Mathew Jonson is a Canadian producer, DJ, and label owner from Vancouver. Now based in Berlin, some revere him as one of the most distinctive voices in modern dance music. As one of the founders of the label Wagon Repair, he crafts dancefloor-ready tracks that overflow with careful nuance without sacrificing their intensity.
As a child, Jonson studied classical piano and jazz drumming. Perhaps this classical training was the foundation for the melodic and rhythmic personalities of his music. He was nine years old when he first got his hands on a synthesizer, much ado to his father's work in sound technology. By the time he discovered hip-hop as a young teen, he was inspired to create his own beats on his rudimentary at-home setup.
When he was 19, he banded with some buddies who were DJing parties around Victoria. Their originally improvised set eventually led to Jonson’s first club residency. These biweekly sets helped Jonson gradually hone his sound, inspired by deeper, weirder music that had seeped into techno parties around town.
His first single, New Identity, was released to the B.C. label Itiswhatitis in 2001. He kept up a steady stream of single releases over the next couple of years before releasing his first demo tape alongside Spencer Drennan in 2003. Jonson has always been eager to get down and dirty with his music. Both in the studio and on the stage, he prefers analog. That means real-time play (as opposed to mere playback) for his live sets. In this sense, he aims to move beyond the sometimes diluted “drag and drop” digital composition world.
In 2005, Jonson co-founded Wagon Repair. Since then, it’s been a nonstop menagerie of tours and recordings. His newest album, Agents of Time, features a number of tracks that are as epic and wily as ever. But through it all, Jonson devotes most of his energy to supporting those in his musical family and support system.