A pint of Guinness in Ireland is a ceremony. Each is served with love and care greater than the Cliffs of Moher. Gavin Lynch, AKA Matador, is a true Dubliner and an Irish stout sommelier. In the perfect-pour capital of the world, there’s only one pub in Dublin that satisfies his sophisticated palate.
“Grogan’s Castle Lounge. It’s a pub in the core of Dublin’s City Centre, and they pour a proper pint. The place has shitty decor, but it’s got that authentic vibe and the Guinness is rich and full of flavor, the way it should be,” Lynch says.
Like Guinness, Lynch’s techno live act Monday afternoon at Heart Nightclub will be dark. Armed with a midi pad controller, Roland TR-909, Roland TR-808, and virtual drum machines, Matador will bring the 4/4 bass, clap, and hi-hat on-the-go. And for all those still trying to convince their parents that DJs are real musicians, Matador is a strong talking point.
In a perfect world, drunk, misplaced people at proper nightclubs leaning in the DJ booth screaming for Avicii songs would get a jab to the face. No one is fitter for the job than Lynch. Pete Tong’s Radio 1 Essential Mixes inspired Lynch's boxing workouts as a lad. Floyd Mayweather never called, but his interest in dance music soared. He bought turntables and cheap software and began making his own groovy sounds. Formal schooling at Sound Training College in Dublin molded him into a techno heavyweight. Next, he earned a pseudo master’s in techno when he spent a year in the Berlin neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg. Like Rocky drinking raw eggs, punching slabs of beef, and running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Lynch had put in the work and was ready to rumble.
Worthy of Deadmau5 blessings, Lynch today has two studios in his home overlooking the Irish Sea in the Village of Howth, Dublin County. Egg-crate walls, knobs, plugs, cords, keys, blinking lights, amplifiers, and speakers outfit the NASA-esque control center. His 2017 “Domino” remix was born there; it’s a silky techno track with backbone and a payoff that will forever be loved. His label, Rukus, which also supports Anna from Brazil and Spain’s Hector, is also operated there.
“The label is driven by music and not profiles,” Lynch assures. “And with our label, there has to be something in the music to grab. There needs to be a point or a story. It needs to have a soul. We’re trying to push artists and encourage them to go outside of the normal and tell them to not be afraid of a harmony or melody.”
Paul Oakenfold, Laurent Garnier, and Lynch share similar career paths: All began as chefs. The two careers share the skills of creating and mixing, but it’s the freedom and the lawless aspect of producing music that Lynch appreciates.
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“Last week, I started a track at home on a Roland TB-303. I continued the track on the plane during my flight to Belgium, I finished it in my hotel room, and then played it that night in the club. I played it second-to-last, and people went off,” he adds.
Lynch is no stranger to Heart Nightclub or Miami. He knows the city’s seductive ways.
“Miami is the kind of place where you go for a walk, you stumble across some things, end up in a fine-art gallery, then a fancy restaurant, and you come home three days later, bankrupt.”