Adam Matza
Adam Matza
Photo by Barry Stock

Adam Matza’s Magic Ears Music Archives and Revitalizes Miami's Music Past

Poet, journalist, musician, scenester — all that and more. Adam Matza has been a member of South Florida’s music scene in one shape or another for decades. Now he has a new gig: integral member of the tricounty noise music scene, as both host and performer.

After giving recording and mastering a go, Matza has been nurturing his enterprise, Magic Ears Mastering, slowly and with the attention of a proud poppa. He’s even added the tedious service of tape transferring to his wheelhouse. That prompted a logical progression for this music lover: archiving.

“I was talking to Rich Ulloa about some mastering work for some projects he's working on with [local musician] Jim Wurster, and the subject of transferring cassette tapes to digital came up,” he says. That got him thinking about his old spoken word/music group the Weeds and their cassette-only release Beer. “I've been toting about a hundred cassette recordings for two decades in the hopes of some day transferring them.”

After receiving a box of tapes from Wurster, Matza, a longtime Holy Terrors fan, acquired the band's Live Six tape, recorded in 1992 on Bob Slade’s Off the Beaten Path WLRN show. For the release's 25th anniversary, Matza received the Holy Terrors' Rob Elba’s blessing to release the EP as the opening salvo of Magic Ears Music. (Sales of the release benefited the Dan Hosker Music Continuum.)

Dore Soul
Dore Soul
Courtesy of Adam Matza

That opened his eyes to the potential of such a project and gave him the ambition to push forward with the Weeds’ cassette. Now he has tackled 1992’s Blowjob by alterna-grunge outfit Dore Soul. The local classic, featuring the single "Breathe," received heavy rotation on WKPX and WVUM.

Going back to his time with the Baboons and as a journalist reviewing their work, Matza has enjoyed a trusting friendship with band members Carey Peak and Jim Hadzopolous. While Dore Soul disbanded in '94, their active presence helped establish them as serious players of the local scene and ensured the popularity of their follow-up, the C-60’s, a catchy, hyper-pop-punk outfit that saw action in the late '90s. This particular remaster has proven a little easier since the band had the original analog mixes saved digitally.

After this release, Matza is looking to work on remasters for Basketcase, I Don’t Know, and Six Silver Spiders, among others. These groups deserve preservation and a new lease on life, he says. This project is not about reshaping old recordings but rather giving them the sonic edge he remembers them originally having, both as performed works of art and recorded ephemera.

“The great music scene we had between 1989 and 1996 existed for many reasons," he says. "Many things came together: lots of venues paying for original music, a supportive media... but the most important thing was the bands and the music they created. That scene could not have happened without great music.”

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