Subtronics unleashes gut-wrenching four-track EP, ‘Scream Saver’
Subtronics‘ massive Cyclops Invasion tour was just heating up at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was about the time when Philadelphia’s hottest rising bass star was playing out unreleased track after unreleased track while on the road. While the tour was selling out massive venues when the entire music industry came grinding to a halt, no one could have expected the world would be where we’re at now.
For Jesse Kardon, the man behind Subtronics, that didn’t stop the dubstep/riddim producer from laying down his heavy hammer onto fans in the form of his four-track Scream Saver EP. “Out of all of the music I have made in the past 6 to 12 months, I believe these are the four strongest and hardest-hitting songs yet,” says Subtronics of the project, which sees it’s wide release on his very imprint, Cyclops Recordings.
“There are several different approaches I have taken with this EP,” said Kardon in a press statement. “It is a more noticeable range in sound design and mixdown style. When I play live I am paying so much attention to the crowd, analyzing their reactions, that it can lead to overthinking. But ultimately, this has led me to look for a cleaner and more simplified, yet hopefully still unique and powerful sound.”
The opening track, “Scream Saver,” sets the tone with an eerie melody, shuddering drops, and jagged rhythms. Then comes “Lullaby,” which begins with melodic music box sounds before British grime rap duo Virus Syndicate jump in to warn “wook zombies are coming again.” Subtronics explains how the track’s mid-drop build is representative of the EP’s left-field inspiration, specifically where he removes the “excessive high end” and chooses to “focus on pushing the sub-bass as hard as possible.”
For the third track, “Discotek,” Subtronics is joined by one of his current favorite artists, Akeos, for a dystopic, robotic workout. Kardon calls the track “damn near the closest thing I’ve come to making a textbook riddim tune in a minute.” Rounding out the EP is “Blow Stuff Up,” a playful but slicing bit of what makes Subtronics great: witty samples over heavy-hitting drums and jarring synths. All in all, Scream Saver is an instant classic heavyweight that begs the question: Whether you’re a riddim kid or dubstep snob, who doesn’t want to just headbang?
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