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These are the winners of DJ Mag’s Best of North America awards 2023

todayAugust 2, 2023 15

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These are the winners of DJ Mag’s Best of North America awards 2023

North America holds a soft spot for hard-hitting dubstep and leftfield bass, and so it’s hardly a shock that Philadelphia’s Subtronics would score this year’s Best DJ win. From an early age, the artist born Jesse Kardon expressed a talent for drums, first playing in a middle school jazz band before deepening his knowledge at the esteemed Paul Green School of Rock. He eventually dropped out of college to pursue music full-time — a move that’s paid off tenfold.

Formal training certainly set the tone for his meteoric rise, where in just a few years he ascended to headliner status. An act who’s down to exit his comfort zone in the studio or on stage, Kardon’s recently brought his versatile stylings to sold-out shows at Red Rocks Amphitheater and the Kia Forum in Los Angeles, as well as major festivals like EDC Las Vegas and Lost Lands, among countless others.

“My favourite moments on stage are when I remember to appreciate how hard I have worked to be in that exact moment,” Kardon tells DJ Mag about the feelings that overcome him when he’s behind the decks. “All the work I put in day in and day out, all the stress and anxiety so that everything can go as well as possible. To actually take a second and pause, step outside my tunnel vision, and appreciate how lucky I am to be doing this.”

But there’s more than luck at play when analysing Subtronics’ success — there’s a fearlessness in his approach, made evident in his sometimes melodic, sometimes relentless 2022 debut album ‘FRACTALS’, as well as the remix and VIP-filled follow-up ‘ANTIFRACTALS’, which arrived later that year. According to Kardon, the development of that project helped bring new dynamism to his high powered stage show.

“‘FRACTALS’ was a demonstration that my sound has matured, grown, and evolved into a far wider dimension of styles and range. It means my sets are far more of a journey, versus trying to beat people over the head with heavy music for an hour straight,” he explains. “I have always loved so many different styles of music, so finally taking that leap and showing off the entire spectrum of my musical pursuits — as scary as it was — was just so outrageously rewarding.”

Fans who’ve been along for the ride are also well aware of Subtronics’ collaborations with sax-man GRiZ, as well as fellow Best of North America winner, John Summit, in which the two spin a riotous bass-house blend. “We always laugh at how similar our tastes are across the board — I really think most people enjoy most genres, so it’s not a huge surprise we both like a bunch of the same stuff,” Kardon shares of working with his friend. “I have always loved house music and never worked up the courage to previously put myself out there with it — it was a huge weight off my shoulders, and overall it’s an exciting project because it’s something I’ve always felt passionate about and wanted to explore.”

Regarding what’s next for Subtronics, there’s his wedding for starters, and loads on the artistic front, too. “I have a laughable amount of new, unreleased music, so my immediate goal is to finish those tracks and start sharing this next chapter with everyone,” he reveals. “I can’t mention everything we have in motion, but the future holds tons of new music, events, clothing lines, visual art, and hopefully, awesome immersive Subtronics experiences.” MEGAN VENZIN

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Written by: Artificial Intelligence Technology

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