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Six Questions For Antix - November Tour with Pitch Black & Tom Cosm

Six Questions For Antix - November Tour with Pitch Black & Tom Cosm

Chris Cudby / Thursday 12th October, 2023 12:04PM

First emerging in the late '90s alongside a wave of pioneering Aotearoa electronic dance artists, brothers Barton and Hayden Strom aka Antix are touring across the motu this November, with fellow globe-trotting veterans Pitch Black, Tom Cosm and Markj. We caught up with the Strom brothers who reflected on Antix's recent 25th anniversary celebrations, their significant achievements on the global stage so far (including releases via Iboga Records, Flow, Bedrock, Toolroom, Spiral Trax), forthcoming fifth album AXXV and new remixes collection B’AK K’AT LOG (out next month), and how their live setup has evolved during nearly three decades in dance...

Pitch Black, Antix, Tom Cosm, Markj (DJ)

Thursday 23rd November - Hide Club, Christchurch*
Friday 24th November - Meow, Wellington
Saturday 25th November - The Mothership, Auckland*
Sunday 26th November - The Yot Club, Raglan*

*Tickets available HERE via UTR

Antix are pioneers of Aotearoa's electronic dance underground. By way of introduction for newcomers to your world of sound, who are Antix and how did your musical journey together begin?

We are 2 brothers, Barton and Hayden Strom. We started our journey together almost 30 years ago where we both lived in Japan in ’98. We acquired various bits of equipment over there and started the production journey. We didn’t leave our apartment until we could string together something that resembled a track, we returned home by our own choices and jumped into the beginnings of rave culture in Aotearoa frequenting various parties around Tāmaki Makaurau — like 398, Normanby Road.

We started producing about the same time as we started to DJ, so the goal was to make tunes that we thought were missing in what we could buy on a 12”. Around that time we met a DJ from Hamburg called Philipp who was touring NZ. His imprint Plastik Park was releasing a very stripped back minimal trance sound which ticked our boxes. We gave him a demo tape to listen to and he loved it… he gave us some great feedback and direction. We went to work on striving for a single on Plastik Park… long story short, we succeeded and signed our first release. Within 6 months we were touring Germany and from that point music has played a huge role in our lives.

You celebrated Antix's 25th Anniversary in 2021 and you're touring with fellow Aotearoa electronic veterans Pitch Black, who have similarly maintained a strong international festival presence. Although I'm sure it'd be a challenge to whittle down, can you please name some standout highlights from nearly three decades of Antix?

There has been some incredible moments, I think playing in Brazil at the beginning of the '00s. We had an agency over there. We would go for 6 weeks and play 2-3 times a week. We were booked to play 2 festivals in different parts of the countr,y so the agency booked us a private plane to fly us from one festival to the next. We played to 10,000 people at lunchtime then jumped on the plane to play 15,000 that afternoon. It was quite surreal. Also playing the Glade festival in the UK with the creator and inventor of Funktion-One sound system next to us tweaking the system, that was epic. But bringing it back home, playing The Wintergarden at the Civic for our 25 year celebrations was next level. Seeing so may faces on the dance floor who have been a part of our journey, that was sincerely special.

You've been drip feeding us remix releases this year — can you share any details about the upcoming new Antix album out in 2024?

We feel like the new album has been actually inspired by our older tracks and our first album titled Lull which came out in 2000. It certainly designed for the dance floor showcasing our different styles/genres of production over the past 25 years. Before the main album drops (AXXV) there is a full remix album coming (B’AK K’AT LOG) in next month and both will be on double vinyl.

Where are your favourite places in the world to perform?

We love Japan, the people the culture and food. Also, that’s where it all started for us so it's a very nostalgic place for us to play. Australia is always a winner, the music scene especially in Melbourne is world class. Germany is also a favourite, they have taken rave culture to the next level.

I'm always interested in the technical setups of electronic live acts in Aotearoa in the '90s — how has your live gear setup changed over time?

At the beginning we played live off hard disc recorders!!! We then moved on to laptops, effects units, 16 channel mixer and a couple of keyboards. This was a nightmare to tour with, we were so paranoid about our gear being damaged, and once we actually witnessed our travel rack being dropped on the tarmac. These days it’s a lot more compact, smaller FX units, a drum machine, a couple of synth modules and a computer, we can mix mostly off the computer and use a Pioneer V10 to control. When we played the Civic 25 year show, the setup was complete upscale of that, and would be almost impossible to tour internationally. But never say never!

How important are visuals to the Antix live experience? What can party goers look forward to from your tour this November?

The right visuals can definitely enhance a show. We’ve been working with a good friend who has been working on our visuals with us for a long time. He knows our music intimately and has put together a visual set for our upcoming tour. Party goers can look forward to hearing our new album played in live form… but we may drop in a couple of oldies for good measure.


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Pitch Black / Antix
Thu 23rd Nov 8:00pm
Hide Club, Christchurch
Pitch Black / Antix
Sat 25th Nov 8:30pm
The Mothership, Auckland
Pitch Black / Antix
Sun 26th Nov 7:00pm
The Yot Club, Raglan