PUSHING ALL THE RIGHT BUTTONS: AN INTERVIEW WITH ANT COLE
First off, tell em who you are and what you do?
Ant Cole, Music lover / Vinyl junkie / DJ / Owner of Dusty Platter
Tell me about Dusty Platter?
Dusty Platter is essentially a group dedicated to the love of Vinyl. At the moment, it consists of an online Blog, monthly podcast and record label. The purpose of the blog is to help keep vinyl alive and support the whole culture that comes with it. There are a lot of hard-working people in the scene and I wanted to give something back to them. The blog consists of a variety of categories related to vinyl. As time goes on, I’m looking to expand Dusty Platter even further and eventually start putting on live events and a few other things.
How did you first get in to Hip-Hop, Funk and Soul?
I’ve always been a big lover of music, and even when I was little, I usually had my headphones plugged into a tape or CD player. However, because I’m fairly young, I didn’t grow up with the whole ‘golden era’ of Hip Hop, so I didn’t actually start listening to it until I was about 13/14. I found out about classic albums like Illmatic, Livin’ Proof, The Infamous, etc and was instantly attached. I remember me and my brother Pete used to play those albums everyday and for a while, I only used to listen to US stuff, but then I slowly got into some UK material. I somehow came across a track by Jehst and from there I got into other UK artists, you know Braintax, Taskforce, Rodney P, Lewis Parker. I started to learn about different labels, producers, emcee, dj’s and my knowledge just grew. I saw that all of this music was available on vinyl and that’s when I started buying wax.
I got into Funk and Soul mainly through Hip Hop. Yeah I used to listen to classic artists like Marvin Gaye, Isaac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield etc, before I knew about Hip Hop, but that was about it. But when I found out about sampling, producing etc, I started listening to the original songs that had been sampled. From there I got into a lot of music from the 60’s and 70’s.
I know you through the Dusty Platter show, how long has that been going?
The Show has been going since I launched Dusty Platter, so about 7/8 months. It is a monthly show by me and Evil Ed where we play a selection of records straight from our collections. Unfortunately we don’t live very close to each other, so instead of recording the show together, we take it in turns to do a show each. If you haven’t heard any of them before, then you can expect a mixture of old school/classic Hip Hop, Soul, Funk, breaks, Reggae, new releases and much, much more! We upload a brand new show to the Dusty Platter Soundcloud on the last Tuesday of every month, so keep your eyes peeled!
You also do the dusty platter guest mix series’, how does this differ from your regular shows?
I’ve always been a fan of listening to mixes by different DJ’s. I love hearing music that I haven’t heard before and in my opinion, that’s one of the greatest things - no matter what, you will always be able to discover songs/artists that you haven’t previously heard. Anyway, I feel that there are a lot of DJ’s who don’t get enough props or credit, so that’s why I introduced the ‘Dusty Platter Guest Mix Series’.
I basically approach a DJ, inform them about Dusty Platter and the guest mix series, then we go from there. Everyone’s record collection is unique, so it’s really interesting to hear what tracks people include in their mix.
So far we’ve had guest mixes from BeatPete (a DJ from Berlin), Evil Ed (before he started regularly doing the Dusty Platter Show), Sigher (Producer/DJ from the Gutter Snypes) and DJ Pings (owner of KingUnderground Records).
‘Pushin Buttons’ is the debut collaboration release from UK labels Dusty Platter and Soundweight Records. What more can you tell us about this project?
‘Pushin Buttons’ is a 12 track EP by the legendary UK producer Kista. It is available on 12” Vinyl (limited to 250 copies) and consists of a selection of unreleased instrumentals and hard to find vocal tracks.
When I started Dusty Platter, one of my many aims was to slowly develop it into a small record label that focuses on putting out quality Hip Hop on wax. However, because I’m not a producer, emcee, etc myself, I knew it would be a bit more difficult to get a debut release out there.
I’ve been chatting to Kista for a while and one day we were discussing one of his old releases ‘Crate Combinations – Vol. 1’. Now this release came out on a German label in 2009, but it was very much slept on, especially in the UK. Every track is brilliant, but it’s never really received the recognition that it deserves. A lot of people don’t even know it exists ha.
Anyway, Neil (Kista) was saying how one day he would like to release some of the tracks on a 12”, with the instrumentals on the flip side. We got talking, and I said I’d be interested in helping him out with it. We decided to join forces and release it on Dusty Platter and Soundweight Records as it would be good fun, and would help to get both labels out there. We chose 4 of the vocal tracks from Crate Combinations and then Kista dug out the instrumental versions, along with a few unreleased beats.
Initially we were only going to press up 100 or so copies, but in the end, we decided 250 copies would be more ideal, as we would rather press up a larger quantity so we can sell them at a cheaper price. That’s one of the things that fucks me off with some of these independent labels…they press up a release on wax and just because its ‘limited edition’, they think they can get away with charging 20 or so quid just for a 12”! Bloody ridiculous!!
You’ve just dropped the Snippets for this but when can people pic it up and where?
The 12” is due to be released on the 7th January 2014. I’ve got all of the wax ready to ship, but we thought it would be a best to delay the release a little until after Christmas, as the postal services are usually a nightmare during the holidays!
Pre-orders are available now from www.dustyplatter.bigcartel.com
(Selected records stores such as Rarekind Records, Suspect-Packages, HHV, Jetset will also have copies available when it is released.)
What other releases have you got planned for the future?
I can assure you that ‘Pushin Buttons’ won’t be the only collaboration release you see from DP and SWR. We are already working on the next project, which is a full length album by Kista and an emcee from Arizona called Glad2Mecha. I’m really excited about this LP and we are very eager to release it! I can’t say too much about it at the moment, but it’ll be pressed up on double Vinyl, with the vocals on Disc 1 and the instrumentals on the 2nd disc. I like the idea of this, as not many albums include instrumental versions as well as the vocal versions.
I’m not sure exactly what it is about the material, but there’s something special about the vibes that you receive when you are listening to the tracks. It’s very much one of those records that you can put on the turntable and listen to the whole thing without skipping a track. It’s nice and soulful, but you still get that classic head-nodding Hip Hop feeling. Anyway, all of the tracks are nearly completed, they just need a few finishing touches and to be mixed and mastered. We’re aiming to release it sometime around March next year.
Me and Evil Ed are also planning a few releases for next year. First up will be ‘Edstrumentals Vol. 3’, which will be dropping late January / early February. This will be a mixture of old, new and unreleased beats. It will only be available digitally via Bandcamp, but soon after there will be another Evil Ed release on a limited run of cassette tapes.
Who and what are your influences?
Music and records in general.
Ok, Seeing as it’s very near the end of the year.. Here is a tough one..Top 5 releases of 2013, across the board?
Tough one indeed! In no particular order…
Soundsci – “Soundsational” LP (Ubiquity)
Polyrhythmics – “Libra Stripes” LP (Kept Records)
DJ Format & Phill Most Chill – “The Foremost” LP (Project Blue Book)
Charles Bradley – “Victim Of Love” LP (Dunham / Daptone Records)
London Posse – “Gangster Chronicles Unreleased EP” (Tru Thoughts / Rarekind Records)
What else has been your highlight of 2013?
Overall, 2013 has been a great year regarding music and Vinyl. I couldn’t choose one specific highlight, so I’ll have to say the sheer amount of quality new releases and positive vibes that are going on. I think a lot of people (including myself) are very keen and intrigued to see what 2014 delivers.
Any Shout outs?
Firstly, shout out to yourself and the rest of the Holdin’ Court crew, I appreciate you taking time out to interview me. Respect!
Big shout out to Evil Ed, Kista, my brothers Pete and Dan, Big tunes D, Agent Finch, Specifik and all the rest of the B-line crew, Sigher from the Gutter Snypes, Mr Krum, Glad2Mecha, Tek D, DJ Pings, BeatPete, Jazz T and everyone who has supported Dusty Platter. (Apologies if I’ve forgotten anyone, my memories like a sieve!)