Hew, or Matthew Williams as he is known to his friends, first cut his teeth in the DJ world whilst he was resident at Great Friday and Fundamental in Manchester. Both of the aforementioned nights were very diverse in terms of their music policy and both nights gave him the perfect opportunity to perfect his skills in the DJ booth. He has had the opportunity to play in venues along side such DJs as Aeroplane, Hector Couto, Cari Lekebusch and Alan Fitzpatrick. Happy to play pretty much any genre of underground music from warm up to peak set, he decided to create Cassini with friend and artist Kole. Creating Cassini allowed them both to create a platform for developing their own night in Manchester, as well as running a successful podcast series. We caught up with Matthew in mid September to discuss his musical background and find out more about Cassini.
Why did you decide to start your own night in Manchester?
The main reason was so that we could play whatever we wanted, we could book the artists we respected, and everything could be carefully mapped out. In my opinion, there are only a few club nights in Manchester that give the opportunity to listen to proper dance floor club music. Its all filled with balearic / commercial summer anthems. There is no thought gone into the flow of the night, and the warm up DJ’s just want to play the current ‘big’ tracks.We want to bring proper clubbing back to the dance floor.
Can you tell us more about who else is involved with Cassini?
Cassini is ran by myself and my friend Laurence (his artist name is Kole) who i met while both working in the same club. We both had a similar thought process to music, and life in general. At the start of this year Laurence asked me “Do you think it’s achievable to run a podcast, club night and label successfully?” About 2 weeks later i was presented with ‘Cassini Podcast 001’ and from that point on we worked together on the weekly podcast and started creating our vision for Cassini.
What do you want from Cassini as a night and what is your music policy?
We want Cassini to be about clubbing. No messing about, music designed to make you move on the dance floor. We want a relaxed atmosphere, and hope to build friendships with those that support our music. We want the whole night to flow seamlessly. It’s the anticipation of when it’s going to get heavier / faster, or when a track gets played that shifts the tone that people love, most people probably don’t even realise this. As far as music policy goes in the club, we love Techno, and everything about it. From the slow dubby, melodic / progressive stuff, all the way to peak time bombs and more industrial stuff, all with the dance floor in mind.
Cassini is probably best known for the podcast series that was available via Soundcloud. Is this something you are going to continue?
We’ve decided to take things down a different path now, we’re going to create a new mix series based on different themes. We’re going to write short stories / descriptions based on things we value in life. Each mix will be like a chapter in a book, each one telling it’s part of the story following on from the other. Things might sound very pleasant but then suddenly become very dark. This mix series is designed for the home listener, and so you don’t have to follow the same rules as if you were playing a set in a club.
You have hosted nights at Joshua Brooks in Manchester but I believe you are currently looking at new venues. Why are you wanting to move and what are you looking for from a new venue?
Joshua Brooks is a great club, but we’re not sure it’s right for us. We need something a little different, so that everyone can feed off each others energy. We’re also looking at bars for a more relaxed approach, as more of a place for like minded people to come and catch up, have a drink and share ideas.
Why did you want to become a DJ?
I never really intended it to happen. A friend of mine moved up to Manchester and he had no room in his own place to keep his decks, so he left them at my flat. Being naturally curious i wanted to see what it was all about, so he showed me the basics, it took me ages to learn how to beat match, and then i guess i just stuck at it. I loved the idea of making people dance, and appreciate my style of music.
Who has influenced you the most in terms of music and why?
If i was to pick one person for the most inspiring i would have to say Hernan Cattaneo as everything he does seems to flow perfectly, his best work in my opinion is the Renaissance CD ‘Parallel’ disc 1. It’s so melodic and just takes you on a journey, but electronic music aside, and for who writes their own music i’d have to say some old school Metallica and then some death metal bands like Dimmu Borgir, their stuff is incredible. i just love the energy and the mood that they can create. Dimmu especially, as they work with orchestras and nearly every track sounds epic. I don’t agree with them lyrically, but then i don’t really listen to lyrics anyway. Another song writer i’ve always loved is Joe Satriani. I probably only discovered him as i’m a guitar player, but he has some amazing material.
