Rob Chadwick, London - United Kingdom - on 16/8/12
Subb-An chats to Pulse ahead of his set at Below Daytime at the Rainbow Pub where he will play alongside Martin Buttrich, tINI, Hector and Adam Shelton on the 26th of August. He gives an insight into his production set up, his bedroom booth and his label, One Records.
So tell us, for those who don’t know, how would you best describe your sound? Which aspects do you really pride yourself on? I'm really into stuff that moves, you know has some groove to it but it has to be bad boy at the same time. Anything that has advanced sounds production always gets me and the two combined is where it’s at for me, here’s a nice example. My sound I guess always has an uptempo feel to it and I mainly concentrate on the bass as a lot of the music I produce is in mind for the dancefloor, this will change over the next few months when I start my album.
What started you on dance music, and what was your understanding of music in general before then? I had no understand of music as I was very young when I came across records, 1210s and electronic music, was around the age of 12. Only music I heard prior was ska and reggae that my mum used to play.
Did you start in the booth or in the studio? Where are you happiest? In the booth (well my bedroom booth). I started to collect music at 13 and learn the art of DJ which then followed onto making music which started to happen when I was 16. I'm super happy doing both, for me it’s a balance of the two.
How do the Below nights nowadays compare to the early days? Just as amazing. I mean obviously there different but the parties still have that same amazing energy compared to the early days. I think over the years it has had different phases but the parties now still rock. When I first started going I was 18 and it kicked the shit out of me it was that good (laughs).
2009 saw the birth of your label, One Records. What was happening in your life then, what stage of your career were you at? How much did you know about selling records at the time? I guess things were bubbling at this time. I had just being taken on by Crosstown and I had a bank of EPs comings out on Spectral Culprit and Crosstown. It was late 2009 and speaking with Adam I suggested we start One Records. I have had knowledge in setting up a label as it was one of my subjects at university, so I had a good understanding. I have learnt a lot more since starting the label, but I'm very happy we started it.
Since then we’ve seen 15 quality releases, featuring the likes of Slok, DJ Aakmael, Burnski and SAS. Can you tell us of your plans for number 16 or 17? Number 16 was Burnski and Beckford and for me and Adam it’s a super great track that soon as we heard it we loved it.
Number 17 is from Anthea and again I love how stripped and dubby this track is. It features her on the vocals ( which me and Adam love ) and then myself and Dan Ghenacia are on the remixes - Here’s a cheeky preview of mine in Detroit.
DJ Magazine named you as the best breakthrough DJ act of 2011, congrats! Before you step into the booth, do you have a certain recipe you like to follow, even if the individual ingredients are different, or do you just wing it and go with what feels right at the time? Well gotta be able to be on the vibe, i.e sound-system, crowd and venue but it just depends on how it is when I’m there. I'm obviously more in the zone if all those ingredients are good. I am musically always prepared for different situations. I have music for bigger venues and music for smaller venues which I think helps.
To someone unfamiliar with the workings of the live stuff you do in the clubs, could you, in layman’s terms, describe what you do with all that equipment? Well compared to some live acts my set up is actually quite minimal. I use: Ableton, Ipad, Tetra Table Synth, Drum Machine 505, I have drums running from the computer and from the 505 and I run some bass lines and leads from the tetra, everything is controlled by the Ipad, great as its touch screen.
Over the summer you’re playing a whole host of venues, nights, and festivals in cities all over the world, maybe 2 or 3 every week. Does the reception differ from venue to venue or city to city? Do you have to adjust accordingly? Yeah some places there’s more people who know your sound and are there for that, which is great, other places people are there because I’m 'Subb-An' which is cool but maybe then there not into my music, but then sometimes are really into the music which is interesting and some places people have no idea, which sometimes I quite like too. That’s the funny thing with touring, most times you really not sure what to expect.
With all these accolades at such a young age, you seem to be a very goal-driven person. What else do you think has led to such a quick ascension? Persistence and a great team of friends around me.
Quickfire 5: Your earliest music memory? Earth wind and fire boogie wonderland.
Biggest inspiration in your music career? Prince
First record you bought as a DJ? Chocolate Puma – ‘I wanna be you’ (I was 13 and it was 50p in the bargain section)
The one set you’ve seen that has always stuck in your mind? Jamie Jones essential mix, it’s amazing, I’ve listened to this set with my girl a million times over.
3 tunes to live your life by? Oby Onyioha ‘Enjoy yourself’ Aleem ‘Release Yourself’ Blood orange ‘Champagne coast’
Tiga ‘Pleasure From The Bass’ (Subb-an Remix) is out at the start of September
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