Matt Jenko

Matt Jenko
Hi my name is Matt, but my friends call me Matt. I’m on the wrong side of 29 (damn I hate it every time I have to update that number), definitely feeling my age, but never felt happier and more content than I do at this point in my life. I’ve been through some rocky patches (who hasn’t) and lived to tell the tale, and boy do I gots some stories. When I’m not giving opinions absolutely nobody asked for, I’m doing a worldbuilding with my passion project, vivaellipsis. If you like offbeat nonsense delivered through immersive escapism, then go and get involved. Or don’t, I’m not telling you what to do. I’m not yer boss. I’m a simple man with simple interests. I like Yorkshire tea, the sound of rain on the window, and a bloody good story.

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Music to Escape Reality

Rooftop Party

21 April 2023

Track Listing

On the Floor – Perfume Genius
Birch Tree – Foals
So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings – Caroline Polachek
Dreams – 2004 Remaster – Fleetwood Mac
Feel The Way I Want – Caroline Rose
Hold On – Little Dragon
The Steps – HAIM
Longshot – Catfish and the Bottlemen
Heavenly Maybe – Gengahr
Home – Caribou
Nights Introlude – Nightmares On Wax
Feels Right – Biig Piig
Lost In Yesterday – Tame Impala
Sympathetic Vibrations – Bad Sounds
We’re Alive – Band Of Skulls
Space Samba (Disco Volador Theme) – The Orielles
The Reeling – Passion Pit
Ready For The Floor – Hot Chip
Punching In A Dream – The Naked And Famous

Playlist Image by Patrick Schneider on Unsplash

A Very Pleasant Covers Playlist

15 March 2023

We approached this playlist with one very simple goal: for every single song to be a cover (or a remix!) of another. At least, it sounds simple in practice: sometimes nothing comes to mind; other times, songs you thought were covers turn out to be originals (I always though Don’t Speak by No Doubt was a cover – it isn’t)

What we found ourselves with was a playlist with tracks from all corners of the genre globe. When you give yourself just one goal, it opens so many possibilities for different ideas, and you find songs hanging out together that normally you probably wouldn’t expect to.

Who knows what cool stuff you might find digging through here?

From Above to Below

15 March 2023

Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

It’s 11pm. You’re planning on a relaxing evening, when a mysterious note is slipped under your door. You don’t recognise the handwriting (and anyway, it could have been typed – it’s one of _those_ fonts). The message is vague and just a little unnerving. But a particular detail piques your interest.

The couch seems to beckon as you look over, weighing your options. Your tea, still hot from the boil, sends up wisps of suggestions – ‘You’re not _really_ thinking of going out at this time are you??’

It seems like the answer is yes as you pull your jacket on, check your hair (provided you have some), and head off in search of answers to questions you didn’t even know you had

Silence Speaks Volumes

20 December 2022

Listening to this Playlist feels like going through different stages of emotions and finding a way to process them properly: by screaming your heart out to these songs – at least that’s what I’ll be doing. Showing how diverse the metalcore genre can be by adding two completely different songs of the same band (ADTR), even tho it felt a bit like cheating.

Playlist image by Lerone Pieters on Unsplash

Let’s Cause Some Havoc

15 December 2022

Pretty much every song on this list you’d find being played in a pub somewhere or other. When Abadallah added ‘California Uber Alles’, that took me right back to my teen days playing drums in a punk band. This was one of the songs we used to cover, which took me right onto Stepping Stone – the very first song I ever played on a live stage in front of people. Mad how time passes ey!

This list is such a potent mixture of all kinds of sounds and styles – stuff that’s inspired us recently, tunes we grew up with, and everything in the middle. It’s high energy, high velocity and high pressure. Perfect for adding a little extra spice to yer day!

Transitions Vol. 2

15 December 2022

Andrew Writes:

At the end of the day it’s all about transitions – I mean, literally – the day ends with the transition from light to dark, from awake to sleep, from conscious thought to dreams – life is time in transit – never ending.

Transition can be hard – sudden movement from emotional states can be devastating, likewise an unexpected transition from standing to falling over can be rather jarring, yet transition can also be delightful – settling into a hot tub, hearing the opening note of your favorite band on stage or perhaps even better, opening the envelope or checking the website to find out you passed.

