Dawn Again & Rothmans: The Ransom Note Mix
Because we wondered if he was OK, we had a look at what Ant Rothmans was up to at the moment. With a fully comprehensive bio that simply states ‘Rothmans – limited edition, musical collectible, 180g vinyl, no digital’, we thought it was time to find out a bit more. The label has released some class records that include quality artists such as Tusk, Timothy J Fairplay, Scott Fraser, Coyote, Naduve and many more, and are about to get to the 15th EP. Ant got his pal and co- producer Dawn Again to provide a mix, while he banged on about all sorts of shite. They are both well worth a listen and a read here:
Please introduce yourself…
Who are you, where are you and what are you?
My name is Anthony, AKA Rothmans Ant AKA Uncle Rothmans, AKA Mad Ant, AKA Rebel Soul, AKA Belly, AKA Seth Cobblepot, AKA RSC, AKA DJ Ramraida. I live in Liverpool and I am a scouser. Not some wool either, like a proper scouser! I run a label called Rothmans and I produce 9 minute acid bangers with my Aussie pal ‘Dawn Again’ and release them on boss labels as well as my own.
I am, all things considered, a cunt.
What does your music sound like?
Rothmans is a really well balanced mix of Italo, Doom disco, Icelandic Body Music, New Age Nonce Wave & Doug Chug (always wondered who Doug was). The stuff myself & Dawn Again are working on is slightly more intense, dance floor bombs all day, no fucking about, there's plenty featured in the mix that Dawn Again will talk about later.
Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?
Tell us about the label, why ‘Rothmans’?
Rothmans came along about 4 years ago. I had come to the end of a project that had taken up most of my 20’s . I was at a bit of a loose end. I went out and got fucked up with Tusk Wax one night, not really sure what happened, and some how the next day Rothmans was born. Rounded up a few local heros (Ali Renault, Emile Strunz, Chamboche & RSC) and 'hey presto' the first record was done. Wacked some Rothmans related artwork on the vinyl and just threw them out there, I wasn’t really expecting things to get past a couple of releases but with Rothmans 15 coming out next year I guess it wasn’t such a ridiculous idea after all. I still haven’t done a label launch party, I fucking hate that, people who do a label launch before they even sold 1 record, twats. Maybe I will do a label launch if Rothmans 20 comes out??
Fast forward to present day and there's 2 new records coming out before Christmas. I also have a new weekly at Buyers Club in Liverpool which has been going for the last couple of months and is becoming really good fun, throwing around 5 hour vinyl sets for fun. I am also still picking up gigs on the road both in Europe and US in an attempt to keep myself mildly relevant!
You are known for your footballer imagery on the artwork, how did that come about?
The football theme came about simply because of my love for The Beautiful Game and the collectibility of the old Rothmans cigarette cards, and Tusk's love of 70’s perms and handlebar moustaches. Then I just developed it all from there really. It kinda just worked, people were into it, loads of banter on line, not taking it all too serious, what more do you want? The whole point of it is the Rothmans theme is supposed to mirror what vinyl is all about, it's collectible and i'ts fun. I dont think there's any more too it.
Who’s the greatest footballer of all time?
Can't answer that, the best i can give you is a top 5 in no particular order. Johan Cruyff, Maradona, Kenny Dalglish, Socrates, Robbie Fowler.
Why are you always so angry on social media? #ruokhun?
I am not exactly angry on social media, am not one of those nobheads who rants about their local council or people's dogs shitting in the park. I just like trolling people and I can't get past people's bullshit when it comes to this music thing. I guess I just observe so much nonsense that I can't help myself but call people out. The self righteousness that goes on cracks me up so bad.
People seem to have this obsession with social acknowledgement that I guess you don't crave if you work in an industry with a little more humility, but what I really don't get these days is that it feels like most people don't know exactly what they are trying to be acknowledged for. Back in the day musicians/producers etc wanted to be acknowledged for being FUCKING GREAT, and pioneering, and forward thinking, and unique, but I am not so sure that's really what's going on as much these days. Do all of these new people actually want to be great DJ’s and Producers ,or do they just want to APPEAR to be great DJ’s and Producers? I mean I guess thats easier than actually having to fucking graft for a living.
Is it enough to appear to be talented than actually be talented these days? With all these iTunes DJ's and Ghost Producers and fake Facebook fans and shit, maybe it makes these guys sleep well at night, maybe its an insecurity thing? I don't really know what goes on in peoples heads but I just know that I couldn’t live like that, I couldn’t spend my life living in some fucked up, deluded bubble thinking that my actions have any real meaning, or are in some way inspiring the world because some fake social media profile makes it appear that way. I would rather blow my fucking brains out.
I am not saying we don’t all get caught up in our online profiles at some point, even I cant help checking in at airports now and again so everyone knows I am flying off somewhere cool but I guess I would just like to think that at least the small number of people who do follow the label are A) Real people B) are genuinely interested C) actually buy my records and could well be coming to my gig that night. #hopeamokhun
If you could travel in time, where in time would you go and why?
Alongside the footy my other passion is boxing, few fights I would have liked to have been ringside at. Apart from the obvious ones, maybe Tyson vs Buster Douglas or Calzaghe vs Eubank, that would have been fun, maybe I will start a label one day based on some of these guys? Failing that I would love to have met Ned Stark, when was that guy alive? 1066 or something?
What was the first electronic record you heard and how did it make you feel?
Not sure what the first electronic record was, I started life as a jungle DJ so was probably one of my old Doc Scott or Hype records. Maybe something off Moving Shadow or something. Used to buy those hardcore tape packs too, Helter Skelter and shit. Used to love all that.
How does your brain work when making music? How does it work when you aren't?
I dunno, my ears are a bit shot these days so my methods for making music have had to change over the years. As well as the DJing I was also a singer for a long time so spent most of my 20’s either stood in front of amps and bass cabs, or in clubs in front of speakers and subs so I think I have done irreparable damage to my ears. DJing is still ok but I cant sing live any more. Also my frequencies are all fucked up so producing is becoming more challenging which is why I think i was ready to start working with someone else again. Luckily I met this crazy Aussie kid (Dawn Again) who was living in New York, he is well more talented than me, and hasn’t quite fucked his brain and body up to the lengths I have,not yet anyway !!.
When I am not making music I play a lot of video games, I would have liked to have been involved in the gaming industry, maybe soundtracking video games or something, I think I would have really enjoyed that, but I dont think its a bit late for that now. Also my girl lives in California so that whole thing takes up a lot of time going back and forth but she is a top bird and well worth all of the effort 🙂
How did that all come together with Dawn Again?
I have always been a big believer in putting out new music, as new as I can anyway. A lot of labels think you earn your stripes by putting out 'big name’ producers and that somehow gives your label some kind of credibility. I think that's utter shite, anyone can just put out ‘names’ and then claim they have a great label. I think its important to try and push new talent, try and put out challenging records, just try and do something thats not ‘safe’ or ‘obvious’. I have always had an open email policy at Rothmans and I try to listen to every bit of music that comes my way. Thats how I met Nick, he emailed me a load of stuff and as soon as I listened to it I knew that not only did he understand the label but he had obviously produced these tracks with me and maybe a couple of other labels in mind. You can't fake that, that will always get my attention. I literally emailed him back and said ‘ok lets put out a record’. Once we got that record nailed down we just started sending each other half finished tracks and ideas and started working on each other's shit, it just kinda worked. Now we have records coming out next year on Tusk Wax, El Diablo Social Club, Plastic Love LA, another Rothmans EP, and another 2 labels that are still being ironed out. 2017 should be an interesting year, I am really keen to see how our new project is received.
Where was the mix recorded?
Nick (Dawn Again) actually did this mix, he has a record coming out on Rothmans at the end of November and I thought it would be more relevant that he put something together than me. About 70% of the mix is actually made up from things that we have produced together over the last 6 months and are being relaseed on various labels world wide, the other bits are a few exclusives from some of our friends so in answer to your question it was recorded in New York by Nick. I should probably hand you over to him for this bit yaaaarrrrr?
(Nick AKA Dawn Again)
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
Mid week and your mate comes over for a couple "quiet beers" … yet you end up gurning in your kitchen till 6am.
What should we be wearing?
A Jacobean ruff preferably, failing that a bunch of scrunched up napkins will do.
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?
Pano 4pm Sunday, or Meredith Music Festival Sunrise Set.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
Extremely tough one, Steve Bug Fabric, Villalobos Fabric, Soul Clap Bodytonic Podcast, Jamie Tiller Higher & Higher.
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
DJ Alfredo back in the 80s in Ibiza.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
2x Technics & Pioneer Mixer, now I've been a nomad for a couple years so it's whatever my mates have at the time.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
End, make people go home feeling good and hopefully get someone laid.
What were the first and last records you bought?
Repress of Newworldaquarium – Trespassers.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
Those edible stickers that you put on cupcakes with pictures of Mickey Mouse on them.
If it was an animal what would it be?
A snarling, ferocious, savage Pomeranian named Gigi.
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
Chantal Curtis – Get Another Love, changes tempo twice in the first 8 bars. But that only matters if your a beat matching chin stroker DJ…
Upcoming in the world of Rothmans/ Dawn Again?
Closing out 2016 with these two: The Marco Tardelli EP by DJ Rocca, and The Johan Cruyff EP by Dawn Again. More news for 2017 as and when I get it, but there is lots going on, tons of records coming out, maybe me and Nick will start thinking about taking things on the road together once we get a few EP’s up on the board?
Anything else we need to discuss?
Nah just the usual follow follow follow bullshit.
Follow Rothmans and Dawn Again on Facebook.