The MakeItGood x FatKidOnFire feature series has long been known for supporting the deep and dark sounds of dubstep – but there are occasionally times when we discover artists who are so good we feel they deserve a mention. Brighton and London’s Subverse is one of those artists.
Nick emailed me back at the beginning of March with his Bandcamp link (where he’s giving away a few of his awesome remixes/ releases) – but I first discovered him through his entry to the Big Dada remix competition. He sent over the brilliant mix (which you’ll find below) and came back with the following interview…
Who is Subverse?
Subverse is a name I explore electronic music under.
What got you into mixing and producing bass music? How would you describe your production style? I got in to mixing at a pretty young age. I was introduced to jungle and drum&bass when I went to secondary school by a friend’s older brother (who was DJing on a local pirate radio station called Flight Fm). My friend and I used to chill in his room, watching and listening to him play records. He was kind enough to let me borrow his tape packs, teach me the basics of mixing and introduce me to the guys in the local record store which at the time was Slammin’ Vinyl in Kingston. Buying and mixing drum&bass was my first introduction into DJing.
I first heard dubstep in 2008. I was involved in pirate radio and running club nights in London, through all of that stuff I met Joe from Vagabondz. It was his passion for dubstep that made me really start to pay attention to the genre, from then I’ve just kept exploring and buying dubstep, house, techno etc. (all the stuff that gets labelled as “bass music”).
I think the kind of music I play and produce now is a culmination of years of exploring underground music and hanging on to the parts I like and losing the parts I don’t. For me I think nostalgia is an incredibly powerful thing, so when I make music or look for new music to play I always search for sounds that remind of music I love, or that reminds me of a time or place. I would say my production style or the sound I strive to achieve from my productions is heavily based around my love for all things analogue, I try and create music with as much sound from outside of a computer as possible.
How long have you producing and DJing? I’ve been buying records for 10 years and DJing for the majority of that time. I started to produce music when I was 17/18, thats when I decided to quit my job and go back to college/ and then Uni to really learn music technology – but I would say I’ve only made stuff to a reasonable standard for a year or so.
How do you go about building your tunes ? is there a process behind each one? What software do you use? I use Logic and as far as a process, it’s always sounds that inspire me to write a tune. That could be a sample from an old record I’ve recently picked up; a synth sound I’ve made; anything really – but it’s always sound that inspires me. Once I’ve been inspired, writing the tune is always different.
Turntables or CDJs for when you play out? I play a lot of my own music these days so I end up using CDJs which I genuinely hate. I’m still an avid collector of vinyl, but I’m not a fan of playing digital music with analogue music so I tend to play either a whole set of vinyl or a whole set on the CDJs.
What’s been your best gig and if you could DJ alongside anyone, who would it be? I‘ve played loads of great gigs that have really blown me away. Some that stand out would be playing at Plan B in Brixton just before dbridge, he’s always been a massive inspiration to me as both a DJ and a producer. Playing Digital in Brighton before Plump Dj’s and Audio Brighton before Drop The Lime have also really stuck in my mind because the tracks I would naturally draw for probably weren’t going to be what the crowd would want to hear – so that really made me dig through my collection to build those sets. Which was fun!
I’ve also played at amazing shows for the Vagabondz guys in Brighton.
There’s so many DJs I’d love to play alongside, all the big cliche ones – but apart from those guys I’d love to play on a night alongside Amon Tobin; his albums are mind blowing.
Who are your top 5 dubstep/ bass music producers at the moment; and why? Any labels you’re feeling? In no particular order:
- Dark Sky,
- Alphabets Heaven,
- Girl Unit and
I want to give these guys a mention because if I played a set with just music from them, I could cover every style and sound that I am currently really feeling. From the wonky experimental end with Alphabets Heaven and Envelope, the ambient melancholy sounds of Scuba and then two completely different uses of classic drum machine sounds from Dark Sky and Girl Unit.
Label-wise Hot Flush, Hyperdub, Cross Town Rebels, Exit, DMZ, Deep Medi and Night Slugs are always releasing great music.
What’s the future of dubstep – where do you see the genre going? Has it got a future? I see a real comparison in the development of dubstep and the development of drum&bass, but just really accelerated due to the easy access to information and music that the internet brings.
