With the 'Play Your Position' EP, Subrinse not only drops catchy, club-ready tracks, but announces a new vision for the dance music scene in Nashville, Tennessee. Each of the tracks delivers and infusion of hip-hop, house and techno influences which could almost appropriately be dubbed “g-techno.” But what's more is the producer behind the tracks, John Hanna (Subrinse), who aims to purposefully develop a space for innovation and collaboration between DJ’s and producers in an area historically lacking in electronic music production.
As a Southerner myself, I have to admit that I've been surprised by the moves the South has made in electronic production. I immediately think of the hip-hop and techno blends curated by the likes of HXV, but was also surprised just the other day that none other than the French techno don and former head of the recently shuttered Bromance (RIP) record label Brodinski had doubled down on his Southern hip-hop fandom. Admittedly, these are both examples of Atlanta more specifically, but as the confluence of European influences and hip-hop backgrounds expands in popularity it's bound to reach even more of the country, including Subrinse's Nashville, Tennessee.
Born from his love of U.K. dubstep and garage, Hanna starts the three track EP off with 'Callin For You'. Sample-laden, with playful bumps and a driving bass line, 'Callin For You' has been a year in the making. It was the first track developed in the studio space Hanna currently occupies and sets a funky, almost humorous tone with car horn type percussion and waves of bass, making it almost reminiscent of a Dirtybird-type project, a label which has influenced his work greatly. Without a doubt, a labor of love on this EP, 'Callin For You' has an accompanying music video incorporating graphic designs and CGI that reflects the nature of the track's sound.
'Slangin' was developed shortly after 'Callin For You', with the title track, 'Play Your Position' rounding out the collection. Throughout the development of the entire project, Hanna took to immersing himself in what we've come to know as G-House and techno, the influences of which you can hear throughout the whole project. Specifically, he cites DJ Anna, the prominent Brazilian techno DJ, and Movement Festival as really inspiring him for the techno aspects of the tracks. "All the techno, all the different parties...without a doubt, the played a role in the EP and the percussion of the tracks at the very least," Hanna told me.
Subrinse aims to set his sound apart from others by pushing the darker, deeper U.K. dubstep sound into the spotlight. "I've been a fan of U.K. dubstep since at least 2009-ish, listening to Rusko, Caspa, and Skream. I've just always dug that dark, garage influenced type dubstep."I tried to get him to take a cheap shot at brostep (a genre of which I'm admittedly a fan) but Hanna maintains he’d "be lying that if I said I didn't definitely get into some brostep every once in a while." For anyone looking to brush up on their U.K. dubstep knowledge, Hanna suggests Youngsta's RinseFM sets every week which he's listened to for at least a year straight prior to the 'Play Your Position' EP.
Subrinse - Play Your Position EP [Brobot Records]
I had to know what kind of influence the home of the Grand Ole Opry could possibly have on Subrinse's sound and the influence it has had on him as an artist. "Largely [the dance music scene] doesn't exist in the city...there are no big clubs to go to for house music on a regular basis." But that isn't stopping him. With great promotion company's like Full Circle Presents bringing in talent like Truth and Joker and finding a market for them in Nashville, Hanna sees the market as ripe with the opportunity to bring his homegrown sound to a larger stage.
"I plan to be here at least five years maybe more. I'm opening a music production studio with my partner who I met down here, and we're creating a company to be a bit more of a communal mentality than a client based company. We're going to be integral in the artists' development and promote collaboration between all the artists." Hanna notes that every day he finds someone else in the city who is just itching to grow the scene and bring the music they know and love to a new audience. Subrinse has another EP, a collboration with Evido, another Nashville artist, that is due out soon, making good on his efforts to bring the existing community together for a more powerful presence.
Nashville may not strike you as a house or techno capital, but Subrinse is definitely laying the groundwork for the market to explode. The Play Your Position EP delivers on Subrinse's promise of a UK garage influenced sound, with techno and hip-hop samples worked in throughout. Be sure to grab the EP today and keep an eye out for future releases and collaborations emanating from the emerging Nashville producer.