn’t think to myself that I am going to make a career out of it. I just produced it because I loved the sound, but then I saw progressive was evolving quite heavily and the genre’s rise sort of helped my cause as well.”

Continuing how he feels his sound has evolved, Matt Fax said, “I was 15 years old when I started Matt Fax and I was a huge fan of Eric Prydz, and I started using his tracks as a blueprint for my tunes, which I felt wasn’t the best approach because it wasn’t my challenging own creativity. So, I started taking influences from other genres like Drum & bass and followed artists like Noisia, The Caracal Project, IMANU. Later on, I started making an effort to make my sound more futuristic and channel the grittiness of bass music into progressive house. That’s where I am now.”

Closing our conversation, we asked Matt Fax spoke to us about how he feels progressive house as a genre will evolve going forward “I think it will take the techno route as it moves forward. If you notice, the line between progressive house and melodic techno has been blurred quite heavily. It’s going in the right direction for sure but I would love to see it take a more futuristic route.”

Story of the Fall is out on all streaming platforms via Chromattic.

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