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A kaleidoscope of electronic bass music, entrancing vocals, ambient, jazz and dub: Submotion Orchestra are quite simply out of this world.
Established in Leeds almost seven years ago, the band quickly made a splash on the wider scene. Their live gigs left audiences open-mouthed, and their debut EP on Ranking Records, 'Submotion', caught the ears of industry luminaries such as Gilles Peterson. The group went on to release their first full-length album, 'Finest Hour', which unsurprisingly became an instant classic, garnering support from the likes of Mista Jam and Trevor Nelson. Their second album 'Fragments' was subject to equal amounts of praise, receiving radio plays from a hugely diverse selection of presenters including Pete Tong, Huey, Lauren Laverne and Don Letts. Cementing Submotion’s unique crossover appeal, it spent a week in the top spot of the iTunes charts.
Never stopping for breath, Submotion Orchestra zipped over to their current home, Counter Records, around two years ago and have contributed two sublime albums to the Ninja Tune label's back catalog, including 'Alium' and this year's buzzy masterpiece, 'Colour Theory'. Quite clearly, the group's success speaks for itself.
An ode to the sounds that compliment late night reflection, Submotion Orchestra follow the release of 'Colour Theory' in February with a stunning contribution to the Dummy mix series. With selections ranging from Maribou State through to Kidnap Kid – it's highly atmospheric yet furiously energetic – gliding through furied peaks and melancholy troughs resulting in laidback listening with apt injections of colour in all the right places. Ripe for various moods, we'll listening in a bath by candlelight.
Hey there, how's 2016 treating you so far?
Submotion Orchestra: "2016 is going great! New studio, new album out, new tour in progress, and Ruby’s new baby Amber is healthy and beautiful!"
Tell us a little more about this mix – was it recorded with any mood or activity in mind?
Submotion Orchestra: "This mix is a melancholy tribute to all the producers and artists who make great music that is often lumped into an ambiguous “4am night bus home” category which I feel doesn’t really do it justice. For me the best comparison I can make is to dub music (which is also a big influence in this mix) – often dub is simply brushed aside as “chill-out” because people hear it quietly and hear all the reverbs and space in the mix, but if you go to a proper dance like University of Dub, Subdub, carnival or whatever and hear it properly on a big system, you can dance your socks off for six hours. I guess that’s a big inspiration behind a lot of my own production and the whole essence of Submotion too – that ability to play loud bass-heavy music that physically moves people. It’s a mentality rather than a musical formula, if that makes any sense?"
"That ability to play loud bass-heavy music that physically moves people…it’s a mentality rather than a musical formula." – Submotion Orchestra
Any stand out tracks, exclusives or new ones from you?
Submotion Orchestra: "Amira from our recent album is in there, as well as a remix from the latest Maribou State album, but I think one of my favourite tracks is the Kidnap Kid pop-meets-modern-house anthem Like You Used To. It’s a simple, unbelievably catchy-yet-mature sounding track that I can’t help singing along to!"
If you could go back to any musical era in time, when would you choose and what would you do with your time?
Submotion Orchestra: "I think if I went back it would be only a decade or so. Around 2006 I think. There was some awesome music around – Noisia were emerging as three of the most talented young producers in drum and bass, and I was being blown away by the ferocity of producers like Limewax and Current Value. Break was coming out with what seemed like a new release every week. Vex’d, Distance and Scuba were putting out some really futuristic dubstep productions which is what basically started me off on the whole 140 thing. I was still a student with a fully functioning liver, so I could party all weekend and still surface on the Monday. I know this all seems really shallow, but to be honest, a pre-occupation with technology means that it’s the most recent stuff that I find most interesting. I guess in that respect it would be more interesting to travel into the future and see how/if the music industry and future artists manage to deal with the culture of free online streaming of music, low bit-rates, and general lack of investment in the digital age."
What's coming up next?
Submotion Orchestra: "Well it’s festival season soon so that will be fun – lots of travelling around playing shows. I think we’re going to take a little break to re-group, as it’s been a hectic few years releasing four albums and three EPs…I think we all need a bit of time out to look at how far we’ve come and where we’re going next!"
Dummy Mix 315 // Submotion Orchestra tracklist:
01. Floating Points For Marmish
02. Dave DK Immer Gut
03. Christian Loffler York
04. Elderbrook x Andhim How Many Times (KANT Club remix)
05. Audialist Trust Your Ho
06. Robinn – Hawaiian Wedding
07. Moduleset Sunburns
08. Kidnap Kid Like You Used To
09. Maribou State Wallflower (Simona Drive remix)
10. Audialist Square One (Occult remix)
11. Submotion Orchestra Amira
12. Sam Sure Hunger (Jaded remix)
13. Mikal Outro
'Colour Theory' was release February 19th on Counter Records (buy).