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Ali Wilson and Matt Smallwood get put in the TID Hotseat!

Reported by Jess @ Trackitdown on December 15, 2006

 Ali Wilson and Matt Smallwood have shone out in the last year as two of the most successful young producers to team up and release upfront hard dance and techno.

They have made a huge mark on the scene already and Trackitdown caught up with the boys to find out what they had planned for 2007.

TID: Ali, at the tender age of 18 you were talent spotted and asked to play at Camden Palace for Frantic. Matt, you begun DJing at the age of 16 and at the age of 17 you got your first residency at The Collosseum in London. Who influenced you and inspired you both to get involved in the scene at such young ages?

MATT: Well DJ wise Tony de Vit and Steve Thomas were my main two inspirational figures as I used to go to Trade most weeks and was just blown away by their sound and presence! Also my close friends were the ones who first got me into the whole clubbing scene, so I have them to thank (Or blame!) for a lot of it!

ALI: I used to go to Peach most weeks and just fell in love with the atmosphere of the place! I saw many DJs such as Armin Van Buuren tear the place apart and fancied a crack at it myself!

TID: What styles of music first interested you the most?

MATT: Well like I said I used to go to Trade a lot when I first started going out so Hard House and Techno were my order of the day back then! Although now I’m getting a bit older, the speed of my desired sound track is a tad groovier and has slowed somewhat!

ALI: Originally I was into The Prodigy and The old School sound from around the mid to late 90’s then progressed onto Drum and Bass, then into the Trance scene, onto some Hard House and now a bit of all the above! Variety is the spice of life eh!

TID: How did the two of you meet?

MATT: We met at Trinity @ The Chunnel club where I was a resident. Basically one of Ali’s friends was putting on a night that he wanted me to play at so they came to see me at Trinity for a chat.

ALI: We found out that we lived 5 minutes away from each other and became drinking buddies, and we still are!
TID: What was your first joint venture in the dance scene?

MATT: Well we were both residents for XLR-8 back around the time of 2001 and used to play b2b sets quite often for them. They were wicked days, XLR-8 was a crazy, crazy party and we have some great memories from them!

ALI: Yeah they were crazy days indeed! Then our first venture on vinyl was on Nukleuz ‘Let The Games Begin’ also back in 2001.

TID: Since then you have worked on several tracks together gaining a unique sound and a massive following. How do you think your sound has developed since your first joint production?

ALI: It’s quite strange when I listen back to stuff we did 4 or 5 years ago and hear how things have changed! I think our sound has matured a lot, obviously we’re heavily into our Techno and Tech Trance now rather than the old Hard Housey kind of sound that we used to be into, so things are a lot slower these says!

MATT: Obviously studio skills have developed over the years too meaning that the overall production is slicker and more complex, and we tend to experiment more now and push a few boundaries!

TID: You have a new release coming out on Ali’s label, Tekelec, can you give us a tip off about the style and sounds we can expect to hear?

MATT: The basis is always Techno when we are in the studio, but we include various different influences in each track, and these influences spawn mainly from the likes of Electro and Trance.

ALI: On this occasion Telekinetic is the Trancier track, Hi-Fi-Ve is the funkier of the three and Cobra is a deeper affair! Something for all the family! Hehe!

TID: When asked for his top producers of the year in The DJ Mag Top 100 poll, Carl Cox said ‘Ali Wilson and Matt Smallwood on TEKELEC, their productions haven’t left my box!’ How does it feel to have such a long standing Legend praise you to the hilt?

ALI: Obviously we were both over the moon when we heard this news! We were aware that he was supporting TEKELEC heavily and licensed some of our tracks to various compilations, but we wasn’t expecting anything like that!

TID: Who are your musical heroes?

ALI: Definitely The Prodigy and a good old bit of Freddy Mercury!!

MATT: I was really into The Shamen when I was around 10 or 11 so MR C is a bit of a hero to me I guess!

TID: You are both still in your 20s. Do you see yourselves being involved in the scene forever and in what directions do you want to move in within the scene?

MATT: I still love doing what I do as much now as I did ten years ago! I would like to continue with what I’m doing with regards to DJing and Production, but I would also like to venture into the written side of things. I’ve always had an interest in writing/Media/PR etc, and I would eventually like to use my knowledge and passion of the scene to get into that if I can.

ALI: Yeah I definitely want to continue onwards and upwards with the label and concentrate on getting my album recorded, which should hopefully be out around Spring Time 2007!

TID: We are rapidly heading for the close of 2006. You’ve already told us your highlights of the year so what about new years resolutions? What do you really hope to achieve in 2007?

MATT: Haha! I try not to make new years resolutions, as they never normally last past the second week in January! Although I have managed to quit smoking since July so that’s my little good deed for the year already, which means I can misbehave even more in 2007! The TEKELEC tour will continue into 2007 so keep your eyes and ears peeled for more info!!

ALI: I’m determined to get myself back down the gym and work off 2006’s intake! (Being a Dad makes you pile on the pounds!) I will have a new online shop on my website where you will be able to buy all things TEKELEC!