You know a rising D&B producer is on the right track when they’ve had two massive EPs released the same month on 1985 Music and Dispatch… Especially when many of the tunes on the EP were over two years old and still sound future.
Such is the case with Submarine, the Cologne-based artist behind currently ubiquitous dark rollers like Xertz, one of the biggest tunes in the sets of Alix Perez and Monty this summer. With a history that dates back four years with releases on the likes of Demand and local label Cologne Bass, it seems his diligence and attention to the craft is paying off. We caught up with him to find out if we have to wait two years to hear more freshness (spoiler: no we don’t)
Get to know…
Mad month. Two EPs on two super on point labels within weeks of each other! Inspiring or scary?
It is inspiring but yes there is some fear there too because it’s also a big pressure on me to create new stuff. It’s more pressure for me to be creative. I don’t know, I really want to push myself. I’m focussing on doing a lot of different music and I want to create something new.
Yeah you’ve set a high benchmark for yourself haven’t you. I’m guessing this wasn’t planned?
Not it definitely wasn’t planned! Ant signed me two years ago but he’s working so hard and there’s so much happening on Dispatch it took two years to finally release the Posse ep.
The beats on that EP are two years old?
Do you still pay them out?
I play them again now. I had a period where I didn’t play them but it’s like a revival of these tracks for me.
Old school. Actually going back to your old tracks like Void, you can hear your sound right back to the earliest releases. Is this something you’ve been consciously developing as an artist or something that comes naturally?
That’s hard to answer because I’m not consciously trying to achieve a particular sound, I’m just writing what feels natural. I know what sound you are talking about though.
That deep rolling vibe!
Yeah its’ because I’m…. Well, I produce every kind of music, but not all of it comes out. Sometimes I’m depressed and have these kinds of vibes. It helps me to work on my problems and these are the vibes come out.
Do you suffer depression badly?
Sometimes more, sometimes less. It comes and goes. But it gets me productive, it helps me work things out.
Creativity helps! What other genres and styles do you dabble with?
I have one release, it’s an 80s synthwave stuff under an AKA as J Chrome. It’s just one track and I think it’s not going to develop. Maybe in the future, perhaps. I really like synthwave but I want to focus on drum & bass.
Do you have a very musical background?
I just played drums a couple of times. My whole family is into music though. my dad is a singer and plays bass guitar, my grandpa played horn in the big orchestra years ago. That inspired me a lot.
Do you play them your drum & bass?
My dad really digs it. He loves rock, he doesn’t know what to think about electronic music but he appreciates what I do. All of my family do. My grandparents are very supportive.
What’s the scene like in Cologne?
It’s very big actually. It just changed in the last year, though. We had about 20 crews over here. Every weekend was a big impact of bookings. But a year ago some old crews quit. Every weekend there’s a drum & bass party, maybe two, but it’s often the more commercial side of drum & bass like the ravey stuff and also jump up.
Are you resident at any of these events?
I have my own crew and my own nights with three other guys. It’s called D:FRNT. We started it four years ago. We’re more into the deeper stuff like my sound. The next booking is Alix Perez actually.
Yeah speaking of Alix how did you link up?
A friend of mine (big up ReDraft!) introduced us because he’d booked Alix. We kept in touch then, I sent him some things and he said he’d release Malibu 1973. I was like ‘okay why not?’ It’s an older tune again. I made it two years ago. I started to send him new stuff. One of the first was Xertz, he liked that so we planned an EP. It was very easy to me actually and a lot of fun to work with him.
You seem to like funny titles. Tracks like Lord Laugh A Lot, Xertz, Malibu 1973 etc…
Naming is tracks is hard but some kinda make themselves. Like Malibu 1973 is an old American car which I imaged driving around in listening to that track. It’s weird because I have no idea how to name tunes. If there’s a concept or lyrics it’s easier, it’s more abstract with instrumental tunes
Yeah totally. So if a lot of your current releases were all made two years ago does that mean we have to wait two years to hear new stuff from you?
Ha! I don’t think so. I’m working on my next 1985 EP already and it won’t take that long. 1985 are very organised and serious. Like proper. I love working with them.
Amen. So, final question. Your Dispatch EP was called Posse who’s in your dream posse?
Oh I already have my dream posse! It’s my friends here in Cologne. These guys are just the best. I’ve known them up to 20 years now, it’s very close friendship. They got me into drum & bass and going out. And while they don’t go out any more, and I’m the drum & bass leftover, without them I wouldn’t have gone this deep down the path. That’s my dream posse right there.