I see dubStep developing into different sub-genres or sounds like we have started to see already just as drum&bass did. There will be different labels and nights to cater for that. For me dubstep has become very formulaic and that is a bad thing, it was the openness to experimentation and different influences people brought to the table that made dubstep interesting to me and that seems to of been lost.
I kind of feel most dubstep has just become throwaway club music, but there are still some great tunes being made so dubstep definitely has a future. I hope that after this current mainstream fascination with dubstep has died down people go back to experimenting with the genre and tempo.
Any forthcoming releases we can look forward to? I am currently putting wheels in motion for a self released Cassette Tape featuring music that has all been inspired by my early exposure to dance music. Expect jungle, breakbeats, 4×4 and big basslines.
That will be out with artwork and a print designed from my good friend Tom Lewis in the not to distant future, as well as that I have a load of techno records finished that I will be doing something with.
Have you got any advice to upcoming DJs/ Producers looking to get their music heard or signed? Keep offline for as long as possible that would be my biggest piece of advice. Take your time and really learn your trade well, build a big catalogue of music then take it from there. I feel a bit silly giving advice because I’m not signed or anything like that.
Any shoutouts? Shouts to B’ka, Murder He Wrote, Dubloke, all the Below The Line gang, Envelope, The Love Sick Records crew, Cub Scout, Charlie from Gorgeous George, Wired, Tom Lewis and Polar Kid.
3 people (dead or alive) you’d go to the pub with (and why)?
- Wiley – he just seems like he’s on the edge between creative genius and nutcase. People like that interest me.
- Stevie Hyper D – I used to rinse tapes I had of him so if we could change the pub for Koko I could get to see him perform, that would be a dream come true.
- Steve Jobs – One of the greatest men of recent years. It would have been great to get an insight into his mind as well as an insight into where he saw the future for technology and computing.
Analog or digital? Why? I don’t get the context of this question but I will say as a general rule there are always pros and cons to both so weigh them up and go with whatever suits your needs best.
SoundCloud or Bandcamp? If they came together that would be perfect. Soundcloud for the user interface and community feel. Bandcamp for selling or collecting emails for your music. Neither of them are perfect though.
Subverse’s mix for MakeItGood x FKOF is an hour’s worth of tracks from Burial, Joy O, Scuba and a whole host of other superb dubstep/ bass music producers. It’s a free download as always – hit Nick up on Twitter and Facebook if you’re feeling it! Don’t forget to head over to the Subverse bandcamp to get your hands on the four downloads from there.
Click to DOWNLOAD
- Subverse – My Heart Beats For You [free download via Bandcamp]
- Burial – Street Halo [Hyperdub]
- Guy Andrews – Textures [Hemlock]
- Sigha – How To Disappear [Hot Flush]
- George Fitzgerald – Don’t You (SCB Edit) [Hot Flush]
- Subverse – Indifference [dub]
- George Fitzgerald – Friends In High Places [Hot Flush]
- Subverse – The Calm Before The Storm [dub]
- Subverse – Deluge [dub]
- Scuba – The Hope [Hot Flush]
- Timo Garcia ft. Amber Jolene – City Lights (Solee Remix) [Yoshitoshi]
- Fur Coat ft. Cari Golden – You and I [Cross Town Rebels]
- Lando Kal – Rhythm Sektion [Hot Flush]
- Fur Coat ft. Argenis Brito – Space Ballad (T.E.E.D remix) [Cross Town Rebels]
- George Fitzgerald – Weakness [Hot Flush]
- Joy O – Jels[Hot Flush]
- Dark Sky – Be Myself [50 weapons]
- Girl Unit – Every Time [Night Slugs]
- Nguzunguzu – Mirage (Brenmar remix) [Silverback Records]
- Subverse – Old Enough To Know Better [free download via Bandcamp]
- Club Scout – Gold (Subverse remix) [free download via Bandcamp]
If you have any thoughts on what Subverse has had to say, or anything else you’ve seen – maybe you’ve got someone to recommend to FKOF or seen something you think we’d like? Get in touch via email, Twitter, or Facebook.