D A R R E N . M A T H I A S S E N

drummer . musician . pun master . session player . pop hit maker . engine room for Shapeshifter, Hollie Smith, and heaps of other cool cats...


music news
D burger

The official song to support the NZ Olympics team is Ana Hi Give it Your All! features D on drums and was produced by ILLRIOT aka Kirsten Te Rito and Hemi Illingworth (winners of Waiata Maori Music Awards 2016 Best Pop and Urban album for Aiotanga, plus nominees for the Silver Scrolls Maioha Award and now the NZ Music Awards for Maori Album)

HOLLIE SMITH is a finalist for Best Female Solo Artist and Album of the Year for Water or Gold in the NZ Music Awards. Congrats boss, well done x

SORCERESS album vocals a la Rachel Fraser are being recorded at Boom Clack studio

IVA LAMKUM is back, check this rendition of Solange's Cranes in the Sky with Bella Kalolo

Synth Stomp Blues coming from the THREE RAYS (Dayle JellymanTyson Smith & D) - an album's worth of Dayle's tunes has been recorded at Surgery Studios with Dr Lee (August 2016)

Outside Looking In from the recent JAY POWER NZ tour, what a sassy Aussie!

New new wave of 80s Brit synth pop born in the Antipodes, GENERAL KALA's video for their first single Sleepwalker is out soon, but check out the debut EP HEXAD

SHAPESHIFTER's latest album Stars (produced with THE UPBEATS) - release date. Friday 4 November 2016 --> here's the title track - plus NZ tour dates

*** [breaking news] SHAPESHIFTER is to perform at the NZ Music Awards

D shot by Bradley Garner Apr 2016 img-9

Darren Mathiassen endorses...

SONOR Drums the vertical grain shells, extraordinary and absolutely unique veneers, unmistakable tone and resonance...

SABIAN Cymbals steeped in the ancient methods yet delivering cymbal tones which scale the sheer boundary of physical possibility in sound and construction...

ROLAND Electronics reliable, compatible, customisable, durable, versatile, and just the best sounding electronic percussion instruments...

As well as REMO Drum Heads, VATER Drum Sticks, ACS CUSTOM In-Ear Monitors and SENNHEISER; plus high fives and big thumbs ups to ROCKSHOP New Zealand

These prestigious companies offer above-industry-standard, well-established, great sounding series of product, through to one-of-a-kind custom-shop, signature, hand-crafted, or uniquely customisable pieces.

D’s current set-up: Sonor S-Classix, Artist Series Snares : Sabian Legacy and Signature Cymbals : Roland TD-9KX, and SPD-SX

“When I was but a nipper bangin’ pots and pans, you could only dream about making music on incredible instruments. Then out of the blue, the Rockshop appeared nation-wide… suddenly our own filthy mitts had access to world-class proper musical gear, to check it all out for real, not just in drum mags. Then us funky troublemakers had no excuse but to actually make something of ourselves…”

gig photos

behind the kit

Magus of a loathsome groove, Darren Mathiassen or D. (or Dirty or Dazza) is an obliging Kiwi/Scouser chap who is also a mighty fine drummer. With his engaging nature, up-for-it attitude and fairly outrageous skill set, D regularly performs and records a spectrum of sounds, from jazz to hiphop to stage show to futuristic soul to psychedelic rock, with a myriad of musicians throughout his home country of New Zealand as well as around the world.

Bluff-born D’s organic grooves are integral to the homegrown flavours of Aotearoa, through groups and artists such as Iva Lamkum, Rhombus, Age Pryor, Bella Kalolo, Charlotte Yates and Trinity Roots (in particular, with the iconic Little Things), but his long-standing bond with sterling soul sista, Hollie Smith, has produced both top selling albums and unforgettable performances. And then auspiciously, much to the excitement of hardcore festival party goers, as of NYE 2012/13, D picked up heavier sticks and became the pounding heart of soul'n'drum'n'bass behemoth, Shapeshifter

Darren is honoured to have opened shows for global superstars and legends such as Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Coldplay, Dr John, Simply Red, and Taj Mahal among others.

A few of the festivals and events D has appeared at include: Glastonbury (UK), Exit Festival (Serbia), Blue Note Festival (France), Winter Olympics (Canada), Blues & Roots Fest (AUS & NZ), Singapore Sun Festival, Jarasum Jazz Festival (South Korea), Rhythm & Vines (NZ), Big Day Out (AUS & NZ), WOMAD (NZ), Auckland City Limits (NZ), Tora Tora Tora (NZ), and Grand Points North Festival (VT,USA).

  •  Brooklyn, Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand

A roll call of D's musical community, in no particular order:

Tyna Keelan & The NokHollie Smith, Jay Power, Three Rays, Deva Mahal, General Kala, Bella Kalolo, Iva Lamkum, Bliss n Eso, Kenny Kirkland, Drew Menzies, Trinity Roots, Aaradhna, Kirsten Te Rito, Nathan Haines, Rhombus, Rhian Sheehan, Module, Lotus, Charlotte Yates, Julia Deans, The Wellington Synthonia, Michael Barrymore, Aled Jones, Stirling Hern, Sacha Vee, Tyra Hammond, LA Mitchell, Neil Finn, Sweet Cream, Darren Watson, Tardis, Age Pryor, Lisa Tomlins, The Pleasures, Tyson Smith, Jazz Firefly, The Coasters, The Drifters, John Davidson, Lorna Luft, Naki Ataman, Matt Penman, Michael Taylor Quintet, The Yeabsley Brothers / Twinset, Residue, M-Jay Collective, Mara TK, Billy TK, Soul Paua, Jim Trimble (from Buddy Rich band), The Beatgirls, , Frankie Stevens, Brannigan Kaa, Nic Hurman, Don McGlashan, Vinyl Bison, Fredericks Brown, Hamish McKeich, David Long, Nick Gaffaney, The Upbeats, Shapeshifter...

btw - if you're seeking quality live music for any type of event, background to headline, from stylish jazz combo to slinky groove collective to party dance band (The Cut-Outs being a fine example), please get in touch and we'll be happy to help coordinate appropriately excellent entertainment...


Kia Ora and thanks for your enquiry on Mathiassen musical matters (recording sessions, tours, gigs, etc)...

boom clack studio

Shapeshifter Upbeats Raro sesh  

Chart-topping 2016 New Zealand album Water or Gold by Hollie Smith was recorded and engineered in D's bro-fessional studio, rhythm tracks were laid down as a band (with D on drums, Marika Hodgson on bass and Daniel Hayles on keys), then there was some horns, plus a last minute (late at night) 'gospel' choir...

Let Darren record drums and percussion for YOUR tracks - and/or - D is available as an audio engineer for tracking/mixing your musical project (particularly vocals) in his Boom Clack studio --> cosy, comfy and with heaps of mean vibes, enquiry form ^^^ above...

"DJ Shadow's album 'Introducing' was a big influence on me, and something Josh said in that 2002 documentary 'Scratch' always stuck... there's a scene where he's in the basement of his local record store, digging through a bottomless cache of records, having both a karmic experience of possibility, and a humbling experience in that we'll all eventually end up in that same basement no matter how invincible we think we are... so for music makers, I reckon just gotta do good work while we're still here... otherwise maybe I should start investing my time into open sourcing some kind of clean free energy system, like hydrogen-on-demand or something, hmmmm, not sure if that's gonna happen! ... anyhow, thanks for supporting live music... there's so much incredible stuff going down at your local, buy a drink if you're digging it, it actually makes all the difference..."

D tiki tshirt

D xx