Real Name:
Greg Hunter & Ryoji Oba
A peculiar and fascinating blend of cultures and musical worlds, that is the essence of SUBSURFING, the collective fronted by English producer/engineer GREG HUNTER and Japanese instrumentalist/producer OBI. Their acclaimed 12-inch/CD The Number Readers in 1994 was one of the absolute highlights on the ambient firmament, while with their debut album Frozen Ants (released on Apollo Records in May of last year) they extended their intriguing pandemonium of cutting atmospherics, enchanting Indian textures and deranged hi-tech dub, displaying a stunning virtuosity in the combined use of electronics and live instrumentation. Considering the respective backgrounds of Subsurfing's members, it's no wonder their hybrid mixture of styles comes as a refreshment to today's music scene. Obi, a trained Nohkan (Japanese classical flute) player in the Noh theatre (Japan's oldest performing arts), before moving to Europe produced several local pop artists in his home country. In Amsterdam he worked on the music accompanying Joel Ryan's novel The Number Readers, in Cologne he collaborated with Japanese artist Miwa on a project in which vocals were combined with music randomly generated by computers. Now based in London, where he established his own label AO Records, Obi' s output has never been more consistent: over the past two years he produced and/or remixed remarkable tracks such as Suzuki K1 & 7.5 cc's Satellite Serenade, Akiko Kanazawa's Tanto-Bushi and Secret Squirrel by The Saxophonettes; he also teamed up with the classic counter tenor singer Slava and worked on a new "garage ambient" project baptised Medium Fruit. Greg Hunter has an impressive track record as studio engineer and (co-)producer for a wide range of artists including Culture Club, Depeche Mode, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Erasure, System 7, Steve Reich, The Mission, Tom Jones and Gene Pitney. With Youth he worked on the Crowded House album Together Alone and produced Pandemonium by Killing Joke, in the field of dance music probably most noted was his engineering on the Orb albums Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld and U.F.Orb and his remix work with the band on Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells II and several Yellow Magic Orchestra tracks. Subsurfing is Greg's first own artistic venture. Obi and Greg first met in Tokyo, where The Orb were recording Assassin, and the pair immediately found a lot of common ground between them. Already during the first Subsurfing sessions at the Butterfly studio in London they attracted the attention of musicians like Kenji Jammer (Bomb The Bass, also collaborating with a.o. Tim Simenon and Keith LeBlanc in the live project Night Of Interference), Kris Weston, Charlie Hall (The Drum Club), Steve Hillage (System 7) and Youth. Some of them contributed to the Frozen Ants album and together with the band and other guest musicians Baluji (sitar, auto harp) and Jean (Chinese cello, kokyu) made it a brilliant electro-ethnic masterpiece. (1996)

Subsurfing Discography Tracks


Subsurfing - Frozen Ants album art Subsurfing Frozen Ants (Album) Apollo UK & Europe 1994 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

Subsurfing - The Number Readers album art Subsurfing The Number Readers (Single) AO Records UK 1994 Sell This Version

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May 21, 2003
Subsurfing is Greg Hunter and Obi. I know more about Greg than Obi - but both have broad musical pedigree. Greg was heavily involved in engineering for the Orb, especially early stuff like Ultraworld and UFOrb. He has subsequently created a beautiful arabic/indian masterpiece under the name of Alien Soap Opera with Amir Abdel Maghid (sorry if I got the spelling mixed up) in Cairo. He is also to be found as a regular in the System 7 and Juno Reactor lineups and as such has spent a lot of time working on the music for the two Matrix sequels. Find him also on other projects from the Electric Melt label and Liquid Sound Design. He worked with Youth (Killing Joke, The Fireman, Dragonfly/LSD/Butterfly records)to produce the Dub Trees album and he has produced another arabic excursion as Fifth Sun. In fact he's worked with so many well known names it is hard to understand why he isn't better recognized. He's even worked with Depeche Mode, Erasure, Tom Jones and Mike Oldfield to name but a few.

Subsurfing is a truly beautiful project - the title track Frozen Ants still gives me the chills a decade after I first heard it. If you like it, then seek out Alien Soap Opera and Lotus Blossoms(a project that sadly never made commercial release). Greg has worked on a follow up album called Metasurfing but, partly due to his perfectionism, he hasn't got a release set up for it yet.



November 9, 2001
edited over 17 years ago
Subsurfing is like many of those other early ninties acts that was created as a side project to something else. in itself it was nothing more than an interesting aside, but amongst the grand scheme of things The number readers is alongside some other works of mastery and invention. This ep is classical example of Genious work relegated to forgotten memories.
The Music is inspirational and sits easily alongside stuff like early Future Sound Of London, Air Liquide, Orb [the Orb were responsible for many offshoot bands like this in the early ninties], and Global Communication amongst others. Warp records owes alot to small labels like AO and the acts which those labels held, as its early works were directly inspired by the organic electronic sounds of the day.
Subsurfing the music, is an organic and cerebral excursion into music creation on another level. like as though the musicians were experiencing the sounds for the first time rather than exporting a sound already heard. Similar to Air Liquide [now Jammin' Unit], Seefeel, Suzuki k7, Juno Reactor, Plasikman, and some bill laswell and Mick Harris bass thrown in for added fantasticability. Subsurfing is the experience all the famous bands wanted to portray but couldnt and still cant.

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