Down to Where We're Coming From >
over a decade Emch
has been the producer, selector, and musician spearheading Subatomic
Sound System and the Subatomic Sound label. Founded at the turn
of the millennium, NYC’s Subatomic Sound System has built
a reputation worldwide for explosive shows, genre bending production,
and breaking down barriers with their unique adaptation of 1970’s
Jamaican sound system culture and dub reggae studio techniques to
current music genres, technology, and live performances. A record
label, DJ/production crew, live band, and event promoters, the Subatomic
Sound crew is at work in NYC on every level. Emch hosts Subatomic
Sound Radio blasting out to a footprint of 11 million terrestrial
listeners in the greater NYC area on KEXP's Mo-Glo broadcast on
Radio New York, 91.5fm and also on the internet via Brooklyn
Sound System has toured throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
In 2008, Emch was recruited by Vienna's top ranking live dub band,
Dubblestandart, to play guitar and nmelodica on tour worldwide with
Grammy winning reggae legend Lee Scratch Perry, playing for capacity
crowd shows from New York's Central Park to Europe largest reggae
festival, One Love in Poland. As the Subatomic Sound record label
head, Emch has produced and released dub reggae innovator Lee Scratch
Perry's first dubstep tracks plus eclectic collaborations with icons
like filmmaker David Lynch, Prince Far-i, & UK punk pioneer
Ari Up of the Slits as well as new school torchbearers like Anthony
B, Elephant Man, Jahdan Blakkamoore, Dubblestandart, & his own
group Subatomic Sound System.
on stage with Dubblestandart getting a crowd of 10,000 into the
at the height of Y2K frenzy, amidst a collision of circuit boards,
New York City asphalt, and human bodies, SUBATOMIC SOUND
SYSTEM hit the ground running. Originated as a live group
of seasoned musicians experimenting with hip-hop, dub reggae, dancehall
and drum and bass influences, excessive exposure to gamma radiation
soon turned them into a bionic half-man/half-machine studio monster.
Under the control of EMCH aka Scientifik and NOAH,
Tha Riddim Doktor, SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM
created a unique style of beat driven music that staggers between
the half time smoked out vibe of hip hop and dub reggae and the
double time manic energy of jungle, drum & bass, punk rock,
and up tempo jazz. Similar blends of these styles in the U.K. have
led to the formation of styles like grime, dub-step, and broken
beat, but here in the U.S. in New York City, SUBATOMIC SOUND
SYSTEM developed in its own unique way. Combining edgy
production techniques with heady dub ambience and musical hooks,
they assembled a body of recorded music and SUBATOMIC SOUND
SYSTEM was first unleashed on the world.
to play with the elements. That’s the first thing Emch, aka
Scientifik, discovered when he began experimenting with Noah Tha
Riddim Doktor in the Subatomic Lab. It was innocent enough to start
- a few gearheads, a properly trained
guitarist and a seasoned reggae bass player, and a whole lot of
old school 45s cluttering the place up. But then the test tubes
came out, because no true doctor or scientist can leave well enough
alone. Soon the lab was so full of equipment, instruments, crisscrossing
wires, and people that the door to enter only opened wide enough
for them to carefully slip in and out sideways. One wrong move could
spark an electrical fire... or worse.
Sure enough, not
long after the turn of the millennium, there
was a massive explosion. As the smoke cleared, Emch looked
down at the scattered pieces and was struck by how the same fundamental
elements were at the core of many disparate things. In this defining
moment, SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM was truly born.