Achievement in education is typically marked with a certificate – a piece of paper to mark the transition from one state to the next –  from under-graduate to graduate, from postgraduate to Master or Doctor, going all the way back to high school.  

And while there’s something great about getting your paper on the “normal” timeline – there’s something compelling about those who go back in time to get their qualification – even more so if that person is going back to get their High School Diploma.  To choose as an adult to go back to what you were “supposed” to learn as a child is an incredible and inspiring decision, one that typically has a huge impact on a person’s life.

This playlist reflects on and applauds those who take the journey – from the discordant and discombobulated beginning through acknowledgment of the shortness of life to the energy required to break the inertia and subsequent triumph – it’s a true hero’s journey and of course – as it’s from Matt and Me – the transitions are awesome!

Matt Writes:

The concept for this volume was fairly straightforward. We wanted to depict the transition from hopeless to hopeful. Our protagonist starts in a place of darkness, hits rock bottom, and then rises up again, filled with renewed vigor.

It’s the classic Hero’s Journey, and it’s something everyone can relate to in some way or another.

There’s just one problem with it.

It tells the tale of just one adversary (usually a bloody massive one, like Sauron), and leaves with the implication: “solve this and you’re done for life.”

Growing up (at least in the west) on a diet of fairy tales and Disney films, there’s a subtle moral that there’s only really one obstacle to overcome in life. Conquer that, and you’re sorted. Problem-free life for you!

Of course, the reality is far more like a modern Marvel creation. The same enemies resurface and are re-cast over and over again, and you have to find new and imaginative ways to overcome what are essentially lazy reboots of a tale that’s been done to death (Uncle Ben has got to be questioning whether adopting young Pete was worth the hassle at this point).

I find this happens a lot with me, at least. Transitions to me feel cyclical and resonant, similar to electron shells in an atom. It’s often the same underlying concern rhyming with something that was previously resolved, although (and here’s where my atomic allegory breaks down, or maybe not – either way I’ll be revealing how much physics I’ve forgotten) the further from the nucleus we get, the weaker the pull. The hope is that as enough time passes, the electrons will break from the atom altogether, and the problem will have truly been resolved. Of course now we have a bunch of free radicals out in the wild, but that seems like a problem to tackle if and when we get to it.

I guess what I’m saying is that transitions are rarely linear. We don’t go from A to B to OK just once. We solve what ails us, review the new self, and then find new bullshit to keep us awake at night.

The spectrum of anxieties I’ve experienced just in 2022 is enough to fill a small novel. And the breakthroughs that have accompanied these anxieties are epics in themselves. I anticipate there will be just as much to worry through in 2023, and 2024, and years to come afterward. The hope of course remains that each time, we get further from the nucleus, the atomic pull gets weaker, and eventually, we break away completely. At least that’s what the work looks like to me.

So don’t buy into the toxic idea that you should only have one major adversary to conquer in life, and that any more means that someone you’re the problem or you’ll never be happy. We don’t just win once and then put our feet up, we don’t just transition once. We have to keep working, growing, developing. Having a willingness to go outside of what feels comfortable in order for that comfort to keep its meaning. Difficult conversations, grueling physical challenges, complex and unpleasant internal dialogue. It’s all the shadow cast by the light of a life that’s rich and dynamic, that’s filled with highs and lows. The job is to keep transitioning, keep striving to be less affected by the lows and more appreciative of the highs, to keep evolving as a person.

Because there’s no blueprint for life. No one has THE answer, we all just have our best guess at figuring out what the question was.

To paraphrase a great philosopher:

Carry on my wayward pal; there’ll be peace when you are done (at least until the next transition)

You should listen to Transitions Vol. 1 here

Track Listing

I Do Not Want This – Nine Inch Nails
Ashes to Ashes – 2017 Remaster – David Bowie
EYE TO EYE – While She Sleeps
Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd
Zeit – Rammstein
Time – Morosity
Monomyth – Animals As Leaders
Childhood’s End? – 2017 Remaster – Marillion
Hunting The Night – Neon Boulevard
Crockett’s Theme – Jan Hammer
Schwarzenegger – Quixotic
Go – The Chemical Brothers
The Longest Road – deadmau5 Remix Edit – Morgan Page
Kill Your Television – Ned’s Atomic Dustbin
Wash Off – Foals
Don’t Lose Sight – Lawrence
Feel Alright – Poolside
Everything Has Changed – Best Coast
Sounds Like Balloons – Biffy Clyro
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers
Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis
Nailed It – Infinite Pizza

