A Chat With O MATO ahead Of 24-Hour Festival With Slow Life in Berlin

Ahead of their 24 hour festival with Slow Life we managed to fit in a chat with Berlin based event makers O MATO. 29th July they will take over an open air location one hour from Berlin, and will feature a variety of artists, spanning across genres and vibes throughout the day long party. The day session will feature the likes of Marcos Valle, Cami Laye Okun, Kaidi Tatham and many more. As the night approaches you can expect sets from Desyn, Matthias and of course Slow Life co-founders Laurine & Cecilio. 

We spoke with the O MATO founders about all things past, present and future, delving deeper into what they have going as a collective, and what has been happening in the years gone by…

Hi guys, thanks for chatting with us today. How has the summer been so far for you?

After a busy spring program we have been totally focused on our upcoming 24h festival. As all of us have other projects going as well, there is not much time for more :)

When was O MATO born? Tell us a bit about those early days? How many of you are in the team?

O MATO was founded at the end of 2016 by Jonas Köksal and Eneko Brög. The main idea at first was to realise this new form of social gathering (mixture of adventure travel and festival) in the Brazilian Amazon region. Therefore we organised small promotional events. In the first one we got to know Julia Reischel, who was super enthusiastic about becoming part. As we were looking to add someone to our team, we were happy to invite her to one of our meetings. Since then Julia has been part of our core team. In the next year we had the premiere of the O MATO Experience in Brazil with only 40 people. Two of them were Cyrill Kreißl and Florian Heep, who helped us with the build up and during the event. After an exhausting first 10 day festival experience we asked them if they wanted to become part of the team, as working together felt extremely harmonious. They were happy to say yes. Since that day we went through everything together. Unfortunately, Cyrill left the crew Last year.

Throughout the years you have put on various events and festivals in Berlin, Brazil and more. First of all, let's chat about the forthcoming 24 hour event on 29th July in collaboration with Slow Life. How did the collaboration come about? Was it hard to find a location?

Well we know the guys from Slow Life for some years now already. We first got in touch when we were frequently visiting their showcases back in 2017/18. We bonded instantly, so that’s basically where this friendship started. Consequently we invited Cecilio to our very intimate O MATO Experience in Brazil where basically everyone who participates, guests as well as DJs comes back with a special connection. In the following years our friendship with slow life grew continuously as they followed our journey step by step and so did we. Island Festival 2018 with Dj Tree and Cecilio, then Laurine and S. Moreira & Band playing a legendary live show on the iconic island of Lindwerder in 2019. Since then we have been very transparent with each other's work. So with every year, every event, every obstacle our relationship got more trustful, until the end of last year, when the guys approached us with the idea of doing something special together for their 10th anniversary year. We were super happy to team up, so we went for it. 

First challenge was surely to find the right venue. Some place that would meet both our standards, somewhere outside, somewhere with a special charm. So we did intense research over half a year. Then we found this beautiful venue next to an abandoned airstrip. First we had a date there, but then suddenly the owners told us that it wasn’t possible to get a permit for the night, which was our main condition for any location we were looking into. A huge bummer, we were already looking for alternatives and thought there was no way this venue - it was by far our favourite - was an option anymore. Then out of the blue they contacted us with the positive news that it was possible again.

The line up moves from bands in the day, then towards a more party tip at night. Is this something that represents you as a brand? Booking artists such as Marcos Valle is quite some feat.

It has always been very important to us to show our love for electronic dance music as well as for more organic, instrumental sounds. Live music has always drawn special attention to us. After the first live show by S. Moreira in 2019 we wanted to have more of that. Through our long year connection with Brazilian culture and music we always wanted to bring these Brazilian legends, that we admire so much, to Europe. After Azymuth last year, we wanted to keep that vibe going. Marcos Valle is probably one of the first Brazilian artists we got to know , when we started digging more into this music. 

Can you tell us about the Brazilian editions? Will there be more?

So the Brazilian editions were the start of everything. A utopian experience that we will never forget. Something that bonds our whole community. It really feels like family. Everyone who was there is especially connected to each other. We put all our energy into creating the most surreal 10 day experience in the middle of nature, but it was never something we would make any money from. We mostly lost money, which still was absolutely worth it, but after the 4th edition, we had to see how we could also combine this extensive work input with our personal lives. The last edition in 2022 was just perfect, everything on point. So we decided to end this journey when it was at its best. There’s simply no way we could top this last edition. Leaving these positive feelings for our memories felt like the right thing to do

In Berlin it seems you have become regulars at Hoppetosse and Club Der Visionaere, how does it feel to hold frequent events at institutions such as this? We also noticed you made some island parties in the city, how were these? The last one with Azymuth as well, crazy.

It has always been our concept to vary our location venues to keep it interesting for our guests every time. Becoming regulars at CDV and Hoppetosse was kind of a natural progress since it has been our main spot for going out since ages. So yeah, finally being able to host parties there feels only special and like the right thing. We do have other beautiful places where we have been returning year after year as well though. The island being one. Here, we have been hosting events since 2018. Last year was a special occasion. We focused on Brazilian music only, with Azymuth headlining. Inviting them has been in our minds since day one, so it was quite special making it happen after all these years.

Do you have anything coming up in terms of the label? Would love to hear some more O MATO records after the compilation back in 2020.

Yes, O MATO 02 & 03 are already confirmed with the artists and in the making. More to be announced whenever it is time.

Leave us with one track that makes you think about the forthcoming event at the end of the month? 

Buy Tickets on Resident Advisor here

Keep up with O Mato on Instagram here

Keep up with O Mato on Facebook here