Ten minutes with… New York Transit Authority

The DJ and producer about his mum’s vinyl, flying skateboards and darkness

New York Transit Authority (NYTA) is going places. Time Out talks to the DJ and producer about his mum’s vinyl, flying skateboards and the darkness within

New York Transit Authority is...?
Mensah Anderson, a DJ and producer from Bristol in England. I’ve been making tunes for seven or eight years, only more recently as New York Transit Authority.

How would you describe the NYTA sound?
I’m a big fan of drum programming and those big bass lines that say ‘I’m from the UK’. More underground, less mainstream. Hence the name: the New York Transit Authority run the underground in New York, a city that everybody knows around the world for its underground culture.

Your first ever release, ‘Off the Traxxx’, was vinyl-only. Why?
In this day and age, I feel that music can be a bit throwaway because there’s so much free music being given away and so many digital releases. I grew up with vinyl. I love the sound of it. You can have it for the rest of your life. It’s a piece of artwork. You can pass it on to your children. I’ve got all of my mum’s old records, from Gregory Isaacs to Madonna. We sold a lot more of that single because it was vinyl-only. I had kids hit me up on Twitter saying it’s the first piece of vinyl they ever bought. Some don’t even have a turntable!

Listen Jus Now - Tun Up (New York Transit Authority Remix)

Your distribution and performance methods combine new and old. Does your production?
Let’s put it this way: if you look at old Lamborghinis and old Ferraris from the ’70s and ’80s, they still look futuristic today. Old films from that era – their image of the future is still how I see the future. With a lot of the sounds that I use, I still see them as futuristic, even if, like the rolling 808, they’re actually 20 years old. My generation is still wondering when we’re going to get flying skateboards!

Your tunes are dark, yet danceable. How do you produce something like that?
Bright, happy music isn’t something that comes naturally to me. The darkness is something that is mine. The funny thing is that I’m not a broody or dark sort of person!

You’ve got a new EP coming up on the Lobster Boy label. What’s the word?
Basically just waiting on [label boss] Redlight to say if he wants me to put this one final track on the EP. It’s quite a process, vetting a tune. We sit with it for a long time. Does it have longevity or is it just a throwaway piece of music? I take my time with releases.

Woozy Offline presents New York Transit Authority is at Dada on Thursday 10 April. See listing for details.