Every Monday through Friday, we offer a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased tracks, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Speak My Language,” by Sub Swara from their 2010 album album Triggers on Low Motion Records.
Sub Swara began not as a group focused on recording and touring but as a monthly bass-heavy club night organized by Brooklyn-ite Dhruva Ganesan. The night became wildly successful and played an instrumental role in New York’s electronic scene during its three-year tenure, featuring a number of prominent DJs and producers and molding the local scene around its focus on bass-centric beats. In 2008, Ganesan turned his focus over to making a name for Sub Swara as a touring and recording group. Along with producer Dave Sharma, Ganesan released Sub Swara’s debut album Coup d’Yah that June. Following Coup d’Yah‘s success, the duo released the follow-up Triggers in November of 2010.
Sub Swara’s music straddles several genres, and the group often enlists the help of vocal and instrumental collaborators to diversify their sound. Today’s featured song, “Speak My Language,” falls squarely on the hip hop side of things, as Dead Prez lay down hard-hitting rhymes down over Ganesan and Sharma’s intense, bass-heavy beats. More than anything, the song is powerful and in-your-face, and the collaboration with Dead Prez works perfectly as their uncompromising rhymes mesh well with the song’s explosive bass and energetic pace.
Though they are an electronically-based group, Sub Swara place a premium on the live performance, and it isn’t hard to imagine how intense their shows, which routinely feature live instrumentation, can get after listening to “Speak My Language.” After touring last fall to promote Triggers, Sub Swara doesn’t appear to be playing any shows in the near future aside from some dates in Colorado in February. Check back with duo’s website for updates. For now, here’s an interview of Ganesa and Sharma discussing all things Sub Swara: