EP Review: Subjoi – Fairfax [Lobster Theremin]

Australian electronica starlet Subjoi has always had a fairly consistent sound which has made him one of the most exciting house DJ’s down under. The Adelaide based artist’s lo-fi beginnings have seen him have some success in the past, with well-rounded releases like 2017’s Flashing Lights EP serving as snapshots of his potential.

The lo-fi house scene is a crowded field, which seemingly is still having its “moment” in the spotlight. Fitting then that Subjoi’s latest EP Fairfax should be released via Lobster Theremin, one of the foremost labels for lo-fi releases. Fairfax builds on Subjoi’s base with a little experimentation thrown in for good measure.

Title track "Fairfax" is a real standout here, with its 90s-inspired synths cascading over energetic bassy drums. The looped vocals have a ravey vibe which casts your mind back to dark, sweaty dancefloors and simpler times. "Drownin" infuses Subjoi’s signature sound with garage elements which can be heard in the drums and vocals. The delicate background sounds provide a nice stylistic compliment and bring the track together nicely.

"Like It Was" has a slightly softer feel to it in comparison with the rest of the EP. The track is fairly stripped back with only very sparse vocal elements across the track and gentler synths in comparison with the harder hitting "Fairfax." However, the song does provide a nice linking element between "Fairfax" and "Drownin" and is an enjoyable track.

The final two tracks- "Shelter Me" and "When You Love Me"- are more reminiscent of Subjoi’s earlier releases but both have interesting elements which give them a refreshing sound. "Shelter Me" has an infectious groove which remains throughout the track, with some slick changeups particularly at the middle point where the synths are dialed back. The closing track "When You Love Me" is a more traditional lo-fi house track with subtle synths and lightly filtered vocals. However, the tropical beat underlying the track adds a unique ingredient to the mix.

Fairfax is an interesting release from Subjoi and certainly feels like the Aussie is playing with some new sounds, while still managing to keep the signature components of his sound intact. This latest EP goes down as one of his strongest as he looks to gain a place amongst the upper echelons of house artists.

Stream the full release below and get a copy on Bandcamp.