10 Questions With Interplanetary Criminal As He Drops ‘Races’ Featuring Blanco

Hailing from Bolton, Greater Manchester, DJ and producer Interplanetary Criminal – real name Zach Bruce – has quickly risen to prominence as one of the most sought-after UK garage music mixers of the moment. After signing with Room Two Recordings and following a teaser at his recent Boiler Room Berlin set – which garnered a casual 700k views on youtube – the disc jockey finally dropped his highly-anticipated tune ‘Races (feat. Blanco),’ this morning. 

Debuting his techno productions in 2016, the now 30-year-old artist has racked up a collection of impressive accolades including a UK number one single (the song of summer 2023 “B.O.T.A” with Eliza Rose), a Glasto debut with music producer Skream in 2023, numerous sold-out headline tours across the UK, and a slew of electrifying Boiler Room appearances. Now, he is finally ready to solidify his title as a vanguard of the UK garage revival. “I wanted to pay homage to the early 00’s darker side of the two-step garage and encapsulate the atmosphere of Manchester’s colder history of bass music,” says Interplanetary Criminal of his new infectious groove, which was created in collaboration with solo-artist Blanco, a former member of South London’s Kennington-based drill rap collective Harlem Spartans, for his lyrical prowess. From the north to the south, this bass-driven beat is a shoe-in staple of a good-night out. 

Following triumphant tours across the US, Australian and Europe in 2023, the graduate of the School of Sound Recording in Manchester is already confirmed to continue his notable devotion to live performances. This includes upcoming festival sets at Bristol’s Love Saves The Day, Manny’s Parklife, and Croatia’s Outlook and Hideout fetes, with an additional tour in the US beginning in April. Talk about being booked and busy. 

Here, we pulled up a chair for a little chinwag with Interplanetary Criminal to chat about the weirdest thing he’s seen on the dance floor, his dream performance destination and what we can expect from him for upcoming year. 

1. Let’s get acquainted – what’s your favourite thing about being a DJ andproducer?

“I reckon, as a DJ my favorite thing is finding a track that gasses you up, makes you feel a certain type of way, hard to put into words what that feeling is but you know what I mean. Then being able to play it to a room full of people that respond the same way you did when you found it, banging. As a producer being able to create and be a part of a scene that’s pushing a sound you have a complete affinity for forward, and opportunities to collaborate with your favorite artists, MC’s ect, it’s sick.”

2. If you could sum up your sound in three words, what would they be? 

“Immense, Northwest, Energy.”

3. What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever seen on the dancefloor?  

“I’d have to say one of the wildest things I’ve seen was in Belfast during my AVA Boiler Room set. The last record I played was a classic Donk record, everyone used to bump the ‘MC Finchy – Ozone Bounce’ so hard in my high school so it felt like a hero moment. I didn’t realise that the same melody line in that track was a big Celtic chant – so in the last song, everyone is in the crowd is singing this melody back to me, people swinging T-shirts, jumping, smiling… yeah that was wicked to be honest, that moment felt wild.”

4. If you could collaborate with any other artist, dead or alive, who would they be?

“This is quite a hard question, without wanting to sound too cliche, I’ve been in the studio with MJ Cole recently, one of my many heroes. I’d love to collaborate with legends like Neil Rumney, any of the many aliases of Jeremy Sylvester, Warren Clarke, El-B (Ghost), DJ Narrows, Artwork ect…”

5. Outside of music, what are some hobbies or interests you enjoy that fans might not know about?

Outside of music, I like a lot of films, especially horror, but I’m pretty much in the cinema at least once a week. I also love film merch. I have lots of collaborations between A24 and Online Ceramics. I love Japanese menswear, it rains a lot in Manchester so I appreciate technicality in garms. There are also a few peak districts up north, nature boys and all that, but I also love cutting about big cities too, seeing exhibitions, galleries and museums and most importantly eating good food.”

6. What was the initial inspiration behind your latest single? 

I wanted to take it back to my two-step roots, my sound is always inspired from early garage records. This one in particular I had in my head one of those bits ‘unknown artist’ on a white label you find randomly in a record store in Croydon… these sort of tracks were pivotal for me, they’re stripped back, no nonsense with a lot of atmosphere, borrowing samples from Jungle. One for the culture, I made the beat with Blanco in mind, I was in the studio an hour before getting together the bare bones, for me, Blanco’s history with Harlem Spartans and his output since then has been pushing UK Drill forward, so this ‘Races’ record together just makes sense for me.”

7. If your new track were a destination, where would it take your fans on a journey?

Manny to Kennington, then a bit of Amsterdam for good measure.”

8. If you could perform a set anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Not sure, I think I’d have loved to have been a resident at Niche nightclub back in the day… hearing these bassline house tunes for the first time.”

9. If you had to listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Burial – Come Down To Us.”

10. Describe your dream lineup to be a part of.

“Hmmm… I’d say something like the Hessle Audio takeover, similar to the five hours they did at Glasto.”

11. What has the rest of 2024 got in store for you?

“This year I’m planning to release more than ever. I’ve been sitting on a bunch of new music – my ATW label co-run with Main Phase is starting back up again this year, releasing tunes from our mates, ourselves, ruff and ready for the club.”

Photography courtesy of Interplanetary Criminal.


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