Artist: Subtle

Date Released:

Label: Lex

Produced By:


  1. Swanmeat
  2. Beck - Farewell Ride (Subtle Remix)
  3. I Heart LA II feat. Hrvatski
  4. By Hook
  5. Long Vein of the Voice feat. Mike Patton
  6. F.K.O. (Console Remix)
  7. Ms. John Soda - I@#8127 (Subtle Remix)
  8. Swan Song Meat feat. Fog


As far as the left field is concerned, its a brightly painted bucket brimming with eagerly outlandish artists who each have their personal small audience unto themselves. What draws us to these addictingly weird creatures? What keeps us picking up every side-project self-released EP they put together with some friend of friend’s recording equipment and a handful of mushrooms? Is originality the answer? I’m not really sure, (does it matter?) but I do know, for myself, Bay Area emcee/collaborator extraordinaire Doseone is one of these addictions. From his initial recordings with Boom Bip to his avant-pop outbursts with cLOUDDEAD, I followed merrily. Subtle, a collaboration between the aforementioned Doseone, Anticon labelmate Jel, Dax Pierson, Marty Dowers, Jordan Dalrymple and Alexander Kort, lies somewhere between the free rap of Themselves (Doseone, Jel and Dax) and their more ethereal pop-inspired collaboration with The Notwist, 13 & God. Not quite falling on either side of the spectrum, Subtle rides an unexplored sound wave between chamber pop and avant-hop, with moderate success. The chopped up and re-re-re-sampled music is consistently entertaining for the most part, but gets a bit tedious at times. Doseone spits prose with the speed of an auctioneer, while the other band members, strapped at any one time with electronic and kit drums, three keyboards, three samplers, guitar and melodica, paint the equivalent of postmodern abstractionism, a sort of skewed refinement. ‘Wishingbone’ is an EP/mini-album featuring five new songs and three remixes, all variations on songs from their previous album, A New White,’ except for remixes of Beck’s Farewell Ride and Ms. John Soda’s I@#8127. Some songs miss their mark, like the haunting Long Vein of the Voice featuring everyone’s favorite noisemaker, Mike Patton, but for the most part, ‘Wishingbone’ is a solid outing. Other contributors include Hrvatski, Lex-label mates Fog and a show stealing remix of F.K.O. by Console. It’s good to hear from the band again after it’s unfortunate tour van accident that left band member Dax Pierson a quadriplegic. A second proper full-length from Subtle, For Hero: For Fool, is in the finishing stages and due out soon. Mpardaiolo

Further readingEdit

(links to websites, additional reviews, fansites, books, periodicals or any additional information on the album)

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