Interview with Ant TC1: from his first DJ show at 14, to managing Metalheadz

Manager of Metalheadz, co-founder of Dispatch Recordings and well known for his high energy DJ sets and dark productions, Ant TC1 is no stranger to the Drum ‘n’ Bass scene. This year Nozstock will be playing host to one of the most innovative and respected labels in the dance music scene, none of other of course than Metalheadz. Fresh back from living in Thailand, we caught up with Ant TC1 who will be representing for the Headz alongside Dillinja, S.P.Y, Randall, Amoss, Octo Pi  and Scope on Friday night at #Nozstock2018

So, what have you been up to recently?

I’ve pretty much only just moved back to the country, just getting used to being back here most of all and climatising. I’ve got 2 shows this weekend coming up and need to get some practice in and shake the rust off beforehand, can feel the nerves creeping in!

So, let’s start from the beginning. I’ve heard you’ve been DJing on pirate radios and in clubs since a very young age?

Yeah I turned 40 in Feb and I started falling in love with rave, jungle and as it’s now more commonly termed Drum & Bass at the age of 13 so back in 1991. Hearing Grooverider mix records together from a Fantazia live event mixtape in 1992 was what cemented my passion for only thinking about music 24-7 and wanting to learn to DJ and anything else I’m now doing today in relation to the music I still love a lot. I handed a demo in to a pirate radio station owner via a friend to get my first ever DJ show on pirate radio aged 14. I passed it over via a friend as I didn’t want the radio station owner / manager to know my age, I remember him laughing when I first showed up with a bag of vinyl ready for my first ever slot on the station but he let go at it, he was just shocked at my age really.

Since then you’ve made quite the name for yourself in the scene over the years and that all started off with yourself and Hidden Agenda launching Dispatch Recordings, right? Tell us a bit about that.

Yeah it was mostly Jason from Hidden Agenda, he’d moved to Leeds and I already had a residency at D.O.P.E (a weekly D&B night in the city that ran from I think 1994 onward), we met there, struck up a friendship and realised we were both into real similar music (swerving towards the deeper stuff at the time). I was already a massive fan of him and his brother Mark (who is now sadly no longer with us) as the Hidden Agenda duo, I just tried to not let on too much and be all fanboy about it. He asked for my help in setting up his own imprint and the label just grew into it’s own thing really over time, eventually Jason decided on a relocation back up north and wanted to take day job stuff / career more seriously as he’d recently had his first child, so rather than close the label I decided to carry it on with Jason’s full blessing.

What then got you into producing?

I’m not gonna lie, I had what I felt were strong ideas towards making music but was always petrified of approaching making music, it all looked so daunting and too complicated, I lacked confidence, just like I did in my DJ’ing for the first 2 years even though I can now look back and see technically I was OK at least (at a young age really I guess) for way longer than I felt I was personally. Eventually I met an old friend Graham (AKA Stress Level) who was starting out on musical production at the time, he had way more technical know how than me and taught me the basics, I always felt our first collabs were way more me simply adding to his own productions and I felt some unease at even having my name next to his on a finished track but through experience and his teaching I got a lot more involved. Next thing, after dedicated weekends working on our sound we sent out demos and got stuff signed pretty quickly, next thing we were having music played on radio 1 and both DJ’ing all over Europe and the rest of the world (which was something neither of us had really had the opportunity of doing much of previously other than the odd local shows at the odd night).

How did all of this then lead onto you managing Metalheadz?

Long story short, I started working on Headz events for Goldie. One day he called me and asked me to run the label, he liked what I’d done with Dispatch and said he liked working with me all round. He told me that he felt I genuinely loved the music, understood it and put it first above anything else so I was the person he felt comfortable offering the role to. I accepted, crazy feeling at the time and now, I had 2nd copies of the first Headz singles on my wall as a teenager, never would have imagined one day managing the label.

So you’re booked for The Cubicles at Nozstock this year alongside Dillinja, Randall, S.P.Y, Amoss & more…how do you think that’s going to go down?

You’ve got some real varied artists on, it’s a great line up, everyone is gonna offer something different and all of those artists are strong faves of mine, I think people are gonna have a blast start to finish, I hope so anyway!

What three things can’t you live without at a festival?

Jaffa Cakes, a spare back up tent and of course, the music.

What can we expect from Metalheadz in the rest of 2018?

