I’m excited to welcome Matt Tammariello aka Shortcircles to the studio next week. The two EPs and album that he’s released since I first “discovered” him (early 2012) have been incredibly consistent. There isn’t much that this guy creates or remixes that i don’t like. He’ll entertain my idiosyncratic questions about his tracks as well bring some tunes to share from his personal library.
Matt Tammariello was born and raised in Escondido, just north of San Diego, CA. Like so many youth, Matt grew to be enamored by hip-hop early on. And 1 mixtapes introduced him to Sadat X and early Common, and by the time he heard MF DOOM in 8th grade, he was smitten. Being that Escondido wasn’t a bustling hub of Matt’s particular kind of musical leanings, it did not take long for him to meet peers with similar interests. Infatuation led to imitation and by his early teens, Matt had formed a rag-tag rap group with a friend and using cracked programs and sub par recording equipment put their own spin on popular instrumentals.
Though musically isolated, Matthew was not unsupported. His partner-in-rap was instrumental in continuing Matt’s relationship with hip-hop, and another good friend introduced him to the world of ambient music.
The home front was supportive too. His mother gave him a Deep Puddle Dynamics album on a particularly memorable Christmas, and after a seemingly commonplace dinner mention by Matt on how he’d think it cool to build a studio out of their spacious garage, his father showed up with tools and equipment to do so. The latter proved to be a pivotal point in the forming of Shortcircles.
Once the studio was built, Matthew made the transition from writing rhymes to making beats. Wetting his feet with computer programs, it wasn’t until he got his hands on an MPC 1000 (and slaved over it for some time) that a sound combining his early love of hip-hop and new found appreciation for the experimental began to take shape. By this time Matt was graduating high school, his rap group partner had moved up to the Bay area to attend an audio engineering school and Matt saw that as a way to pursue his passion and leave Escondido.
In the meantime, he enrolled in a school in Mira Costa that just so happened to just have a state-of-the-art studio. For the cost of a community college class Matt got to tinker and toy with it, experimenting with different recording techniques in a way that would have been impossible before.
Once finished with his studies in Escondido, Matt wasted no time in relocating to the Bay. Though it was a move that re-energized and inspired the young producer, it was not without it’s thorns. A relationship that was built in Escondido met its end in the Bay, but Matt capitalized on the loss. Using his melancholy as inspiration, Matt channeled that feeling into an EP he was asked to make for a good friend’s website. The Mapzzz EP, as its come to be known, was the first formal introduction of Shortcircles.
A musician that was never trained as such, every time a composition is created warrants a different approach. Inspired by Four Tet, Teebs, Floating Points and DJ Shadow, as well as a plethora of 50’s jazz records, the Shortcirlces sound is hard to pin-point. The best way he can describe it is as a “peaceful sound. I try to make music that is as honest to myself as possible.”
With that mindset he set out to craft a follow up Shortcircles project. Collaborating with other vocalists and musicians, this was the most serious project to date for Matt. Without having an outlet for it, he completed it. It wasn’t until friend and Plug Research artist Elephant & Castle heard the album that Matt considered a label. E&C played liaison and within a short time, Shortcircles became a welcome addition to the roster. Shortcircles promises to deliver an amalgam of styles both soothing and galvanizing, but always honest.