REKIDS boss Matt Edwards reflects on a quarter century of clubbing.
Radio Slave's most recent production is called "I Need Music," and it's basically a 15-minute loop of those words laid over a simple, super-fat house beat. This tells you a lot about Matt Edwards, the UK artist behind Radio Slave and the label REKIDS. In the decades since acid house first hit the UK, Edwards has had an all-consuming love affair with rave culture and its music. He's spent most of his waking life engaging with it in some way—he's played countless gigs around the world, released dozens of records, thrown parties, run labels, and carved out a sound that's identifiably his own.
And yet, despite his achievements, Edwards is still a punter at heart, someone who spends hours in records stores, gobbles up news and reviews online and frequently goes out just for fun (a rarity among DJs of his years and experience). This humble passion is born out in his music. For over a decade, his output as Radio Slave has been a steady stream of unapologetic club tools, engineered for maximum impact, though never in cheap or obvious ways (Dubfire may have added a big breakdown to "Grindhouse," but Edwards' original was just 11 minutes of thumping drums with a Basic Channel-style groove). He's made and played an impressive range of sounds over the years, including ambient as The Machine and Balearic with Joel Martin as Quiet Village. But, as he made clear to Will Lynch in this interview at our Berlin office, the rave remains his main inspiration, and that's not going to change anytime soon.