We’ve got heaps of events worldwide, the label is showing no signs of slowing down, singles and EPs most weeks and albums from Blocks & Escher, OneMind, Goldie, Agzilla, we’ve got Lenzman, Jubei and Commix well into progress on their 2nd / follow up albums also.

Tell us about one of your favourite festival sets?

I’ve been lucky to play many over the years now, Outlook festival is always a good one, good memories of playing in the ‘Moat Arena’ to an almost ‘bumper sized long corridor’ arena full of people down the side wall of an abandoned fort. There’s something really unique about looking out at the crowd from the performance area.

Thanks to Ant Tc1 for taking time out of what sounds like a very busy schedule! We look forward to seeing him in July.

Metalheadz, DJ Mag Bunker, Black Sun Empire + more to takeover The Cubicles

 

“I’d never heard of Nozstock but I remember speaking to Andy C years ago and he said he was playing, so that triggered something. Festivals like this, those kind of un-sung hero’s… it’s hard for them. I was told, you can f****** play anything here because the crowd, they get it. The first three tunes I thought, let me see how they react, and they really f******* reacted to the deeper side of the music. Sometimes I struggle at festivals because I wanna play underground and play on the edge. I don’t want to compromise the music. It’s always a really good test (of the type of crowd) when you can play a lot deeper.” (Goldie)

Now with 20 years under our belt it is without question that drum ‘n’ bass holds a special place in our heart. Since the very beginning we’ve championed this sound with some of the UK’s drum ‘n’ bass pioneers coming to perform down on the farm.  We assure you that 2018 will be no exception…it’s going to be unmissable.

*Please be upstanding* Kicking things off and one of our three Orchard headliners we have English D&B duo, Chase & Status, performing a DJ set alongside MC Rage. Having formed in 2003, the same time our official D&B area, The Cubicles, was born, it seems fitting to have them take centre stage at this years festival, we’re more excited than ever before. Do not miss this one Nozstockers!

After two epic live stream sets last year from Levelz and Uncle Dugs, DJ Mag Bunker are back and this year in The Cubicles. Catch them collaborating with Metalheadz ready to bring you a bag of bass heavy tricks.  On Friday night they welcome respected and revered producer Dillinja, Remidy MC, Hospital Records most eminent producer S.P.Y as a special guest, the man with 25 years’ experience under his belt, Randall with M.C Trafic plus support from Dispatch Recordings’ Amoss, Metalheadz head honcho Ant TC1, and our special guest and long standing Nozstock veteran, Octo Pi, and homegrown local talent Scope. There is only one place we will be spending our Friday night.

On Saturday, Black Sun Empire represent the finest in dark and tech fuelled alongside another killer line-up featuring Mollie Collins, our very own Nozstocker Modify Perspective, returning legends Uncle Dugs & Billy Daniel Bunter and a special set from one of our favourite producers, Bladerunner ft. Carasel. The Cubicles are looking stronger than ever before just get us in them cowsheds!

Sunday sees a takeover of mammoth proportions on The Garden Stage but we can’t reveal much more then this yet…all we’re saying is if you love D&B we’ll be giving you over 6 hours of it closing 2018’s festival with an almighty bang.

Catch live performances from Goldfrapp, Macka B, The Selecter, Dub Pistols, Electric Swing Circus, Kiko Bun, The Lovely Eggs, Oh My God! It’s The Church & many more… The theme for the 20th anniversary is Nozstalgia – anything from Gameboys and Ghostbusters to the Karate Kid and flared jeans. The festival takes place across an idyllic working farm set in beautiful countryside.

The buffest DnB line up.

Goldie Randall DJ Marky Dub Phizix dnb at Nozstock

Our music team have been working like the clappers to bring you the tidiest DnB line up of the year.

As well as mammoth sets on the way from Friction ft. Linguistics, Dimension, Rene LaVice and The Prototypes, there’s a whole host of seminal turntablists representing at Noz this year. We thought we’d pick out a few highlights to whet your appetite!

This guy really needs no introduction; Goldie is a household name when it comes to drum ‘n’ bass and jungle. Since the start of his career in ’91, Goldie has performed at some of the biggest and best music venues and festivals across the planet. His first release, in ’92, was released under his alias ‘Ruffige Kru,’ and his calling card landed in ’94 when he started his own label, the world-renowned ‘Metalheadz’. The label has represented artists such as Dillinja, Total Science, and the late Diane Charlamaine. Goldie has his own style and his passion for music is apparent, resulting in him being awarded a MBE earlier this year by the Queen herself for services to music and young people, (Go Goldie!). Last year he brought his first show of the legendary album ‘Timeless’ to life, performing it with the Heritage Orchestra at sell-out shows across the country. This year is his eagerly awaited and unmissable debut appearance at The Hidden Valley. All hail Goldie!