Though their initial experiments had led to half a million downloads
and kudos like winning the NYC Red Bull Vinylab DJ Next competition,
Emch visualized a cohesive group and a sound that was both inclusive
and expandable, where dissimilar sounds and people could work in
combination to build on the strength of common elements. The results
can be heard on the hypnotic, body rocking new album ON
ALL FREQUENCIES where SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM
melts down the vintage sound of bass-heavy dub reggae, the head
bobbing funk of underground hip hop, the throb of dancehall, and
the futuristic fever of jungle and broken beat to unleash a sound
built on the common elements that tie these styles together and
give them a universal, cross-cultural resonance. In other words,
bass lines thick as gravy keep waists winding to infectious grooves
and ‘nuff soulful vocalists and MCs.
of the SUBATOMIC
sound is a network of uniquely talented
individuals that are at once a live sound system, band, and
studio production crew – assembling in various formations
like Voltron in the lab and throughout live sets to unite the best
of each tradition: the flow and breadth of DJ sets, the improvisational
energy of live musicians, the sound manipulation techniques like
dubbing and remixing previously confined to the recording studio,
and the conscious lyrics and honest story telling that define all
good vocal music. To bring this juggernaut to life, SUBATOMIC
SOUND SYSTEM uses an innovative combination of analog and
digital machines. In any given live set, dub, roots, and dancehall
reggae get mashed up with futuristic hip hop, broken beat, and space
age drum and bass rhythms that are manipulated and rearranged in
real time collaborative interaction with feeds from the musicians
and a highly original crew of MCs and vocalists who represent these
musical traditions: Daddy Lion Chandell,
King Django, Naada,
Paige Scott and Treasure
The Inspiration >
The result of this diaspora of talent
and influences is both a premonition and a nod to the past. Consider
the history: Back in the 70s, Motown toured with a single backup
band and a cast of vocalists that shared a common family vibe. At
the same time in Jamaica, mobile sound systems were playing those
R&B records while DJs chatted and sang their own versions, fresh
from local studios. As imported American soul collided with Caribbean
rhythms, it was further twisted up with studio effects and then
unleashed on ears hungry for new sounds. This evolving sound system
tradition later spanned the globe, giving birth to rap music here
in New York City and influencing the spread of DJ culture and electronic
dance music worldwide. SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM is built solidly on
this foundation, paying tribute to the past while flipping the script
with the sounds of the present and the future.
Together, SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM
has been taking the East and West coast underground by storm. Their
unorthodox mashup of styles, combined with innovative use of new
technology, creates a powerful live experience that defies expectations
and challenges musical prejudices. With the release of ON ALL FREQUENCIES,
SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM has begun spreading their gospel of hypnotic
dub bass, pulsing syncopated rhythms, and sincere melodic messages
around the globe – providing living proof that while it is
dangerous to play with the elements, it’s worth walking through
The Genesis >
injected into cyberspace during year 2000, SUBATOMIC SOUND
SYSTEM rose up the charts on sites like mp3.com, landing
tracks in the top 10 of Drum and Bass, Alternative Hip Hop, Dub,
Big Beat and Breakbeat, racking up over half a million plays and
over 1000 downloads per day. In the past few years SUBATOMIC
SOUND SYSTEM has recorded several dozen songs, produced
beats for MC Pete
Miser, won the Red
Bull Vinylab DJ Next competition (you can scoop the winning
here), scored short films in Texas,
San Francisco and New York, composed music for video games in Toronto,
provided music for Digital
Club Network features, created soundtracks for fashion designer
Bantivoglio’s website, did remixes for Indian/African
musician James Whetzel, Epitaph/Hellcat
records artists King Django
and The Slackers, and
had tracks find their way into clubs from Tokyo to Moscow.
post 2001 stress release project, CODE
ORANGE RELAXATION TECHNIQUES is a SUBATOMIC DJ mix by Scientifik
that includes five new right-out-of-the-lab Subatomic tracks that
have barely even touched human ears and are otherwise unavailable.
You can catch a preview of the whole mix at Creamtone
Records or preview some unmixed individual songs like the still
smoking Subatomic Lounge Dub and Process Of Illumination. Also in
the mix are versions of Chocolate
Factory (used in the Ming FS remix and the track Criminal off
of 'On All Frequencies'), Reconnected (an unreleased Subatomic track
also redone/remixed on the Dub Champions album), the Why I Smoke
Bidi remix, and others you've never heard before.
