Shine A Light On… Paul Cooper (Sub Squared)


Sub Squared head-honcho Paul Cooper keeps himself busy by running the label from the other side of the world. The label released Kloke's First Light EP at the end of last year and Paul has done rather stellar job of incorporating those tracks into this week's Shine A Light On mix.

To accompany the mix, we asked Paul a fair few questions to help us with our schooling;

Who are you?

Paul Cooper from Brighton, UK.

Where are you?

Now living in Melbourne, Australia.

What are you?

I've been running record labels since 2009. First Project Squared with Gordon Gieseking (who currently runs the Project Mooncircle label, I also used to pitch in with this one) and then Sub Squared on my own. Project Squared was concerned with Dubstep and Techno and the space where those genres crossed over. We released eight 12" records, including the first release from Asusu, now of Livity Sound, Blue Hour's first records back when he was releasing as Furesshu, Shifted's first remix and an assortment of releases from a bunch of other artists that have subsequently got bigger: AnD, Tom Dicicco, Kowton, L-OW and Craig McWhinney. Sub Squared is a bit more varied in terms of genre. So far there's been a UK Garage sounding record from Russian producer Ghostek, broken Techno from Craig McWhinney, a Techno / "130" sounding record from new producer Kurtane and then the most recent release from Kloke who I think manages to capture the aesthetic of Jungle in two 120bpm beat driven tracks and a seventeen minute side of dark ambient music. You can hear many of the tracks from the First Light EP by Kloke in the mix.

Where was the mix recorded?

In my front room. Most of it is from vinyl, with a few tunes digitally stitched in once the vinyl sections were recorded. I should really get a CDJ to avoid having to splice tunes in.

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

I find the most engrossing setting for listening to anything to be on headphones, at night when out walking.

What should we be wearing?

Whatever you like.

What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?

In common with most Djs, I never match my mixing at home when I'm playing out anywhere, so I would keep the location to the homestead. My sound system could certainly be upgraded. The best non-club speakers I ever heard were the ATC SCM150ASLs that Matt Colton used to use at Air Mastering. They'd do nicely. I still prefer to play on vinyl. Getting dubplates cut of unreleased stuff is a nice indulgence but I haven't done it for years.

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

I'm obviously feeling the Kloke tunes that I just put out but in an effort to diverge from the promo hyping for a moment Appleblim's Fluorescent had eluded me for a while. It was great to get that one out again. When the huge bassline drops there's an inducement of sort of euphoric stasis. I remember seeing him play a really late set at Plan B in Brixton with my mate Tim a few years ago. The vibe of the set was similar to this tune; impossible to categorise in terms of genre, massive depth, strange combinations of euphoria, power, emotion, darkness and a lot of dynamics. I haven't seen the man play since I came to Australia unfortunately.

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

There was a mix broadcast on Radio 1 by Dj Touché of The Wiseguys which introduced me to a lot of decent Hip Hop when I was about 13 or 14. I taped it off of the radio but lost the tape a long time ago. It started with a Dj Shadow tune that has a sample from the start of a space mission and some singing from a Bob James record. If anyone has a copy of it I would appreciate it immensely if they got in touch. More recently, that Exit The Lights Jungle mix was incredible.


If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

I wouldn't want to ruin any of my favourite Djs sets… I reckon going back to back for 24 hours with Goa Gill would be an experience never to be forgotten.

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

First up it was one Gemini deck and a little red mixer. I used to loop up breaks on my computer and learnt to scratch on the one deck. Now I've got a couple of 1200's and a Numark DXM06, which isn't great but has good enough EQs which are all I use to mix these days.

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?

When you're playing at a venue probably the track you start with to draw 'em in. Most people have left the club by the time I get to my last tune.

What were the first and last records you bought?

First that I can remember was a Sasha production with a vocal chorus that said "Let The Heavens Open". Go easy I was only about 11. The most recent was the slightly more credible latest record from Kowton and Peverelist.

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

Berbew.Qed Kale.

If it was an animal what would it be?

A Gang Of Ducks.

How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man?

You’ve surely got to be Cruising 8 Routes.

Apples or pears? Or stairs?

Hazel Blears.

What's the worst film you've ever seen?

I thought Lord Of The Rings 3 was a massive pile of shit but it was at a particularly cynical time in my life. With a rewatch maybe I could take it down as a bit of harmless, mindless fun.

How many umbrellas have you lost in your lifetime?

Fair few. I had a compact classic with a curved wooden handle that I used to like as it didn't break in the wind. The fucker managed to get lost at some point though.

What advice can you give someone who is colourblind?

This one's really got me stumped.

One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?

Winter's Voice by Lost Few.

Upcoming in the world of Kloke?

He's started a label called Hidden Waves for cassette tape and mp3 album length projects. So far there's one from a three piece group he's in called Travancore that do ambient, electronic, techno, noisey improvised music and also an ambient LP from Dan White as Rings Around Saturn.

Anything else we need to discuss?

Go out and buy all the Sub Squared records that you can get your hands on. Multiple copies. They’ll only appreciate in value. A much more reliable investment than shares, gold or credit default swaps. I think that'll do nicely. Thanks for hosting the mix, I hope your readers like it.

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