Christmas… A time for reflection. A time to look back on the year that has been… And make big plans for one that follows.
Sub Focus is the perfect man for this type of musical musing. DJ-wise he’s had a heavy presence. Release-wise we haven’t heard a peep out of him for over 18 months. Which can only mean one thing: he’s deep in the lab working on future sounds.
Read on to find out what Sub Focus actually has planned for the new year (or at least what he can reveal right now) then check out his five most innovative drum & bass tunes this year.
Spoiler: they’re all sick.
Sub Focus… How’s 2015 been for you?
It’s been a good year, lots of DJing, studio time and preparation for some new releases in 2016.
You’ve been quiet this year on the release front… What’s cooking in the Sub Focus lab?
A lot of new music and collaborations: I’ve been experimenting with different sounds, beat patterns and tempos. This year I’ve changed the way I’ve been working in the studio quite a bit, moving to using Ableton Live and a lot more hardware including building a modular synth. I’ve been really inspired by working with modules from the likes of Mutable Instruments and Intellijel – uScale, Braids and Clouds to name a few.
I’ve also started videoing some improvised jams in the studio – this is something I’ve been really enjoying seeing in house and techno, especially guys like Kink and more modular guys like Richard Devine, but it’s rarely seen in D&B. Will be putting some of these online in the new year.
Last time we spoke you were inspired by the deeper sounds… Is that still the case?
Yeah absolutely, I always am to be honest. In recent years releases like James Holden – Inheritors, which pretty much inspired me to get into modular synths, through to Jon Hopkins – Immunity and more recently Jamie XX – In Colour have all been pretty inspiring to me.
What else can we expect from you in 2016?
Some new releases are in the pipeline but I can’t go into too much detail yet…
Care to share some top tunes of 2015?
Sure. There are bigger ‘bangers’ out there, but these are the most innovative D&B tracks of the year for me…
Culture Shock – Tangents
Probably my favourite D&B track of 2015. This guy has been on fire for the last 18 months, impossible for me to do a set without his tunes these days. We’ve been working on some new stuff together again lately – look out for that in the near future.
Ivy Lab – Sunday Crunk (Mefjus Remix)
I’m a big fan of both the artists responsible for this, amazing production and mix down. Somewhere between D&B and hip-hop and sounds so futuristic and fresh.
Kid Drama – Azure pt. 1
A deeper track I like to play towards the end of my set, the breakdown is stunning.
Klax – The Level feat. MC ID
I love ragga / dancehall beat patterns, totally underused in D&B as it works so well at this tempo. Also features long term collaborator MC ID on the vocal.
Breakage – I On U
A perfect piece of jungle music with totally modern production. Loved this since I heard James Breakage drop this at Fabric in March.
Sub Focus is playing at FABRICLIVE Friday January 15 2016
Details can be found here: http://www.fabriclondon.com/club/listings/fabriclive