Professional Sound - April 2023 - Page 26


Reaches a New Level on Tour

By Matt Bauer
Photots by : Oh Dag Yo Photography

It was the biggest night so far in the relatively short career and fast rise of Subtronics , and a touchstone in the history of dubstep as well : on January 28 , 2023 , the Philadelphia-bred DJ and producer sold out the massive Kia Forum in Los Angeles . Touring in support of his 2022 project Antifractals , Subtronics joined the esteemed likes of The Jimi Hendrix Experience , The Rolling Stones , David Bowie , and Elvis Presley to have performed at the iconic venue while also raising the ceiling for other dubstep / EDM artists .

At age 30 , Subtronics ( born Jesse Kardon ) has established himself as one of the foremost producers and DJs in the dubstep realm . Taking his stage name from his love of subwoofers and electronics , he released his first EP , Panic
Attack , in 2015 . Best-known for his mixtape series Now That ’ s What I Call Riddim and his collaboration with Michigan-based electronic artist GRiZ on the Billboard Hot Dance / Electronic Top 10-charting track “ Griztronics ” in 2019 , Subtronics dropped his long awaited , full-length debut Fractals in early 2022 . Comprised of VIP mixes ( a special edit or mix of a song designated for other DJs to incorporate into their sets ) and re-mixes , the reimagined Antifractals followed at the end of last year .
As the Antifractal Tour takes Subtronics across North America , Ruairi Matthews has been in the FOH / A1 role for many of the dates , including the Kia Forum stop . With previous gigs at the Shambhala Music Festival , tours with Victoria , B . C . indie-rock band Current Swell and rapper bbno $, as well as numerous other festival gigs in multi-disciplinary roles , Matthews feels he ’ s had audio in his blood from a very young age .
“ When I was about 15 or 16 , I bought a PA , and my parents were always really great ,” he remembers . “ I have two brothers and we ’ re all musicians and drummers , so at a very young age , I started getting into sound and messing around with it . I also did a lot of recording along the way , so I kind of knew right away what I was supposed to be doing , and I ended up doing it my whole life .”
Initially joining Subtronics ’ last tour as a favour to a good friend , Matthews admits it was a physically challenging experience . “ It was a pretty tough tour ; it was very , very physical ,” he says . “ I got along with him very well and had a really positive overall experience , then moved