If anyone ever gets around to writing a chronicle of Toronto's dance music history, DJ Matt C will have a central role. He's been DJing since the mid-80s and did weekly live-to-air when he was only 19. He went on to open Industry, which was, along with the Twilight Zone, Toronto's most respected nightclub for underground music and one of Mixer magazine's top 10 clubs of all time.
Things have changed since Industry's heyday. System Soundbar and the Guvernment may be continuing the all-night party tradition, but the energy has shifted and Matt C has moved on from those crazy days. In fact, he's on the verge of a career change.
"I plan on making real estate my main career, as soon as I get my licence," he explains as we watch the DVD he hopes to release alongside his album. "I'll continue to spin and make music more as a hobby, and it's going to remain a hobby from now on.
"It was starting to feel too much like a job. I've played over 3,000 gigs, and staying up all night over and over is becoming harder. I want to take it down to about 12 gigs a year, because at that level I'll still love every second."
This means no more weekly gigs (although he'll continue his seven-year biweekly gig at the Comfort Zone's infamous Sunday afterparty) and a shift in focus to one-off special events like this week's Peepshow fetish fashion party.
He played the fetish party last year, and it's become one of his favourites. He's been preparing all year for this one, buying records specifically for it and sampling dialogue from various movies to use as a cappellas over top of his mixes.
"For something like this, there will definitely be a retro element, some alternative and rock. Because it's such a big party - it had 3,000 last year - and the age range is so wide, I touch on a lot of popular music. I'll still be playing predominantly house, but with other stuff as well."
When Industry shut down, Matt C helped open NASA, a small DJ bar a fraction the size of Industry and with a completely different vibe. At the time it seemed like a weird move, but now the DJ lounge seems to be the predominant format for new clubs, not only here but in every other major city.
"We were trying to turn down the intensity a little bit. It's hard to be out all night every Saturday night for your whole life."
He may be turning his back on much of the craziness of the past 15 years, but he's continuing to put time into his label, Family Recordings, and is currently shopping around his debut album, recorded over the past eight years.
To accompany the CD, he's just wrapped up post-production on a DVD documentary that traces his history from throwing parties as a teenager, through Industry to the present. Watching the film is a trip for anyone who's spent much time at late-night parties. It quickly becomes a game of "Name That Familiar Face," and feels oddly nostalgic considering that those days weren't really so long ago.