Subhead is a completely unique techno act which has gone through various incarnations and different band members over the years. It’s sound is instantly recognisable the world over, having a well earned reputation for energetic live shows which mixes it’s core techno ammo with both hip hop sound aesthetics and a solid dose of punk rock attitude.
Jason Leach and Phil Wells originally met in London, forming the prolific experimental UK techno collective known as Subhead in 1995 and conceived a label to release their music and a series of parties to host their music. The following year they set up their self-titled label, releasing their own 12″s exclusively.
Soon after, Jamie Liddell joined the ambitious duo and helped them get their blossoming label off and running. He had a major involvement in Subhead releases 001 to 007 before eventually going on to collaborate with Cristian Vogel as Super_Collider in 1997.
As Subhead, Jason and Phil began churning out 12″ EPs, referring to them by volume number. Their esoteric sound won them a cult following, the tracks them selves retaining a heavy tendency towards a diverse integration of outside elements. Referring to the duo merely as techno artists is insufficient as they manage to integrate, amongst others, elements of hip-hop, electro and breakbeat.
In 1999, Phil moved to Tokyo where he became known as DJ Sueme, but the collaboration with Jason continued despite the geographical separation. In 2000, they finally broke with their habit of releasing vinyl only, when their debut album ‘Neon Rocka’ surfaced on legendary techno imprint Tresor.
Since then they’ve continued to release material on their Subhead label, founded sublabels 2CB and Xtras. They’ve also had a number of incredible releases on a multitude of respected labels including Don’t, Neue Heimat and Sativae.
Unfortunately, Phil passed away in December 2007 which was a tremendous loss to his family and techno kin alike. But Jason is keeping his memory alive by still bangin’ out releases and playing live sets under the Subhead banner, something which RIOT is very proud to be part of by hosting Jason on our shows and releasing his material on our labels.