Voltron, SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM assembles with
several forms and components. SUBATOMIC beat scientists,
EMCH aka Scientifik and NOAH tha Riddim
Doktor, come from divergent and diverse musical backgrounds
and are in a constant process of drawing together elements and people
from those traditions to enrich the SUBATOMIC sound,
forcing collisions of the musical styles they have come to know
and love in New York City: drum and bass, jungle, hip hop, dub reggae,
dancehall, downtempo, illbient, industrial, punk rock, downtempo,
middle eastern and Indian flavours. All the roots get represented
and are channeled into the vibe of SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM.
While the genre bending music cuts across many styles, it draws
on those influences only insofar as they contribute to the SUBATOMIC
ideal of thumping syncopated beats & percussion, phat smooth
bass lines, and musical hooks created with cut up melodies and sound
effects. Uniting these principles is a dedication to keeping the
music rooted in both past and future by using a balance of digital
and analog sounds and a belief in creating well structured songs
that stand on their own, aspiring to move people both on and off
the dance floor. Whether hitting it at 88 beats per minute with
chilled out atmospheric grooves or exploding at 188 beats per minute,
SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM aims to shake the foundation...
Are They ? Where Did They Come From ? And Why ?
Tha Riddim Doktor, producer, and top rankin’ NYC
bass man, has written, recorded and performed with countless reggae,
ska, jazz, funk, hip hop and drum & bass crews. A NYC native,
he grew up on a steady diet of early hip hop and dub and is a veteran
bass player from the local ska and reggae scene. He has written,
recorded and toured the US and Europe repeatedly with the likes
of Sugar Minot (Easy Star), Beenie Man, Rob Symeon, Stubborn All
Stars, Skinnerbox, King Django
(Epitaph/Hellcat), and live drum and bass act, Sol-I (Shadow
Records). He is also the founder of now defunct NYC dub band No
Shadow Kick that included Matt Urbania and the three NYC Victors:
Victor Axlrod (Easy Star All Stars/ Antibalas), Vic Ruggeiro (The
Slackers), and Victor Rice (Stubborn All Stars).
aka scientifik, dub chemist and SUBATOMIC
mastermind, draws influence from the sounds and techniques of the
past, present, and future. Hailing from the dubious grunge capital
of Seattle, he was fascinated from an early age with the innovations
of fellow Seattlite Jimi Hendrix, he discovered dub reggae through
a brush with Bad Brains and Fugazi that ended in a head on collision
with Lee Scratch Perry and King Tubby. Besides being a DIY production
junky, Emch is a jazz and classically trained guitarist who earned
a post-rock medal of honor distorting guitars alongside artists
like 311, The Roots, 24-7Spyz, Col. Bruce Hampton and Eek-a-Mouse
while fronting Philly band Scorched Earth Affair and NYC's Fiver.
Experimenting with sampling and electronic music in their early
forms and multitrack recording with old 70s cassette players before
cassette multitracks were even developed, these DIY production techniques
finally paid off when combined with more than a decade of experience
recording and playing in bands.
'On All Frequencies' Crew: Since
Emch and the Riddim Doktor formed SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM,
it has grown into an expanding collective that is known as much
for the breadth of musical styles and quality of production and
musicianship as it is for a talented and highly original crew of
MCs and vocalists. As demonstrated by the breadth of music represented
on the new album, ON ALL FREQUENCIES, the sound
has also been enriched by this growth, convincingly covering a vast
soundscape from classic dub reggae to hip hop to dancehall to chilled
out jungle to downtempo to broken beat and even to genre defying
mashups of those sounds that fall somewhere in between. Besides
Emch and Tha Riddim Doktor, here is the full family of MCs, vocalists,
and musicians who make up SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM
and represent on the 'On All Frequencies' album:
LION CHANDELL, the roots warrior, represents the
Jamaican reggae tradition with a legendary vocal sound reminiscent
of Dennis Brown’s gritty Motown influenced style and
the Abyssinians rich gospel harmonies and conscious, uplifting
ON ALL FREQUENCIES FEEDBACK
gun smoke. Cop that!"