Randall has been on the jungle scene for a whopping 24 years, a true pioneer of rave culture. His collaborations with other artists include legends DJ Hype, Andy C and Jumping Jack Frost. Randall’s sets are a fusion of DnB rollers and ‘ruff ‘n’ ready’ jungle- definitely one for the old school heads! Catch him tearing up the Garden Stage over the weekend.

This year we welcome the infamous DJ Marky! Hailing from Sau Paulo, Brazil, this guy is guarenteed to get your feet moving with his unique trademark style. With cult classics such as ‘LK’ and ‘Yellow Shoes’ under his belt, its no wonder people flock to see him play. Joined this year by the legendary MC GQ, Marky’s set will be a gud’un for sure, so sing it with us now- ‘It’s the waaaay!’

Back by popular demand, Dub Phizix returns to the farm this year, joined by one of the best UK MC’s around, Strategy. Dub Phizix smashed up the dance in 2012 with his set in The Cubicles, and we’re sure it’l be the same story with this deadly duo on the Garden Stage this year. With an unmistakeable style and catchy as anything tunes, such as ‘Marka’ and ‘I’m a creator’- this set is sure to go down a storm.

But that’s not all we’ve got for you…

Our other amazing acts include; Ulterior Motive b2b Jubei, Amoss, Teddy Killerz, Jaguar Skills, Rockwell, Xtrah & Stealth, Uncle Dugs, Octo Pi and more. So get your skankin’ shoes on, stretch those hamstrings and get ready for the best weekend of the year!!

To see the full Cubicles line up click here and check out the Garden Stage here.

Win a set in The Hidden Valley with our #DJNoz2016 competition

Think your DJ skills deserve a bigger stage than your bedroom?

Our annual competition for up and coming turntable talent returns in collaboration with Data Transmission.

We’re on the lookout for a DJ to get our bass-lovers bouncing at the festival this year, playing a set in the Cubicles, which this year boasts the likes of Friction, Dimension, Rene Lavice, The Prototypes and many more.  You’ll get 2 free weekend tickets to the festival and Data Transmission will do an exclusive interview with the winner, to be seen by their trusted readers, tweeters and Facebook troop. We’ll even throw in travel expenses and some food and drink in the dressing room, ’cause we’re nice like that.

To enter, please submit your best track via Mixcloud by midnight 20 May 2016 following these simple steps:

  1. ‘Like’ the Nozstock and Data Transmission Facebook pages.
  2. Upload a mix of no more than 20 minutes to Mixcloud.
  3. Title the mix “Nozstock Data Transmission DJ Comp 2016 – Your Name
  4. Tag the mix: “DJNoz2016 ”. If you fail to tag the mix correctly, your entry may be missed.
  5. Write a short biography including your DJ name, real name and mixcloud user name in the description.
  6. Add tracklist.
  7. Use the competition cover-art provided here.
  8. Your mix should reflect the set you would play at Nozstock. Make sure it’s huge!

The winner will be selected by a panel of judges from Nozstock and Data Transmission. All entrants must be based in the UK and available 22-24 July 2016. For full T&Cs and application info check out this page.

If you want to take a look at Data Transmission’s interview with last year’s winner, DKN, head over to their site.

Good luck, we can’t wait to hear your submissions!


Mike Hale DJNoz2016

Hospitality take over The Cubicles: London Elektricity, Etherwood, Danny Byrd…

Cubicles

So Noztrekkers, have we got an out of this world treat for you?! Hospital Records are taking over The Cubicles on Friday Night! Since 1996, Hospitality has grown to be the best known independent label in the UK dance music scene. To name but a few, we are delighted to say we have the big chief himself  London Elektricity on the bill plus Etherwood who is undoubtedly one of the most promising young talents in the scene today having received support from Radio One, XFM and remixed high profile artists including Lana Del Ray. We also have Danny Byrd, one of the first artists to sign to the Hospital label, with his own inimitable take on soulful, vocal Drum & Bass, plus Metrik and Krakota impressing the dance floor. It’s going to be epic. Expect Intergalactic beats while you do the old robotic rave…