Sub Swara Mixtape
When we set out to create a series of mixtapes around “Triggers,” we wanted to do more than the standard re-arrangement of the album tracklist, with features by some of our favorite artists. The Sub Swara live sets have grown from a shared-DJ-set program into an amalgam of a lot of things: our own original material is the foundation, to which we add live percussion, sampled elements, field sounds, horn sections… all presented as a 90-minute spontaneous, dancefloor journey though a myriad of tempos and genres, tied together by intense basslines and relentless percussive energy. We wanted to showcase these things–but with more of a mixtape vibe than a live show.
We’ve been starting our sets with a version of the song “Steam,” which is built on some elements from that list– 60 layers of percussion, recorded in India and re-composed in our Brooklyn studio; rolling dubstep bass, and an undulating synth line that moves between meters; it only seemed right to kick off the mixtape with it. From there we move through a whole heap of high-energy tunes, each with its own individual character: Distal’s juke-inflected “Coke Bottle,” our roller “Bend You,” Moldy’s “Embrace the Filth” which features Charles Mingus’ bass, Julio Bashmore’s “Batak Groove,” and “Vagabond Knowledge” and “In Ether” from Triggers. West-coast brethren Kraddy loans us the piano from his soon-to-be-released “Minotaur,” and Starkey takes the mix to a whole new place with his crushing, purple remix of Tinie Tempah.
Our own tunes “Schemes” and “Future Fresh” follow, respectively featuring Shamik on beatboxing and Freddie from Freddie Mills with some of the freshest lyrics we’ve heard in a minute (Swaggasaurus!). Toronto’s Ultragamma (aka XI) gives us his synth-soaked anthem “Stars Collapse,” followed up by our Big Boi remix and a hornline courtesy of Stuart Bogie from FELA! and Antibalas. Speaking of Bogie–many of the collaborations on Triggers were a long time coming: Freddie and Dhruva went to high school together, Stuart was a college classmate and musical role model of Dhruva’s, and Eric Fraser (from “Vagabond Knowledge”) and Dave teach Indian music in NYC schools. Rounding out the mix is our tune “October,” featuring Sub Swara family Sunder on scratches and the Genie on his own mix of scratch guitar-electronics, and finally our collaboration with Bogie– the toxic-dancehall-via-afrobeat “Bird of Paradise.”
It’s a transitional mix for transitional times, moving through genres and tempos the way that we want to hear that happen.
1. Sub Swara – Steam
2. Distal – Coke Bottle
3. Sub Swara – Bend You
4. Moldy – Embrace the Filth
5. Julio Bashmore – Batak Groove
6. Sub Swara – Vagabond Knowledge
7. Sub Swara – In Ether
8. Kraddy – Minotaur
9. Tinie Tempah – Written in the Stars (Starkey Remix)
10. Sub Swara – Schemes
11. Sub Swara – Future Fresh
12. Ultragamma – Stars Collapse
13. Big Boi – Shutterbug (Sub Swara Remix)
14. Stuart Bogie (Antibalas & Superhuman Happiness) – Horn Interlude
15. Sub Swara – October
16. Sub Swara – Bird of Paradise
Submitted by Sub Swara