In Thailand, the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak began to be felt mid-March with social distancing guidelines, travel restrictions, the closing of borders and airports, alcohol bans and ultimately a curfew. Some artists with tour schedules cancelled preemptively while others chose to hit the road in the hopes of delivering their final performances for the foreseeable future.
One of these artists got caught up mid-tour and had to ride out the worst of the pandemic via lockdown in Phuket. With some luck and help from good friends, he was able to turn what could have been a nightmare into a uniquely pleasant experience. This is Subb-an's story and how he ended up delivering a beautiful podcast for P14. Listen (and watch) the podcast below...
You rode out the majority of the virus pandemic in Phuket, can you tell us a bit about this experience and why you decided to stay in Thailand rather than heading home?
I was halfway through a tour in Asia in early March and ended up at Baba Beach Club in Phuket when things went from bad to worse. Obviously, the rest of the dates were all cancelled including shows in Hong Kong, Singapore, Jakarta and Bali whilst I was in Thailand. It was a difficult situation to make at the time to either stay in Thailand or head back to London. My girlfriend and I decided to stay in Thailand, for us the conditions were much better than being back in London. Our good friend Wan Issara accommodated us in Phuket at Sri panwa — talk about right place right time.
With curfew and lockdown restrictions in place, your activity choices must have been limited. How did you pass most of the time while you were on the island?
We were massively fortunate during the lockdown to be staying at Sri panwa. The contrast of being in a central London flat or Cape Panwa was incomparable. At Sri, we had access to being outdoors, to be able to exercise but mainly to be social. I also had access to a small studio set up through Wan so that enabled me to work remotely and as you can imagine that was hugely positive to be able to be creative.
There was a small crew that all got locked down together at Sri before all the heavy restrictions came into place and then the closure of the hotel — so there was no risk essentially. It's hard to explain the gratitude to have been positioned there, it goes without saying we were very lucky and that wouldn't have been possible without the amazing staff and team at Sri panwa and Wan Issara. After three, months good friends and strong bonds were made in a very surreal situation.
Tell us a bit about your selection for the P14 podcast, was there an artistic process involved in the song selection and are there any unreleased gems in there?
Actually, for this, it was more natural wanting to support music and labels from friends. Only thing I missed was selecting records from my vinyl collection in London which I had no access to.
We noticed you were using the E&S DJR400 for the podcast, what's your feedback on the mixer and what do you think about the growing Rotary culture?
I'm a huge fan of the mixer, it's simple but really smooth to mix on and sounds great. The rotary culture is great, there are some fantastic mixers out there with some real love going into the sound and design. You really feel that when you mix records, you blend a different way. In a club, it really translates too, there definitely is a noticeable difference using a rotary and two turntables.
You recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of your label 'One Records', please tell us what's in store for the remainder of 2020?
At the moment I’m busy in the studio and also halfway through a studio move to Hackney Wick. Release wise I have forthcoming tracks on Seven Hills, Small Hours and Moscow Records. Lots of unfinished works too…
Subb-an's P14 video podcast was recorded in Phuket at Underwood Art Factory. Special thanks to Sarit Narukatpichai for the rotary mixer, ClearVision Enterprises for the extra equipment and Oleg Golubev for the production and editing, Dmitry Varicap for the camera, and Jack Valera Ushakov for assisting.