"For us the people behind the music are as important as the music itself"
Job Smit is a music professional based in Rotterdam. Besides running his own label, he is also a dj and music programmer for the International Film Festival Rotterdam. We had a chance to talk to him, so enjoy your reading our interview below to find out more about Smit’s work, wide-spanning influences and favourite music.
What was your first foray into the world of electronic music?
I grew up in a small village near Rotterdam. For me it started in the 90s listening to the radio. I used a tape recorder to make my own compilations. Also every week I went to the Free Record Shop to check out the newest releases. In the beginning of the 00’s I started volunteering as a producer at the local radio station called Exxact FM. In the weekends they had a great Italo show hosted by Iventi D’Azzurro.
When did the idea of starting a label begin to take shape? Has it always been something you’ve wanted to do?
Two years ago I started as an in-house promoter (radio/tv/press) for the indie label Caroline. After two years I decided it was time to move on and start my own label and music PR company together with my business partner Ingmar. We have a big network and close working relationships with a broad range of labels, management agencies and artists.
What can you tell us about your Transmit Music project?
Transmit Music started as a live booking agency back in 2016. I managed the bookings for several bands and dj’s. Since the beginning of Operator in 2017 I am hosting my own show called Transmit Music.
What have you learned from your work with Transmit at Operator?
It’s really great to have my own show every month. Thanks to Operator if have met a lot of talented upcoming dj’s and discovered a lot of new music.
Can you pinpoint any early inspirations for Mattan in terms of labels, artists, aesthetics or otherwise? Similarly, can you highlight any formative experiences that led you on the path to its inception?
Inspiration for me are labels like: Dais, Sacred Bones, DFA, Terrible, Dirty Hit and more.
What is your criteria for choosing artists, projects, releases…?
The main criteria for us is that we have to feel it. For us the people behind the music are as important as the music itself.
What is your current trend? What sounds are you interested in?
I really like bands that sing in Dutch like Meetsysteem, Goldband and De Witte Kunst.
Since you started Mattan Records until now, how much has the concept of the label changed?
We started at the beginning of 2020 with the PR side of the company. Initially we wanted to start with releasing music on our own label early 2021. Due to COVID and the current situation we decided to speed things up and are planning our first release in the coming months.
What’s the most satisfying and unsatisfying thing about running a label?
Most satisfying: doing work you love
Most unsatisfying: if it was unsatisfying I would quite my job
What have been your personal highlights and lowlights?
My personal highlight is that we are close to signing the first bands on our label. Of course the lowlight is COVID and it effects on the music industry.
Name a couple of albums that you like and come to mind with the Mattan label in mind.
This are some new releases I am currently listening to:
What is missing from the dance music scene nowadays?
I would like to see more female dj’s and live acts.
Do you think that after the Covid-19 event, the music industry will change?
The music industry has already changed. Unfortunately a lot of people lost their job or income due to COVID. It’s been a crazy year so far but I am confident that also good things will come out of this crisis.
What lesson should we learn from this paralysis?
That we should not take anything for granted and be gratefull.
What tracks would you recommend us to liven up the confinement?
I would recommend the album “Postcard Music” by William Cashion (bassist from Future Islands).
He just released a beautiful video for the song “Vizcaya”.
What’s your favourite “save the dancefloor” song?
What are your future plans?
I like to live in the moment.
Tell me one record that you wish you had signed.
John Maus - We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves
Describe the label in 5 Words.
“Where words fail, music speaks.” ― Hans Christian Andersen