Koza—first name Matt; second name undisclosed—is born and raised in Cheshire, northern England. His upbringing was “just normal northern working class,” he says. “Small town, divorced parents, nobody was particularly musical or artistic or anything, I'd just hear my mum listening to Madonna and Michael Jackson on the radio.” The first time he ever came in contact with music that felt like something more than just background was actually Nirvana, but then he found happy hardcore and the fiercer strains of drum & bass of the mid '90s, at the age of 12, and fell for them hard. Interest in school lessened; music and the associated indulgences provided all his focus. Matt spent all of his youth DJing, playing in bands, getting wasted, driving around the countryside listening to the rave shows on Manchester's Key 103 radio, rarely going out but reading about rave culture in magazines.
Once the gateway to excess and intoxication, music also provided a way out: eager to produce, Koza began studying and found his horizons broadening. “I met guys with long hair with guitars who listened to Squarepusher,” he laughs, “and that's when I started to put the two sides of my life together: making music, which before that had only been about playing guitar, and the club side, which up 'til that point had just been about enjoying the records."
In 2013, ready for release, Koza founded Maslo, inspired by the DIY approach to releasing music. Four EPs ensued, the first of which has been repressed four times, followed by a 2016 debut on the mighty Houndstooth. His music is individualist, singular, and sophisticated. It's complex, involved, and cerebral, each track brilliantly structured and catchy, lingering long in the mind without ever being "in your face."
Koza's XLR8R podcast is made up of "things/ideas" that inspired him during the recording of the album and some that are on his current playlists. You'll hear plenty of abstract electronics, some more downtempo stuff, and lots of vocals, rather surprisingly, giving it a bit of an "emo feel," Matt says. Grab it now via the WeTransfer button below.
01. What have you been up to recently?
My cat's a bit sick atm so have been looking after him and checking out his poos in great detail!
02. You just released a new album via Houndstooth. What can you tell us about it?
Erm, its called loader mither and its out now.
03. When and where was the mix recorded?
At home over the weekend, against the clock.
04. Is there a particular theme or idea behind it?
Yeah there's a narrative in there overall with the music plus a few ideas from the record. The first spoken-word track with the homely accents on human league is funny and reminds me a lot of the conversations I've been having with the label, and there's a bit of an emo strand running through with the vocal tracks etc. I guess the combining of things is kind of how I take influence when writing or maybe there's specific techniques in the tracks sometimes. I dunno, it makes sense to me anyway! :)
05. How did you choose the tracks that you included?
Like I say, it's mostly just a combination of things/ideas that inspired me when making the record and more current influences 'cos I finished the record six months ago by now.
06. What’s next on the horizon?
Clean my trashed flat, buy some food, and pick up my records from the bleep shop :)
Due to issues regarding the GDPR, EU readers can download the podcast here.
01. The Human League "Flexi Disc"
02. The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa "Surfing on Steam" (Chet Desmond Melde Dich Mix)
03. Chynna "leo season"
04. Takeshi Muto "Gutta Perch"
05. The Ecstasy Of Saint Theresa "Surfing On Steam" (Band Du Lunar Mix)
06. Kid Antoine "Bodypaint 2"
07. Autumn "You Can Not Have It All"
08. Bochum Welt "Program 4"
09. De Ambassade "Geen Genade"
10. Caustic Window "On The Romance Tip"
11. Marizio Lemano "I Be" (Laurel Yanny)
12. Cru-l-t "Snow In Summer"
13. Björk "All Is Full of Love" (in love with funkstörung)
14. Dounia "Avant Garde"
15. GHOSTEMANE "Changing of the Tides"