June 28, 2021
NERS034: matphilly – i may be through with the past, but the past is not through with me (Track Breakdown)
Multi-talented matphilly isn’t one to conform to the clichés of EDM. And you can tell by his eclectic, diversified, and inspired sound. Out on Nightenjin via all platforms on July 28th, 2021, we’re excited to be presenting matphilly’s debut album, i may be through with the past, but the past is not through with me. The 12-track project comes straight from the heart, as he uses his art to process what he’s been through. In juxtaposition to Matt’s long cheeky song titles (an ode to metal, which is the genre in which he started making music), he digs deep to tell his life story.
“This album is a representation of my chaotic life during my struggles with drugs, depression, anxiety, bipolar, suicide, death of my girlfriend and brother, and my process of getting clean.”-matphilly
With a passion project like this, we felt the only way we could do it justice was by having matphilly himself come and walk us through each track. Keep reading to get insight into the artist’s mind as he poured his soul into his album.
1. “i always thought i would be apart of the 27 club”
This intro is to give you an idea of what chaos I was in. The drug deal dialogue was influenced by Deafheaven’s “Windows,” where the vocalist recorded him picking up drugs on the streets of San Francisco. I wasn’t doing drugs anymore when I made this song, but the sample is pretty spot on with my experience. I was in debt with my dealers and they would get upset with me. Being broke was a constant, but I was so far into my addiction that I couldn’t stop until I had no money left.
2. “Damn That Sucks Alexa Play That’s What You Get By Paramore”
I wanted this song to represent both how I looked on the outside and how I looked on the inside. On the outside, I was happy (the melodic parts), but inside, I felt chaotic (the dubstep drops). This has been who I am forever. Being like “everything is fine” to everyone, but broken and miserable when I’m alone. It’s been the hardest struggle to overcome. The lyrics in the song are supposed to be positive lyrics, but for me I’m using them more ironically. It has the typical “everything is gonna be okay” bullshit line people say to make you feel better, but in reality, it makes you feel even shittier. This is also the first song I wrote since I got clean and shifted my music style.
“Dessbo” is a fun one for me. I like to have my TV playing in the background whenever I’m working and Calebhart42’s Twitch streams are something I frequent. “Dessbo” became a meme in his chats because whenever Caleb would play Megaman x6, he’d throw a death ball (which he pronounces “dessbo”) and I decided to pay tribute to him, Megaman, and his funny Twitch audience through this song. The sample at the end is actually a clip of Caleb talking about the dessbo meme.
4. “I Am So Sad. I Am So Very Very Sad”
This is a skit, influenced by skits you hear in hip-hop albums. I’ve definitely had conversations like this in green rooms and sadly, I know other artists have too. A green room is pretty depressing at times. There are a lot of people drinking and having fun, but a lot of the time, artists do show a more vulnerable side of themselves before they get on stage. The sad part is, it seems the people who are getting drunk and networking are too busy to care. It’s happened to me before. Electronic music culture always boasts about being “PLUR,” but never acts upon it when it counts.
5. “Just Monika” (feat. Laurentini)
“Just Monika” is a name from Doki Doki Literature Club. Funny story: I was in the studio and Laureniti would always be there, saying hi and hanging. So one day I walked into his room to say what’s up and listen to some music. He showed me an early version of this track, I liked the direction it was going, and asked if I could work on it with him. Laureniti doesn’t really release music much (I wish he did—he’s super talented) but I’m glad I could make something with him. I think it has a really fun trap vibe.
6. “You Only Hit Me Up When You Want Me To Get You Into Space Yacht” (feat. Vadim Taver)
I had made this electronica tune for fun. I really had no direction. I got brave one day and messaged Vadim Taver (who’s played guitar in This Day Forward, Poison The Well, and A Life Once Lost) and asked if he would be into writing something with me. I gave him a vibe of what I wanted and the next thing you know, he writes this weird guitar riff that I thought was perfect. This song represents hitting rock bottom and a time was ready to leave this earth. If you listen towards the end, you can hear me reciting my suicide note from 2019. I thought it articulated everything this song is about.
