Moving from strength to strength, drum & bass producer Sub Zero, born Jake Carter, continues to evolve by way of high-caliber remixes and diverse productions. Sub Zero spoke candidly with Bassrush—on the cusp of his next release with stalwart label Real Playaz—about unforgettable rewind tracks of the moment, his “Sub Zero & Friends” club nights, and his obsession for creating elevated and dynamic drum & bass.
With a string of recent travel and shows, which tunes have been garnering the biggest rewinds in the last couple of months?
[Laughs] Big rewinds would be one of my tunes, but it is a big rewind tune called “Straight In.” It always seems to get a big rewind. DJ Limited’s “Orders” absolutely goes off, a big rewind tune. Myself and Original Sin’s “Back In Business,” which is a G-dub tune, is like a gun being fired. It absolutely levels. Everywhere it just kills it.
Tell us about “Sub Zero and Friends.” It sounds like a fun event!
I started doing it in Leicester, which is the city that I live in, because there were not a lot of drum & bass events going on here. I got fed up with not having a drum & bass scene when I lived. There used to be some huge parties, but for some reason it sort of faded out. I decided to do it myself. I do it in my mate’s club. It’s a small venue, holds about 250 people. It’s not a massive rave or anything like that (but) I’ve had some crazy lineups: The Prototypes, MC Trigga, Turno, and Majistrate, to name a few. I really enjoy doing it. A lot of people think the massive gigs must be the best, but my favorite shows are the ones that are done in a sweaty little club with everyone vibing. I’m trying to do “Sub Zero & Friends” in other places. I’m doing one in March in a town called Kettering with DJ Limited, MC Skibba, MC Evil B and MC Felon.
Tell us about your forthcoming work on Playaz? How’s your next EP coming along?
I’m still working on the track listing at the moment. It’s probably going to consist of five tunes. “Backyard Skank,” “Straight In,” and “Inside The Beast.” That last one has kind of a different thing for me—kind of techy, quite hard. It’s been going down well. There’s another tune called “Hearts On Fire,” which is a much deeper and soulful tune, featuring an amazing singer/songwriter named Lucy Kitchen. She’s not your usual dance music vocalist. She’s more of an acoustic folk singer, but it works really well for the tune. Hopefully people will respond well to it. There’s a tune I’ve done with DJ Limited called “Time Traveler,” which is a stinking tune we’ve just done. Then another tune called “Badboy Riddim,” which I’ve done with Majistrate.
What inspires you in the studio?
I’m kind of inspired by all kinds of things, whether it’s drum & bass, classical music, jazz. I just love music so much; I’m so passionate about it. I’m always looking for inspiration from all kinds of places. I’m also inspired by film and television. I love movies and the crazy sounds you hear. It’s kind of an addiction. The more you do it, the more you want to do it. I have an obsession for making music.
What producers are you currently into at the moment?
So many producers I’m into right now. DJ Limited, who’s a young guy from the UK. I’ve even done a collab with him to be featured on my new EP. Annix are probably my favorite producers at the moment. I think they sound so different, unique, and so hard hitting. It’s not necessarily jump-up, but not necessarily techy either. Mefjus, some of the tunes he’s made the level of production is just amazing. Noisia as well. Their tunes have set the bar for the scene.
How’s the rest of the year looking for you?
More studio time! I’m really trying to focus and dedicate a lot of time to get more tunes out there. Doing shows all over the world and constantly trying to up my game in DJing and production. As I said before, music is a proper obsession, whether it’s DJing or making tunes. I’m always trying to improve and up my game and workload. 2015 is already exciting.