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Anton Tumas is a man that wears many hats. As a DJ, promoter, and label owner, he has left an inevitable mark on the underground scene, spanning over a decade.
A driving force in the Southern California underground, Anton is known for his impeccable, genre spanning DJ sets, his flawlessly executed parties in previously uncharted locations, and Subtract, his cutting edge record label. He has played alongside Hernan Cattaneo, DJ Tennis and Danny Howells, on Burning Man’s Mayan Warrior and Robot Heart, as well as Lightning In A Bottle, Desert Hearts and Further Future festivals, each time enhancing the reputation of his ability to play sets perfectly suited to the vibe of the party.
We had a conversation with Anton Tumas to talk about his early years, favorite places to play and current projects.
Electronic Groove: Hi Anton, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Can you give us some insight on when you decide to dedicate your life to music? How did it all begin?
Anton Tumas: Hello all! In 2005 I went to my first Winter Music Conference, and subsequently my first Burning Man. Those two completely different experiences had a dramatic impact on how I experienced music. After seeing some incredible sets by James Holden, Adam Freeland and Serge Devant, I got inspired to learn how to DJ. Started off slow at first, but when it was time to change careers in 2010, I decided to go into the music industry, and it’s been a pretty fun ride so far.
EG: You’ve been Djing for quite some time. What keeps the flame of inspiration alive?
Anton Tumas: Always finding old and new tracks to keep evolving my sound, and finding new ways of captivating the dancefloor. I never take it for granted, and I’m always wanting to take myself and others on a musical journey via the ever-shifting moods and energy levels of my music collection. There’s something magical that happens once you get the dancefloor locked into a groove, a certain kind of trust that you can sense in the crowd.
EG: Who was your main influence in music? Do you remember any special moment where everything made sense in terms of dedicating your life to music?
Anton Tumas: I always had an interest in hypnotic and spacey, as well as trippier side of music. Something that can transport you to another world, something that creates a space of wonder in our minds, that melodies and rhythms just seem to resonate with. Over the years, I’ve discovered quite a long list of artists that are capable of taking us there. However, there’s a certain few that definitely stand-out to this day. James Holden (circa 2002-2006) would have to be at the top of my list. His ‘Balance 005′ is still pretty much the best mix out there. Then Hernan Cattaneo, with his ‘South America’ cds which I discovered many many years after it was released. Nick Warren’s Global Underground Reykjavik and Shanghai are epic journeys as well. More recently it has been guys like DJ Koze, Stimming and Dave DK to name a few.
A particular moment in time that seems to stand out, is when I was at work streaming Hernan Cattaneo’s ‘Renaissance Masters Volume 2′, and this incredibly sexy and deep song came out that just gave me instant goosebumps. It was none other than ‘Grand Theft Vinyl¡ by JV & Green Thumb, and truly my life has never been the same since.
EG: You’re currently residing in Los Angeles and have been part of many festivals. Can you give us some insight on your latest projects?
Anton Tumas: I have produced and helped to create many events and festivals. We are gearing up for the 6th edition of Love Long Beach Festival on the last days of July, where we are curating the music, and bringing out multiple sound systems. We will soon announce our summer dates for Subtract On The Pier series, as well as helping other event creators with things like sound and recording of the sets, things we’ve gotten really good at.
“I always had an interest in hypnotic and spacey, as well as trippier side of music”
EG: Where do you enjoy playing the most? A small club, festival, burning man?
Anton Tumas: My favorite places to play are California’s Mojave Desert for full moon parties, and Burning Man. Mostly, I am all about the outdoor vibe, and that two capture it amazingly well. But put me anywhere with a good sound system and a dedicated crowd, and we’ll make a fun party out of it!
EG: You were born in Moscow. What’s the current situation of the electronic music scene there? Any favorite location to play at? Any up and coming artists we should keep an eye?
Anton Tumas: My last time in the city was in 2007, so I’m afraid I am out of touch with the way things are right now. However, many of my friends that have played recently stated that the scene is very robust, and has very well produced parties. My good friends Gorje Hewek & Izhevski have been on fire for the last few years with their DJ sets and their amazing label Shanti Moscow Radio.
EG: Moving forward, what spiritual role has music played in your life apart from the financial aspect?
Anton Tumas: Music is a profoundly deep way to express parts of myself that I simply would not be able to do in words. Learning different aspects of my being, and what makes me excited, and of course, getting in touch with a bigger range of my emotions through that medium.
EG: As a musician and performer, what is your definition of art?
Anton Tumas: To create a moment in time that puts the experiencer in a timeless space of stillness, by captivating them with its beauty or sheer emotion.
“Having your own voice, and getting people to resonate with it takes a lot of hard work”
EG: What is the easiest and hardest part of being a musician?
Anton Tumas: The hardest thing would have to be earning recognition and status as an artist in a very saturated scene. Having your own voice, and getting people to resonate with it takes a lot of hard work, especially if you’re not chasing trends. Of course, the easier part would be showing up to a peak-time party and just playing party jams that get the crowd going wild, but that also takes years of collecting music and understanding how people react to different types of tracks and styles.
EG: If we’re in Los Angeles and want to grab a bite or a drink, where should we go?
Anton Tumas: For food, I’m a big BBQ fan, so Bludos’s in Hollywood or Baby Blues in Venice always get it done. Birdies has the best chicken sandwich I’ve ever had in DTLA. Not much of a drinker these days, but Pattern Bar always makes a mean cocktail!
EG: Thanks again! All the best.
Anton Tumas: Thank you, it was really fun.