An interview with Ant TC1 [LiR Special]

He is one of the icons of the Drum and Bass music. In nearly 20 years Ant TC1 is one of the leading artists of the scene. His influence on the DnB culture is immense. During all these years, when hi is in the business, he presents a proper music, that always follows the trends of modernity, but always keeps the pure sound from the past. Back in 2001 he founded Dispatch Recordings. Besides that, Ant TC1 is one of music managers in the legendary label Metalheadz. He is responsible for the line up of many major festivals and label nights.  In any case, Ant TC1 it is one of the main pillars that supports DnB culture on a high level.

This year Ant TC1 is going to participate at Let it Roll Festival, near Prague (Czech Republic). He will be a part of the Metalheadz stage, where we can see also the big names such as Goldie and dBridge, great artists like DLR, Ulterior Motive, Lenzman, B-Complex and SP:MC. About all the expectations of the artist at the festival, about his future projects and his greatest achievements, Ant TC1 will tell us in the next few lines.

You can follow Ant TC1 and his projects here:

- Ant TC1 Soundcloud
- Dispatch Recordings Official Site

- Metalheadz Official Site

This interview is held with the full support of our partners Autonomic DnB Bulgaria. Have a nice reading!



Bass Blog [BB]: Hello! During your long career, a lot of interesting things happened around you. Your own label - DISPATCH RECORDINGS - will soon release its number 100. Did you expect such success in 2001?

Ant TC1 [Ant]: 
No way! I never really looked that far ahead, never even came into my brain space that we’d reach 100 releases but I feel like we must have done something well to get so far.

BB: Some time ago, you have announced, that you will slow down the activity of the Dispatch. Is this idea still active? Dispatch releases a new EP almost every week.

We had a patch where we were doing so but I’m focusing much more on artist focused EP’s and albums as releases, you’ll notice at my time of writing this we’ve slowed things down a little already, please note we’ve releaased more music in the 2013/2014 years than almost every other label in the drum & bass scene, a quick look on discogs will back this claim up I’m sure.

BB: What were your goals and ideas, when you've created Dispatch in 2001?

When I first started supporting Hidden Agenda (when he first started the label) it was initially just to release our own music on a small imprint, there were never any big plans in all honesty.

BB: Except in Dispatch, you are one of the main engines in Metalheadz. How hard is it for you, to work so actively for two legendary DnB labels?

It’s not that hard purely because I’m well practiced, I enjoy it too much to see it as work sometimes, yeah the spreadsheets bit is boring I’m not gonna lie but that element is an essential need in being effective at what we do along with everything else.

BB: Over the years, you've worked with many artists. Which collaborations you will always remember?

Too hard to say, I’ve enjoyed all the collabs I’ve worked on equally, I don’t think it’s something thats ever not worked with anyone, if it doesn’t work the tunes never get agreed on as finished I guess.  One that does stick out in memory is ‘The Jazz Club’ (which is a track by DLR, Octane and me) as we took a different approach with that one, the right samples for the intro were key but we couldn’t quite hit the smokey Harlem Jazz club vision I had for it so we created some of that ourselves.  The vocal is actually me (the coughing wheeze) and the ignition sound and key rattles were all recorded into the mic and then layered on top of the instrumentation that already existed. It was a fun track to do all round for all of us.

BB: You have played in many countries worldwide. From where did you have the strangest memories? Shared with us some the weirdest moments during your live acts.

The best memories are always the ones of the people that are still around at 6 or7AM, the ones you feel like going over to and saying ‘it’s not too late to go home mate’ haha. I once played at a festival in Leeds when I was about 17 or 18 years old and I played after a live band performed, the music was ducked so low for the DJ’s between live bands that I’ll be honest in saying i pushed the sound into the reds a little (well I lie, it was more than a little!) just so people didn’t walk off, honestly the sound was so poor and far too quiet, anyway out of nowhere the sound engineer jumps gets on the table in front of the stage and literally dives right at me whilst I’m playing, at the last second I saw him and moved out of the way so he landed in the mud behind me then tried to get up and come at me full force, the security stepped in and held him back whilst he screamed at me for being ‘another dickhead DJ who always goes into the reds!!!’ haha, talk about intense eh?!  Anyway I carried on playing (stil riding the reds to overcompensate for the lack of any kind of volume). If we had another 5 hours I could tell you loads more stories! So many...

BB: What can we expect from you soon? Do you prepare some new tracks or releases? Are you planning new collaborations?

I’m kinda too busy working on everyone elses music and releasing those, a lot of these guys and girls are way better at production that me anyway!
I’ve got a couple of bits with Survival me and him need to work on more, a remix me and DLR did for Friske is on the way soon plus me and DLR are working on a track with a vocalist for Metalheadz, I started the hook and some drums a long time ago but DLR plodded a new set of his own pre-built layered drums in there and it sits like a charm as well as sounding better than the ones I had in there, could be a promosing one but lets see in time.

BB: This year, you're part of the Let it Roll line up. You will participate on Metalheadz stage on Thursday (30.07). What are your expectations from the festival?

The festival looks HUGE, I just hope the crowd (as I do with any crowd) that they are up for hearing some different more experimental stuff, I’m playing less big tunes than ever you could say lately so I hope they’re gonna feel the tunes even if it’s what some people in the crowd might not expect.

BB: How many times have you been a part of Let it Roll Festival?

This is my first time ever so I’m immensely looking forward to it.

BB: Are there some artists at the LiR Festival, which you would like to listen in live?

Obviously everyone on the Metalheadz night but then I am biased!  Would like to hear Ivy Lab play as their music is consistently great, Break, plus Noisia too, probably too many to mention overall.

BB: What kind of man is Ant TC1 during festivals, when he is not on the stage? What do you like to do, when you're not behind the decks?

Ant: Checking the festival out as much as possible, I’m not one for hanging backstage and all doing all that networking stuff, I’ll be honest it bores me to death! I’d rather be out enjoying the music personally but each to their own of course.

BB: You're a veteran of the stage. For more than 20 years you are an active DnB artist. How has DnB developed over the years? What innovations in the sound do you expect to appear in the future?

The innovation is down to the people writing the music, there’s a lot of producers who play it safe and you can tell their sound is driven by money or hitting the top spot on Beatport, to some it comes across as overly important.  I can only speak for myself and what I am into and I don’t think my taste is ‘better’ than anybody elses that’s for sure, for me I love hearing artists who are challenging themselves in their music and level of production and coming up with something new and fresh with each release.

BB: Who will be the next big DnB name, according to you?

It’s a hard question and I’m not driven by who is big I’m just driven by whats good or not good (to my own tastes), I think SCAR have some pretty great material on the way, George Commix sent me some new bits and some old unreleased bits that I fell in love with instantly, Artificial Intelligence’s album is a work of art too, can’t wait for people to hear that upon it’s release.  As far as new guys to the scene go I really rate Gerra & Stone very highly, their sound seems to be hard to pin down and that’s something I like, plus they seem to improve with every release.

BB: Thanks about your time! Wish something the readers!

Ant: Thanks anyone reading this and anyone who likes what we do at Metalheadz.  We always apprciate the support.


This interview is a part of our Let it Roll Coverage. Follow this links, if you need more information about the festival:

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