Interview: Antares

by | Jun 6, 2024 | Interview, Spotlight

From Midwest Raves to Cosmic Soundscapes

It’s the mid 90’s and the electronic music scene is exploding worldwide. The word of Jungle music is spreading and the Midwest rave culture is thriving. Josh Stotz, formerly Illicit and now known as Antares, is discovering exactly what this scene has to offer and that passion hasn’t stopped since. It all started with a chance encounter – ‘Law of the Jungle’. A 1994 compilation cd from now legendary Moonshine records, and the first U. S. released Jungle album.

Fast forward thirty years and now Illicit has been reborn as Antares. The music is a journey through the intricate sound that has us fully immersed with no end in sight. Diving headfirst into the history of who he is and leading up to 2024, we got down to the details of what drives Antares to produce, his love of the scene, production quality, and so much more. 

An Interview with Antares

Thanks for talking to me! I fell in love with your sound over the past couple years and have been spreading the word since. I’d love the world to know more about who you are, not only as a producer, but as a fan of this genre, just like the rest of us! What’s your history? How did you get started?

I discovered Jungle in 1995. I didn’t really know what it was, though, you know what I mean, I stumbled upon a Moonshine Records ‘Law of the Jungle’ CD in a cd shop, and I picked it up because I thought it was a cool cover, right? Yeah. And it just blew me away, right? I’m like, “What is this?” So I started officially producing as Illicit. It was probably 1998, somewhere around there. It developed from there. I was also involved in the Midwest rave scene, going to a lot of raves in Kansas, in downtown Wichita. It was Skin Deep Productions back then, so that was pretty cool.  And I was just really learning the rave scene, by living it and just being blown away. 

You began producing under the name Illicit. What else were you involved with around this time? 

Back when I was Illicit, I did actually run what was called “Ruffah-Ras” Records. We did three vinyl releases at the time. It was Ragga Jungle then. A lot different from where I’m at now. 

So now you’re here. You’re producing music under Antares. Was there a reason for the name change? 

So producing under Illicit, I was doing a lot of shows, and had to step away for a good three years or so and center myself, get myself healthy, and just come back to it. That’s when I changed the name and I changed the sound. It’s a more serious, cinematic sound that I’m trying to achieve. You know, before it was party, party, party, right? 

The transformation from Illicit to Antares wasn’t merely a name change; it marked a complete evolution. With that evolution, you chose the name Antares. What’s the story behind that? Does the name mean something special to you? How did you come up with that?

So I mean, my sound is kind of spacey in a way, right? The Antares star is the brightest star in the Scorpius constellation in which I’m a Scorpio. So it fit together perfectly that way. 

What would you say is your greatest achievement in music?

I’d say right now, ultimately, releasing with Cause 4 Concern, right? That’s a label that I’ve really looked up to for its entirety, right? So the opportunity came about, and the cool story behind that is when I came back as Antares I released with DCD (Danger Chamber Digital). From there, I got in contact with Abstract Drumz and all of those guys, who introduced me to their labels. Ultimately, Abstract Drumz introduced me to Mark with Cause 4 Concern. Everything that’s been done with Ballpark Recordings. That’s a label that really defined me as a producer and being a large part of the label has shaped how I work and create.

If you could do a collab with anybody, is there anybody who you would instantly go, “Yes, let’s do this!”.

Oh, wow, that’s, that’s such a question. I’d love to collaborate with Remarc in terms of, like the Amen chopping. He was a huge influence on how I run my drums as well. Abstract Drumz, because I feel like his music just takes you to another planet, I’d love to work with him. The list is endless. I cannot forget another large inspiration, Enduser.

Upcoming releases? What do you have in the works?

I am working on some collabs for Suicide Audio. I won’t get into details because they’re not finalized yet, but it is in motion. It’s already being produced, so that’s awesome. I have an atmospheric EP that I’m going to be releasing. It’s non jungle, it’s all ambient stuff, and then also a Danger Chamber Digital EP. 

Drum and Bass is exploding right now in the US. Where do you see it going? It’s always ebbed and flowed, but there’s something different about it right now, do you see it continuing? Where do you think it’s going to end up?

I do see it continuing. And that’s what’s cool about it, right? You have a younger generation that actually listens to it, you know, and they love bass music, and it just so happens that drum and bass is fitting in and being exposed to more and more people that are coming about. So I definitely see it growing. It’s pretty awesome.

Thanks for talking with me, always a huge fan and can’t wait to hear what’s next. I’m going to link your releases as well so that everyone can check it out!

Antares has his sights set on the future, with a slew of exciting projects on the horizon. Prepare for collaborations with Suicide Audio, a fusion of tribal rhythms and breakcore madness with another undisclosed label, an ethereal ambient EP that will transport you to another dimension, and a Danger Chamber Digital EP. Antares is constantly pushing boundaries, experimenting with new sounds, and challenging the conventions of the genre. 

Antares Link Tree

 

Label Affiliations:

Current Releases:

Check out Antares’ latest releases on these platforms:

Forthcoming Releases:

  • Danger Chamber Digital – Antares “Onirism” EP
  • 554.5: Antares “Hereafter” EP (Non Jungle/DNB/Breakcore)
  • 554.5: Antares “Mirrors: I”
  • Wicked Jungle Records: Antares “Late Nights” EP

Content Crafted by:

aliengirl

Little Junglist alien girl based out of Oklahoma City. Spreading the word of drum and bass on the daily. Catch me front row, eyes closed, with the bass flowing through my soul.