Suite Grooves – Influential Tracks #1: Mat KVon (Parachute Youth)
Hello and welcome to the first episode of Suite Grooves: Influential Tracks. Our guest for the first episode is Mat KVon who is one half of Parachute Youth. Mat used to work as an Avionics Technician in the Australian Air Force, hence the name Parachute Youth. He met Johnny Castro at a party that wasn’t really happening, the two started talking and then left the party and wrote their 2012 indie smash hit ‘Can’t Get Better Than This’. They had success with the track here in Australia and overseas, so they eventually moved to Europe to tour and promote their music, but they broke up 2 years later. They’ve reformed this year and they’ve started playing gigs again, and re-releasing their hit song, but this time calling it ‘Better Than This’ as it gets a re-touch from Johnny Summit. I had a chat with Mat KVon, which you can hear on the Suite Grooves New Releases Podcast #1, he did a special mix for his upcoming gig at the time in Brisbane. And I was talking to him about his influences, so in the end I actually asked him, ‘Can you just mention or write down your Top 10 influential tracks and tell me why they’re so special. He did a great job, he recorded it all in one go, but I’ve actually cut it up, and put the tracks, his top 10 tracks in-between him introducing each one. It’s a great top 10! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. You can either sit back relax, but I’m sure for a few of them you’re going to have to get up and dance. So enough talking from me, I’ll hand you over to Mat KVon.
Hi, you’re with Mat from Parachute Youth. Recently, I’ve been speaking with Sharif Galal and he’s asked me to list out my top 10 Most Influential tracks. So, it’s been a bit of a thought process to really list 10 tracks that have really influenced me and Parachute Youth production. So, he goes in no particular order. And I guess just for context, the way I thought about this was if I can remember where I was, when I heard this song for the first time, it must be pretty influential. So here goes. It is in no particular order.
1– New Order ‘Blue Monday’
But for number one I did feel especially strong about New Order ‘Blue Monday’. I’d love this track ever since I heard it as a young boy in the 80s. I remember seeing the crazy film clip and just thinking how different this song was from anything else that I’d really heard at the time, especially in Australia, where pub rock was really dominating every venue in the 80s and 90s. The tension of the sequence synth in the intro to the bassline to the unmistakable drumline, Kraftwerk sample and eclectic vocals. There are a few songs that can really define an era and this song certainly defined the 80s for me I love Joy Division as much as I love New Order and I completely respect changing direction after you know Ian Curtis tragically passed so yeah, definitely an influence and massive influence that song for me.
2- Daft Punk ‘Da Funk”
Number two, Daft Punk ‘Da Funk’. It’s early 90s and I’m in my living room watching rage in the morning. This weird human sized dog appears on the screen and right from the get go. He’s just trying to find his space in the world and no less in New York City. You know, I changed schools a lot growing up due to my family moving around, so watching this film like film clip, or music video rather, still resonates with me today when I watch it, as I’ve always felt like I’ve been trying to find my feet. When I heard Da Funk, it was really the first time I’d heard electronic music, and a song it certainly still makes me dance today. You know, there’s no lyrics, just great individual parts of the song. I was hooked immediately and I don’t know any DJ worth their salt that has not had a moment with this song.
3- Cut Copy ‘Future’
Number three Cut Copy ‘Future’. It’s 2003 peak Modular Recording’s era. Everyone wanted to be signed with Modular and my friends and I were throwing parties in Newcastle while I was at uni. It was just such an epic time for indie dance music and especially for the fact that Australian artists were a massive part of it. Seeing Cut Copy, live on many occasion is just a memory that will be forever in my mind in my heart. I love the vocals I love how they pay homage to 80s music in a completely rejuvenated and honest way. And I just really love this song ‘Future’.