7. “the year summer ended in july”
This is an interlude, but it’s a really important part of the album to me. The voice samples you hear are from a time I was playing a card game with my brother and our friends before he passed. I went through my phone one day and heard them and we were all so happy and life was good. Even though we were in a pandemic, it was moments like that that were special to me. I lost him in July of 2020 and I’m still dealing with his death mentally. I miss him every day. But it feels awesome to put him into my album as a good memory. He was a raver before I was and he was the reason why I stopped playing in hardcore bands and started DJing and producing. I remember when I won the EDC Discovery Project in 2020m he was so happy for me, He went to a bunch of the early EDC LAs and when I won, he was in the YouTube chat roasting me the whole time, haha. It was a great moment for me and I dedicate this to his memory.
8. “This Song Is Thiccer Than Pokimane Dawg”
I sat on this for a while because it wasn’t in my wheelhouse at the time. It wasn’t like the music I normally made. Then, I decided to just stop giving a fuck and make whatever I want. In 2018, I saw GOMMI play a set and I’ve been in love with hard psy ever since. Remembering that set inspired me to make this track. I wouldn’t even have finished this track if it weren’t for Risk-E, who really made me shape the song to what it is. The song title is from TSM Daequan saying subway sandwiches were thiccer than Pokimane, which I would reference when someone would ask me if a bassline was thick. Pokimane is alsos another streamer I watched as background noise and this was made watching her stream, so I wanted to tie her name into it as a thank you.
9. “Dan Marino Should Die Of Gonorrhea And Rot In Hell”
This has to be the oldest song in the album. I wrote it originally as a remix for a friend, but it never released. I dug it up a few years ago, took out the stems, and made it my own. It definitely has my older sound, so it’s my “ode” to the dubstep that shaped who I am as a producer today.
10. “If It Is To Be, It Is Up To Me”
Another skit. This one was based on a conversation I had with my friends Teddy and Erivera when I was clean and trying to figure life out. It’s definitely a different from the last skit, but also the change in my life at the time. I’m feeling better but know that it’s not sunshine and rainbows and probably never will be. But I’ll at least try to stay on the better path I’ve made for myself.
11. “When The Going Gets Tough Ted Cruz Goes To Cancun” (feat. Fedbanger)
This was my ode to complextro. I love older Porter Robinson, Zedd, Lazy Rich, and Mord Fustang; so one random day, I just decided to make myself a song in that style. At the time I had “baked the cake” for the track and showed Fedbanger. He decided to “add the icing” to it and we made a song that gives a modern twist to 2010-2012 complextro. I hope the genre makes a comeback because I wanna make more of it.
12. “Sorry, I Can’t Get You Into Academy LA” (feat. Aaron Marsh)
This is a reprise of track 6, “You Only Hit Me Up When You Want Me To Get You Into Space Yacht” minus the chaos. It’s the sun trying to come up on a gloomy day. A “things are better but things will still be hard sometimes.” Everyone presses us to just be happy, but that’s not real. Lyrically, it’s about all the hardships and problems I’ve faced in my life. And although life really sucks, I’m still here and should make the best of it.
I had emailed Aaron Marsh of my favorite band Copeland (because he praised me for a Copeland remix I made years ago) and asked if he would contribute vocals. I sent him the song and he agreed to perform on it, which made me delighted. Aaron really knocked it out asking me what the song meant and writing something I would hear on a Copeland album. I basically got a Copeland collab and I’ve never been so happy.
This song was also largely by my girlfriend who was murdered back in 2007. We were big Copeland fans and all these years later, I’m still dealing with that terrible day. I thought having Aaron on the song would be something she would be so happy to hear me do. She’s a huge reason why I make music.
Needless to say, this is my favorite track of the album. It’s a great way to end the album, topped off with a sample of film rolling to represent that my story has finally been told.
Arielle Lana is on the PR + Marketing team at Nightenjin. Heavily involved in the music industry, she is also an editorial writer at This Song Is Sick and FUXWITHIT as well as the Head of PR at Bonsai Collective and Denali Records.