There are few words to describe the respect I have for the latest interviewee in the MakeItGood x FatKidOnFire series. He’s an integral part of the dubstep scene I’ve grown to know and love – and reading his interview, you’ll understand why.
I’ve never heard a bad word from Ontario’s Anthologic; always support and positive vibes to anyone he talks to. And, as it turns out, he’s blessed with both stellar DJ and production skills – both of which you can sample below. This feature’s a bit of a long one, so I advise jumping to the bottom, clicking play on the truly amazing mix and scrolling back up to the top before you start reading…
Who is Anthologic? DJ and producer out from Ontario, Canada. My focus is primarily on deeper and darker sides of Electronic music, namely dubstep.
What got you into mixing and producing dubstep? How would you describe your production style? Well, I’ve been a musician/ artist most of my life. Guitar being my first instrument, then eventually moving to bass, drums, synths, and samplers.
I first caught the rave bug in the late nineties via the jungle and drum & bass movement here and in the Toronto area at the time. I just fell in love with the whole community vibe, the bass heavy music and the driving beats.
I’ve become a fan of many types of underground electronic music since, which all eventually lead me to dubstep around 2005. I’ve been a HUGE fan of the deeper and darker sounds of most music, so I would say my DJing and production styles reflect that heavily.
How long have you producing and DJing? I’ve been recording my own music since I was a kid, bouncing tracks together on an old 4-track Vestax tape machine, using some guitars, bass, drum machines and a little outboard gear.
It wasn’t until years later when I was attending Production and Recording school in Vancouver, BC, around 2002 that I began to pick up DJing. Back then my taste and productions were more rock, IDM, downtempo, trip hop, hip-hop and DnB. I needed a way to present my own music publicly, so I started using the first version of Traktor on an old iBook with a Novation Remote 25 controller. I remember getting so much flak from other DJs back then for using a computer to “DJ” with.
Ironically, as technology moved forward through the years and everyone started jumping onto using laptops, I began to move more towards the old school format; turntables, vinyl and dubplates. To me nothing can beat it as far as sound quality and its tactile feel. But I also do really appreciate today’s DVS technology, allowing DJs and producers more freedom to present their music and get very creative in their mixing.
How do you go about building your tunes – do you have a process? What software do you use? The process is always different, but I tend to focus on the beats first. Often as I’m building and tuning those elements, certain sounds and melodies seem to come out of thin air at me, as if I can already hear them coming out of the speakers. I try to do my best to emulate what I’m hearing in my head and get it out.
Other times, inspiration for a tune may just come from some great samples or a sound that I’m messing about with on a synth, and I’ll build off that. I often don’t feel that I am actually writing the music, I find myself often in a zen like state of meditation and just go with the flow as it comes to me. I just try to do my best to bring these ideas from the creative source into reality one way or another.
I’ve primarily used Cubase and Reason as my main software over the years. I’ve also played around with Protools and Logic a bit, but have now finally picked up on Ableton Live and a whack load of new plugins, so my palette has really widened.
Turntables or CDJs for when you play out? Vinyl and dubplates on a well maintained set of Tech’s are my first choice. I’m a huge supporter and collector of vinyl. I’ll also use Tractor Scratch Pro for its vinyl feel and easy transportation.
I’ve only just been getting more into CDJs recently. I think it’s good for any DJ to stay well rounded and be ready to play on any format. You never know what situation you’re walking into at some clubs. I’ve been forced to play on some badly maintained, beat up old Technics at some shows and my performance suffered those nights because of dodgy tone arms, sticky pitch faders, etc… Meanwhile all the other DJs at those night’s were using CDJs or laptops without any sweat. So now I carry CDs and the laptop along with my vinyl, ready for anything.
What’s been your best gig and if you could DJ alongside anyone, who would it be? Playing along side of Distance, N-Type and Hatcha have been personal highlights. I also enjoyed playing as show recently in Toronto on the legendary 40hz Soundsystem. That was a lot of fun, playing on that beast of a system alongside some amazing local talents who I admire; Niko, Hydra and Spyne.
I had a show on June 23nd in Toronto on that same sound system, this time having the honour of playing along one of my favourite dub-plate slingers, Joe Nice. It was most definitely a fun and memorable night.
There are so many artists and DJs who influence me daily, but if I’d have to pick one DJ that I would really enjoy playing alongside, it would probably be Mala. He just knows his dubs and vinyl inside out, and he has such an amazing ear for music and great at feeling out his audience. I had the pleasure of meeting him recently at a show here in Toronto. And not only was he an amazing performer, but he is such an beautifully humble and lovely fellow. His whole vibe inspires me.
Your (wicked) design skills are being utilized by a number of record labels these days; who are your top 5 dubstep producers at the moment; and why? Which labels are you feeling at the moment? Thanks. Obviously, I have big respect for any of the Macabre Unit Digital, ICU Audio and Innamind Recordings crew. I knew from the start Raff‘s (aka Demon’s) label M.U.D was going to come up fast and hard. He’s built such an amazing tight family of forward thinking and talented producers. Each with their own respective strengths but all lending well to a distinguished sound which is unmistakably M.U.D.
