Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dub Atomic Energy

Subatomic Sound System breaks through with their eclectic Brooklyn dub.

Subatomic Sound System’s co-founder Emch and touring emcees Treasure Don and Jah Dan we’re chilling at the KUSF FM radio studio on a recent trip to San Francisco. Except they weren’t chilling, they were steaming. The airlines had lost their luggage, and then gave them the run around when they went to claim their bags.

But rather than launching into a tirade, the three New York and Jamaican reggae veterans simply put their energy into a lively freestyle session and interview, capped off with a riddim roundtable, in which each Subatomic member chose a reggae album from the station’s hearty stacks, and explained why it was their favorite.

Even at 1 a.m., with luggage nowhere in site, Subatomic were down to rock the house. The next day at SF’s Dub Mission party, Subatomic’s eclectic Brooklyn dub riddims, peppered by Don and Dan’s patois flows, had the crowd locked.

In the recent tradition of labels like Bastard Jazz and ESL, and artists such as J-Boogie’s Dubstronic Science or Bombay Dub Orchestra, Subatomic’s mix of downtempo electronic beats, heavy roots dub, and even pan-global instruments and voices appeals to a wide range of listeners.

These days they have their hometown New York, the West Coast and Europe abuzz. They just dropped their new “Heat Brings Heat” EP, which follows the solid Crucial Times EP and their debut album On All Frequencies.

Producers Emch a.k.a. Scientifik and Noah Tha Riddim Doktor founded Subatomic in 2000 after years in other live bands. Their music incorporates their borough’s love of hip-hop and reggae with the manic energy of jungle, drum & bass, punk rock and broken beat. They also work with a crew of MCs and vocalists who represent these musical traditions including Daddy Lion Chandell, King Django, Naada, Nemiss, Rhiannon, Paige Scott and Treasure Don.

Subatomic Sound System is the melting pot culture so often referenced in New York’s history cooked up as a seriously talented artistic dub unit. And while club crowds can expect more Subatomic energy in 2008, I don’t think that airline will see their business any time soon…

Subatomic Sound Systems live in Washington DC and Seattle:

Friday, November 16, Washington D.C., Eighteenth Street Lounge
Subatomic Sound System, & DJ Tom B (Rhythm & Culture)

Saturday, December 29, Seattle, WA East of the Underground at Electric Tea Garden
Emch from Subatomic Sound System with residents James Whetzel, DJ Muad’deep.