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Whistler's dubstep wizard

Mat the Alien starts new residency at Garfinkel's next Friday



Did you know that Mat the Alien travels around every week? What a guy. What a lucky, talented, hard-working, bass-dropping, party-smashing wonder of a guy.

Mat the Alien, better known to his mother as Mat Andrew, is Whistler's premier local DJ. He's also a staple of the West Coast electronic music scene. Every weekend, he flees the confines of this cozy mountain town to play shows in cities all over the U.S. and Canada. When Pique catches up to him he's gearing up for a show in Saskatoon — but he reveals that there have even been the odd sets in Moscow, Berlin and the Philippines.

All this to say, of course, that it's about time that you give him some love, if you haven't already.

Starting next week, he'll begin a summer-long, Friday-night residency at Garfinkel's, which he says will counteract the "Top 40 kind of vibe" that dominates Whistler nightclubs during the weekend.

His Maxx Fish residency, Really Good Tuesdays, is arguably Whistler's most popular club night. Even on cold, snowless Tuesday nights, when the bars are mostly empty right along with the hotels, the line outside the club will be inching up the block by 10 p.m.

He's held that residency for about 12 years but it's been over the last eight that he's established himself as one of the Sea to Sky's bass music pioneers. He was spinning dubstep when Skrillex was still thrashing out punk rock.

In a town struggling to find its cultural identity, Andrews has helped establish Whistler as a must-play for international DJs and in the process helped cement Whistler's most clearly defined (and largely marginalized) cultural offering.

Not that he'll admit it. He's a modest father of one who speaks with a soft Northern English accent. He deflects praise, suggesting that others, from DJ Phroh to The Librarian, have been just as influential in Sea to Sky as he has. And there's no doubt that it takes a group to create a scene but Andrews is by far the most internationally recognized.

He recently completed a tour with Araabmuzik and Zed's Ded, two of the most celebrated new artists worldwide in electronic music. Andrews himself is celebrated, in part, for his superb musical taste but more importantly for his willingness to experiment with new styles while mostly ignoring the latest trends. As a result, he's won Pique's Best of Whistler "Favourite DJ" category for several years straight.

"I enjoy playing like not necessarily commercial music," he says in a phone interview. "We played a show in Las Vegas. It was a fun gig but the crowd there wanted to hear the songs they knew and it got a bit draining as a DJ. It's not really what I want to do. I don't want to be a jukebox playing the hits."

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