4- The Presets ‘Girl In The Sea’
Number four, The Presets ‘Girl In The Sea’. Again, I still have to remind myself that you know Johnny and I were fortunate enough to support The Presets on the album tour of Pacifica. The song is so emotive and you know Julian’s voice has so much conviction and it reminds me of Mark Seymour from the Hunters & Collectors on ‘True Tears Of Joy’ which is you know certainly another song I would have loved to put on this list but The Presets was such a breath of fresh air at the time you know, the way the radio waves were certainly dominated you know by Regurgitator Powderfinger, Jebediah etc in terms of you know Australian bands now great bands as well but The Presets which is so powerful and raw and yeah just I think they’re a huge influence on us.
5- Simple Minds ‘Promised You A Miracle’
Track number five in this list would be Simple Minds ‘Promised You A Miracle’. For me this track has everything it’s got vocals with conviction, slamming drums delivering only the way Simple Minds can. Everyone obviously loves ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’, but I thought this track was more honest to their sound. It’s so uplifting it’s still on heavy rotation for me these days. And it could be released this year and still sound relevant as far as I’m concerned.
6- The Prodigy ‘Voodoo People’
Track number six The Prodigy ‘Voodoo People’. I mean, wow. You know, I’m at high school I’m listening to my Walkman and I’ve got this on repeat. I actually made a tape of this song loop over loop over loop. And it was so I didn’t have to rewind, you know the tape back every time I wanted to listen to it because I just loved the song so much. You know that that crazy synth hook, you know, the, you know? What massively wild drumline? It’s like almost, you know, anxiety inducing. Seeing that music video as a teenager it was just so captivating. I really started to explore more electronic music because of the Prodigy and Daft Punk. And it also led me to the Chemical Brothers Aphex Twin, Air, The Avalanches etc. So yeah, great track ‘Voodoo People’.
7- Air ‘Kelly Watch The Stars’
Seven Kelly – Air, ‘Kelly Watch The Stars’. This song is just so cosmically romantic, magical and uplifting. Every time I hear it, I get, you know, transported back to the 90s and the ups and downs of being a teenager and this song was just always there on Triple J and rage. Moon Safari, you know, is a bit like, you know, The Avalanches albums ‘Since I Left You’ it’s just two albums that really sum up my teenage years.
8- Dirty Vegas ‘Days Go By’
Number eight Dirty Vegas ‘Days Go By’. It’s 2001. I’m 20 years old. I’m in the Air Force. And I’m away on a trip and I walk into this tiny club or bar in Townsville. While we’re away. It was called embassy and this DJ is playing these records and I hear this tune. And also, Alan Braxe’s and Fred Falk’s ‘Intro’ for the first time, and my mind was blown. It was just from this moment, I started discovering the art of digging records. And I just knew I wanted to start playing some DJ sets. And you know, you know, seeing that set was really where I discovered the power of a great DJ set, and how good songs can be made to sound great. So yeah, the next week I bought turntables and a mixer and a sound system and I was practicing every moment I could you know mixing records really badly. So yeah, Dirty Vegas ‘Days Go By’ great tune.
9- Flock of Seagulls ‘I Ran’
Number nine Flock of Seagulls ‘I Ran’. This song is just to me a great love song. The vocals are delivered with so much belief. I mean, this guy really obviously fell for a girl and I just love the drums the delayed guitars, dreamy synth pads and again this song just sounds so current after all of these years it’s definitely a great driving song as well.
10- LCD Soundsystem ‘Dance Yourself Clean’
Number 10 LCD Soundsystem ‘Dance Yourself Clean’. I mean if I could have a beer with anyone it would be James Murphy. I just can’t believe how right LCD Soundsystem sound in a world of obvious music. They just came in blazing with originality and genuine influence to create absolute magic. This track is always blasting in my car, you know that sequence synth intro, softly spoken lyrics and then boom, like, we’re just yeah, there’s this huge snare roll. And we’re dancing to an epic baseline and James Murphy belting out vocal vocals with you know, his utmost authenticity. So yeah, that’s 10 tracks that are huge influence on me and yeah, give them a whirl. And yeah, enjoy. Thanks very much.