“The tension of it all, the wash of emotion that is numbing…yet time still clicks by and you are basically just a witness to yourself.” –Death Juke on ‘Airplane Exits’
“Death Juke” better known as Brian T. Matos, released his first studio album and introduced us to his distinctive method of merging sound, aesthetics, and the art of storytelling while honing in on his innocent vulnerability. As both a producer and musician, Death Juke’s life experiences and love for sonics have pushed him both to perform and create outside of his comfort zone.
The ten-track project is a multi-layer instrumental narrative that represents “specific and esoteric feelings” that Death Juke experienced while producing each song. Specifically referring to heartbreak and growing pains, Airplane Exits was beyond relatable for me. Also reflecting on the death of his dear friend Mikal just a year ago, Brian tapped into his emotions and continuously strives to push the bar:
“The only way to be happy is to make others happy. The only way to fulfill your true purpose in this life is to learn from all your mistakes and project that information to others and enrich their lives.” (quote by Mikal that hangs directly above Brian in the studio)
After writing, recording, and mixing his second project for two years (and completing it before its release on August 31, 2016), Brian’s laptop crashed. Fortunately, all of his files were recovered, and the unfortunate mishap motivated Death Juke to “build a beast of a computer”, as an investment. Anyone that knows Brian personally would agree that his work [and music] is his world. Brian also works full time as a special needs instructor.
“Sometimes the world does things we can’t account for.” –Brian to his students after Trump won the election
Brian often makes references that bridge the gap between his love life and personal relationship with his girlfriend (MPC), Nadia. Understanding that the key to a successful relationship is for both parties to know themselves individually, and to get comfortable with being alone.
Even as a respected introvert, Death Juke has had the chance to perform the album and other unreleased tracks, live. With the support of friends and family, Brian has performed at the Café Mustache showcase, Open Beats, hosted by Fess Grandiose.
Death Juke’s use of soul, hip hop, alternative, and electronic synchronization illustrates the story of what has molded him into a producer, setting the standard for a new wave of music. It is [his] passion (and patience) that brought A Space Age Love Story to life and allowed him to reveal another layer of himself.
Death Juke’s favorite song on A Space Age Love Story is “Juke”, which is inspired by the musical style illustration of Burial. Death Juke describes the drum sample as ‘out of the ordinary’ and ‘deceptively simple.’ The build and transition represent his abstract sound and courage to merge different genres with a blend of Chicago’s trend of, well, juking.
“#14” is Death Juke’s second favorite song from the album, which is solely based on an inside joke between he and his friend Lamon.
A Man and His MPC: A Space Age Love Story is both before and after its time, thanks to Death Juke’s melodically-diverse range of sound and storyline content. If you’ve ever been in love, heartbroken, or if you have a soft spot in your heart for instrumentals, this project has your name written all over it. It’s not everyday that we hear music that doesn’t sound like something we have already listened to.