Are you interested in producing your own music and if so have you started/completed any tracks?
A friend has been helping me for a couple of months teaching me things, but i’m struggling to commit as much as i should do at home. I’ve got about 6 unfinished tracks that would all need massive amounts of work to get them to a standard that i’m happy with. I am considering a production course, if only just to focus me, as well as learn, obviously. I definitely want to have my music released.
There has been much talk about the term EDM. What are your thoughts about the term and do you feel it has a positive or negative influence on the industry?
I’ve only really known about the term since the start of the year. I thought EDM might be people’s introduction into electronic music like Deep House, and that they might then be able to advance their taste, but it doesn’t seem that way at all. It just seems to be a money making machine. I do cringe when i hear that horrible electro synth sound. I think it’s definitely bad for the industry as it makes it a lot harder for passionate promoters to cover costs when all the kids are being ushered toward this horrible image of dance music.
What are your thoughts on the dance music industry at present and where do you see it going?
I think it’s currently over saturated with a lot of mediocre DJ’s trying to make a name for themselves and going about it the wrong way. I’m not saying i’m amazing by any means, and that i do everything right, but there doesn’t seem to be the respect that there should be. A guy sent me a mix a while ago and asked for some feedback, so i was more than happy to, the mix wasn’t really to my taste, and i gave him my opinion objectively and if only to help. He was so self involved, and totally disagreed with what i said. The point i’m making is that i don’t think people are honest enough and don’t support each other in order to help each person get to where they want to be. There seems to be too much emphasis on how good you look while standing behind the decks. I don’t think there is enough local talent in Manchester. Maybe i’d have a different opinion if i lived somewhere else.
What is the strangest/funniest thing that has happened to whilst DJing?
Not so funny at the time, but i played at a venue in a small place near Leeds, and I’ve never felt so threatened. A middle aged woman grabbed me by the throat and intensively cursed at me as I wouldn’t play Disclosure – White Noise. It was a strange place, ha.
Lastly, do you have anything new in the pipeline you can tell us about?
Nothing really, I’m trying to find myself somewhere so that i have the opportunity to play some real proggy stuff, and that i’ve decided to film most of my mixes going forward. I have also filmed this mix. It should be on Youtube if you type in Hew (Cassini) – This is Progressive – October mix. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. It’s very appreciated. :)
Coeter one – Neun (Original mix)
Silvie Loto – Fluction (Original mix)
Krisz Deak – 33 (Original mix)
Urbano – Traumwelt (Transient Target Edit)
Mistral (Original mix)
Truncate – Truncate Dub (Original mix)
Ripperton – Leonors Lango (Radio Slave remix part 1)
Alex Bau – Alpha connection (Original mix)
Talbot Wood – Dream Sequence (Locked Groove remix)
Reggy Van Oers – Sinuosity (Ness remix)
Ixel – Fleck (Original mix)
Kriece – A single Blinking Light (Jay Tripwire Dub)
Leghau – No Name (Original mix)
Kyle Geiger – Renewed Hope (Original mix)
Track of the Night (Original mix)
Depeche Mode – I feel Loved (Roberto Edit)
Dax J – Tremor (Original mix)
Coeter One – Drei (Mattias Fridell Remix)
A. Trebor – No man’s Land (Raffaele Attanasio’s Dub)
Van Edrik – Heaven
Kristian Heikkila – Landskap (Andrea Belluzzi Remix)
Truncate – Diffraction (Original mix)
Takaai Itoh – Dusker (Original mix)
Keiko Laux – Chicken Understood (Truncate Remix)
Walt J – Reborn 1 (DJ Qus Journey towards Birth Remix)
Marco Piovesan – Leadonism (Original mix)
Thinkfreak – Painkiller (Miriam Macri Remix)
DYNO – Aquatika (Luis Junior Remix)