"SUBPAC has changed the way I mix records permanently. It filled a void for every producer out there not only seeking a different form of monitoring, but just from a pure pleasure listening standpoint in their home or stage environments to connect, zero in, and understand low end on a level not yet done with sub woofers."
Q&A with Only Now about the SUBPAC:
What role does “feeling” play in the music you make and love?
The feeling of the bass shapes everything I do, as a sound engineer and man who loves extreme frequencies, bass is the most physical and forceful feeling in the entire sound and music world.It exudes the pressure of the Earth, Mountains, and huge man made machines. It’s difference between hearing music and being subjugated and part of it, with no choice. It’s confrontation and relaxation, and it’s a very essential element of what I do.
Has the SUBPAC changed the way you create, produce or mix music?
It’s totally changed the way I mix music. I always struggled with finding the right amount of sub having an awkward studio room, or even with a nice studio, it’s so subjective. With the feeling, I can compare good references and create space and impact based on feeling, which would always be the big difference from an ideal track to a song that wasn’t ideal at the club in person. It’s also helped me clean up low end on non bass instruments, or , find interesting bass in unconventional spaces. i’ve worked with it on and off for a few years and it’s drastically improved my low end overall. I’ve also spared my hearing by monitoring late at night on headphones lower, which if anything, is a reason alone to buy this. Read More...
How could “physical audio” change our relationship to sound and music in the future?
Physical audio can change the way we feel about music in the future, because at this point, 90 % of the world is listening to music on headphones or non physically impacting devices. A whole generation is missing out on the speaker situation unless they go to a concert, which is a pretty limited environment to really sit, absorb, and enjoy music. When you feel music and create with that in mind, it changes the entire 3d space that it sits within, and helps frame a picture that wasn’t there. I see the future being as much about feeling music as just hearing the notes. We see that in installation, and occasionally in festival environments at super high volumes, but it’s not just about volume, it’s about identifying frequencies at different stages of the body, and the emotion and sensations that come from that. I’m all about that and as far as I’m concerned Sub pac is leading the way on that.
What excited you about the Feel SUBPAC project?
Having music designed by such a talented group of people that’s supposed to immerse the body, ears, and mind, in sensation with a key for low end is extremely exciting to me. Sitting back and hearing music optimized for full frequency listening is something hard to find, even within a record of people who may be featured on this site. I like the curated aspect of this and it’s something I’ve been waiting for as a sub, surround, audio nerd my entire life. I look forward to contributing more as well.
ABOUT ONLY NOW:
Only Now is the land where cyberpunk visions, ancient rhythms, and cult explorations into cosmic sound collide for profound results. Tuned metal, proto-real synthesis, and obsidian walls of atmosphere make up this reality unto itself. The project is a result of San Francisco based Kush Arora, who for over 19 years has produced uncompromising underground music. Whether he’s making Indo Caribbean dancehall, reworking kuduro, or creating ambience, his signature sound traverses genre lines and connects dots few dare to combine. Influences can be heard from Buraka Som Sistema to Wax Trax Records and haunting film soundtracks peppering Only Now. Definitions can only describe so much, Only Now’s roots lie with unbridled experimentation and wall of sonic low end. Read More...
With more than 19 years of experience and a dozens of records discography, Kush Arora has branded his own imprint on forward thinking cultural music in San Francisco and beyond. On one hand he’s known for his Indo Carrbiean dancehall influenced riddims and vocal collaborations, but his discography reveals a constant juxtaposition of these sounds with the outer realms of industrial and more classic electronic styles.
Over the last few years he’s cut tunes with Gappy Ranks, Stereotyp, Jahdan Blackkkamoore, and Dreadsquad , and remixed artists Elephant Man, Cutty Ranks, Spoeke Mathambo, Balkan Beat Box to name just a few. Kush’s releases can be found on labels from New York to Lisbon, and his ability to break genre lines has had him sharing stages with everybody from Flying Lotus to The Bug. Kush DJ’s an FM Radio show on California’s oldest and largest independent station 94.1FM KPFA out of Berkeley called Surya Dub. Whether you catch him on the road with Baile funk singer Zuzuka Poderosa, dj’ing, or doing live PA/AV performances under his alias Only Now: it’ll always be a shade of his signature cult music.