ON THE RADIO ... Catch Peter Mac on BaseFM Saturday mornings, 10am til midday. The Chaplin is on 95BFM 7 til 9am Saturday mornings.

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Rest in peace... DJ Big Matt

Matt Watson, aka DJ Big Matt, passed away on Friday June 15, 2007. Matt was born in Australia and moved to New Zealand in 1972. Matt discovered reggae from his older brother, and started DJing reggae and ska along with soul and rare groove as the club scene in Auckland sprang into life in the early 80s, at Quays, Zanzibar, Collage, Monitor Room, Fingerpop & The Press Club.

He hosted the legendary Skavoovie Sound nights at the Gluepot, and shared his love of reggae over the radio with listeners for ten years on the 'Downbeat Show' on 95BFM (with co-host Yardboy, aka Michael Wells, and later Ruffian, aka Jon Coles), and then for a year on Base FM with 'Wickidness', until his day job as a locations manager for Shortland St took over.

Matt was a scooter fanatic, running a scooter shop for many years in Richmond Road. I first came across him DJing at a party there, in the back yard, with Yardboy. I worked alongside Matt as part of the Bassteppa Sound System, and spent many a happy night mixing up effects and delays while peering at Matt's selections, trying desperately to read the labels so I could rush out the next day and buy them too.

He loved sharing music, and when I'd go to visit him, he'd delight in pulling out new tunes and say "have you heard this?" and then drop the needle on another great record he'd discovered while searching the net­ - he was an internet fiend when it came to finding records. I remember him playing me a tune we'd discussed often, telling me he'd got it online from a record store in Glasgow. He was dedicated to the pursuit of fine tuneage, and he was happy to tell you where he got it from, because he wasn't elitist about his tunes, like some DJs.

His passion for music was overshadowed by his passion for his family ­Trish, his partner of over 20 years (they met when he was living at the Red House), and his two children, Henry (4) and Lola-Jean (1). Three weeks before he passed away, Matt and Trish got married in a very moving ceremony. He succumbed to cancer, aged 42. He wasn't ready to go.

His funeral was attended by everyone from scooter boys to Shortland St stars, DJs, and many more. His co-host on the Downbeat Show, Michael Wells, talked at the funeral about how he first met Matt, when he bought a scooter off of him. "Naturally, it broke down." Matt fixed it and it then, it broke down again. And again, and Michael couldn't afford to get it fixed, so asked Matt if he could work to pay it off, and Matt gave him a job, out back in the yard, hence his DJ name.

Big Matt was a wicked DJ, and a fine, fine man. He will be greatly missed.
- Peter Mac

Sufferahs Choice
Top New Zealand DJs are joining forces to raise funds for cancer-stricken DJ Big Matt. All proceeds from this charity event will go to 'Big Matt' Watson and his family as he undergoes treatment for gastric cancer.

He's a top bloke, so get along if you can. I'm DJing, along with a heap of other cool cats.

"This special event will feature DJs Stinky Jim, Maiden Hong Kong, Selecto, Peter Mac (Dub Asylum), Dubhead, Slave, Manuel Bundy, Submariner, Cian, Junior, Bobby Brazuka, Slowdeck, The Chaplin, Ruffian & Mikey Sampson plus reggae soundsystems Jugglin Crew and Jafa Mafia. With over 200 years combined musical experience, this line up makes Sufferahs Choice an essential gig for reggae lovers and contemporary music fans alike.Two separate areas will be set up to cater for all the performers.

He's supported some big names, now it's time to support him. Last year Matt was the warm-up DJ for international ska legends Neville Staples' The Specials and The Skatalites. He has also supported the Mad Professor, the legendary duo of Linton Kwesi Johnson & Dennis Bovell and Tom Bailey's alter ego The International Observer.

There's a ton of pressure when you're warming up the crowd before a big name act. So how does Matt feel playing before someone like The Specials? "As a rule, if I'm really nervous and bitchy before a gig, it turns out great!"

Big Matt is a fanatical music collector famous for DJ sets covering everything from reggae and soul through to house and drum n bass. Reputedly Manuel Bundy's favourite local DJ, Matt began DJing in 1984 and has since performed hundreds of live sets and radio shows on 95bFM and Base FM."

Sufferahs Choice: Galatos, Auckland, Friday 23rd March from 9pm. In the spirit of charity, presale tickets are just $10 from Real Groovy, Conch and Beat Merchants or $15 on the door. Before midnight, door tickets are $10.

Reagge on the grass

Bassteppa International observer

Specials/Skatalites in Aotearoa
Catch Big Matt of Bassteppa supporting for the AKL shows...

Neville Staple's Specials (UK)
Wed 19 April 2006 @ Indigo Bar, Wellington (with Rubix Cuba (AUS) and the Offbeats)

Thurs 20 April @ Studio Live K'Road, Auckland (with Rubix Cuba (AUS), the Poisoners, tthe Managers, DJ Big Matt

The Skatalites (Jamaica)
Fri 21 April @ Studio Live, K'Road, Auckland with the Managers, the Offbeats, DJ Big Matt

Sat 22 April @ Indigo, San Francisco Bathhouse, Wellington (with the Managers and the Midnights)

Tickets are available from Ticketek and Real Groovy at $55 per show or a special 2-show price of $90 for both Neville Staple's Specials and the Skatalites.


Bassteppa Sound System have a few things on the boil for this year, 2005 was a quiet one for us. You can hear The Chaplin every saturday morning 7-9am on Radio 95BFM, and Peter Mac on Base FM 10am til Midday.

You can catch Peter Mac spinning at this event...

"Time for another day of live aerosole art, fun, football and bad Base tunes. All down at the the local gem of Ponsonby - Western Park.

Come check live graffiti art by Pest 5, Component, Trust Me, Flox, DT & Enforce One while Peter Mac, Plantmaster Grant, The Boil Up, Captain Midnight & Tuff Enchant, JC & MrMu and the Sandy Bay Social Club hold it down on the 1 & 2s.

There'll be stalls down there selling clothing, coffee & kai. Come check it, Shake & Bake -Saturday 18th March at Western Park, 12pm till 6pm. Watch out for the afterparty.



Soundsplash 2005

Bassteppa Sound System are playing live at Soundsplash 2005 - Raglan Eco Reggaefest, Feb 5th, Wainui Reserve Raglan, with Trinity Roots, Fat Freddys Drop, the Midnights, Roots Foundation, Blood and Fire Sound System and many more. Info at motherland.co.nz.

You can catch Big Matt at Leigh Sawmilll, New Years Eve. Take it easy!

Bassteppa live in Hamitron


Bassteppa Sound System, Dub Asylum, The Midnights, David Levi, Capt Nemo and more, playing live at Catalyst in Hamilton, August 14, first tune drops 10pm. Props to Contact FM.

Big Matt's Top Ten August 15 2004
1 Baby Cham and Kelis - Trick Me [Remix] {12} (Triple Crown)
2 Demolition Man - Sayton [Salvation Riddim] {7} (Freedom Sounds UK)
3 Skinnyman - I Be Surprised {12} (Low LIfe)
4 Beenie Man - King Of Dancehall {12} (Virgin)
5 Beenie Man & Ce'Cile - The Ting [Dancehall Rock Riddim] {7} (King Of Kings)
6 Bobby Kondors - Version [Sirens Riddim] {7} (Massive B)
7 Syros - Be What I Wanna B [Salvation Riddim] {7} (Freedom Sounds UK)
8 Sean Paul - Bounce It [Black Out Riddim] {7} (Black House)
9 Supercat - Reggae Matic {7} (Wild Bunch)
10 Main Source - Just Hanging Out [Your Hood Remix] {12} (Wild Pitch){12} (Wild Pitch)

Chart from www.beatmerchants.co.nz

Wickidness with Big Matt - Fridays BaseFM 17:00 - 19:00 www.basefm.co.nz

Check playlists at flavour.co.nz.

Big Matt presents a tribute to the late great Coxsone Dodd, on Sunday May 23, 2004 at 10pm NZT, on Radio 95BFM. It's also his final show on BFM.
See the final shows playlist here, along with some Studio One top ten lists from Dubhead, Stinky Jim and others.

Some feedback from the masses... niceness, people
Name: Jahmz Levi, Date: Mon Feb 17 17:50:12 2003
Comments: Peace and Love to the Bassteppers may your days be full of phat beatz and conscous flows... Rastafari Love everytime...

Name: Reece, Date: Mon Feb 10 16:54:35 2003 Comments: Thanks for the weeeekid performance at soundsplash, loved you guys. (was bummed I caught the tailend of dub asylum but was more than thrilled to catch the Bass steppa). If you guys are selling compilations let me know, I want 1 for me & some for my friends. If I'd have known you could pull that out of the bag I would have travelled to AK more often Peace & respect.. Reece


bassteappa poster

Dubble agenda