Ahead of the OTC Reunion @ Torch DNB, we got the gang together to dive into the history of the crew and radio show!
1. Tell us a little bit about OTC (Off The Couch Radio).
Bombazi: OTC Radio originally began as a weekly tag team session every Sunday in 2000 before we ever started broadcasting online. The crew went through several iterations starting with myself, ISIS, Shakedown, and Render. The first broadcast was pre-404 Audio and went by ATL Progression Radio. Double Nil, Deco, and Sorted joined up and we didn't miss a Sunday for 8 consecutive years.
Sorted: I was late to the game but jumped on board approx 2007. We started broadcasting from the 404Audio shop during that era then ultimately brought it full circle to Joe’s apartment the next year. Around 08 it was typically Bombazi, Double Nil, and myself.
Matt Deco: Off the Couch was an internet radio show that aired on Bassdrive during my time with the crew. I joined after it had been running for a couple of years and co-hosted it with Bombazi and Double Nil from about 2003 until I moved to Los Angeles in late 2006. It aired Sunday evenings and was an awesome way to end the weekend with friends, DJing, having some beers, and grilling out when the weather was right. It was also a good way to bring the Atlanta drum & bass scene together when we'd have guest DJs come through. This was the heyday of The Sopranos, so we had a ritual where we'd often finish the show and then immediately watch that week's episode as it aired.
2. What did you use to broadcast with in those days? Shoutcast / Winamp?
Sorted: I’ll let Bombazi field this. I have no idea other than serato ->Overdrive(I think)
Matt Deco: Oof, I honestly can't remember what we used. It was definitely broadcast using Shoutcast servers, but I can't remember what software we used. Sorry! In later years when I did internet broadcasting on my own I used Nicecast by Rogue Amoeba.
Bombazi: When we started broadcasting, it was the early days of online streaming. The first service we used was Live365. We later transitioned to Shoutcast / Winamp when we joined the Bassdrive.com Sunday lineup.
3. How did all of you link up originally?
Double Nil: I linked up with otc radio around 2002-2003 when Joe (bombazi) and his girlfriend at the time Jen “Isis” hosted the show along with Scott (shakedown). Joe and I, along with some other local dnb DJ’s had put together a weekly dnb night call Versus. During the course of doing this night Matt (deco) and Jamie (sorted) emerged onto the scene and as other members of the crew moved on it solidified the four of us to carry the show subsequently for the next 4-5 years.
Sorted: I met Matt Deco in the fall of 2005 hanging out around Satellite Records in L5P. I did a guest slot on OTC Radio in Dec 2005 and it was my first time on any kind of live broadcast. We were all 100% vinyl back then and it was a cool experience for me. I started playing out more regularly in Atlanta around then and linked up with Bombazi and Double Nil through the club scene.
Matt Deco: There were a few things that happened around the same time that brought us together. I met Bombazi and Double Nil when they were promoting a weekly drum & bass event called Versus that happened every Tuesday, probably around 2002. I went most weeks for a long time and eventually met both of them there. I was also introduced to both of them through a mutual friend who I went to college with, and also ran into Double Nil in Little 5 Points when I'd go record shopping at Satellite, Rewind, and More Dusty Than Digital. The 404Audio forum was pretty popular around this time, so we all interacted online there quite a bit as well as over AIM. I was also hosting the Subterranean drum & bass show on WRAS Atlanta 88.5FM, and I had them up to play as guests a couple of times.
4. What is your take on 2019 Drum & Bass?
Matt Deco: Drum & Bass is in absolutely fine form in 2019, and has been for the last several years. I think the music is next level right now and the scene where I live (Los Angeles) is super vibrant -- lots of shows, lots of variety with various styles and subgenres, etc. I think there's a lot of creativity going on right now and the more underground sounds are getting a lot of support compared to earlier eras.
Bombazi: Drum & Bass is alive and well in 2019–the dubby/liquid genre is still my favorite. Artists such as Calibre and Lenzman/The North Quarter are consistently releasing quality tunes. There is also a good bit of downtempo being released which I really dig. I always make a point to catch Stunna on Bassdrive who's still going strong. --
Double Nil: 2019 drum n bass is poppin’. A thriving genre with mainstream appeal. More recently it seems the underground sounds are starting to swell again. We can the roots showing currently as the cycle of art and trend has brought it full circle to the deeper, darker vibes felt 20+ years ago
Sorted: I’m loving the diversity amongst the Liquid Funk sound that I came to love early on. There’s an amazingly broad spectrum of sounds in the genre and I’m constantly being amazed at new productions coming out. My favorite guys out right now are Etherwood, LSB, and Nu:Logic.
5. What are you up to these days? Are you still dj'ing in your respective towns or more just at home for fun?
Double Nil: These days I’m still DJing, and dabbling in production. I’ve been playing more traditional dance music genres like house and techno but I have a feeling dnb will be making a comeback to the clubs and to my crates as the underground needs it more than ever.
Matt Deco: I'm still DJing around LA / Southern California and producing when I have the time. I just started a new label called Vibe Studies which will be a home for a lot of the drum & bass I've been making. I'll be releasing a series of singles over the coming months that should be a good reflection of my personal tastes in drum & bass these days.
Sorted: I’ve been taking about a year off DJ’ing and spending time with my two kids. Happy to be back on the decks with the crew this weekend.
Bombazi: I still DJ at Proper (Chicago), a drum & bass weekly hosted every Wednesday in Wicker Park by veterans Phantom 45 and Dr. Groo
6. Any shouts?
Bombazi: Brutus. He stays off the couch. RIP
Sorted: Shoutout to the bassdrive crew and all the listeners back in the day.
Matt Deco: Shouts to everyone in Atlanta who has continued to push D&B forward! It's great to see that a lot of the same people are still involved from when I first got introduced to it nearly 20 years ago.
7. What was you first experience with the Atlanta Jungle / DNB scene?
Double Nil: First ever drum n bass experience was probably in a car or listening to it on someone’s bedroom set-up or house party situation but I think the first time I actually went to a big rave where there was a jungle/dnb room was when a couple of new friends took me and my roommate to the atrium for a party in 2000. After that I was fully hooked and had turntables and a mixer set up within weeks
Sorted: I started going out in ATL around 99 but went off to college shortly after. I moved back into ATL in 2005 and secured my first gig ever the same week. Shoutout to Anthony Mayhem for putting me on! I've been involved in various aspects ever since.
Matt Deco: Seeing some of the original local legends of drum & bass play at raves when I first started going out in the 1990s. Hazeus, who was the drum & bass buyer at Satellite for many years, was one of the best DJs I had ever seen at that point. Roger, who was the drum & bass buyer at Rewind when I first got involved, also made a big impression on me when I'd see him play. And then people like Little Jen, Bobble, and the 20hz Cartel really opened my ears to the deeper more atmospheric side of drum & bass.
Bombazi: Joining up with the Rydim Ryderz in '97. I practically lived at Satellite Records in the basement of Wish (L5P) with Hazeus, Tommie Sunshine, Birdman, and Ego Rock during that time and was welcomed into the crew which paved the way for things I'm still doing today.