Leftroom may be over five years old now, serving as a sturdy source of techno and stripped back house during the latter part of the '00s, but it's only the past 12 months that this British bastion has really separated from the pack. Embracing chunkier house sounds now - slowly but surely - dominating dancefloors worldwide, it's hydroponically spawned the likes of Laura Jones and Sam Russo in recent years, while helping to cultivate the budding talent of Huxley, Gavin Herlihy and Kate Simko with releases over the past few months alone. Proudly perched at the helm of it all is boss Matt Tolfrey, who's taking it next level this summer with his debut artist album 'Word of Mouth'.
In between A&Ring for the imprint he inaugurated in 2006, he's penned releases for Crosstown Rebels, Culprit, Murmur as well as regularly contributing to the Leftroom crop. Now, after throwing parties as far as Miami already this year, Tolfrey is looking forward to a string of dates during the summer that will showcase 'Word of Mouth' alongside the most wanted names on the label's roster.
Kicking off on 2nd June at Gist (Hooga, Chelmsford), and with dates pencilled for Sankeys, Watergate, Fabric, plus a US tour in September, it is teeing up to become one of the hottest house tickets of the summer, so we wanted it straight from the horse's (word of) mouth...
How's it going, Matt?
“I am all good, I am just packing my bags to head out to Detroit for DEMF. We always arrive in Chicago and drive to Detroit through all these crazy truck stops and tackle 1.5 litre cans of Redbull and dodgy Fried Chicken, that actually tastes amazing.”
Are you looking forward to playing at Gist?
“I’m always looking forward to playing at new parties.”
What have you already heard about the night?
“I spoke to Barclay (Claude VonStroke) and Dan (Eats Everything) about the party and as you said they said it was carnage. I love small venues, people know they have to get there early to get in, so you know they are the ones that are really into the music. I help run a party in Nottingham called the Wherehouse which is a similar size, and the vibe there is amazing.”
Have you ever played in Essex before? Do you have any preconceptions?
“I played in Southend recently on a Sunday and it was, let’s say, 'full on'. A lot of people from Essex travel into London to party on the weekends, so I know what to expect. I grew up in the Middle East in a very multi-cultural environment, so I am not one to judge.”
The event will be part of your 'Word of Mouth' album tour. What other dates do you have penned?
“The album tour is being pieced together as we speak, but so far it includes a full US tour in September, Sankeys Ibiza, Watergate, Fabric, Piknic Electronic Festival in Montreal, Moscow, Hungary, and Tunisia to name a few. I’m hoping an Australian leg of the tour is also going to happen in November, I’ve been there before, but never to DJ.”
Tell us about the album. What can we expect?
“‘Word Of Mouth’ will incorporate a healthy dose of vocal tracks and varied musical styles to capture what I feel an artist album should be about. I’ve always wanted to do a collection where each and every track has a special meaning. With ‘Word Of Mouth’ all the track styles, titles and even vocal collaborators have relevance to me personally, to my life and my experiences. One of the most exciting aspects of the album are the two high profile vocal collaborators I have up my sleeve, yet to be announced officially.”
What other Leftroom treats do you have in store?
“The next few EPs we have lined up include, Kate Simko 'Kabuki Drop' with a John Tejada remix, Huxley and Sam Russo 'Jamma’s Basement'. We have a new CD mix series called 'Leftroom Presents', which Laura Jones is tackling first, this comes with three exclusive remixes of old Leftroom tracks by Ryan Crosson, Gavin Herlihy and Sam Russo and myself, and then there is my first single from my album, and future EPs from Waifs & Strays and Odd Parents. So all in all, al ot of treats, a nice £10 pic 'n' mix selection!”
Top tune tip?
“Ryan Crosson’s remix of Gavin Herlihy’s 'C’Mon People', which is forthcoming on the Laura Jones sampler of her Leftroom Presents mix. Gonna be a bomb for the summer.”
Matt Tolfrey's 'Word of Mouth' tour launches on 2nd June at Gist, Chelmsford with Laura Jones and Sam Russo. Read more here.
Copyright Thrust Publishing Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.djmag.com as the source.