Ripping his way though the dubstep scene is a 25-year-old Philadelphia native known as Subtronics. The young producer and DJ, Jesse Kardon, just dropped his newest EP via SubCarbon Records – and it’s super freaking wonky.
“Depth Perception” features collaborations with Boogie T. and Dirt Monkey as well as two Subtronics originals. Jesse is known to create heavy, texturized robot bass music and it shows in this EP.
In the past few months we’ve watched Subtronics blow up as an artist and hone in his unique sound design. We got the chance to pick his brain about making music and the new EP.
Can you tell me a little about your background in producing?
I started playing with GarageBand in middle school, and I always remember wanting to stay in the computer class way longer than I was supposed to. I would occasionally make horrible dubstep songs in late high school with Ableton, almost entirely out of samples. Fast forward a couple of years and I dove in full force, teaching myself as much as possible, watching hundreds of hours of YouTube videos, and making literally hundreds of horrible songs. After two or so years my music started to actually become a little bit listen-able, another five years after that I think it might actually be halfway decent now.
When did you nail down that unique, crunchy sound you have?
Most of the time when I’m sound designing, it’s a long process of educated trial and error. I have a few hundred different techniques that I know will change a sound from point a to point b, so it’s always trying different stuff and seeing if I like the end result better than when i started. That crunch aspect is just me subconsciously preferring that texture. It took years and years to like really find my own sound. I still have a hard time nailing it down, but whenever I finish a song it tends to have some of the same properties. I just like really crisp interesting textures.
“Depth Perception” features a track with Boogie T. Can you tell me a little about how you two stated making music together?
I first met Brock through being on the same agency, but the first time we actually hung out we hit it off really well. We ended up comparing music between both our Laptops, and ended up beat matching with our speakers across the room like it was some b2b kind of experiment .It was honestly one of the most fun times I have ever had. We really balance each other out. Brock is a musical genius and can play the guitar like a mad man, and then I can follow up with an obnoxious amount of technical production technique and the more complex theoretical sound design stuff.
This EP is being released via Ganja White Night’s SubCarbon Records. Can you tell me how that relationship became about?
I met them a few times here and there through playing shows so my manager sent them a copy of my really weird experimental non-dubstep stuff. I think they really saw my potential to branch outside a little bit of the repetitive, heavy, in-your-face dubstep realm, and find more of my own unique and distinct sound. Honestly their support is one of the more surreal things for me. I have been such a huge fan for so long and I love the what they are doing with SubCarbon so much. Doing an EP for them is an absolute honor.
You have had some pretty notable collaborations so far – who can we expect you to release music with in the future?
I definitely plan on writing with Midnight T. I can’t say exactly who else I will be working with, but I have a tune with a guy who I would consider the absolute king of all things weird which I’m very excited for. I also have another collab with someone who I genuinely feel had a major hand in the uprise of underground dubstep. Stems have also been sent to some of my idols who have been asking to make music with me, and I can’t wait to tell everyone when the time comes.
You have Excision’s Paradox Tour coming up – are you ready?
Holy shit no I am not. I mean yes I absolutely am, but I think about how many people I’m going to be in front of and I nervous that I might be a little bit too different from the norm.
But I would rather stand out for trying something super weird and different that didn’t work than contributing to the massive pool of generic dubstep tunes that have been made a million times. It’s risky but it’s worth it. I’m excited to find out if the bigger audiences will connect with my stuff as much as the dingy underground basement crowds do. Only one way to find out!
You can listen to the full EP below.