-OJ Lima, VIBE magazine editor-at-large
surprise of the year so far. ‘On All
Frequencies’ takes on dub, underground hip hop,
broken-beat and dancehall and packs them into 14 sonic
gems. [The song] ‘Ghetto Champion’ is what
Damien Marley should have been working on."
gives me the same feeling I get listening to early Massive
Attack work, not because of the sound directly, but
because of the artistic energy & flavor everyone
brings into the project. Great work!"
Sound System hurl themselves into the vacuum with fierce
force, taking you on a dubwise journey with a
powerful message and style to spare"
- DJ Synapse, Beautiful/Decay Magazine
stunned. Seriously, these tunes are top shelf, first
class dynamite. I LOVE THEM! Massive tunes! Brilliance."
- Mista Micha, The Chill Pill, BayFM
Wickedness! Now here's an album I want to have
on vinyl. A true collector for selectors! ...[Subatomic
Sound System is] one of the most important bands contributing
to the expansion of modern dub"
- Chronic Sonata/ DubSelector.com
TO GET THE MUSIC?
FREQUENCIES IS NOW AVAILABLE DIGITALLY ON
AND MANY OTHERS IN CONJUNCTION WITH MODUS
VIVENDI MUSIC FEATURING NEW TRACKS WITH NAADA,
LION CHANDELL, TREASURE
DON, RHIANNON, KING
DJANGO, & PAIGE SCOTT!
CD DISTRIBUTION BEGINS 01/01/07. ADVANCE RELEASE CDs
AMEOBA MUSIC IN L.A. &
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translates from Sanskrit as the sound of bliss permeating
the universe, the hum created by the resonance of traveling
along the Path of Union with the Divine. A representative
of the Intergalactic Council, she transmits her message to
the unknowing earth people through an enlightened mixture
of singing and rapping that has won comparisons to Lauryn
Hill, Digable Planets, and Lady Sovereign.
the Chicago born, Brooklyn based MC is steadily redefining
what it means to be a woman in rap music by making sure that
image and appearance take a back seat to her intelligence
and a lyrical flow that has garnered critical praise and allowed
her to share the stage with the likes of Common, the Roots,
Gangstarr, Black Sheep, and Lloyd Banks.
is a sought after vocalist known for her conscious lyrics
and a passionate voice that blends speakeasy-era jazz with
timeless revolutionary fire. She's worked with Antibalas,
Ming & FS, and countless underground DJs, and shared bills
with the likes of Matthew Dear, DJ Spooky, & Doc Martin.
A dedicated organizer of underground culture, she served as
Music Director for the legendary Lunatarium, and now for the
TheDanger.com (Complacent) and massive sound clash festivals
on the streets of NYC.
DON, ghetto champion, undisputed crowd pleaser, and
former star singer with the St. John Divine’s
Boy’s Choir, brings fire to the microphone in the Jamaican
dancehall tradition of Cutty Ranks, Yellowman, & Barrington
Levy, flexing the same divine baritone that his preacher father
once used to shake the foundation of congregations throughout
the Bronx. Pure fiyah, original Jamaican, every time!
SCOTT hails from LA, London and NYC, where she primarily
lends her sultry vocals to the deep house scene. She has worked
with BT, P.Q.M., Johnny Vicious, Dave Aude, and recently wrote
and recorded the hit “Is This For Real” with Audiofly
(UK) remixed by Mas Collective for MO-Do Records (Italy).
DJANGO, a seminal force in the American ska &
reggae scene, has been touring the world for years, making
his name internationally as a singer, ragamuffin MC, songwriter,
instrumentalist, producer, and founder of Stubborn Records
and Version City studios.
