Matale in the mix
by - Geralda Cela

Sound artist and DJ Matale is a woman with many talents. A painter by trade, the Prishtina-based artist used her fine art degree to create a name for herself as a sought after nail artist @serpentclaws. And, amid juggling an international Djing career has also started her own open queer-focused club night – Prishtine is Burning (yes, after Paris is burning).

“You die if you don’t do three things at once,” Matale tells me of life in Prishtina. However, she is not only surviving in the city but thriving. As part of a new wave of forward-facing DJs and producers rebuilding the blueprint of Prishtina’s underground music scene, after the countries war-torn history; her eclectic, energetic sets that magpie sounds from the bright swelling beats of pop records that her mom would play during her childhood, to the sharper textures of ‘psychedelic rock’ in her teens and her current club cuts are testimony to Matales skill as a selector.

Matale ability to freely draw upon genres across the musical spectrum as well as unexpected, almost animalistic chaotic noises and samples leave you feeling like you’re travelling through new realms soaking up sounds from the dark depths of dance music to international contemporary pop and rock.

Here she invites us on one of those high-energy journeys with this OG Matale mix as we get to know the DJ a little better from her views on the Prishtina scene to learning more of her favourite artists and Prishtina is Burning; be prepared to go from middle-eastern sounds, Albanian music to electronic of the west.

Tell us a bit about this mix
Half an hour of quarter-life crisis haha

What kind of music did you grow up listening to? 
As a kid my mother’s pop songs were always playing in my house, later on, I became a huge fan of destiny’s child and Beyonce. My teenage years I was into psychedelic rock, heavy metal, punk rock – Led Zeppelin.

When did your journey with music begin? 
3 years ago

How did you get into DJing? 
It all started with SoundCloud, I would spend all my free time discovering new music and new artists. A friend downloaded Traktor on my laptop and I started to mix tracks and try things, then I started playing at some small parties around the city, later on, I decided to take it more seriously and bought my first controller.

What goes on behind creating a mix, is there aspecific story you want to tell or is it more the sounds you’re enjoying at the moment? 
Most of the time there is a specific story behind it, sometimes it’s the sounds I’m enjoying but there’s always a mood behind it.

What’s the music scene in Prishtina like? 
very male dominated

How would you like to see it grow/ progress?
By not being male dominated

Who are your favourite artists at the moment?
Quay dash, Rosalia, debit, BEARCAT, bbymutha, jasmine infiniti, Shygirl

You also put on nights around the city, can you tell us a bit more about that? 
I started throwing Halloween parties with my sister some years ago. Last year together with a friend and my sister we did the first open drag night in Prishtina. We did it with 5 local drags ( some of them performing for the first time in their life) in one of the most frequented nightclubs in Prishtina. We called it Prishtinë is Burning (after Paris is Burning). An open queer party, with drag queens, in a very homophobic place, with no incidents was a huge success. Party’s Facebook event was one of the most shared events on social media. On the second Prishtine is Burning the number of queens doubled, we also had queens from Tirana and Skopje. We are currently preparing for the third one.

Any gigs that you’re excited about in 2019?
I’m very excited about a gig in Amsterdam but very frustrated with all the Visa deal here – hopefully my spells work for good luck.