In both his day job and his musical passion, TRC2 gets people moving. A rail network manager by day, he’ll have you covering miles. A re-enthused junglist and breakbeat craftsman by night, he’ll have you spinning around in circles and skanking on the spot.
“I guess both things have a certain focus on keeping things flowing,” he laughs. The name TRC2 is likely to be new to you – he only dropped his debut EP The Trail on Fanu’s Lightless imprint in September – but the Welsh producer’s love for jungle goes back much, much further.
“I was about 13/14 when I got into the 1 In The Jungle shows on Radio 1,” admits the artist who grew up and cut his teeth as a DJ in Cardiff. “I’d record it on a Friday night and listen to it on my paper round the next morning.”
Roaming through various genres as a DJ during his 20s, TRC2 (real name Jon) gradually found himself in that cycle of adulthood where the job took priority. But somewhere deep down his intestinal hardcore refused to die. Eventually he fed the beast.
“Yeah I thought, ‘Fuck it, I’ll give it a go again,’” grins Jon who dusted off the old DAW but knew he needed a little one-to-one tuition. “So I hit up Janne and have been studying with him for the best part of two years.”
Janne is the Finnish breakbeat wizard Fanu, in case you’re not on first name terms with him. The link came about through a classic DOA forum-lurking move. “I’ve got to be honest, I was more keen to write liquid tunes but I saw he’d just launched his Patreon so I thought I’d give it a go to see what happens. I sent him a few tracks and the feedback was brutal to begin with. Being told my snares were shit was hard to take. But he was able to help me develop that.”
Fanu tells the tale with a lot more tact and respect for TRC2’s skills. “Being a production nerd and a bit of a teacher by nature, I’ve always been doing this on the side, especially if it’s stylistically something I feel I can contribute to,” he explains to 1 More Thing.
“Everything he did was promising, and I could sense this Headz/Reinforced type vibe cooking, and I’ve been happy to give him some pointers. I’ve experienced how he’s been refining his style, and it’s dope! I don’t want to take much credit; it was all in him, and I just had to point out some little things to improve his results (just like a personal trainer would).”
Either way, be it through Jon’s natural style or Fanu’s guidance, references likes Headz and Reinforced don’t get thrown around lightly, and they’re being made for good reason: TRC2 tunes hit with cutlass sharp breaks, bulldozer-like weight and stark futurist dynamics.
You can hear these traits across the handful he’s put out so far… His aforesaid official debut on Lightless and a self-release entitled Milestones earlier this summer and Natural World which just landed on SEKL’s Make Or Break.
Once again tapping into that timeless foundation sound, they galvanise the sound and energy of a producer who’s at the start of an exciting journey creatively but already come from a long journey of discovery.
“What he’s doing stylistically is definitely something to look out for. That’s why I wanted to release his first actual EP on Lightless,” explains Fanu.
Jon is equally commending of the Lightless boss and recommends the Patreon system to any budding artist looking for focus and fine-tuning. “Having someone who can give you feedback and honesty is priceless,” he reasons. “Even if you do get told your snare is shit to begin with!”