Outside of those labels I’d say Osiris, DMZ, Medi, BlackBox/Boxclever, Chestplate, Wheel & Deal, Tempa, Tectonic and the sort all have my biggest support and respect, each so consistent in putting out great music. The top 5 producers who inspire me lately are DJ Madd, Kryptic Minds, V.I.V.E.K, Truth, and J:Kenzo, those guys always have a place in my crates, standard. Purely awe inspiring.
What’s the future of dubstep – where do you see the genre going? Where do you see it fitting in within the ‘bass music’ spectrum? Dubstep has really been blowing up in the clubs here in North America. However, most people here seem to still associate dubstep with the heavier, more abrasive and in your face side of it. “Bro-step” if you will. Without knowing the other side of dubstep, many are already passing it all off as a fade that’s come up and will die off. I feel nothing can be further from the truth.
Sure, certain sub-genres of dubstep may come and go, but the original ethos, formula and vibe of dubstep will always remain strong. Thing I love most about dubstep is how it really embraces and draws from the best elements of countless genres of music into it’s almost universal formula. Interestingly, if you half-time the usual tempo of most Dubstep (140bpm) you get 70 bpm which is the average beat of our hearts. May be one of the reasons why I think dubstep strikes a chord and resonates strongly with people around the world.
The entire universe is built on frequency and rhythms, our physical bodies and spirits resonate with these vibrations which is why music is so powerful. Because dubstep draws from so many styles and genres of music, and its focus is on deep moving bass, and a natural pulse and swing to its rhythms, I’m certain it will continue to grow and flourish well into the future.
Any forthcoming releases we can look forward to? Well, I’ve been talking to some labels recently. Of course I’d really like to see my music signed and released. But over the last two years my first priority over music right now is my family. I have an amazing baby girl who I look after full time right now. She takes up a lot of my attention and time.
If a label were to sign me up, I’d be expected to tour and support the music and the label. That was an obligation I didn’t feel I could take on, as my place was obviously at home focusing on raising my baby girl, especially over these first few crucial years of her life.
I am only now feeling like I may be able to better take on balancing these two biggest loves of my life, music and my family. Things will fall into place soon enough, I’m in no rush.
Have you got any advice to upcoming DJs/ producers looking to get their music heard or signed? Always follow your greatest joy and passion in life, no matter what it is. If that happens to be music, bless you. It can be a tough road, but the rewards are deeper than any monitory gain. Be sure it’s in your heart and you’re doing it for the right reasons.
My best advise would be study anything and everything you can about music and DJ-ing. Stay well rounded and open to learning everything you can about both. Studying other genres and styles of music is important and will be invaluable. If music is going to be your life then I also strongly recommend learning music theory.
Learn your music, its key signatures, scales and tune your ears! As far as getting your music heard or signed, network, network, network! Get involved with promoters and artists, both in your area and globally. If you don’t have clubs who are pushing your sound, start your own night.
Also get online and get involved with artists and labels you are feeling. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud ect and make your support and appreciation known to them. Then eventually start sending them your original work or remixes as your relationship with them grows.
Tell us about your mix for MakeItGood x FKOF… This one is very special. It’s turned out to be one of my personal favourite mixes, packed full of awe inspiring current releases and some dubs from some of my favourite artists.
I’ve included one of my own dubplates in this mix. I could have maybe included more of my own music for promotional reasons, but there is just too much amazing music that I already wanted to fit into this mix. It just turned out this way, and I’m cool with that.
Like any of my mixes, I aim to really showcase my skill for stringing together great music in a very harmonious and purposeful way. I choose to lay tracks together that have a very similar feel or sound, as well as melodic/harmonic content and overall energy. My goal is always taking the best qualities of the music I love, and take my listeners on a smooth journey as musically pleasing to the ear as possible.
This mix was recorded live in my living room studio. One take, no edits, using a combination of vinyl, dubplates, and Traktor Scratch Pro. I’m playing through 2 Technic MK2’s, an Xone 42 mixer and recorded the set into another Macbook Pro that’s simply running Garage Band.
Any shoutouts? Big shout out to Demon and the whole M.U.D and ICU audio crew. And out to Jeremy of Innamind Recordings. Those labels hard work and passion has been infectious to me. Also out to Dustin De Rochers, owner of Outerbass Productions here in my hometown, for offering me opportunities to play along some of my idols.
A big warm shout out to Niko and Spyne who have been supporting my sounds over here as well. Those guys are key proponents of the deeper dubstep scene in this area and are really pushing the sounds I love so well. Out to Compa and Distance for picking up and playing some of my dubs. Also big shouts to TZR, Reamz, Scalade, Baitface, Korrupt, Shiba, Eyecon, DeeJay Money, Evidence, Tornado, Rooksys, Uncle Doobie, Matt Russell, and a slew of other DJ’s and producers I could on and on naming, who’ve influenced me positively and have been supporting my music.
