Last Electronic Tuesday was the Denver debut of the California production/DJ duo Subtle Mind. Paul and Austin have been making some serious noise over the last couple of years with releases on Tuba NYC, Surfase Records, Dubs Alive, Deep Heads, Foundation Audio and Lutetia Dubz. They have also been getting some serious airplay from the Dubstep Ambassador himself, Joe Nice, on his GourmetBeats show on Sub.fm. Only Austin was able to make the trip to Electronic Tuesdays last week and his solo performance was a perfect set that represented the Subtle Mind sound. We had a chance to sit and talk with Austin after his set about upcoming Subtle Mind releases, future collaborations and a few other fun topics. Here’s what he had to say.
DiS_1: How are the travels brotha?
SM: Pretty good, the flight from Burbank was nice; it was a little bit cooler when I got to Denver but its awesome out here and over all everything has been going really well.
DiS_1: Sweet man. So aside from Denver what other cities are you visiting?
SM: Im goin to down to Albuquerque to play Burt’s Tiki lounge on Thursday and its Donnie EshOne’s birthday.
DiS_1: Ohhhhh Shit! So it’s definitely going be good time then?
SM: Yeah it should be a wild and fun time. *laughs*
DiS_1: You guys have had some big tunes get played out over the last couple of years via Joe Nice & the GourmetBeats crew. Without giving away too much, what
music do you have coming out this year?
SM: Well I can tell you that mid June our debut LP will be coming out. It’s a ten track LP with 3 vocalists, lots of musicians and all original music and it'll be out on Tuba records. Other than that we definitely have a ton of other music waiting to see the light of day. We cant really talk about it right now but there will definitely be more than just the LP out this year.
DiS_1: One thing we all love about your sound is how diverse it is. You guys have made dubbed out reggae tunes with the likes of Matt Deco and jazzy chilled out tunes with Freud. When you’re making a tune do you go into it thinking “This is going to sound a certain way” (ie. Deep, reggae, jazzy vibes) or do you just go with it and let the creative process take its course?
SM: Honestly it’s a case by case situation. I make music based on what I’m listening to at the time. I can’t speak for Paul because unfortunately he couldn’t make it out this time but I think we get inspiration similarly. We’ll listen to some stuff and then take away what we think can be translated into our sound. We're all over the place as currently Paul’s been listening to a lot of dub techno stuff and I’ve been listening to a lot of jazz but in the end it all just depends on what we’re listening too at the moment.
DiS_1: So aside from dubstep, what other genres have you played with as Subtle Mind?
SM: We definitely like to get down on some drum and bass for sure. If we’re not playing a Subtle Mind set we might step outside the boundaries a little bit and play some hip-hop or drum and bass or some stuff that can tie in but might not be exactly in the same realm of dubstep or drum and bass and it’s great to have two different minds working on that process because we both have such broad music tastes and that allows for more diversity within the set. It really all depends on the party too. Tonight was a good example because it’s Sub.mission Electronic Tuesdays, you guys represent that 140 sound extremely well here in Denver and I felt that stepping outside the 140 range wouldn’t really work with the crowd ya know? It really is all about the party though. If the vibe is right we’ll step outside the box a bit.
DiS_1: Are there any collabs coming up or in the works we should be on the lookout for?
SM: We definitely like keep the collab selection open. We’ve got a few tunes in the works but that’s about all I can say at the moment. I can say that we have stuff with Dubsworth on our upcoming LP so keep an eye out for that!
DiS_1: Sweet! Well with that in mind, the b2b thing is becoming pretty big in the DJ scene as of late and it’s been awesome to see different DJ’s play off each other and create some really amazing sets. Is there any DJ or DJ’s who you like to go b2b with or maybe would like to do a b2b set with?
SM: Dubsworth! We played a back to back set with him Thanksgiving night at a Ritual party and it was a lot of fun. We went into it with no practice and just vibed off each other and it went really well. Other than that we’d definitely like to get a b2b set together with Saule. He’s a homie and we worked on a couple tunes together; one of which, Omerta, was released on Foundation Audio. That was cool tune and we’d definitely like to work with him more and doing a b2b with him would be cool. Paul and I have talked about doing a b2b set with Artronik out of Eastern Europe. Arn is a really cool guy, we’ve swapped tunes and we’ve kind of hit it off on the music front and I feel like if we got on some decks it would be a lot of fun because it would be an awesome representation of his side of the spectrum and ours and I think that kind of collaboration would be really cool musically.
DiS_1: Do you guys have any plans this summer? Are there any festivals or events out in Cali we should come see guys you at?
SM: Nothing really planned as far as gigs. We’ve been really focused on making music so nothing is planned gig wise as of now. I will say that tonight was a lot of fun! We’d only heard good things about Sub.mission and Denver and I can honestly say that tonight far beyond exceeded every expectation I had. I can’t wait to come back!
DiS_1: So who have you been following lately? Any artists or labels we should keep an eye on?
SM: Definitely keep your eyes on Saule, he’s making some seriously crazy tunes right now. DTR has some really cool stuff out, I played a couple of his tracks tonight. He’s a bad ass producer that is definitely pushing the limits production wise and bringing the dub element to the table. Personally, I’m a big fan of Pocket Rocks and DMVU. Matt’s music is amazing and I definitely support everything he’s doing. Oxóssi out of California has some seriously bad ass tunes and if you haven’t heard his Crucial release yet then you need to do that immediately. Jonah Freed out of New York has some really cool deep 808 driven shit that will smash on a system. I don’t know, I could go on for days man! *both of us laugh* For real! But label wise keep your eyes on Tuba NYC, Foundation Audio and obviously GourmetBeats. Lots of amazing stuff coming from them.
DiS_1: As artists we draw our inspiration from a lot of sources but mainly music. Looking back, what was the one tune you heard or artist you saw live that made you say to yourself “I want to do music full time”?
SM: You know I think the first actual moment when I was in the crowd looking at the act on the stage and I said to myself “I want to play music for the rest of my life” was when I saw Hieroglyphics at Rock the Bells in 2007. Musically, I had produced a couple of things but I didn’t know a thing about DJing yet. When I saw all of the MC’s and DJ’s corresponding and feeding off each other and having fun as a crew together on stage it really set something off in me. It wasn’t about who they were or the festival they were playing, it was about the music and seeing that made me want to pursue something like that whether it was production or DJing. I was never a rapper so I wasn’t gonna try that route. *both of us laugh*
DiS_1: Our last question is one we ask every artist that we are fortunate enough to sit and chat with. Sub.mission's .mission is Moving People Thru Sound Not Hype, what would you say is your .mission?
SM: Well I can tell you that along this journey that we’ve had we’ve met some really amazing people and played at some really awesome events. To hear something we made on a home studio being played out on a proper sound system and seeing people react to it is beyond humbling. Music connects people around the world and we’ve met so many amazing people and been to some really cool places because of it, so I guess you could say that our .mission is to continue to be a catalyst for those connections and to push not just the music but everything that comes along with it like friendships, fun memories and all the other fun stuff about the scene that we know and love.
DiS_1: Hell yeah man, that’s what it’s all about! Well I want to give you a big thanks for sitting and chatting with me. That was an amazing set and I know I’m not alone when I say please, please come back soon and bring Paul with you. Before we go do you have any shout outs?
SM: Thank you guys for having me. Its been an amazing night! Definitely want to give a shout out and big up the homies Oxóssi, Saule, Jonah Freed, Wulf, Dubsworth, Joe Nice and everyone that’s helped push the music so far!