It’s rare in this day and age of fast food information and over stimulation to find an artist who is content to let the music do the talking. Subjected, the mysterious techno producer based out of Berlin, working with label partners Sawlin and MØrbeck, has been quietly releasing uncompromising dark techno on their Vault Series label since 2010.
In the beginning of the month he released his debut full length album, “Zero”, a terrifically dark and thumping 10 track industrial techno LP. We caught up with the enigmatic Subjected to talk about his album, his approach to production and about what lies ahead for him and his label.
CGNY: Hello and congratulations on the album. Ever since you guys founded Vault Series, you’ve been steadily releasing music every few months or so. What made you decide this was the time for a full length album?
Subjected: Thank you. I produced a lot of tracks but didn’t want to send to other labels, so I decided to release the tracks on my first album. Also I thought it was the right time to do this.
CGNY: Tell us about making the album. Did you approach it differently than you would an EP?
Subjected: It took half a year of producing and to think about the final order. After that I realized that I needed a more significant outro and real peak time track. With this in mind I created The Throne and Rancor. The I went to Sawlin to talk about the mastering and my ideas, how it had to sound. And I spoke with my graphic designer about the artwork too and we discussed how to make the LP more personal. With the vinyl release we decided to mark the covers with the hand painted red and yellow numbers. The LP process was kind of new to me. It’s the first LP on Vault Series and there were a few problems to solve. (time management, exchange between designer, mastering, record manufacturer and agencies and the time for the painted numbers on the covers). But all in all it was a great experience and the LP has had an incredible response.
CGNY: On average how much time to you spend in the studio? Do you like to finish tracks quickly or do you like to stretch the process a bit?
Subjected: I’m not the kind of producer who sits in the studio every day for hours. There are days, weeks and months when I don’t turn on my PC. It depends on my mood, but I finish tracks very quickly in one day. Sometimes I need the next day to changes some aces. I often think about producing and new concepts, when I’m at work, in my dreams or just while walking down the street. And when I have the right mood, the right feeling or the right concerpt for doing music, I’m doing music I finished my ideas. It’s like “Funktionale Musik”
CGNY: I’ve read you founded Vault Series in 2010 to be able to release your own material. You described it as being too early then for some of the labels you approached. Do you leel like there is more general acceptance worldwide for this type of sound?
Subjected: Yeah, this kind of sound is developing more and more and it’s great to see other artists have the same passion.
CGNY: Who are some of the artists working today you’re inspired by and respect?
Subjected: In electronic music there are a lot of artists like Shed, Surgeon or Reeko but I’m more inspired by artists from the neoclassic genre like Clint Mansell, Max Richter, Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds.
CGNY: So far Vault Series has been a platform to release music by the labels’ founders. Do you see yourself releasing music by other artists or perhaps collaborating with artists from other labels?
Subjected: At the moment it is still a platform for Morbek, Sawlin and myself but there is a Vault RMX Series planned. The first RMX series is with remixes from Shifted, Developer and Tuff City Kids.
CGNY: You’ve chosen to put nearly all the labels emphasis on the music. You do very little promotion. Can you talk about the decision to work this way and does the decision ever conflict with the business of running a label?
Subjected: For me it’s very important to focus on the music. If the music stands on its own and speaks its own language you don’t need a big promotion.
CGNY: You mentioned in another interview that you guys were working on a larger scale set up that would allow the three of you to perform a live set together. Is this something that you are still pursuing?
Subjected: Yeah we spoke about this, but we have no more time for practicing and improving the idea at the moment. In the last months we have all been so busy that it’s rare to find time for such things. Which is a little bit sad.
CGNY: What’s up next for you? I’m sure the New York techno crowd would love to know whe we could expect you on our shores?
Subjected: I’ve never been to the US but I look forward to going some day. But in the meantime if any of you USA folks find yourselves in Berlin, you can check out my monthly residency at Stattbad Wedding and many other gigs in Europe.
CGNY: Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us. We wish you the very best with the album and the label.
Get Zero LP here
Interview for CGNY by Boaz Tcherikover