Dispatches from Ant TC1 PLUS free exclusive track
Ant TC1. He’s the mastermind behind the firing Dispatch Recordings label. He’s a seasoned DJ and one of the few who mixes live with the monitors as loud as Andy C. And similarly, after this much time his hearing has held out long enough to never ever falter on the A&R front.
As well as catching up with him, we have an exclusive new and unheard track from Safire and DLR entitled ‘Medusa’. Click here to grab this killer from the Dispatch Recordings camp.
But back to Ant TC1: from hammering the 1210s to getting beaten by Spanish maids it’s business as usual…
Ant, we’ve recently had Transit 2 drop, easily one of the year’s most punchy and absorbing comps with the likes of Amoss, Quadrant & Iris, Safire, DLR (who have given us THAT free tune), Silent Witness on here so how did it come to pass that the album would feature such names?
I think they’re all quite simply very on the ball and talented producers who I’m sure accidentally – but great for me – seem to nail exactly what the label’s about. None of the tunes from anyone on this album were even pondered on for a second: they were all instant decisions, all I had to do then was contact them with my fingers crossed hoping I could nail their great track submissions for the album.
(Safire and DLR’s contributions to Transit 2 appear below)
When did you know that you had an album’s worth of tunes?
It’s a hard one to explain really. I had a few tracks that I thought we’re immensely strong but were in a pot named ‘to release’. I looked at these four to five and just thought ‘each of these are really varied. Hmmmmm maybe it’s time to kick off the early stages of Transit 2 with these ones.’
The album art is very mysterious and beautiful: like the tunes really. Can you tell us about it?
The art is a collection of crystals… at least I think so: the designer Christian at LDPix may shoot me if I’ve got this wrong! All cleverly photographed together so it’s all completely original. It took him a lot of effort and work of which I’m very grateful for. I think it’s some of the best and most creative art we’ve seen on the label. I hope Christian’s pleased with his work: he’s not the type to go round saying ‘Yeah I’m a sick guy’ or anything he’s more of a ‘Yeah I’m silently satisfied’ type.
Applying your A&R filter to the scene, what sort of names are you getting excited about?
SCAR are a massively exciting duo set to do great things in 2014. DLR as ever always comes with the goods, we’ve got great EPs from Safire, Silent Witness and much output from others.
And as of writing I’ve nailed an EP from Mako which is truly astounding. He’s going to have an incredible year in 2014, mark my words on that one.
On to DJing, what’s your point of view from behind the decks: what’s your attitude to playing?
My view behind the decks? Hmmmm I guess for me I like to keep it traditional. I still use vinyl a lot of the time but I only do this when the tech spec is up to scratch. If anything’s gonna suffer tech-wise it always seems to be the bloomin’ technics 1210s. I only really fling vinyl on if I’ve been able to check it’s all running ok before the club doors open.
I definitely like playing long sets and loads of wax as well as CD. I find I come off the most happiest with my sets when I can play as aforementioned so thanks to all the promoters that work hard and push the venue and their sound guys to nail the set up for old school dinosaurs like me!
What sort of things get a good reaction from the fans?
Reaction wise, again I love spinning some old stuff off wax, a hidden old rare gem that you can’t even grab on digital and pull out of the woodwork and onto the plates as crowd seems to go off well as well as pretty much anything the guys I mentioned earlier are doing.
I’m definitely not one of those DJs that plays something because I think it will go off though. I’ve played tunes that don’t always get the best response because I believe in it. I can play it elsewhere three months later and it’ll send the club nuts – I don’t see any of this as any kind of learning curve though, playing music I believe in and praying the crowd will follow is always my main goal otherwise what’s the point?
I don’t ever want to become a juke-box DJ, it’d all feel a bit soul-less to me, I’d rather call it a day and do something else all together instead.
Like a ‘day job’? Remarkable considering you have possibly one of the most intensive promoting/organisational responsibilities in the entire industry AS WELL. It would make your typical 9-5 non-music admin assistant run off screaming.
Yeah I work for Outlook and Dimensions Festivals which are two festivals under the same parent company based in Croatia.
They are held in quite high esteem I hear. For those lucky enough to attend. Not that I’m bitter.
Put it like this: I remember seeing a photo go up from the Clearing stage where we hosted Metalheadz and DMZ to mention a couple at Outlook festival last year and something about seeing the crowd at that particular moment responding to something the MC had done was just something that made me feel like all the hard work was absolutely worth it, it really resonated highly with me and almost instantly wiped all those feelings of stress to one side – it made me think ‘Yes, THIS is why we do this to ourselves: to see this!’
We’re also running into our final year of running Momentum in Leeds after 11 years, due to time constraints mostly.
So I guessing 2013 was a good one, all in all?
2013 was definitely an outstanding year for us. We had the best year ever as far as feedback from our audience went and our goal is to improve on this even more in 2014. It’s an exhausting role but I love it and thats what keeps me going.
As we proceed, how is the ‘Dispatch’ sound different to other labels out there? How would you depict yourselves?
I think I see other labels move along with trends or maybe just want to head in a different direction and want some change to keep things exciting – it’s hard to say I really can’t speak for them but they are all great labels that I admire that’s for sure, it’s all ‘real’ D&B if you know what I mean. Some people might even call us boring or stagnant I have no idea and I don’t care either in all honesty, my only objective is to keep releasing music I truly feel is good irrespective of any other factors what so ever.
I once heard about you being notoriously ambushed by foreign shots. Do you have a similar exclusive?
I tour the US fairly frequently and two years ago on one trip right at the very end in San Diego – due to a quite frankly stupid amount of Tequila – I ended up falling into and sleeping in a bush wearing just my underpants outside my hotel room – only to be woken (with sunburn) at eight or nine am. I can’t remember.
I just recall it was by a cleaning lady who was poking me over and over in my chest with a broomstick asking me ‘What the hell are you doing’ in Spanish. I ran in, showered, got my stuff together and just caught the 11 hour flight back home to England.