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Sub:stance – 072008 072013



Label: SUB:STANCEScore: 8/10 


SUB:STANCE recently hosted its final night at  the concrete mecca that is Berghain, marking the end of a five year long relationship that had the grandest of impacts on the Dubstep and Techno worlds. Under the stewardship of Paul Rose, aka Scuba/SCB and Paul Fowler, SUB:STANCE proved to be a scene colliding gamble that paid off with dividends.

2008-era Dubstep was a genre that was sparkling with energy and creativity, prior to the sullying of its name when the grand wub pissing contest began in earnest. Adding its free spirited low end enthusiasm to Berghain’s cavernous thump, the SUB:STANCE night proved to be a match made in heaven, evident in the way the dub mood now flows through Techno, and the adoption of 4/4 mentality by the once Dubstep vanguards.

The SUB:STANCE box set can only sum up a glimmer of this impact, but it is appropriately highlighted by Rose’s contributions to this compilation. The line between SCB and Scuba, his Techno and Dubstep sides, is most definitely blurred, with August, as Scuba hooking you in immediately with neon bright synths, and Closer as SCB swaggering with a dark swinging funk that belies the usual Techno kick fest.

Many of SUB:STANCE’s major guests make an appearance over the box set, the two slabs of vinyl offering seven exclusive tracks all in all. Appleblim’s Darkest Red flows effortlessly between breathy pads and squelchy low end stabs, before notching up the bass for a deep and choral ending. One of the picks of the release sees Trevino calling upon his Drum’n’Bass roots, as Marcus Intalex, for Tracer – its bassline carries the same sort of menace and frenzied tension as an angry wasp intruding through your bathroom window, catching you with your pants tangled around your ankles.

John Osborn’s All Night Long goes for the jugular with unfussy purist acidic jack, and this is then balanced out by the carnival funk of Martyn’s Memory Hole, and the trio of deep kicks in Addison Groove’s Forgiven, that punch without mercy into the centre of your chest.

For attendees of SUB:STANCE, nothing will ever match up to the memories or the impact of what happened over the last five years. However, the 072008 – 072013 box set is possibly the only appropriate epitaph for when Bass decided to invade Berghain, a final farewell to be forever locked in time.


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