Sub:liminal goes into a new direction with ‘Perspectives’

He discovers his deeper and darker side on his latest EP on Four Corners

‘Perspectives’ has landed on Four Corners Music. In this EP, Sub:liminal explores his deeper and darker side and it all started on New Year’s Eve of 2021.

Sub:liminal is a DJ from Romania who started his drum & bass journey mixing and producing liquid drum & bass, but lately he’s decided to switch things up. Drawing inspiration from the darker selection of his mixes, he wanted to try and craft these sounds himself. ‘Perspectives’ is about this journey to the other side of drum & bass. Along with producers and friends SOLR and Scatterbrain he manages to capture the sound of both soulful liquid and dark and gritty in this EP.

It’s Sub:liminal’s first venture out of the known and comfortable that is liquid drum & bass to him, and it proved to be a fruitful one. Have a listen, and have a read!

You recently released an EP on Four Corners, Perspectives. On your social media you said that the journey began on New Year’s Eve 2021…

It was one of my first attempts to write a deeper drum & bass track. Not using the usual melodic elements I’m using in my tracks like pads, atmospheres, pianos, synths and all that, was a challenge. I relied more on drums, bass, and some synths. What I usually produce is liquid drum & bass. That’s how I started producing music. And my sets usually contain deeper drum & bass tracks, they are more bass-heavy. I always wanted to explore this side closer to minimal, while also keeping the melodic elements. I love to produce liquid drum and bass. Why not try to produce deep drum and bass as well? And that’s how it all started.

Is there a difference between producing liquid drum & bass and deeper drum & bass for you?

Producing deep drum & bass, you should think a bit more outside the box. The main elements in this EP rely heavily on the bass. Another thing I find with deep drum & bass is that the audience often gets this bassface. I feel like it’s given me a lot of confidence. It’s giving me the same vibe when I’m trying to create a track like that. When I start writing, it just makes me do that bass face without even realising I’m doing it. It’s so interesting that when you hear that bass-heavy stuff you can feel that bass all the way to your face.

So you’re looking for the bass face basically when you write deep drum & bass.

I like to create the vibe first, before adding everything on top. The vibe is so important that it makes things just easier when everything comes after that, like drums, some effects or pads or other things to complete the track.

Talking about the vibes, what vibes did you want to create for this EP specifically?

They let me be really creative, I could just write about what I felt like writing about. ‘Perspectives’, which is the title track of the EP. Like I said, this was my first attempt in a different direction than my usual liquid stuff. I went more deep and dark than usual, but I also tried to keep it melodic. Regarding the artwork, I had a few ideas for it. I could see and imagine an ambiental place or futuristic background with city buildings and city lights during the night, reflecting a beautiful perspective of the environment. It gives this perspective on the urban world which is utopic. Everything is going in the same direction, feeling the pulse of the city during the night. Everything around us is vibrating.

‘In Reach’ has some spoken word in the track, where the guy talks about the freedom of choice, that he’s a free man, and the abnormality of people thinking about freedom as being crazy. The man is just happy and that’s how it should be. Some of the tracks on the EP gave me that afternoon till midnight or even nighttime kind of vibe. The title track is also looking forward to the journey of life that is going to go on in the future, and the fact that we should enjoy the ride, not thinking about what’s at the end of the tunnel.

And then you talk about freedom, it’s beautiful because in a way you’re talking about your freedom, right? Where you can be free to go in this new direction with your music?

Absolutely, my EP reflects both my soulful side of producing and also the deeper vibes which I started to explore recently. It’s like the freedom of choice, me being free to produce these both styles for me, it was really interesting. I love that I managed to produce this. This EP has been two years in the works or something like that, it gave me more perspective on where I want to go with my drum & bass career and as an artist. That’s why this title fits perfectly.

Can you tell me more about the collaborations on the EP?

‘In Reach’ is a collaboration with SOLR. We have collaborated before and we already have three tracks together. When he sent me the track, I felt some guitar leads and solos combined with the intricate drum & bass rhythms would go really well together. It’s taken the track and made it into this dynamic piece that highlights both SOLR’s and my creativity. I also felt like the spoken word from the interlude was really telling a story through the track, and then I recorded myself with the guitar solos and the leads for the entire timeframe of the track… it’s giving me a very positive vibe. But in the same way, I feel it has these energetic vibes as well because of the drums. That’s what makes it so interesting to me.

