Sub Focus

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It all started with a demo CD being passed on by a friend to the biggest drum and bass DJ in the world, Ram Records’ boss Andy C in 2003, with a phone number badly scribbled on the cover.

Impressed by the quality of the production, Andy, after a few tries, managed to dial the right digits and talk to Subfocus. The result of that conversation was the release of ‘Down The Drain’ on Andy C and Red One’s experimental offshoot Frequency in 2003, and the start of Subfocus’ meteoric rise to fame in drum and bass circles.
Followed a couple of 12s on Frequency and Infrared, as eagerly received on dancefloors, and his exclusive signing and first contribution to Ram in 2004, ‘Strobe’, one of the highlights of the Ram Raiders 6 EP.

His first 12 on Ram was another major step forward. ‘X Ray’, out in spring 2005 and described as ‘Zombie Nation remade by Seattle grungers’, became one of the year’s anthems, enjoyed the rare privilege of being chosen as ‘Single Of The Week’ on alternative tastemaker Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 show and even got some daytime plays. He was consequently asked to remix The Prodigy’s ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ for their Greatest Hits package.

Subfocus released one more single in 2005, the awesome ‘Frozen Solid’, while enjoying a busy DJ schedule. Kick-starting 2006 with an impressive remix of Dr Octagon out-there ‘Aliens’, Subfocus unleashed another killer track ‘Airplane’. The track’s gigantic synths and vocal hooks gave it the same irresistible appeal as ‘X Ray’. The follow-up, ‘Special Place’ was released late February 2007, and described as no less than ‘Modern Art’ by DJ magazine.

2007 was spent DJing all over the world and starting work on a debut album, with a single ‘Timewarp’ as a taster in spring 2008. After months of dance floor madness, this uncompromising track managed to get exposure on daytime Radio 1, even scooping the ‘single of the week’ slot on Nihal’s afternoon show. A year later, and Subfocus has at last completed his album. A single, featuring ‘Rock It’ and Zane Lowe’s favourite ‘Follow The Light’ will precede the LP release. His recent Radio 1 Essential Mix showcased numerous new tracks, generating an unprecedented wave of rave reactions on the BBC website.

So what makes Subfocus so special? Passionate about music from an early age, Subfocus played bass in a band at school, before sitting in front of an old Acorn Electron computer at 13 teaching himself the art of sampling and producing. He went on studying acoustics at college. This eclectic formation, allied with an insatiable musical curiosity, with interest ranging from rock to experimental electronic music – happily discussing Vangelis, Nirvana, Gorgio Moroder and Justice in the same breath - explains how Subfocus production manages to sound pristine, unique and strangely accessible, and why his imminent album is so massively anticipated.

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