Backcapwoods releases his second full length album As a Matter of Matter
“I’m very excited to have this album out. As a Matter of Matter is my 2nd full length album and by far the most substantial” – Backcapwoods
Cape Town-based electronic musician, producer and DJ, Backcapwoods (Matt Ilbury) has just released his second full-length album As a Matter of Matter.
Over the course of 19 tracks, the album explores everything from 4/4 inspired house grooves, topped with messed-up breaks and squelchy synths to hyperactive poppy maximalism and everything in between.
The album is sure to keep you guessing as songs continuously morph into different directions whilst maintaining an underlying tone that is stylistically unique to Backcapwoods, keeping it both experimental and cohesive.
I caught up with the man behind the music to talk about the new album and his future plan:
You’ve just released your second full-length album ‘As a Matter of Matter’. How has the album been doing and what has been the feedback so far?
Yes, I have just put out a record called ‘As a Matter of Matter’. The album has been doing alright. I mean it’s not easy putting out music in this current climate. There is literally so much music out there and so much talent that gets swept under the rug. I struggle to keep up with my favourite artists let alone find new ones. There’s not much filtering the trash from the gems. It’s also a question of what format to choose, the streaming platforms are all competing and for the most part they treat the artists abysmally.
I really wanted to do physical copies for this project, it’s just that we are in one of those transitional periods. Most people don’t buy CDs nowadays whereas in the past you could play a show and sell them at the gig. There’s been a recent fetishisation of tapes too. Which is cool I guess but again, super niche. I’d dig to do some tapes in a limited press maybe. My favourite format is still vinyl though. I would love to put out some stuff on vinyl, it’s just really expensive to produce. I think I’m gonna have to do a white label or something soon. I’ve chatted to other producers about doing a split EP for small-batch release which is probably the best way to start.
How you roll out the record is also pivotal. I think I was maybe a bit trigger happy with getting this one out. People want the whole package instantly. They love videos. I probably need some of those. The feedback I have gotten personally from people I look up to and admire and respect in the business has been all I really needed from this honestly.
Tell me about this album. Is there a theme, who worked with you on it and what is the meaning behind the name?
I really dig super conceptual albums when done right. I think my previous album ‘Hornbills & Hellfire’ was actually more conceptual and thematic and maybe even personal. This album is sonically more focused though, which is what it’s all about to me. I love just building worlds of sound and seeing where people take it and go with it themselves. Like a track that one person might find catchy and melodic, others might find disjointed and tweaked out. I love ambiguous sounds. This is partially why all songs on this album have alternative titles too, so that the listener may be less presumptuous or influenced.
The album name was initially one of the dozens of track titles. When naming the tracks at the end from that list, I thought that one was definitely more of an album title. I think it’s right for what I was going for with this project. I worked solo on this album.
The bulk of it was written in a few months. some tracks were super old beat sketches from years ago that I always wanted to rework properly, others were written in like a night. I worked in different places and head-spaces throughout the album until I felt sick. Then I took a break and went back and mixed and edited things from a refreshed and focussed perspective.
So, since you’ve started out in 2014, what has changed when it comes to how you produce music and especially your sound?
Well, I’ve always been into tons of different types of music, I believe there is good and bad forms of everything. So this polarised view of music initially left me kind of confused as to what I was actually trying to make. I’m definitely more focused on what it actually is that I personally like in a song and try to draw from those emotive devices. Previously I was more into trying to deconstruct the sounds of my favourite producers. This is what I believe makes so much music stagnant. It takes one trailblazer to set the tone and then you get everyone doing that with “how to sound like…” or “…type beat” or “… drum pack” (even the plugin developers keep an ear out for this) and endless YouTube playlists of this stuff until something fresh wipes that slate and it starts all over again.
On the flip side, I’m also more conscious of the fact that people want to be able to recognise what makes my sound unique and see how I progress with it. It’s like before it was so unfocused that it sounded like a compilation album, whereas now I try to keep certain elements consistent but give myself enough leeway to explore new territories so that it doesn’t get too tiresome.
The writing process is the same except now I’m more aware of when I should be writing versus doing sound design or organising sets or whatever. I’m smarter with my time and I know now that I can’t be forceful with it.
What do you hope people will take from the new album?
I hope people listen to it in its entirety openly and that’s about it. They can make what the will from it. I hope it takes them on as much of an adventure as I had making it.
Besides other artists, what inspires you to make music?
Oh everything! People, places, relationships, experiences, love, loss, the natural, the supernatural, technology, art and the compulsive need to keep at it. It keeps me happy and sane.
You are based in Durban. How are you finding the local music scene and especially the electronic music scene in this city?
Well I’m in Cape Town nowadays. But the Durban scene is dope. I have buddies there that all play music and are all really good at what they do. There is some nice hip hop, rad bands and on the electronic front, some awesome stuff. My buddy Josh (Palmdrive) is there as well as my buddy Jonty (treflips). Keanan (Jazzteq) and Ouldskul and Sokool all make dope hip hop beats. There’s lots of good energy that side.
Where can we catch you live next?
With ThabotheArtist and Palmdrive we doing a tour along the coast from Durban to Cape Town.
4th October-Winston- Durban
5th October-Backline -Margate (DJ set)
6th October-Jungle Monkey backpackers-Port Shepstone 8th October-SSS-Grahamstown
10th October-Trenchtown-Cape Town
14th October-Evol- Cape Town
Probably will have some guests at the Durban and Cape Town shows. Pull in!
Lastly, what are your plans for the rest of the year and 2019?
After this tour, I’ve got some normal day to day stuff to deal with. Then going to try and relocate (Still in Cape Town). I got some collaborative work in the pipelines. I’m looking to work with the right vocalists too. Would dig to hit the UK for a few months next year and play some shows so I’m pushing for that.
As A Matter of Matter is available now on digital platforms including: