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Music producer extraordinaire Ant Miles is not only widely known and respected for his achievements in the music industry but for his willingness to pass his superb understanding of music production onto others. Since 1991 he helped bring through and educate the likes of Andy C, Shimon, Red One and Moving Fusion to name a few. To date Ant has been involved in some of drum & bass’ most prominent collectives including; Origin Unknown – creators of the ground breaking ‘Valley Of The Shadows’ a.k.a ‘Long Dark Tunnel’: a track that some describe as the first ever drum & bass anthem, Ram Trilogy – creators of various classic tracks including: ‘No Reality’, ‘Chase Scene’ and the almighty ‘Screamer’. In the world of drum & bass: Ant Miles is nothing short of a living legend.
After leaving school, Ant spent a few years working at a recording / rehearsal studio complex in Dagenham. Ant used his position to learn everything there was to know about working with bands, not just the logistics of testing microphones and setting up drum kits but people skills too, an essential skill for music industry progression. At the age of eighteen Ant was the in-house engineer and programmer making many friends and contacts along the way. After a few years there he left to build his own studio and started working on some of his own creations such as ‘Its U’ as Rainbow Country. However, it wasn’t long before destiny had its way and Ant met Andy C. Ant was really refreshed to see what Andy was creating with break-beats and so liked what he heard he suggested that it would be cool for the pair to link up at his studio. Andy quickly accepted Ant’s offer and the next day Andy moved what equipment he had into Ant’s studio.
It wasn’t long before the pair had their first tune a track titled ‘Turn On’ under the name Desired State that came out on Karma Records in 1991. The track was successful which encouraged the pair to keep doing what they were doing, at which point the tracks started flowing. It’s important to note at this point the music was still very much hardcore, it wasn’t until they heard a few of jungle’s earliest creations that there mindset totally changed. On hearing jungle the pair knew immediately that was the kind of stuff they really wanted to be making. The pair went onto make one more massive hardcore tune, ‘Dance the Dream’ which got spun by all the biggest DJs of the time including the mighty Grooverider, and to their surprise it made it onto Kiss FM too.
What happened next changed everything… not only the conception of Andy’s Ram Records (which put them in full control of their own product) but the music that they created for it too. After Andy had released his first solo project titled ‘The Sour Mash EP’ the pair went in the studio and came with a 12” which would change the face of dance music forever. On the A side was ‘The Touch’ but as it happened all the fuss was about the B side ‘Valley of the Shadows’. Ant describes the making of the track as the pair of them ‘just going off on an experimental tangent’. When the tune was finished they knew they had something special. As the track couldn’t be classified as hardcore they decided to change their name to Origin Unknown, a name that would come to be globally respected and never be forgotten in dance music history.
Throughout the 1990’s Origin Unknown became an extremely powerful force, what’s more as the tracks were completed Andy would showcase their music perfectly in his brilliant DJ sets around the country. Their next collaborative hit of epic proportions was ‘Truly One’ featuring a sample from President Nixon. The tune was truly symbolic of what Ant Miles is all about, dance music and its multi-cultured foundations goes deep with Ant, and although it was President Nixon saying ‘All the People on This Earth Are Truly One’ it might as well have been Ant saying it.
One thing that must be mentioned is that as a direct result of Ant going on the more musical tip with Red One in the studio, it was decided to start another label called Liftin’ Spirit Records. From that point on the gang had two labels to feed.
Not sure what to do next… they let destiny lead the way again once more. After Shimon severely broke his leg in a number of places, he was cemented to his studio for a number of months. Rather than leaving him there on his own, Ant made a noble effort to join him for a lot of the time. Consequently the pair began working on many ideas, but it wasn’t until Andy stepped in and added a brilliant bass line to their first nearly completed masterpiece, that the incredible ‘No Reality’ was finished and the exceptional Ram Trilogy collective was formed. Ant describes the three producers together in the studio as ‘a real potent situation’ and the resulting Ram Trilogy Chapter Series confirmed this. At that point in time the collective were on top of their game and were producing a hit record a week, which included the likes of ‘Chase Scene’, ‘Mind Overload’ and ‘Beast Man.’ It wasn’t long before they decided to release ‘Molten Beats’: Ram Trilogy’s debut album, which smashed up dance floors and received critical acclaim from the specialist press.
The second multi-artist project that Ant was involved in and turned heads was the release of Ram Record’s second label compilation album ‘Sound in Motion’ in 1998.
In 2004, Ant enjoyed working with a few more vocalists than usual like Kimani with ‘Night Vision’ and Sare X with ‘Soak It Up’ both released on the immensely successful Ram Raiders series. Later in the year Ant was featured in a special December issue of Knowledge Magasine with an in depth look at how recording equipment had changed in the last decade. In 2007 Ant released a highly acclaimed solo album (with many collaborations with the Ram family) entitled ’Visitations’ on his Liftin’ Spirits imprint featuring the hits ‘All Systems Go’ with Andy C, ‘Erazerhead’ with Shimon, and ‘200 Degrees’ with Sparfunk, amongst others.
Over the next two years Ant worked tirelessly finishing projects that were collaborations that had been initiated with all the original Ram artists resulting with the debut album for Liftin’ Spirit entitled ‘Visitations’, released in 2007. The following year Ant spent working with an old cohort from the late 80s – Boneshaker- with releases such as the highly successful ‘Solstice’ most championed by ‘Chase & Status’.
In 2010 Liftin’ Spirit made its return with a massive collaboration alongside Moving Fusion with ‘Mass Hysteria’. Ant and Moving Fusion also teamed up with Shimon for ‘Pimp Slap’ & ‘Underbelly’, released on AudioPorn Records.
Having just completed producing acoustic versions of tracks on Tali’s forthcoming album ‘Dark Days, High Nights,’ forthcoming on AudioPorn Records, and with a number of releases in the works including collaborations with Moving Fusion on ‘Stargate’ for Hospital Records, and ‘Illusions’ for Viper Recordings’ ‘Summer Slammers 2011’ album, Ant has set his sights on releasing his next album project on Liftin’ Spirit in late 2011.
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