-”New York’s Sub Swara are connoisseurs of the genre-meld. “Steam” is a particularly percussive jungley dubstep jam. What makes it really shine is its lack of sameness—instead of one refrain with a blip of extra bass here and there throughout the whole track, it’s a crescendo of intense drums, that breaks into electro-beats that recalls the sweatiest night clubs and once it speeds up as fast it can go, there’s a nice little breakdown toward the end. While some artists are trying to make all different kinds of noise at once, Sub Swara are taking all these reference points and making it into their own thing that really works.”

-”…in the case of “Bend You,” off their forthcoming album Triggers, it sounds like this time their beat vacation took them on an intergalactic spaceship ride, with giant rhythms and chirps that sound warped in from the outer reaches of the universe but retain a distinctly warm, human quality. This track inspires the kind of exhilaration that can make you tear up on the dancefloor (or, ahem, at your desk, listening through headphones).”

-”It’s not just that the beats and bass are heavier: fusing dubstep, hip-hop, dancehall, and South Asian music, the duo’s sound has gelled, its elements more deeply integrated and its drama more all-encompassing. They sound less like a group inspired by far-flung influences, and more like a crew with an acute sense of its own voice. Make no mistake: this is a big record for bass heads.”

-”The outfit now specializes in a whatever-makes-you-bang style of bass music that’s fresh and compelling, and doesn’t pay much mind to the lines of electronic sub-genres. “Steam” from Sub Swara’s latest album, Triggers (out November 9). This flits from ominous, exotic hand-drumming into a more traditional techno beat, then goes all dubstep on your ass. Dhruva and Sharma make this stuff with the help of real instruments — they recorded the drums for this song in India — so it’s not surprising that their sound goes beyond what you expect to hear in “electronic” music.”

-”The Sub Swara sound is never easily pinned down—the duo has done a wide swath of unofficial and official remix work for everyone from Mos Def to Balkan Beat Box, but dubstep is certainly in the foreground. That said, Sub Swara’s second full-length Triggers, out November 9 on Low Motion Records, will showcase the duo’s increasing interest in live instrumentation and collaboration—album guests include Dead Prez, Lyrics Born, Kendra Foster of Parliament Funkadelic, and even session horns from the Antibalas Afrobeat crew. “Steam” is taken from the album, and it’s a thundering piece of percussive energy that brings to mind UK funky’s drum love and kuduro’s relentlessness, all before the track does an unexpected, albeit brief about-face into dubstep’s familiar shuffle.”

Sub Swara stay true to their bass roots on squelchy electro-freakouts like “October,” but they keep branching out in ways that leave most of their peers in the rear view. Spacey synths keep “Bend You” floating above the dance floor, even when the beats get vicious. “Steam” veers from thunderous tribal techno to electro-funk bump ‘n’ grind, and “Speak My Language” is hip-hop for the 23rd century, with some killer guest verses from Dead Prez. – Andy Hermann

-Click on the image above to check out the FADER feature on Sub Swara on page 58 of Issue 66.

-”The Sub Swara collective tosses a monthly party at Love, a club that boasts perhaps the clearest sound system in the city. That might account for the crew’s obsession with detail; Coup d’Yah is a sonically crystalline collection, with every drum hit sharp as a knife and each bassline deep as a canyon. But the real appeal of the album lies in the way it melds its dancehall and dubstep inclinations with Middle Eastern melodies, subcontinental percussion and ragga-style toasting into a spare, dark stew, with its precise arrangements keeping the focus on the funk.”

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-’Sub Swara deals with the most fascinating melt of sound – beats and bass laced with the elemental voice of Juakali…pure heaven…The Sub Swara mix was devastating – contender for mix of the year on the BBC Radio 1 show for real.’ – Maryanne Hobbs, BBC Radio 1

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-’The whole album is dazzling. Sub Swara manages to transfer the eclectic sounds of their New York club night to tape, bleeding and blending dubstep, ragga, dub, global elements and straight up dance music in a flawless manner that’s always fresh, never stale. Their ability to fuse the dark with the subtle and danceable with the complex is a marvel’ – Kid Kameleon, XLR8R Magazine

Sub Swara’s Coup d’Yah (Low Motion Records) is 100% fire. No exaggeration. The 12-track album, available now as a MP3 download, features vocals from Zulu, MC Coppa, Napoleon Solo, and Juakali – Tomas Palermo – XLR8R Magazine, Bass Reaction (Blog)

‘If you’re looking for one entry track into this sound, look out for Koli Stance, a masterclass in swirling subcontinental tablas and warping dubstep bass’ – Blackdown, Pitchfork Media’ – Blackdown, Pitchfork Media


Dubstep and contemporary dancehall sounds from New York’s mighty Sub Swara, whose Coup d’Yah album has taken a full two years of incubation time, designed to capture the sound and spirit of the crew’s clubnight. A multicultural roster of talents has been recruited to front these productions with guest vocalists including Zulu, MC Copa, Napoleon Solo and Juakali. After the dark, industrialised bass tremors of ‘High Fidelity’, the tempo cranks up several notches for ‘Infiltrate (Sub Step Refix)’, but far from being a solely bleak, urban experience Coup d’Yah takes a few eccentric turns, as on the brass stabs of ‘Belgrade Riddim’ and the tabla-fuelled drum & bass of ‘TKM’. A lively and diverse set of deep bass productions, Sub Swara’s album makes for an interesting listen, giving insight into how the sounds of ragga, breakcore and dubstep translate on the other side of the Atlantic. Sick. – Boomkat

‘The textures on Coup d’Yah are less rigidly defined, more open and therefore more organic, and while fans of dubstep would no doubt feel kinship, the broader, more expansive vision of New York’s Sub Swara crew highlights the importance of not being overly committed to convention…the totality is energetic, dark, and rhythmic, possessing an international vibe but minus any jetsetter kitsch…It’s a worthwhile contribution to the genre-less electronic amalgamations that are becoming almost a genre unto themselves. – Justin Deremo – Ok Player

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