Bass music king Excision is a true champion of the genre. The “Throwin’ Elbows” artist has created major music festivals Bass Canyon and Lost Lands produced virtual apocalyptic shows, toured constantly for over 10 years, and delivered multiple chart-topping hits. Now, the genre’s heavyweight producer is launching a new record label, dubbed Subsidia, that is made for all genres and vibes within bass music.
The multi-sound label will boast subsections within it, and to showcase this diversity the label is launching with three distinct compilation albums: Dusk, Night and Dawn. Night will be home to the heaviest bangers (get your neck braces ready for this one), while Dusk will showcase the wonky and wobbly sounds of experimental bass. Melodic and lyrical bass tracks will be featured on Dawn, rounding out the three compilations that total 118 tracks combined from over 100 artists.
However, Subsidia is more than just a label. Visually, it is a futuristic city for those who love bass and have chosen to be free. While the rest of society is sheltered in a simulated world that delivers all of their wants and needs, Subsidians create their own experiences in the real world. Excision introduced Subsidia in an animated video he played on Friday, Sept. 25 before his live stream set for Couch Lands—the virtual rendition of his Lost Lands music festival. This marked his first digital performance of the year, and it consisted almost entirely of Subsidia tracks.
In an exclusive interview, Excision took the time to share with Forbes the inspiration behind Subsidia, how he curated the three compilations, one piece of advice he would give his younger self, and more.
What was the inspiration behind your new record label, Subsidia?
Excision: “Creatively, I think bass music is in its golden age, and in a live setting, it’s selling more tickets than ever before (in normal times). There are so many different kinds of sounds coming out right now from artists of all sizes, ranging from aggressive and energetic to soft and full of emotion. So for me, this label is a way to celebrate the diversity of the genre and to give a platform to artists who are really innovating.”
How did you pick the name? What does Subsidia mean to you?
Excision: “This name works in a lot of ways:
“SUB – From subwoofer, which makes you actually feel the music, not just hear it.
“SUBSID – The Latin root word meaning help or aid. I like to think that this music helps people by allowing them to express themselves and release intense emotions that they wouldn’t otherwise have an outlet for. Whether through raging headbanging, tears from singing and melodies, or both—we are helping people in this specific way. We are also aiming to help artists grow their careers and expand their sound in as many directions as possible.
“IA – These letters make the word sound like a city. I want people to think of a place when they hear ‘Subsidia.’ It brings a sense of community—it’s a place to visit or escape to whenever you want. The idea of a city really resonated because when we throw festivals like Lost Lands for 40,000 people, we are literally a small bass music city for a few days. Subsidia is kind of a fictional representation of that—a mental escape to discover your favorite art and connect with like-minded people.”
Can you talk about the decision to segment the label based on different vibes and genres within bass music?
Excision: “I believe it’s extremely important to promote and encourage a diversity of subgenres and styles within any genre so that there’s always something new for fans to get excited about. So that’s why Subsidia as a whole will always aim to represent the wide variety of sounds within bass music. So we’re starting the label off with these three groups: Dawn leans more melodic, Dusk is more experimental bass and Night features the heaviest tracks.”
You’re celebrating the launch of Subsidia with three distinct compilation albums: Dusk, Night and Dawn. How did you curate each compilation?
Excision: “I spend a ton of time listening to and searching for innovators all over the scene. I consider it one of the most important parts of my job. When my tour had to be stopped in March, I suddenly had extra time on my hands to dive deep and listen to thousands of songs per week, from artists small and large. I was lucky enough to find a lot of unsigned gems, totaling 118 songs compiled into three groups, each representing a different style within bass music.”
Can you share any stories behind how some of your new tracks on the compilations were created?
Excision: “‘Erase You’ with Wooli and Haliene is a special one. Adam [Puleo, aka Wooli] and I were excited to work with such a talented singer in Haliene, and we were blown away by the vocals that she delivered. I think a lot of people who have been through tough relationships will really identify with this one.
“‘Demise’ started out as a collaboration with PhaseOne over the internet in anticipation of him coming out on my 2020 tour. We were able to tweak it a lot on the road and crowd test it each night, so I’m really stoked on how much it energizes the crowd.
“‘Necromancer’ is a fun experiment that Dion Timmer and I started when we were exploring other tempos outside of the norm for bass music. It has a hip hop vibe while not being hip hop tempo, mixed in with sound like it’s out of the movie ‘Psycho.’ Definitely a memorable one for me.”
The three compilations are each named similarly as they focus on time of day. What was the inspiration behind the naming process?
Excision: “Dusk is the time of day when golden hour hits, and then the sky turns all different colors at sunset. It also looks very different each day—no two sunsets are the same. So bass that is more experimental, trippy, or left-field seemed appropriate for Dusk.
“Night is when people go out, really want to party and release all their pent up energy from the day. So the louder, heavier artists made the most sense there.
“Melodic bass feels bright and refreshing, like stepping outside after waking up in the morning. So Dawn worked best for that.”
Subsidia is more than a label as it is also a futuristic city inhabited by those who have chosen to be free. Can you talk more about this aspect of the project?
Excision: “We will expand on the backstory of Subsidia over time through our releases. In a sense, the city has just been founded and is now being built by all of our fans.”
My Excision Subsidia Mix 2020 is now live on Spotify and Soundcloud! http://smarturl.it/XSubsidiaMix2020
If you could go back in time to when you first started making music and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Excision: “Even after you’ve made your dreams come true, there are always more dreams to work towards. Be sure to enjoy the journey on the way.”
What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Excision: “Lost Lands. It was an incredibly long and stressful journey to bring it to where it is today. I think in 2019, the third time was the charm and we finally nailed it. We now have the foundation to really start enhancing the overall experience and adding a lot more bells and whistles to the festival and campgrounds. This year would have been awesome, but now we’ve had extra time to make sure 2021 will be even better.”
What are your plans for the future?
Excision: “Everything I do is focused around the mission of making bass music as big of a genre as it possibly can be, while still staying true to itself, constantly innovative and fresh. We have such a caring and loving group of people involved within this scene, and I hope the music will help more people find their home within it.”
Is there anything else you think I should know?
Excision: “I really want everyone who reads this to register to vote. This goes for every country in the world. There is so much discussion over changes that we want to make in the world, which is great, but so many young people who I care about don’t vote. Even if you don’t think the person you want to win will win or will win without your vote, more young people voting will show politicians that they need to create policies that benefit young people to try and get your votes in the future.
“We are giving away VIP tickets to Lost Lands or Bass Canyon Festival to a random person in the U.S. who checks their registration through our www.Headcount.org/Excision link. You can use that link or any other resource, doesn’t matter to me, as long as you register to vote in time for your country’s next election.”
Originally published on Forbes.com