Bless up and respect to all movers and shakers in the scene, including you guys here at FKOF.
3 people (dead or alive) you’d go for a drink with?
Easy! Bob Marley, Mala and Jimi Hendrix.
Favourite dubstep track of all time? Loefah ft. Sgt Pokes – Mud VIP, the epitome of dubstep for me right there. The sub on that tune is just ridiculous!
Best venue in Ontario? The type of dubstep that I enjoy playing most hasn’t really been associated with any one venue here yet. But I would have to say the 40hz Soundsystem run by Jon Spyne (and his lovely other half Jen Stein) are major movers in representing this sound as real and true as it gets. They’ve done so much to bring quality sound system culture to the area, and have presented some the strongest artists in the game, including: Mala, Kenzo, Youngsta, Cyrus, Silkie, Roommate, Sukh Knight, Mungo’s Hi-Fi, ect.
Anyone looking to experience the solid vibes of a real roots, down to earth dubstep show, on a serious system… You’d would do well checking out any show 40hz is associated with. Big love out to them.
I’m not going to try and intro Anthony’s mix – take my word for it. This one is special! And not to mention the truly brilliant track he’s gone and given away with this feature as well. You guys are truly spoilt! Hit Anthologic up on SoundCloud, Facebook and Mixcloud if you’re feeling them.
Click to DOWNLOAD
- Amon Tobin – Goto 10 (Kryptic Minds remix) [NinjaTune]
- The Fix – Human Love (J:Kenzo remix) [TheFix]
- ARtroniks – Deep Cold [Warriorz]
- Antics – Rundown (TMSV remix) [free]
- Truth – Last Time [Tempa]
- Baitface – Focus Mode [forthcoming Soulstep]
- Matt-U – Wipe ‘Em Out [BlackBox]
- Tunnidge – Universal [Tectonic]
- Killawatt – Sidewinder [BlackBox]
- Kryptic Minds – Askum [Tectonic]
- Cerebral – Dubtek [Sequence]
- Truth – Skitzo [Boka]
- Biome ft. Fox – No Soul [DeepHeads]
- Biome – Space [BlackBox]
- DCult – Deadly Hands Of Shang Chi [forthcoming MUD]
- No More – DUBTEK [Dubzilla]
- Third Rail – Mershak [Falkon]
- DCult – Human [forthcoming MUD]
- Nanobyte – Kalyke [Innamind]
- Percept – Lost [Innamind]
- Vicious Circle – Not Afraid [Crunch]
- Anthologic – Free Your MInd [dub]
- Skream – Phatty Drummer [Deep Medi]
- Biome – The Raven [Osiris]
- ARtroniks – Slippery [Warriorz]
- Scalade – Thanatos (ARtroniks remix) [forthcoming Therapy]
- Scalade – Fused Shadows [dub]
- Truth – All Alone [Tuba]
- Evidence – The Beast [dub]
- Demon – Dementia (ft. Beezy) [forthcoming MUD]
- TZR – Stygia [dub]
- TZR – Solaria [Paradise Lost Dub]
- Sparxy – Battousai [Bokane]
- Seven – Evolution [Blackbox]
- Kryptic Minds – Hybrid (Biome remix) [Osiris]
- Amon Tobin – Goto 10 (Kryptic Minds remix) [NinjaTune]
Click to DOWNLOAD
Korrupt’s review of Anthologic’s ‘Free Your Mind’:
“I feel a very warm pad developing itself to something very beautiful during the intro. Nice and crisp hi-hat and snare which are present real nicely. Then you hear this rich and solid low-end come in, warming you up for the first drop – It’s nicely compressed and it’s not overdone at all – I’m really impressed of how low it can get, my whole room is shaking. Right after you hear nice choirs come in gently which fit in marvelous with the pads right below, giving the climax some extra flavor. The warm growl that appears is intense and you hear a very warm voice saying ‘Free Your Mind’. The drop is sick, what a pounding kick and the snare is snappy like crazy! All elements present in the track so far are balanced out real nice with each other. The percussion contains some nice instruments which fit completely to the track. The break is enthralling and sounds magical, with the birds in the background, giving you the feeling to fly away from everything. Second drop again very impressive, everything sounds so full, there’s no moment of rest except during the break. I love that electricity-type-of-sound coming in from time to time. The outtro sounds nice, as if something happened you can’t explain, marks left behind subconsciously.
“Anthologic spoils us by giving this baby away for a free download, a top notch production by this amazing Canadian fellow. I personally wished this would get out on vinyl though, well deserved.
“What a magical journey through the mind of Anthologic and my own, I’m completely flabbergasted by this one: the hidden message is delivered and understood. People that haven’t already… Free Your Mind.”
If you have any thoughts on what Anthologic had to say, or anything else you’ve seen – maybe you’ve got someone to recommend to FKOF or seen something you think we’d like? Get in touch via email, Twitter, or Facebook.