BEATS is one of NYC’s hardest working reggae
drummers and founder of the label Nomadic
Wax, dedicated to African & Middle Eastern hip hop.
In addition to his work with Subatomic, he has toured the
US and Europe and recorded as a drummer and percussionist
with Dub Is A Weapon, Rock Steady 7, Glenn Brown, Yabby U,
Sugar Minott, Skavoovie, the Epitones, and King Django.
and Collaborators: From the jump, SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM
has been working to create a community around the sound through
collaboration and involvment in combined efforts. Unity is strength.
One of the first who came strong was NY bass player and composer
Victor Rice with the tracks
'Earl' and 'Coolidge'. The track Bring It On came about while working
on soundtracking and scoring the film
37th Chamber. Philly MC Herb
D got up in the Subatomic lab to lay down lyrics. Other vocal
versions of the beats for Power and Bring It On led to collaborations
Miser. The track with Pete titled Fiscal Fitness has been released
on his new album, Radio
Free Brooklyn. Still unreleased are two ill remixes of King
Django's album title track Reason which led to several other sessions
in the lab. King Django
is now recording live versions of the Subatomic tracks, Power (entitled
Thunder) and Reconnected.
collaberations with Herb D, Pete Miser, and King Django led to the
release of the EP entitled LOST HITS VOL.1 DANCEHALL VS. HIP HOP,
the first digital release by SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM, initially on
iTunes and Beatport, but now available on most every download services.
After remixing the track 'Why I Smoke Bidi' for Carras & Whetzel,
several joint efforts broke out including live shows in Seattle
and a downtempo live project called DUB CHAMPIONS in NYC focusing
on the downtempo and dub side of SUBATOMIC. Another remix done for
The Slackers, led to singer/vocalist Vic Ruggeiro laying down keys
on some Subatomic tracks and vocalist QMaxx420 working out some
drum and bass beats in the Subatomic lab. Our
man in the crates, Dale Turner, also gets props. After winning the
Bull Vinylab DJ Next remix contest, SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM performed
a set with a tricked out laptop manned by EMCH and turntables manned
by vinyl specialist DJ Dale Turner (aka O.J. Lima, OJZA). Fueled
by free flowing red bull and vodka, the party inlcuded Ming+FS
doing their first live show for their new album Subway Series. Also
in the mix was Vic Ruggeiro from The
Slackers who had laid down the keys on the Subatomic remix.
Next For SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM ?
tons of new releases loaded up, some amazing collaborations and
remixes, and plans to reach the furthest corners of the globe, you'll
want to stay tuned.
Amidst trying to survive and thrive in New York city, SUBATOMIC
SOUND SYSTEM continues to be known more and more as an authority
on the link between traditional dub and its electronic future. Look
out as churns out more beats and remixes from within the SUBATOMIC
SOUND network of MCs, singers, and instrumentalists and bring the
SUBATOMIC sound to the world on wax, silicon,
zeros and ones, and of course live with SUBATOMIC
SOUND SYSTEM in NYC, Brooklyn, and the world. All the while
they will continue the fight for justice and against evil.
you don't have the latest SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM music, scoop it
today on all major digital services like iTunes, Beatport, and Juno,
or on vinyl in the US, Euopre, and Japan, or direct from us on CD
here! If you already have it, make sure
you're on the SUBATOMIC mailing
list and stay tuned for more new SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM music
in '07 including an instrumental version ON ALL FREQUENCIES, a new
SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM album of grimey drum and bass, hip hop, and
reggae with Naada & Daddy Lion Chandell, plus remixes of tracks
from ON ALL FREQUENCIES appearing on vinyl and compilations from
Modus Vivendi Music
and Bastard Jazz Records.
BIG NEW SOUNDS FROM THE NEW YORK UNDERGROUND!!!
March 1st, 2011
New York City, NY - USA