EDIT 12/11/13 ** Winners Announcement **
Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter our test prest and event entry competition on the Subaltern and FKOF FB pages and…
EDIT 10/11/13 ** The competition has now closed **
Mentha is a name that may be quite unfamiliar to some of you dear readers.
But for us here at FatKidOnFire he’s a household name – one that we think is on his way to contributing to a new dimension to our scene. His new imprint Subaltern Records is on a exponential projectory; having just risen from beneath the surface in an extremely short period of time. The label holds both a fulfilling and futuristic premise when it comes about that piece of black wax we all love. Subaltern’s debut 12” featured Mentha and his production partner Murk, alongside the almighty Ipman who featured on remix duties.
With the latest release already announced (and well on its way to catching the necessary attention to outperform expectations), featuring Prism & Valour and the unholy Gantz, we thought it was time to sit down with Mentha and his label partner Jobanti to see what’s going on.
Hey Mentha, how are you? Hello FKOF, I’m Gabriele. I’m originally from Sicily, Italy. Six years ago (at the age of 19), I moved to the UK to develop my music. From SAE Institute London to a Guitar degree, everything seemed to fall into place nicely. Me and Joban met at music college and have been really good friends since.
We started the Mind The Dubstep collective with Rcadia and Shorty shortly after. I’ve always been influenced by a lot of live music, especially metal and jazz, and have always liked the idea of incorporating live instruments into my production. After years of hard work, things have started to pick up and more people have been supporting my music – thanks a tonne for that, you know who you are! At the moment we’ve been working really hard on Subaltern, and over the next few months we’re going to be releasing a whole lot of new and innovative ideas which I’m really excited about.
What’s the story behind the title of your label? The name actually came about because Jobanti did some ‘Subaltern Studies’ whilst doing a history degree in Cambridge. We bounced loads of ideas around and that one just seemed to fit. Mainly because we’re looking to push sub-heavy, alternative sounds.
In your opinion, what separates your label from the rest? Well, we really wanted to do vinyl from the start because there are so many new digital labels these days – we kind of think vinyl makes a statement about your respect for both the artists and the music. The producers we are releasing come from all over the world and we’re not about any one sound, we’re just interested in quality music that pushes boundaries.
What can you tell us about the label’s second release? We’re really excited about releasing music from Prism & Valor; both guys are amazing producers with a unique style, and they both need more recognition. When we first heard Prism’s tunes we were really impressed, and Valor has got some serious stuff locked away which you need to watch out for!
Gantz came through with a genius remix of ‘Biodigital Jazz’ as well as a really unique Jungle remix of ‘Ghost Hawk’ for the digital bonus, the man is truly unstoppable.
We’ve also got a nice 130 remix of ‘Biodigital Jazz’ by mysterious producer M.Ezm.YR. that tops off the release nicely.
What can we expect from the label in the future? There are so many amazing releases lined up over the next few months, and we are extremely excited for what’s to come for Subaltern. We feel very lucky to have the chance to work with such producers. Keep your ears peeled for some forthcoming D-Operation Drop & Geode plus a heavy NZ remix!
There are also ‘rumours’ about an upcoming compilation with a likeminded US label, look out for news on that.
What can you tell us about the ‘Mind the Dubstep’ (MTD) events? What’s in the pipeline? Mind The Dubstep has been running for the past 4 years and we’ve been lucky enough to host and share the decks with artists such as Coki, Tunnidge, Lost, Soap Dodgers, Ipman, BunZer0 and many more. The next party in London, on the 23rd of November, features one of our biggest line-ups to date with UK debuts from Prism (who will be in Europe from the 20th of November until the 29th of January), D-Operation Drop and Piezo plus sets from Denmark’s finest RDG and local talents Syte, Trashbat, Geode and Promise One. There will also be live performances from 7-piece neo soul band Retrospective For Love and Ziaflow.
What’s been your favourite release so far of this year? 2013 has been an amazing year for the sound, with far too many quality releases to name one. We’ve loved releases from Gantz, RDG, Ipman, Clearlight, LAS, D-Operation Drop, Piezo. The list goes on!
Any shoutouts to finish with? Syte and BunZer0 for the love, all the people that still buy music, especially those keeping vinyl alive – we gotta mention Snooks from the Niteshade Inc. family here. FKOF for pushing the scene along with Trusik and but not least, big up to the rest of the MTD crew: RCADIA and Shorty as well as the Sicilian connection – Murk, Messta and Shiva.
“The original version of ‘Biodigital Jazz’ is a jazz-infused stepper that’s surrounded by natural sounds. Prism & Valor have spent significant attention to detail on the stereo image, while a breathing force levitates through this next-level composition that has numerous surprising switches and turns. ‘Ghost Hawk’ invades the space with stealthy manoeuvres, containing a repertoire of percussive elements that leave their mark – including a whole new break-beat perspective. With the strong rooted patterns returning after the second drop, hiding from an almost natural threat. Gantz’ take on ‘Biodigital Jazz’ sends off his broken message with ever-returning ferocious percussive patterns that both hypnotise and confuse. This is ruthless take on the original; a truly timeless production that completes this second release of Subaltern Records.”
To celebrate their second vinyl release, Subaltern are giving their supporters the opportunity to win a test press of SUBALT002 and opportunity to attend November’s ‘Mind The Dubstep’ event here in London. The idea behind the competition is simple: Like Subaltern Records and FatKidOnFire on Facebook – and like and publicly share -> this post <- to enter to win. The first place winner will win the TP and the ticket to MTD (if they can attend!) and the runner up will win entry to the event. Winners will be chosen randomly on or after 10/11/13. The competition ends 10/11/13 – good luck!
We’ve also teamed up with the two producers to give away a truly stomping FKOF free download…
The FKOF review:
“This elevating experience slowly powers up; advancing in a minimal fashion as the hi-hats rigorously pervade the high-end spectrum. The short tail of the kick is suddenly replaced by engorged sub-patterns that reach out to something rather ground-shaking.
“Memorable pads fade sync and transform along with the glamour of the punchy production, while an intermission lifts the techno-like structure to its fullest potential.
“A translucent approach brings the listener closer and closer to a dream-like state, right before Prism & Valor make it evaporate with the blink of an eye.”