We’ve always had a secret fear that attending Subvert’s drum ‘n’ bass gigs will give us a headache that throbs in sync with the music. Hiding our painkillers, we chat with Zul Othman, one of the cool guys behind Subvert, and discover we need not have feared.
What’s the philosophy behind Subvert?
We’re pretty free and easy, so I guess the main philosophy behind the Subvert parties we’ve been doing for years is just to have fun! It’s all about good tunes and coming together with your mates for a laugh—just what clubbing is basically about, really.
So, why drum ‘n’ bass?
Apart from house, drum ‘n’ bass is quite possibly the most eclectic genre in dance. It oozes flavors from funk, soul, jazz, techno, bossa nova and even trance. No other genre can lay claim to that, and that’s what makes it exciting.
Will we get a headache attending Subvert’s gigs?
Just moderate the booze intake and you’ll be fine. Trust me.
Subvert has been organizing parties since 1999. How has the DJing scene changed since then?
Things are more organized now. Clubbers are educated and know what they want. Back in those days, you had DJs playing everything from house to techno and drum ’n’ bass in one night. The focus now is good, because that means promoters are now more dedicated to putting together better nights. And, of course, the caliber of homegrown DJs now is just unbelievable.
How do our homegrown talents fare compared to the DJs in other parts of Asia?
We have some serious DJ talents here, and not just in drum ’n’ bass. My personal favorites are Vortex, Dean, Stingray and Ajay. These guys have played to enthusiastic crowds in the region and they’re definitely talented.
What are some of the notable DJs that Subvert has brought back to tease clubbers into ecstasy?
We’ve brought in a fair share of international jocks. Since 1999, we’ve had a hand in bringing in big names like UK’s Aphrodite, John B, Friction and London Elektricity, as well as regional jocks such as Kuala Lumpur’s Low and Mac, Bangkok’s Dragon and Wen, and Jakarta’s Jerome and Random.
What’s the crowd like at the gigs Subvert had organized?
Proper, rowdy, but a lovely caring bunch as well—just the way we like it!
How do you think the party scene has evolved over the years?
By leaps and bounds! Parties are getting bigger, DJs are getting better, and promoters are more inventive. It’s all sunshine for the scene really.
What are your thoughts on so much competition happening now, and does it affect your sets, considering that you guys are more indie?
Competition is everywhere, but I guess I’m lucky enough not to do this full-time. At the end of the day, this is a hobby as far as I am concerned. It’s all about escaping from planet employment as someone said, we just get a few friends together for some good tunes and a laugh over the weekend. Worrying about competition would spoil the point, really!
How do you think Subvert will fare in 2006?
We’ll be doing the same thing as we’ve always done, trying to put on good shows and having a good laugh. Oh, and maybe come up with some surprises along the way!
Complete the sentence. “A party rocks when…”
… people realize it’s not rocket science and have fun!