Wow, has it really been almost ten years since Anticon started out? Looking back, I probably own every release until about 2002. The Centaur 12inch with 15 Minutes To Live on the flip-side. The dope Controller 7 remix of Rain Men. Man Overboard with the great cover art. Joyful Toy of 1001 Faces. Bottle Of Humans. Deep Puddle Dynamics. The list goes on and on. And the live performances were just as impressive. One of my all-time favorite shows was Sole, Alias, Josh Martinez and Sage Francis performing on a Brooklyn rooftop.

Anyway, good interview here. The collective of Why, Odd Nosdam, Dose-One, Jel, Sole and Alias sound off on a number of topics such as their past and current role at the label, the legacy of Anticon and a possible documentary in the works. Link

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the label about to turn ten? That seems a significant benchmark for an independent to reach, especially these days. Looking back on your achievements – both personally and collectively – are you pleased with how far you’ve travelled as a creative force?

Why: I’m quite pleased with the progress of the label. We went from an artist-run mess of a posse / collective / label who released basically only our own music in the late ‘90s to a real-deal label capable of releasing albums by anybody we find fit and willing, with a dedicated label manager and a decent sized base of listeners.

Jel: From working off of 4-track tape machines and recording on DAT and ADAT with minimal instrumentation in the music, to most of us forming live bands and focusing our careers on that aspect of music making. I think we all have really refined our skills as musicians and cracked the shell of ‘beat maker’, ‘rapper’ and ‘DJ’.

On record and in previous interviews I’ve read, you seem like a fairly headstrong collective; to what extent do you feel as though the label has succeeded in the music industry on its own terms?

Jel: Largely, and that reflects on the creative output very positively. But on the financial side it’s not so positive… sustainable.

Dose-One: Being DIY can become a bit of a barbed wire fence and being unique musically can be a bit of a glass ceiling. As a record label we want to not have any ‘keep out’ signs on our property or ‘stay put’ signs in our future. By and large, we have secured a way for our music to always see daylight and its way to headphones.

Sole: The machine dictates how the business is run: we’re slaves to release dates and the need for forms of marketing; it’s a constant uphill battle against the constraints the music industry places on anyone who wishes to run that gauntlet.

Alias: For the most part, anticon isn’t a business that is set up to take care of the artists 100 per cent of the time. You have to do a bit of your own hustling as well, which is absolutely fine by me. It has taught me a lot about the business, and that you have to give to get. You can’t just sit back and expect the label to handle everything for you. This has allowed me to have 100 per cent creative control with every aspect of my career. I don’t have a manager taking a percentage of money when I would be telling them what I want to do in the first place. I like handling my own business.