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Substax - Xtra Album Review

11 Jan 2006 // A review by claudia
When you've got urban soul founded in the heart of Aotearoa pumping right into your veins, stream of consciousness can be an amazing thing.

And the hypnotising opening tracks of Electro Soul Plane by Substax provoked all manner of imagery.

This virtual journey began where I found myself in an airport lounge watching the world fly by, then change of track and tact, and I'm an undercover agent in a console shoot 'em up. I'm then shot back to reality, where the song and scene transports me to a desolate street where I'm caught in a rainstorm, until I find solace in a nearby cafe....

Sounds bizarre, but Electro Soul Plane is one of those albums with the ability to awaken the mind's eye - whether it be on headphones at your desk, speakers of your car or cranked through a large PA- you're certainly not going to be switched off.

With its eclectic fusion of spacey synths, smooth vocals, funked-up 70's disco, and stylish sampling and overlays, you'll find something unique in each of the twelve tracks ranging from upbeat breaks to downtempo soul.

The Substax squadron comprises the audio due of Nick Farrands and Jason Johnston, vocalist and songwriter Claudia Gunn and video artist Janine Randerson. Farrands is the producer behind the Substax sound with Johnston heading art direction. The group formed in London eight years ago and their work includes multi-media installations, film, television and radio work, collaborations with kiwi breaks DJ Timmy Schumacher, and now a debut album.

Electro Soul Plane has been released under Sugarlicks records - a label born from a long running club night at Khuja Lounge bar in Auckland, where performers from all artistic backgrounds are given five minutes of expressive freedom. After an overwhelming response Sugarlicks records was established to promote and release urban soul music from New Zealand to the rest of the world.
The album will be toured with a full video rig later in the year. Support New Zealand music and arouse your mind to the addictive flavours of Substax.

By Jaimee Astle

About Substax

New Zealand alternative electronic music act Substax are genre bending pioneers of electro soul and breakbeat. Based in Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau, they produce a unique fusion of soul, funk, breakbeat and deep house. Reviewers describe their sound as everything from "epic downbeat" to "achingly beautiful", "seductive" (Remix Magazine) and "speaker cone cracking breakbeat" (Waikato Times). They are renowned both for their downtempo epic downbeat as well as breakbeat influenced club tracks.

The act is the audio duo of producer, Nick Farrands and vocalist/producer Claudia Gunn. Farrands is the co-founder of a boutique club night in Auckland, Videotech, which features the work of VJ and co-founder Rachel Dreyer. Gunn, is an award winning children’s music producer in her own right and brings her singer-songwriter craft to Substax productions.

The act has been involved with numerous compilation releases, renowned music festival and club performances and had strong support from alternative radio and NZ dance music station, George FM, over the years.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Substax


Linear Shift
Year: 2022
Type: Album
Electro Soul Plane
Year: 2005
Type: Album

Other Reviews By claudia

Substax - Beam Me Up Scotty
11 Jan 2006 // by claudia
'Substax are the new kids on the block in the emerging New Zealand breaks scene. In a musical genre affectionately known as the bastard child of all things electric, Substax are dedicated to a sound that adds and cuts the phat in all the right places.
Substax - Play Records Album review
11 Jan 2006 // by claudia
Having provided the soundtrack for many memorable moments at Splore parties and the like for a number of years, Substax finally touch down with their debut full-length; a veritable cornucopia of warming beats and bass for the chilly winter months. Primarily regarded as a breaks outfit (Timmy Schumacher cut his production teeth with Substax), Electro Soul Plane opens up the field to include a wide array of styles, all undertaken with considerable aplomb.
Substax - Moshpit meets the martini set
11 Jan 2006 // by claudia
Electro Soul Plane from it's ambient soundscapes on 'Music for Airplanes' to their Massive Attack meets DJ Shadow eeriness of 'Lost in Transit' to the streetwise and fun jaunt of 'What Up?', is more than just a breaks record...
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