JDNB Interview - Conrad Subs
Conrad Subs (real name Ad Krolik) has been producing Drum & Bass Jungle music for 20 years. He has gone under many names in the past: ADK, Nifty and Sulako to name a few, but after taking a small break he returned to production in 2017 under the new alias Conrad Subs and quickly established himself as a rising talent in the scene.
Early releases on labels such as Soul Deep, Inna Rhythm and DJ Hybrid’s Deep in the Jungle showcased Conrad’s diverse sound - Liquid, Jump Up, Jungle… All styles were present in his arsenal, and things quickly gained momentum.
Fast forward a few years and Subs now has a wealth of dancefloor classics in his discography, from the massive ‘Leave Dem’ on Nuusic, the irrepressible ‘Dance’ on his own MAAD TING! imprint, to a feast of dancefloor fire on Deep in the Jungle including anthems such as ‘Come Selecta’, ‘Rough Beats’, Special Request’ and ‘The Rhythm’. With other releases on highly respected labels such as Program, Dread, Delta9, Soulvent, Original Key, Liondub and Colab, plus a 2019 We Love Jungle Awards nomination for Best Breakthrough Producer, there is no stopping Conrad Subs. His latest release 'Glory' which is out now on Liondub International is definitely setting the standards for 2021, we had a little catch up to find out more.
Thanks for talking to us. How have you been keeping yourself occupied during the Covid-19 Pandemic?
Well I lost my day job early on in the year so I was at home with nothing to do for 5 months other than try and homeschool my kids and make music. I did a lot in that time, not just writing music but also doing lots of live streams, as well as starting a little label of my own called ‘Deep Pan’. I also started doing monthly podcasts on streaming service Keakie, as well as starting up my Patreon page and running my other label ‘MAAD TING!’... So yeah, just a few bits to stop me getting bored ha! I started working again in September so I’m back to juggling my time a bit.
Tell us a little bit about where you're from, and where you get your musical background from?
I’m from Ipswich, UK. My musical background has basically come from a lifetime of listening to Drum & Bass Jungle and just living it pretty much. I discovered it in 1995 and it’s had me hooked ever since.
What do you like doing in your spare time away from music?
My spare time is pretty much non existent haha, it’s either spending time with my family or music, I don’t do anything else.
What would you say first got you into jungle / drum and bass and was there a standout tune that got you hooked?
Well it was just so different to anything I had ever heard, and also a complete mystery. Because it was so underground you had to really do your homework if you wanted to find out anything about who was making the music and how they were doing it. Tracks like LTJ Bukem ‘Music’ and Goldie ‘Inner City Life’ are two tracks that really stood out to me back when I first heard Jungle, also Splash ‘Babylon’. Just complete re-educations for me on what music could be like.
What's the best bit of advice you can give to up and coming producers when trying to get their tracks listened to by a label?
Don’t give up. You will be ignored 90% of the time, and the rest will be a mix of having your time wasted, being let down and occasionally getting feedback. The doors aren’t going to open on first knock, you have to fight to get yourself heard. That and… don’t be a twat, most people you deal with are doing this thing off their own backs purely for love. We’ve all got to work together.
With so many releases this year and i imagine plenty of time spent in the studio, how do you balance studio time with family time?
Yeah it’s hard, it’s just about finding time for both. It’s the other stuff that gets sacrificed like watching TV or movies or going down the pub etc. To prioritise my Family and Music I’ve basically given up everything else.
So many great producers have come from the East Anglia region including Liondub Internationals ‘Pharoah’. Is there anyone from that region you would love to do a collaboration with?
Yeah that’s easy, Digital or Photek…. Or both ha! Not just great producers but game changing artists.
What does your studio/DJ setup consist of?
My studio is pretty simple, I’ve got a Dell i5 laptop running Reason, some Adam Audio T7V monitors and an Akai APK Mini. I also use some Audio Technica ath-m50x headphones for reference and producing late at night when the kids are in bed. As far as DJ set up I just use the Pioneer DDJ-400 controller at the moment.
What would you say has been your biggest achievement so far within the drum and bass scene?
Oh man that's hard, so much has happened in the last couple of years that has been a dream come true material… Releasing music with Dread and Program this year was crazy, and getting the opportunity to remix tracks I’ve grown up listening to like Demolition Man - ‘Fire’ and DJ Rap - ‘Rumble’. Plus getting nominated as best breakthrough artist at last years We Love Jungle Awards was amazing.
If you could remix one track from Liondub International, which one would it be?
Ooh there’s a few, I’d love to give ‘the Best’ by Bou a little Urban Takeover style remix, it’s got that sort of bassline to it.
Great to see you have a release on Liondub International with ‘Glory’ and great artwork too. How did the link up come about?
Well I had a Street Series EP out a while ago, and Eriks so professional to work with so I sent him another batch of tracks. They’ve been ready a while but obviously Covid threw a spanner in the works. I’m really happy with how it’s all shaped up though. Liondub International is such a respected label it’s an honour to be able to release music on there.
Anything else planned to come out on Liondub International in the future?
Yeah I’ve got a couple of remixes on the forthcoming Parly B remix LP which has been great fun to be a part of.
Name your top 5 Liondub International tracks?
In no order:
Nightfall Dub - Bladerunner
The Best - Bou
War Start - Kumo
Junglizm - Saxxon & Navigator
Shockin Out - DJ Hybrid
What would you say you like most about the www.jungledrumandbass.co.uk website?
Just having somewhere dedicated to championing this music with interviews and reviews etc, it's nice to have a go to spot to catch up on what’s hot.
Thanks for your time. Lastly any thanks or shoutouts?
Thanks for getting me involved! Big shout to Liondub for the support and putting this EP out there, also big shout to J.O.E & 4D for supporting me from day dot. And also to every single person listening and supporting what I do, it means a lot. Big ups.
'Glory' by Conrad Subs is out now on Liondub International: Download / Stream Here
Conrad Subs Socials:
Liondub International Socials:
Interview and Edited By: Chilla