Feature: Ingredients of I Dream of Everything with Subculture

Sunday, November 17, 2019

London-based artist and producer Subculture recently unveiled his mixtape I Dream of Everything via his own label Twisted Heart Records. The release is home to twelve mesmerising tracks that encapsulates his fascinating sound that delicately blends elements of electronic music, jazz, hip-hop and more. I Dream of Everything also sees Subculture pair up with Tertia May, Desta French, Hemi Moore, Louis VI, Rachel Chinourini, Grand Pax, Goya Gumbani, Cold Callers and Stella Talpo. He takes us through the influences behind the release below. 

Miles Davis 
Many years ago, I read Miles Davis’ autobiography which musically changed my life. His approach to music was so inspiring. On every record, his intention was to completely change his sound through the selection of musicians he chose — many of which were pretty unknown at the time but went on to become the biggest names in Jazz (John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Freddie Hubbard etc). Many of my friends are artists and everyone has their own process. But at the end of the day, I don’t really think any of that shit is really relevant. What’s important really is how an artist progresses and whether they repel stagnation and for me, that was the defining factor that made Miles Davis so special. He wasn’t interested in sticking with one sound, he always wanted to push the genre further and challenge the status quo. 

My Technic 1210
About 6 years ago I realised streaming culture was destroying my romance with music. As a kid, I spent all my spare money on CDs and through my youth always digested music through albums. But once streaming became the thing, I found myself following artists, listening once and forgetting about them. If you’ve chosen to dedicate your life to music, feeling that music is disposable is so dangerous! So I decided to buy a turntable and start collecting vinyl. I do have Spotify and use it sometimes but pretty much 95% of my home listening is strictly vinyl and I’m really proud of my collection. I buy most of my favourite things and also searching for music in record stores leads you down very different paths than browsing on Spotify and my music creation is undoubtedly influenced by my collection. I still DJ regularly in clubs and have a pretty up to date knowledge of what’s going on with new releases, but my creative obsession now is basically about how to combine old analogue pre-80s sonics with beats that sound like they’re from the future.

Stormy Sunsets
About 3 years ago I decided to rent a house by a beach in Cornwall for most of the month. I headed out on my own with a car full of gear and spent the month making music on my own. The trip was so successful I now do the same trip every 3 months. Every day I’m out there I wake up early, have a shower and get to work. About an hour before sunset I export all the music I’ve made so far onto my phone, take it to the beach and listen back while watching the sunset. Spring and Summer are cool but my favourite time is during the dead of Winter! The Cornish coastline is so powerful and if you find the right cliff face to stand on the edge of when the wind is powerful enough, you really feel like you’re flying! I’d stand or sit feeling the energy of mother nature, listening back to my work and make notes on what I want to change or add. Most of the music on I DREAM OF EVERYTHING started out there and when I listen back it often reminds me of that coastline. I like to believe the energy from the sea informed a lot of my creative decisions on this record. 

Salty Snacks
Some years ago when I first decided to become a full-time producer, it was important to me to get out of my parents' house and create an environment for myself to work and where artists would feel chilled and inspired to create. The relationships I create with my artists is central to my output as I’m obsessed with the idea that a good song in some capacity has to come from a very personal place. I learnt that comfort and hospitality can play a big part in that and made it my policy to always have a solid supply of wine, weed, fruit and a constantly filled bowl of salty snacks on my coffee table normally filled with peanuts, almonds or those crunchy corn things. People sometimes laugh about it but I know they all love it!

Haruki Murakami
Murakami is one of my favourite authors and I’ve read so many of his books. They’re normally centred around Magical Realism and these Kafka-esque themes of alienation and loneliness. Probably (maybe) a coincidence but I DREAM OF EVERYTHING also follows similar themes. I’m obsessed with dreams (and extending the meaning of dreams to imagination, fears and ambitions) and how they relate to our perception of reality. In songwriting, I often enjoy taking an emotion or a feeling and create an extended metaphor from it to allow it to take shape as something entirely different.

Listen to I Dream of Everything by Subculture below:

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