Progressive house has discernibly experienced its share of ebbs and flows since its bloom across the early 2010’s, but fast forward to present day, and just a handful of names have not only stood the test of time but also masterfully acclimated a sense of self as palatably as Matisse & Sadko. In between golden age symbols down to the duo’s modern classics on STMPD RCRDS, the stretch of immortal creations attributed to the Russian brothers is horizonless, and Matisse & Sadko have indisputably substantiated their echelon as one of the most hallowed acts across house music.
Alexander and Yury Parkhomenko converted the ongoing absence of touring into an overflowing measure of production time throughout the decade’s debut year, still managing to credit four admirable deliveries to their canon, comprising “Strings Again,” “Best Thing” with Matluck, “Now or Never,” and “Sweet Life.” They’ve recharged following a more toned-down campaign in 2020, and have monthly arrangements with Martin Garrix’s STMPD RCRDS to uncover precisely what they’ve kept under wraps.
In preparation for their promising year ahead, Matisse & Sadko assembled an electric one-hour, house-laden exclusive mix (which even includes an unreleased ID), and spoke with Dancing Astronaut about their seamless partnership with Garrix, what the future holds for progressive house, and more.
“Hold On” recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, marking an unbelievable six times (excluding any co-productions) that you’ve worked with Martin Garrix throughout the years. What’s that relationship been like and how do you three continually manage to stay so innovative and original with each and every collaboration?
Matisse & Sadko: “Through all these years, our friendship with Martin has turned into a family relationship, and once a year, we have a consistent idea of making something new together. We still can’t explain where we derive inspiration from, the music just flows. And we always wonder what the final version of the track is going to be like.”
You’ve never shied away from stepping into different lanes of house and testing creative sounds, especially since your time on STMPD RCRDS. Do you have any aspirations of introducing an alias, or do you want to keep everything under the Matisse & Sadko banner? Further, do you think that ties into how you view the future of progressive house at all?
Matisse & Sadko: “Dancing Astronaut can read others’ minds! We’ve been thinking of an alternative project for quite some time now because there’s a bunch of demos which wouldn’t fit the Matisse & Sadko format you’re used to. We hope this year we’ll manage to execute our plans.
As for progressive house, we think it’s moving back to its roots, into a deeper underground sound. If we speak about a more anthemic type of progressive house, it hasn’t disappeared, but it’s become less visible in the industry. As soon as the festival and club life is back, the interest in this genre will be back as well. And we’ll do our best for our fans so that they don’t forget about this style of music.”
There’s been so many Matisse & Sadko classics over the last decade; if you could pick your one favorite production, what would it be?
Matisse & Sadko: “We’d say our collaboration “SLVR” with Steve Angello in 2013 means a lot to us because it was our first [time working] with the legend, and we still remember how we felt at the time! It was a dream come true for us, and it was honor to work with him. It was also our first track that became No. 1 on Beatport’s Overall Chart.”
We all know I was more than ecstatic for the Ultra back-to-back with DubVision that was planned for the STMPD RCRDS stage before the COVID-19 pandemic took over. Are you able to share any details on what you originally had planned for it and are there any potential collaborations with DubVision in the works?
Matisse & Sadko: “When the lineup was approved, we jumped on a call and started choosing an idea for a collab. Unfortunately, the show didn’t happen due to the situation. However, time played in our favor and now we’ve got a lot of new material which we’re going to release. Anyway, we can’t wait until the global situation gets better to have an opportunity to perform together with DubVision.”
What do you have in the STMPD RCRDS pipeline for 2021? Any EP/album plans, potential collaborations, or virtual sets in the works?
Matisse & Sadko: “You can expect everything you listed above (except for an album), plus a few surprises you didn’t specify in your question. Starting from February, we’ll be trying to release music every month. Stay tuned!”
Featured image: Chris Chew