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Chase & Status on MTA Records' Five Years of Game-Changing Releases

From the label that launched Nero, Josh Butler, Redlight, and Moody Good. Plus a retrospective mix from new MTA signing Dimension.

When Chase & Status released More Than Alot in 2008, they laid claim to the throne of UK bass music after almost a decade in the underground. The release was a widely palatable and culturally reverent drum & bass record at its core, but forayed into hip hop and features a seminal dubstep anthem in "Eastern Jam." Not content with personal success alone, the duo of Will Kennard and Saul Milton launched their own label the following year, MTA Records, named after an acronym of their first album and not, in fact, an ode to New York City's Metro Transit Authority.


What proceeded was a quickfire flurry of awesome that immediately changed the face of dance music in the UK. Nero's breakthrough two-track release Innocence/Electron in 2009 was both controversial and important - It paired one of the duo's last (and best) drum & bass tracks with one of the classiest examples of the upfront dubstep wave that was about to sweep the world. "Our debut signing Nero was one of the most significant acts in MTA's history," C&S tell THUMP. "From there, we went on to sign Dream Mclean, Redlight, and Ben Pearce amongst others."

Boutique as it may be in nature, MTA is by no means a vanity label. As Chase & Status have grown into international chart-topping artists, their focus on the label hasn't waned. "We spend most of our time currently working on the label," they explain. "After 5 years of running MTA we are still as passionate as ever with developing the acts coming through." That roster ranges the breadth of dance music. For example, the label put out 16Bit's crunch-tastic "Dinosaurs" in 2011 and Josh Butler's essential house tune "Got a Feeling" the next year. Since then they've uncovered THUMP favs Kove, Herve, and Moody Good.

What should be obvious by now is that MTA isn't bound by genre, and that's what makes them so culturally relevant. "The aim was to create an eclectic mix of exceptional music," they explain. "We look for anything that stands out from the crowd and is exciting and progressive." That progressive nature is what has maintained the label's trajectory in the fast-changing tides of dance music. "It's because of the diversity on the label we have faired well with the changing musical landscape since 2009," they explain. "We have released a fair amount of house and techno through TCTS, Josh Butler and Ben Pearce alongside drum and bass through Kove and new signing Dimension."


It's Dimension in particular who Milton and Kennard picked to put together a fast-paced mix that tracks the label's path over the past five years. It begins with classics like Redlight and Miss Dynamite's "What You Talking About?" and the aforementioned "Dinosaurs," before nodding to the deeper elements like Ben Pearce and Josh Butler. Then a late onset ode to Nero kicks in and then all bets are off.

The collection is drawn together by a loose aesthetic perspective more than anything else. And don't fret, Chase & Status are already onto their follow up to 2013's Brand New Machine. "We are concentrating on writing our fourth studio album which we are incredibly excited about it. Also we will be launching the Rebel Sound act that we won the Red Bull Sound clash with at some of the key festivals next next summer."

Before then, they're celebrating MTA's 5-year anniversary with a series of gigs. "We kicked off the campaign with a sold out MTA 5 event at The Warehouse Project which was fantastic and our next is at Oval Space, 19th December, which promises to be one of the biggest lineups we've curated to date. More info on the other three MTA 5 shows will be coming soon."

Check the line-up for the Oval gig: Chase & Status, Nero, Shy FX, Special Guest, Kove b2b Dimension, TCTS, GotSome, Dream Mclean, SG Lewis. Yeesh!

Peep the Dimension mix below. Prepare yourself:

Redlight - What You Talking About ft Miss Dynamite
Moody Good - Ziambey(ft Big Narstie)
>> 16 Bit - Dinosaurs
Dream McLean - D.W.I.D ft Professor Green
Torqux - Blazin ft Lady Leshurr
>> Torqux - Blazin ft Lady Leshurr VIP
Ten Ven & Ripley vs Zebra Katz - 1 Bad Bitch
Ben Pearce - What I Might Do
Josh Butler - Got A Feeling (Bontan Remix, Pleasurekraft Edit)
Herve - Money Where Your Mouth Is ft Knytro
Redlight - Get Out My Head
Kove - Lose You
Toyboy & Robin - Jaded
TCTS - Games
Kove - Way We Are
Moody Good - Living Off The High (2 Step Mix)
Nero - New Life
Dimension - Love To Me
Moko - Your Love (Culture Shock Remix)
Nero - Crush On You (Knife Party VIP Remix)
Nero - Must Be The Feeling (Brookes Brotheres Remix)
Kove - Gobble
Nero - Reaching Out (Wilkinson Remix)
Nero - Guilt (Culture Shock Remix)
>> Kove - Searching VIP
Kove - Searching