Matt Culbreth is a splendid sponge. He is constantly listening to music and soaking the sound waves into his memory bank to invest into future remixology, currently under the moniker ‘Cave Manners‘. Groups like MSTRKRFT, Bloody Beetroots, Crookers, Justice, Fake Blood, Kissy Sellout, Para One, DLake, Boys Noize, Le Castlevania, Bag raiders, Chew Fu, and friend and mentor Blanche DuBoi$ influence his dance beats on both subconscious and more purposeful levels. One can imagine the synthetic sounds that invisibly tickle the bloodstream, a pulsating sensation which reveals itself through a bopping head and eventually a bouncing body.
It took him 3 months to complete his first EP using mostly Propellerheads’ Reason program and Audacity to cut vocal samples (Reason doesn’t have a sampler, which “is a huge detriment to remix production“. Culbreth recommends Logic Sampler which offers both parts). Definitely use the biggest subwoofers you can find to dance to his creations because “IT’S ALL ABOUT THAT CHEST CRUSHING, BRAIN MELTING BASS” here.
What about Cave manners is unique from the other dance remixes we hear now?
Honestly, the intention of this EP was…simply to…have fun, and get some booties shakin on the dance floor…It really doesn’t matter what I call it, I just had fun makin it, continue to have fun dancing to it, and hope other people do too.
What part of the whole process, from the first thought of a beat to the final DJ movements behind the tables, feels the best for you?
1. The first is when I get an idea that I think is really good and I have that epiphany moment. I love that feeling of “holy shit, this is it, this is gonna be great!”
2. The second is when I complete a track – finish mixing, writing, everything. It’s always a huge weight off my chest and I can finally just sit back and listen to it…at least a week or two after.
3. The third is definitely DJing and seeing kids getting down on the dance floor. It’s so much fun to be up their controlling the music and seeing other people really enjoying your music with their bodies.
Where did the name Cave Manners come from?
I actually stumbled upon this one. I was in bed one night, and wasn’t all that tired so I was just sitting and thinking and for some reason I started thinking about what it would have been like to live as a cave man like 30,000 years ago. Then I was thinking about the phrase “cave man” and how we have attributed the idea of living in caves as the fundamental feature of these ancient men. As if living in caves is all they did. And this kinda got me thinking about all the other things they could have done that we don’t know about and what the earliest forms of language were like. Then I thought about how funny it would be if these primitive people had some sort of system of etiquette within their tribes, whether or not they had any manners. Like did they have special animal skins they wore to tribal events, or fine cutlery carved out of animal bones that they only used for special feasts? I then realized that if you add a ‘-ners’ to ‘cave man’ you get ‘cave man-ners’ which just worked out perfectly. And then realized I still needed a DJ name, and with this having absolutely nothing to do with dance music, I thought it would be a perfect moniker. I still think about how funny it would be if we put a bunch of cave men/women in tuxedos and dresses and I put on my music (somehow without electricity) and we all danced our asses off inside some huge cave lit by torches at the cave man prom.
Matt Culbreth currently shakes ground at his alma mater Colgate University with DJ sets for weekend parties (to be quieted upon his graduation in May). But his musical repertoire doesn’t end in the electronic realm. He is currently writing for Cello, Violin, Drums, Guitar, Ukulele, Keyboards, Three Vocalists, and Bass to create a more orchestral-indie-folk fusion of sound, what he appropriately calls “folkestralindie”.
Under Cave Manners, Culbreth’s job is done when he sees girls and boys sweating on the dance floor.
For those of you who are interested in trying out programs like Reason, Ableton Live, or Logic, Culbreth recommends that you play with it constantly.
“Once you get the hang of it. Start laying down some beats and melodies on a MIDI keyboard. Try everything you think of, tweak every knob in the program, just don’t stop. If you have an overwhelming desire to create some good music, that’s great. If you have an overwhelming desire to put the time and work in to create that good music, that’s better. If you’re passionate about it, it’ll come, even if it doesn’t…“