Subeena

Avant-garde producer takes new creative direction with her own sound and Opit label.

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Subeena, aka Sabina Plamenova, is a 24 year old Italian producer that specialises in, well, nothing in particular. That is the beauty of it. Through years of self-released records on her previous label Imminent - formerly known as Immigrant Recordings - Subeena has unleashed some of the most indescribable electronic music in recent times, leading most recently to her 2009 single 'Solidify' on Planet Mu and upcoming appearance at Bloc festival. Her creations function as inter-texts; gently weaving genres into one another until any pre-determined concepts of her sound melt away in wonder. Though her music is hard-wired with rolling techno rhythms and finger-snap tight snares, the darker elements are uplifted by the saturating melody; where slow-building synths morph into uplifting loops, ultimately proving that no dance floor needs be obsessed with 140bpm to cause havoc. Since her Imminent days have ended, Subeena has returned with a brand new label named Opit Records. This latest journey will serve as a platform for not only her own material, but also that of producers close to her heart and ears.

Dazed Digital: What made you want to start your own solo label after Immigrant?
Subeena: I had been thinking about having my own label for a while - I just hadn't thought out the whole project in detail. I think I got used to putting out most of my music myself, so that was somehow in my plans anyway. Also, as much as this can sound like a cliché, I like having the chance to put out other producers' music that I think should be out there and has potential, especially by up and coming artists. However as Imminent was my first approach to it, I think that the experience I got between when I started Imminent and now has made me more confident and clear about how I will run a new label on my own.

DD: What can we expect from Opit in coming months?
Subeena: The first 12" just came out and has two tracks by myself. Coming up next is US producer Milyoo, with a three-track 12", and for forthcoming releases I am sorting out some of my own vocal stuff which I'm quite excited about, and a release by Bulgarian producers 1000 Names. I'm quite curious about the future because I didn't start the label with a specific project behind it, but it feels like it will take shape by itself.

DD: How would you describe your own sound?
Subeena: I've just gone through this phase of using quite a lot of melodies. I think it was partly a spontaneous reaction to what I was trying to do earlier, which I enjoyed, but I wasn't entirely sure of what I was doing and why. It was sounding kind of dark and very loopy, so as soon as I stepped out of it and started doing whatever, this 'new' sound came out. I guess I just had to let all this melodic stuff out of my system!  Although I love lots of sound effects like big delays, reverbs, beat repeats etc. as well, so every now and then I make one or two tracks with no melodies at all.  It's hard to say. One Japanese shop defined it "harmonious techno", and a friend of mine called it "monastic rave".

DD: Do you feel that a DIY approach to releasing music is becoming a more attractive option for producers today?
Subeena: I think it's definitely becoming more attractive and also more accessible, which can be good and bad at the same time. I think that if the label is run in the right way and with a certain type of commitment to it, it can give artists and their music the right exposure without having to depend on other people's schedules, decisions, or bad management and so on.  On the other hand it naturally caused an overload of new labels, which automatically means running the risk of your releases getting lost between thousands of others. Maybe for the same reason I've also been finding it harder to buy tunes recently; going through much bigger amounts of browsing before finding something I like.

DD: What would you like to achieve with Opit?
Subeena: I sometimes find it hard to try and picture it based on the conception of labels I've had so far, just because the 'industry' seems to be changing a lot and I am not sure of what the position of labels is going to be like in the next few years. As simple as it may sound I'd just want it to offer a good and wide choice of music of different sorts, rather than being the reflection of the sound I personally make. In fact, I hope to put out kinds of sound I like which I will probably never be able or willing to do myself.  I will definitely release my own tracks on it, but I'd hope to keep a good balance between my music and other artists' music.

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