About a month ago, we partnered with one of Nottingham’s latest bass music collectives to give away one of our latest FKOF EPs. Today, we’re releasing the second part of our collaboration with Sub:Conscious [which is SHD (James B and Ben), DT (Dan), Outbound (Jon R) and Reaction (Ryan)].
We’ve got an all-new guest mix from the group’s SHD, along with an in-depth interview with the producers, to go with their FKOF EP. The group’s also just released their debut (paid) EP, which you can stream and buy below…
Hi guys, thanks for taking time out to talk to us. Jon R: Thanks for having us!
So first of all! For people that don’t know about you, how did Sub:Conscious come about? JR: Sub:Conscious came about after several producers living in/around Nottingham realised we had similar interests when it came to music. We found we could get more out of working together to push the style further where we live.
Dan: At the time, SHD and I were playing on a local pirate station and I happened to listen to one of their shows. I realised that we were into the same style of dubstep and we got talking over social media. We did some collaborative work and eventually they introduced me to Reaction and Outbound. SHD definitely came up with the concept of a “collective” though!
Ben: Also because James (SHD) sent us all a threatening email, saying that if we didn’t all get together for a crew that he would haunt us for all eternity!
James B: Haha! We all met through pirate radio and music projects around Nottingham, so it made sense to me that we all got together and supported each other.
What’s the 140/Dubstep scene like in Nottingham? D: I personally think the scene in Nottingham reflects the dubstep scene in general. It’s had its 15 minutes of fame and slipped back into the shadows. I don’t mean that in a negative way, there are still plenty of local people pushing the sound and making a big impact – Congi, Wayfarer & Anex to name but a few – but dubstep events just aren’t drawing big crowds any more. To be honest, I like it because it seems that people attending dubstep nights are now coming for the music and not just because it’s trendy!
JR: At to moment, it seems to be struggling for the darker side events-wise. A lot of guys who used to mix dubstep (from the 2008-2012 era) seem to have moved on to house, grime etc. However, as far as production goes, Nottingham hasits fair share of guys putting great music out there (like the artists Dan mentioned and the likes of Fable etc)
B: If I’m perfectly honest it’s a bit up & down. There is a wealth of badman producers from the city with some truly great music coming from these guys, but as far as the nights go it’s a little sparse. Echo & Rubberdub have thrown some great parties over the years but it’s a fair amount of time between events. A while back, Nottingham was pure hype for dubstep; we had so many great nights. But now it seems like all the hype is now on house. Seems the Nottingham club scene is a fickle madam and moves with the trends!
JB: In regards to club nights, the scene has retracted somewhat so promoters or venues don’t want to take the risk of losing money which is fair enough. The Nottingham circuit is well established and politics some times gets in the way of progress which is frustrating. We have successfully done our own club nights with Congi/Anex/Wayfarer with a good system, but it is a shame that trust is difficult to find with Nottingham venues, which is pretty much the opposite compared to the great artists we have living in Notts.
How would you describe your style and sound? JR: We all try to cover a fair few bases, but anybody that even remotely knows of us knows that we focus on dark, minimal dubstep. Between us, we cover heavy all-out stompers, rollers, lush ambient tracks, 170, techno etc. And, for some reason, whenever we come together to collab the reggae influences seem to come out as well!
B: From the depths of the underworld!
Who’s been playing your music? JB: Distance, N-Type and Beezy have been supporting our first upcoming paid release which is awesome as we’ve all been fans for years. But we’ve had support from friends like Arkwright, Shu, Justify and CJ Broad.
What’re your views on the scene at the moment? JR: It’s interesting to see the over-saturation forcing a few guys to call it quits on music or move on to other areas. Nobody wants to hear the same thing over and over and it can quickly become very uninspiring. On the flip side, this can force innovation and cause the scene to evolve, meaning at the cost of less musicians making the same style of music we can hopefully have a fresher sound. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in 2014.
D: To me, it feels like the it’s become a lot less diluted recently. There’s a real sense of community and it’s great to see so many friends progressing from newcomers to respected, in-demand artists. Although the scene may not be as popular as it was a couple of years ago, I’m still very much proud to be a part of it!
B: I think it’s as strong as it’s ever been in terms of production! I know people are worried because S & Benga have called it a day, but we replaced them with the Chord Marauders – so who’s crying now biatch!
Who are your favourite artists/producers in the scene? JR: For me it has to be Gantz, LAS or the Chord Marauders if I’m really wanting to hear something ‘different’ and get inspiration to write. For the heavier stuff, guys like Proxima, Biome, Perverse (although these guys are incredibly versatile and can make some extremely ‘musical’ tracks also) all tick the box for me.
B: Breakage is my all-time favourite, the guy is just a don! Obviously my Notts boys Anex, Fable & Congi. Apart from that, I think Arkwright has come alive over the last few years & DT is one gully bastard!
D: Commodo, Proxima and TMSV spring to mind as artists who are consistently producing some of my favourite tunes. Feonix and Yungwanz are two more producers that I’m really excited about at the moment. Both of them are starting to get the recognition that they deserve. Arkwright too – the progression that he’s demonstrated over the last year or so is amazing.
JB: It’s a bit of an in-joke between us, but J:Kenzo, for me creates and plays music that ticks all my boxes...
Have you got anything coming out we should know about? JB: Sure, our first release Sub:Conscious Presents… Vol 1 came out this week – exclusively on Juno – and then available everywhere else the following week. It contains 7 tracks from the whole collective and some collabs too. We’re really pleased with the outcome and the tracks get a great reception whenever we play them out.
We also have forthcoming releases (in the form of individual EPs) that we’re excited for people to hear. We are also in the process of compiling Presents… Vol 2 with a view to releasing tracks from other artists we’re feeling. There’s so much good music out there that doesn’t get a release.
Any final words or shoutouts?Catch our Sub:C show on Fokus FM every Tuesday evening to get a glimpse of what we’re up to!
Big up all those supporting! Special thanks to Fokus FM, Justify, Lauren at Annihilate Audio, Liam at Imperial Audio and Jon at Evolution Mastering.