The latest instalment comes once again from Amsterdam, the bustling electronic music hub that is consistently delivering extraordinarily talented artists, not to mention housing some of our favourite record labels, festivals and clubs in all of Europe.
Jacob Otten aka Kid Sublime is unique in the fact he is just as much hip hop as he is house. His unwillingness to stick to one genre has seen him tour the world with bands as a hip hop DJ, whilst on the flip feature on labels like Rush Hour and most recently Faces with his sample based house music. “I Won’t Give You Up”, which made brilliant use of Alicia Meyers spine tingling voice for the Faces label this year was one of our top picks for the Summer.
In a refreshing change of tempo, Kid Sublime has mixed up an hour of soul, hip hop, funk and general feel good business for his addition to the series. We also managed to grab him for a chat!
Where have you been and what cool stuff have you been up to lately?
Just got back from Brussels, Ghent, Paris and Basel.. great gigs and always good to see my friends again!
We know you have roots in skate and hip hop culture, and were scratching and DJing around the world and working in record stores whilst still in your teens. How do you think those days shaped what you’re doing now?
They shaped my ears and me as the person I am today in a major way.
Basically a lot of experience on and off the road…learning to live my life as a musician..meeting likeminded artists… great times!
The Fatbeats record store was like a Hip Hop culture academy…and i passed the test..cum laude!! [laughs]
Being on the road with the live band Zuco 103 taught me a lot about stages, venues, promotors, an (un)healthy balance…what it means to have a family on the road.. all that.
As an Amsterdam resident, have you noticed a steady rise in club culture in the city in the past few years? It seems that these days Amsterdam is a genuine hub for good electronic music, with ADE probably playing a major role in that. What do you think are the main contributing factors?
Amsterdam has a very strong and mature disc jockey culture.
We had the Roxy and The Mazzo clubs in the 80’s which where the foundation for DJs like Kc Tha Funkaholic, Cassie 6, Eddy De Clerque and Joost Van Bellen…all huge and important influences on all DJs in this city.
So basically they set a high standard for DJs of generations to come…the sound always has been very eclectic in Amsterdam…20 years before it became “fashionable” to play a wide range of music all in one set.
Personally I learned how to be a club DJ because of KC Tha Funkohilc’ s DJ sets and parties. He now runs the infamous Kindred Spirits label and is the main booker for black music in Paradiso, Amsteram.
We know you’re back onto your soul and hip hop vibe at the moment, after throwing down some housier numbers for Dopeness Galore and Faces this year. We’re interested at how the Faces release came about, was it a long time in the making that one? Any plans for future releases with the label?
I’ve known Pablo Valentino for about 10 years now…I guess it was a matter of time before finally releasing a record on Faces…I did the track in a night session with the label in mind.. sent it over…et voila!
I’m trying to put together an EP this winter for Faces to release, it’s a nice label to work with for House music.
How has your production process evolved over the years? Are you still heavily MPC based, or is it more of a combined effort?
The blueprints I do on a MPC 3000…I track it in Logic and then add live piano, Synths, Vox, Wurlitzer…whatever the track needs…but all you will hear is mainly MPC 3000…and a whole bunch of records to mess with!!
It’s been a couple of years now since your last album, have you been working on another full length as of yet, and what vibe do you hope your next LP will follow?
Yeah man!! The album “Love Notes” with Lady Alma from Philadelphia is finished…I’m about to mix the record in the next months…all very disco-house-club orientated.
Then i just finished recording with this Amazing Emcee / vocalist / guitarist / producer from Detroit called RenCen CoolBeanz. The group is called “ELIFiNT SOUP”, it’s the craziest left field rap album you’re gonna hear in a while…we are mixing it right now.
Also i’m preparing music for a project with spoken word artist / singer Aja Monet from Brooklyn….this is more spiritual house / soul kinda music…very free approach of making music, no concept really… just soul music.
And i’ve been working on my own singer / songwriter album called C.L.O.S.E.R, I’ve been working on this project for the last 5 years…it’s definitely a side of me people never heard…very personal. More Jacob then Kid Sublime if you know what i mean…its deep..just me singing and my piano.
What can you tell us about this mix, how and where did you record it, and who are some of the artists that feature?
I recorded the mix on the fly in my basement studio….i wanted to do a hip hop / soul / downtempo kinda mix…stuff i would play out to start the evening.. Lucy Pearl, Pharcyde, Dilla, Minnie Ripperton, Tracy Chapman… feel good music basically.
What else do you have coming up for the rest of the year?
I just turned in my new release for Dopeness Galore.. RETURN OF THA BASEHEAD E.P It’s a heavy, heavy club house release…for B-Boys! I really dig it and hope its gonna get some spins around the globe…should be out November / December.
I’m about to go on the road a lot with some good tours coming up…I’ll keep dropping house records for the clubs..and i’m about to be a father..so that should be enough for a couple of years!! [laughs]