Jesse Kardon, better known as Subtronics, is a 24-year-old dubstep producer from Philadelphia. His unique style of bass music embraces the bouncing nature of dubstep but with added dark mechanical undertones. Most recently he has graced Insomniac Radio with the fourth volume of his NOW THATS WHAT I CALL RIDDIM mix release, displaying his excellent flow and clear passion for dubstep.
Riddim, the instrumental accompaniment to a reggae or dancehall track, derives its name from the Jamaican pronouciation of rhythm, and applied to dubstep, the mix is aggressive, fast and hard. Subtronics compiles a roughly 40-minute mix that exemplifies the infectious beat and diverse sounds of contemporary dubstep. It is his best riddim volume to date and serves to highlight what makes this class of dubstep so good.
Subtronics provides an onslaught of original remixes and collaborations that are strung together through their deep and dirty basslines. The music charges, blasting the listener with quick beats and an ever-increasing tempo, before crashing down with those familiar metallic dubstep drops. While each drop is varied and wild in its melody, there is a consistently dark and robotic theme that creates a visceral musical tone. Emphasising the continual bass drone, that pulses and pumps as the foundational layer of sound, these dubstep drops storm in so heavily that it’s hard not to have a physical reaction. The amount of kinectic energy that bombards the listener when the heavy bass melodies bounce and womp is infectious. It doesn’t just call the listener to dance, but to match the bass’ aggression with furious fist-pumping and head-banging. A perfect example of this effect can be heard at the 15-minute mark. Subtronics mixes MONXX x Walter Wilde’s ‘The Wonky Song (Subtronics Remix)’, Phiso’s ‘Jotaro’ and his own ‘Shock Value VIP’ into a powerful drop that strips away all layers, leaving only the syncopated beat, before amping up into a sequence that is hard not to jump up and down to.
It isn’t just dubstep. It is riddim.