Easy Mike! We’ve spoken only a few times but you’re one of the solid family in my books (Manchester division). I saw you play down at Nurtured Beatz in Brixton and again in Bristol, constantly catching vibes. I seem to remember speaking to you at the after party… then getting the most savage urge to spray paint all over the place… (Apologies for that haha) Anyway we will catch up soon properly for sure bro!
When we last caught Antagonist we asked him a few Questions, take a peep at his answers below.
Can you introduce yourself for the readers who don’t know about you?
Yo, yeah course. My names Mike, 23 years old, from Manchester, UK born and raised. I write electronic drum & bass music under the alias ‘Antagonist‘. I’ve been involved with music since around 14, first started out with my Grandad teaching me to play keyboard, DJing for 9years so far, professionally at club level for 5 years and writing my own music for near 3years now.
A number of great producers and MCs have been coming out of the Manchester scene off late, we’re southerners over here at in-reach, can you tell us a bit about what is going on up there?
Fucking hell what isn’t going on up here haha! You’ve got all kinds of movements in all forms of underground electronic music, from hip-hop to techno to drum & bass, and even grime. There is a lot of groups all doing different things, can be hard to keep track, but when it comes down to it, everybody helps each other where they can you know. A big part of why Manchester artists are exposed so well right now is because of this, it’s a collective thing so the more people pushing creates one big push. Myself, I’ll admit, I’ve kept myself to myself up here with regards my production but I keep in regular contact with all Mancunian artists and no doubt I will get involved with others when the time is right. The Estate Recordings gang are making serious moves right now, they deserve it.
We know today is the release of the Vortex EP on Nurtured Beatz (more details on this in the feature interview coming soon) Do you have any other releases lined up in the near future?
Yes, its out now, thanks to everyone who has checked it, bought it already and supporting it, honoured! Releases wise I can announce a couple, in the new year I have a track forthcoming on Broken Audio, which has paved the way for many a great drum & bass artist, the track coming on there is something by me and a geezer called Paragon. Aside from that I’m also writing a single for Rawganics music. If I’m honest I get hit up left right and centre from labels now, but I’m beginning to select carefully which label I work with, I think that’s important for growth as an artist.
What have you been up to over the last year?
With regards music, just trying to keep my head down, refining my sound in the studio, had a very busy year with gigs as well which has been wicked, got the chance to play in various cities around the UK that I haven’t played more, met a lot of good people which has been really cool to connect with new people and network. Its been a busy year but most of all I just try to keep it real and do my thing.
What influences you when writing music?
It can be anything from the mood I am in, what’s gone on in that day before hitting the studio or even music I’ve listened to around sitting down and starting to build something. As I live out of the city centre a little , sometimes I take a trip out to a quiet place, smoke one up and just look around at the view, that sometimes kicks up some feelings, thoughts and generally a direction for a track if I’m getting onto the beats when I get home. Various things, it’s never the same inspiration technique each time.
Samples or Analogue?
Samples for me, to a degree its all I have access to at the moment and I’m enjoying playing around with audio, one day maybe I will start experimenting with analogue gear, I have a couple friends who have such gear and its always fun going round their studios and checking out what can be done.
Vinyl or Digital?
From teaching myself on belt drive Numarks with vinyl, I played vinyl for many years, you can’t beat that enjoyment and feel from it. However I did make the switch to digital , and use CDJs when playing in the clubs, however that doesn’t stop me from reaching out for a classic 12” now and then ! Recently picked up Nico & Makai – Omen on a white 12”, killer!!
Could you run is through your current studio set-up?
At the moment I’m using Cubase 5 as my DAW, the usual synths and plugins that are quite common, I also heavily use the Waves bundle and the Lexicon Reverbs and Kontakt for re-sampling basses etc. Monitoring wise I reference through different things because of the acoustics of my home studio, so I have a set of KRK Rokit 6’s, a pair of Beyerdynamic dt770s, the 250ohm version and a pair of Sennheiser HD 25s. The Beyerdynamic’s have really helped me progress my dynamics in my music since I started using them, shouts to Homemade Weapons for the recommendation last year haha.
What do you get up to when not in the studio or DJ’ing?
Apart from working as an Electrician, not much else! My life is music and most of my spare time is for this. However when I do take some time off the music it’s the usual things , catching up with mates, playing video games but not that heavily, currently playing a game called Beyond:Two Souls, so deep, sucked me right in haha. I watch a lot of documentaries and films and educate myself on things about the world, I enjoy that a lot more than attempting to watch mind numbing bullshit on TV. I think if I had more spare time I would like to try read more.
Top 3 tunes in your bag at the moment?
Gremlinz & Paragon – Oranda
Sam KDC – Ascetic
Overlook – Narrows
Artists we need to watch out for?
This is a question that the answer changes for every producer / DJ very often, my answer could be different if you asked me tomorrow, but to watch out for in terms of upcoming and not already out there. Overlook 100%, the guy is bringing some proper goodness without a doubt. Also Clarity, Paragon, Dyl, Clarity, Mental Forces, Dave Hoax, Detail , there are more but I’d be here for ages ha!
Antagonist copped some studio time to record us our own Exclusive InReach Guestmix ahead of his release on Nurtured Beatz, Check it out below! Full tracklisting available via our Soundcloud.