Subheim is the performing solo moniker of Berlin-based composer Kostas Kastikas. “I have been quite silent for a while but that is changing soon,” Kostas told us. “The new material is far from the strong ethnic/cinematic aspects that were prominent in my latest LP from 2010, yet still carries the Subheim sound.”
If you haven’t heard of Subheim yet, be prepared to find out all about him and his music below.
“My name is Kostas K. I am responsible for everything that results into tunes I release under the Subheim moniker: from recording source material out of which I create percussive textures to developing musical phrases from all sorts of (usually poorly played) instruments as well as by sampling music from my record collection. Occasionally I collaborate with artists whose music work and personality fascinates me.”
THE BAND SAYS
“Subheim started out as my personal creative vehicle and continues this way. Everything I experience, my feelings as a result of my surroundings and interactions, the changes that the passing of time brings; they are all present. That explains why every album will sound different from the previous one. The idea is to make no compromises as to what the tunes should sound like. If I wake up one morning and decide I want to write a techno album, I won’t think twice: I’ll simply do it.”
THE PRESS SAYS
“Bass lines at center stage, NLCH is a masterpiece of tumultuous electronics and penetrating rhythms meant more for midnight desert gatherings or full theater engagements rather than individual headphone listening.”
“With his lush atmospheres, deep beats and experimental glitchy goodness, Subheim manages to weave all of my favorite elements into one cinematic journey.”
SHARED THE STAGE WITH
Bohren & Der Club of Gorre, Bersarin Quartett, Hecq, Mobthrow, Detritus, Svarte Greiner, Nadja, Monolog.
Approach LP (CD / Tympanik Audio, 2008), (2×12” / Denovali, 2011)
No Land Called Home LP (CD, 12” / Ad Noiseam, 2010)
If you had a label what local band(s) in Berlin would you sign?
Mobthrow, Ben Lukas Boysen, Kangding Ray, Greg Haines, Field Rotation.
Who or what inspires you?
Anything and everything that has the ability to move me, whether words, sounds, images or people I come across in everyday life. I am a sucker for sad music, almost to the extent that anything written on a major melodic scale is simply not resonating with me. I love those artists who push limits, who dare to fuse together elements in ways that others have not. Take FSOL for example and how they masterfully blended two (or more?) different musical worlds in Dead Cities. People like them paved the way for endless composing possibilities and I have always been trying to take this kind of thinking as an influence and explore things beyond the boundaries we often set to ourselves without even noticing it. Music and literature that has the ability to take me somewhere else instantly sparks composition ideas in my head. But the trigger may also lie in the simplest of things such as the sound of wind or traffic, a great dnb tune I’d hear in a club and forget later, some stranger talking on the street or just the image of a stray dog. There is truly so much out there serving as an influence as to how I approach my creative process that I could fill countless pages.
Future Subheim plans?
I have been quite silent for a while but that is changing soon, starting with a 4-track EP which I am currently in the process of completing. This is to be released on vinyl later this year. Also working with full focus on my 3rd LP, which I am hopeful to have finished by the end of 2014. The new material is far from the strong ethnic/cinematic aspects that were prominent in my latest LP from 2010, yet still carries the Subheim sound if you know what I mean. It is more straightforward, dark and more electronic. It is very much a reflection of my mindset and life over the last four years, a lot has happened on a personal level and expressing all this with new, different music was the natural thing to do. I like to call it aggressive ambient, a term a friend coined. It’s funny but somehow very fitting to the tunes I’ve been working on over the last three years.