The Centre of Gravity Music and summer sports festival has invited at least one performer from the centre of the universe this year—or at least the centre of B.C.’s electronic music scene.
Mat the Alien claims he’s not the kind of foreign being one might find buzzing Roswell, New Mexico, but one more likely to lead a sea of fellow UK record junkies through an electronic soundscape in a far off world, like a beach in Ibiza or a dingy basement in the tourist hotspot of Whistler.
Named Mat the Alien for his (initially) almost unintelligible Manchester accent, the Squamish-base electronic music and snowboard enthusiast is well known in the Whistler area where he hosts a weekly music night, Tuesdays at Maxx Fish, and now writes his own music.
“I always just try and contrast sounds,” he said in a telephone interview from the mountain village this week.
On any given night this can mean stepping into a little drum and base, reggae, dance hall, melodic tones, heavy tones, whatever he happens to fancy.
His father owned a record store in the U.K. before he and his family made the move across the Atlantic—the result, he claims, of a ski trip to Austria which spurred a love of snowboarding that led to a foray into the Whistler/Blackcomb area constantly featured in snowboarding magazines.
Now a 37-year-old father himself, he spends his time sampling life in the B.C. mountains; namely snowboarding, mountain biking, and spending a day at a beach on the ocean or a glacier-fed lake among his favourite pastimes.
He has lived in the Sea-to-Sky paradise for 15 years and has made the transition from scratching records to making his own music. Mat’s work is included in the new album from Fort Knox Five, Radio Free D.C., as well as on the Sweatshop Union album. Prospective fans can check him out online at www.matthealien.ca.
This year’s Centre of Gravity line-up includes a wide variety of musicians from Busta Rhymes to DJ Pauly D, Calvin Harris, Chromeo, Bad Boy Bill and Dragonette, to name but a few.
The beach festival runs July 29-31 and includes five feature sports—pro beach volleyball, freestyle mountain biking, FMX (freestyle motocross), wakeboarding and basketball.
Mat the Alien’s July 30 gig is sold out.