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SUBB-AN Subb-liminal Sounds

Subb-anAshique Subhan’s a house producer rooted in the deep Euro sound. He’s coming to Perth this weekend, supporting superstar DJ Sasha, before his tour takes him to the US and UK. ANDREW NELSON and ZOE KILBOURN caught up with the prolific producer and DJ ahead of Sunday’s Garden Party.

Despite his thoroughly cosmopolitan approach to music making, Ashique’s DJ background is firmly rooted in the icons of British dance culture: Fabric, a residency at Below, BBC’s Radio 1.

“My main influences have to be the early days of going to Fabric being schooled by Craig Richards and Terry Francis,” he says. “I got into music in my early teens. I had turntables and it was a natural organic process of just picking up records and listening around. A huge influence at that age were the Essential Mixes on Radio 1. Staying up every Saturday for those was my only exposure to hearing new music as I was too young to go to clubs.”

Being asked to contribute his own work this year was “pretty special. It was a huge moment for me to do an Essential Mix, as they educated me so much in those early stages.”

Like a growing number of UK producers, Ashique cut his teeth at a music academy, specifically majoring in sound design. It hasn’t left him arrogant, though – he has deep respect for the budding bedroom DJs scabbing lessons off mates. “I wouldn’t say anyone is winging it,” he says. “People have different ways of working – it’s a case of ‘each to their own’ in my eyes. DJing comes down to what matters to you, really. That’s different for everyone.”

Next came Below, the club he founded in 2009 with long time friend and collaborator Adam Shelton. “It was amazing to have had that base to regularly play and the support to really find your way,” he says. That underground club promotion experience led to even more musical work with Shelton – notably, their S.A.S production project and One Records label.

“S.A.S is more of dance floor party vibe,” says Ashique. “They’re edits of older tracks that we love but sometimes aren’t playable due to arrangement or sound issues. We really go into detail with them.”
The One Records concept is “pretty simple, to be honest. We like the process of selecting the package, the music, the remixer and the artwork as well as doing showcases. We’re coming up to five years soon, so we’ve got a tight tour lined up.”

His absolute career highlights are all UK based –  “Closing the Geneosy stage at 5am Monday morning after Francios K in Glastonbury has to be up there. The essenial mix, too” – but he’s since moved, and found it very rewarding.

Has Berlin changed him? “Yeah, I would say so. I moved four years ago and it really opened me up to a lot of artists. It was a good thing for me. Generally most DJs in Berlin play for three-four hours so the music they play has more of a journey and that influenced me when thinking about writing music for the dance floor.”

Sasha tour and One Records anniversary aside, there’s a lot piled up in Subb-an’s immediate future. “Keep an eye out for my new Crosstown and One Records EP about to hit,” he says. “It’s been a while since I released some music, so watch out. Other than that, I don’t bite.”


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