Since its humble beginnings in 2001 Dispatch Recordings have gone from strength to strength with a staggering array of impressive releases from its army of artists, and the label shows absolutely no signs of slowing down any time soon. On the contrary they seem to be growing bigger and bolder by the minute, and in just under a week they’ll be hosting their very first standalone event at Plan B in Brixton, showcasing an incredible line-up filled with outstanding talent including Bailey, Ant TC1, DLR, SCAR, Amoss, Gerra & Stone, and special guest Icicle.
Ahead of the event we scored an exclusive mix from Dispatch regulars Amoss, and if this mix is anything to go by, the event is going to be an impressive display of world-class drum & bass.
We also caught up with label bossman Ant TC1, one of the busiest men in d&b, to see what’s on the horizon for Dispatch in the near future…
Thanks for joining us Ant! Where have we caught you today?
I’m in the office in Leeds where I tend to spend most of my life of late!
First of all, that is a HUGE line up… what can people expect at a Dispatch event if they’ve never been?
I think they can expect some nice and gritty, deep and very underground D&B I guess.
With ‘Momentum’ in Leeds wrapping up last year, and two more Dispatch events confirmed for August and November, can we expect a regular night in London?
Yeah it’s looking like it so far, it seems there’s a call for it and people are buying tickets, it’s always nerve racking doing a night in the capital and even more so as this is our first standalone event in London where the events being sold purely on what it is – a Dispatch Recordings night with no other headliners / bigger labels in any other rooms so we’re definitely nervous!
I hear one of the first gigs you ever put on was using the money your mother gave you for your birthday… if you could give yourself one piece of advice back then what would it be?
Mine would be to do it all again and not change a single thing. I lost all that money pretty much that night and we had about 30 people through the door, I reckon 10 of those were on our guest list too but it was all a means to where I am now I guess continuing my path with this music.
What do you think the biggest differences are in the scene today compared to when you first started in this line of work?
It’s all very digital and very web based now with all the awareness and growth being channeled though social media as an almost primary stable to get music heard and out there, back then we used phones that looked like building bricks to call a friend or the record shop, we’d then proceed to play them a tune from a Dreamscape tape pack to try and find out what it was and if they had the record in on 12”. Crazy when you think but I’ve enjoyed every bit of it and the changes technology has presented us with.
Seeing some huge releases on dispatch recently!! Some examples being the DLR, Nymfo, Need for Mirrors & HLM collab on Totem, and the Roots EP with Kolectiv, Dexta & Mauoq- what’s in store for the label for the rest of the year?
We’ve got a change of distribution to announce very soon, it’s a big step up for us and a move that we’re very happy with. We’ve got albums from both Cern & DLR on the way and some mammoth projects lined up. It’s looking like another busy year all in.
What else is in the pipeline for yourself as an artist- can we expect to see more of your own production this year?
Not much. I hate myself for it but I just don’t have as much time as I used to in order to focus on a few days in the studio. I am where I am and I obviously (much as I moan to anyone who will listen about not having the time to write music) prioritise the things that take up my day / working week more than anything else.
Me and DLR did a remix for Quadrant and Iris recently that we’re both chuffed with, we’ve given that to Break and one or 2 others for now and they seem to be liking it and are playing it which is always nice of course. We worked quick that weekend and also have a track almost done that I started on my own years ago and never really nailed the drums too well on, and with DLR being an absolute drum-punch technique master, he stuck a few of his own baked up drums in there and off we went! It sounded better instantly and we’ve got a vocalist whose laid something nice down on top of that one too so I need to get back to Bristol to finish that off with him soon.
I’m set to work with SCAR / Cern and Xtrah too at some point and I wanna get back to doing some more on my own but for all of those to happen I feel like something would have to give at the moment, and I’m just not sure what.
You’re artist manager at Outlook & Dimensions festival as well- Working with so many different artists, what’s the most ridiculous request you’ve ever seen on a rider?
Hahaha. I can’t go into too much detail as it’s not worth my neck(!) but Busta Rhymes’s is pretty insane I can’t deny. When printed it probably just about beats the Holy Bible for number of pages!
Will there be another Dispatch boat party at Outlook this year?
Oh yeah, details are on the way soon.
Artists/releases you’re really excited about at the moment?
Ah the list is too long, D&B’s bloomin’ great at the minute. Cern, Jubei, AI, DLR, Lenzman, Ulterior Motive, SCAR, Quadrant & Iris, DBR UK, Mako, Villem, Mikal, Gerra & Stone, Silent Witness, Kolectiv, Hyroglifics, Dexta, Mauoq, Amoss, Fre4knc, Mindmapper, Skeptical, Halogenix, SB81, Xtrah, Gamma, Nymfo… Guys if I’ve forgotten any of you just punch me in the face when you see me, that’ll have me remembering next time.
You’re notorious for being one of the busiest men in d&b- what do you do to relax?
Put quite simply I don’t! On the odd chance I do I prefer to switch my head / chain of thought off completely. I’ll literally lay on the couch , everything silent and look outside at the clouds or snuggle up and fiddle around with my dogs ears… that or go to the pub and down some pints.
If you could time travel which event would you visit in the entire history of the universe and why?
Oooooooh. Beyond all doubt it’s Fantazia 92 at Castle Donnington, the tape packs from that event as a 13 year old kid cemented my love for what has become this music today.
Any final shout outs?
Shouts to everyone who comes and watches me DJ and everyone in a working or friend capacity who tolerates me! And my family too who I don’t see as much as I’d like to but love dearly.
To catch the Dispatch Recordings crew at Plan B this Saturday get tickets here.