Then I’ve also got a track with Scatterbrain, ‘Floating’. Scatterbrain sent me some synths and I started to vibe with it immediately. We felt that this track somehow seamlessly blended the soulful, liquid vibes with a bit of darker elements, offering a panoramic view of both our musical spectrums.

You released it on Four Corners. Why did you choose that label and what’s your story with them?

It was back in 2020 when Melinki reached out to me, asking me to create a track for the Foundations Volume 3 compilation, which I called ‘Patterns’. I had been a fan of Four Corners Music for a while and I was really excited they reached out to me. After that, I remixed an Embers Of Light track from the Caught In A Deep Thought LP, and now we’re here. I’m really happy with my journey on the label and I love working with Sonny, the label head of Four Corners Music.

Now, another thing I would like to talk with you about is the scene in Romania. How is it different from the others in Europe?

The Romanian scene is really cool because, it’s always been here from the late 90s until now. Cluj-Napoca, Bucharest, Timișoara, Petroșani, Oradea, all the big cities in Romania have always had a pretty solid scene.

How do you see yourself and Romania fitting in like the rest of the scene?

This is a really good question. We have always had various producers and DJs from all the subgenres of drum and bass. I grew up with neurofunk, dancefloor, liquid drum & bass, and jump up as well. I can’t say Romania is known only for one subgenre only. You would always find artists who could play all subgenres, from soulful liquid to neurofunk and even crossbreed. You find everyone playing their own sound.

We have several artists and producers who are pushing the boundaries and that’s really cool. We’re having artists signed on Hospital Records, Dan HabarNam is one of them. We have Azotix releasing on Overview and Critical. We have Rezilient who’s been releasing on Fokuz, he’s also released on Future Retro and Galacy. We have Scatterbrain who’s just started to release on DeVice Records. Blocksberg, who is a female vocalist releasing with Mefjus on MODUS, Technimatic and YAANO. I could go on for a while, but we’ve got so many good artists in Romania. I love talking about our scene, we always had a solid one here and I just see it growing every year.

It sounds like a very all-around scene!

Absolutely! If you want to go to a particular party you can just choose one of our major cities and you will always find one. There are a lot of promoters around. Even I used to do my own imprint events here in my hometown, but I stopped doing it because I wanted to focus more on myself. And now that I have a full-time job, and need to finish my PhD… and I also have to make time for music. I have loved organising events for the last eight years, but my time is more limited now. I felt like taking a break from it.

I still try to push the boundaries though, even though I’m not organising events anymore. Now I just do it with my own music, experimenting with the different subgenres. I think the most important thing is to never give up, even if you’re in a smaller country or you have a smaller scene. You never know what can happen. For example, I’ve met people who discovered drum & bass during the pandemic. That’s something I feel changing in my city as well. I’ve seen people starting to dig this musical genre and culture more and more. And that’s something really nice.

What’s the future looking like for you? Are there other things you’re working on at the moment?

I have to finish a solo release for Vandal Records. I’m also working to finish an EP that should come out this later this fall on Fokuz Recordings. I have lots of collaborations that I need to finish, unfinished tracks that I need to dive into, some remix duties that I need to look into. I’m working on a lot of new music and I can’t wait to share it with you all. That’s all I can say for now.

In terms of events, I’ve got a few planned for the Summer. I’m playing at Flight Festival in Romania on the 23rd of June. It’s a festival in Timisoara with lots of great local artists from Romania and also Macky Gee, Matrix & Futurebound, Metrik, Kara and Tentrum Desire as headliners. I’m also making my debut at Liquicity Festival this year, which is another major highlight for me. I can’t wait to play there. I’ve been scheduled to play on Friday from 2.30 PM at Lunar Stage on the 19th of July. I can’t wait!

‘Perspectives’ is out now on Four Corners Music

Follow Sub:liminal on SoundCloud | Instagram

Power your creative ideas with pixel-perfect design and cutting-edge technology. Create your beautiful website with Zeen now.