Playlist Image by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash

Electronic Spaceship

15 December 2022

Track Listing:

Time for Us – Nicolas Jaar
Surrender Yourself – Lawrence Hart
Swayed – Kiasmos
Kantsu – Yotto
Apart – Michael Mayer Remix – Kasper Bjørke
Alone (feat. Luke Coulson) – Judah
Invisible – Paul Kalkbrenner Remix – NTO
XYZ – deadmau5
Nairobi – Rodriguez Jr.
Meli (II) – Bicep
Dream Machine – Dominik Eulberg
We Find Ourselves – JODA
Tempest – Pional
Found – Matt Fax
Time – feat. Jules Buckley – Tale Of Us
No More – Durante Remix – Sophia Bel
Ghostkeeper – Klangkarussell
Closer – JODA
Bones – Oliver Koletzki
Hollow – Yotto
What Would You Do If I Told You This Is A Dream – Omri Smadar
Water – Bicep

Playlist Image by NASA on Unsplash

Celestial Bodies

29 September 2022

Corduroy and LSD

28 September 2022

In the Spotlight: Bon-Psy

14 September 2022

UK musician and producer Bon-Psy in the musicto spotlight

Bon-Psy is Gianluca Cardinale, a London-based musician and producer, currently working with Asta Hiroki’s Folded Music imprint. His recent artist submission to our community caught the attention of musicto curator Matt Jenko.

This week in the spotlight, we’re featuring his track “Carte Blanche,” from the 2022 EP Order. We’re not the first to feature this talented musician and producer. His music has already been recognized by BBC1, BBC6 and others. In fact, this track has featured on Spotify’s popular editorial playlist Orbit.

Of course, no amount of exposure is ever too much, and curator Matt Jenko—along with the musicto community—couldn’t be happier to feature this talented London-based artist.

In the Spotlight at musicto

For this week’s In the Spotlight feature, musicto curator Matt Jenko’s pick is Bon-Psy’s ”Carte Blanche”, discovered in the electronic artist submissions section of our musicto community social network. A musician himself, Matt shares his thoughts about his sonic experience with Bon-Psy’s Carte Blanche:

Occasionally you end up feeling like you’re not making decisions for yourself. You’re making decisions for the little gremlin in your brain that’s looking for something way different from what you are. Getting permission from that little prick is a lot harder than anything you ever asked your parents for in the past, and I’m including the gnarliest of house parties in that.

You can argue as much as you want, show up with a cost-benefit analysis and a laundry list of upsides, but if it’s not what the gremlin wants then I’m afraid it’s not happening.

Like all of us though, every so often the gremlin’s asleep on the job, and we can sneak past a few great ideas without them noticing. And when they finally wake up, they’re not even arsed! They exist solely as a gatekeeper, and care very little about anything that makes it through the gate. In fact, it’s kind of its whole gig to protect whatever is through the gate, regardless of how it got there — that’s how we end up collecting all sorts of dumbshit thoughts and feelings about ourselves (but that’s a wholly different conversation).

Sometimes, we grant ourselves carte blanche to go off and do some real wholesome shit, the kinda stuff that makes us feel Warm Fuzzies (that’s another Bon-Psy track as well, btw — I’m good at this sorta stuff ey). Usually, it just takes a bit of creative thinking to realise what’s going to distract our gremlin long enough to sneak in some well-being.

“Carte Blanche” in the words of Bon-Psy

When Bon-Psy submitted his instrumental track “Carte Blanche” to the musicto community, he included a few words about this instrumental track his 2022 EP Order:

I showed this track to a few people whilst working on it, and one of the responses I received stood out. The individual imagined driving on an empty road at sunset, a beach or coast to their left and forestry to their right with the sunset coating the landscape in a warm orange hue. I called the track ‘Carte Blanche’, reflecting a sense of freedom I felt from this fitting description.

If you’re after wonky rhythms and grooves, and a melodic and experimental sonic experience look no further!

Support UK musician and producer Bon-Psy on Twitter, FB, IG or through his website.

Maria lost her cookies

12 September 2022

Will she ever find them? Perhaps we will never know

This Must Be The Place

30 August 2022