Hi Caspa, thanks for taking the time to chat to us. How is 2014 shaping up for you so far?
Yeah great, lots of changes but sometimes that's a good thing. I'm working hard to keep things exciting.
Ever since you and Rusko hooked up for "Fabriclive 37" Dubstep fans know that a mix from yourself is something to get very excited about, can you tell us a little about the thought process that went into compiling this mix?
I wanted to represent everything that I play in my DJ sets. That's the first objective, it has to be real. Secondly is making it all flow and fit together nicely, and that's what takes the time. I had enough tunes to do two mixes but that probably would have been a bit much!
It is almost 7 years since your seminal "Fabriclive 37" mix did you expect it to be so popular and have such longevity before it was released?
Honestly, yeah, because I knew what we were doing was game changing. Dub Police (my label) is 10 years old this year, that's something I didn't expect to ever hear or see!
Dubstep Sessions 2014 is featuring some of the most established names in the scene along side some names which maybe won't be as familiar to people, can you tell us about some of the up and coming artists in the mix and how you came across their music?
A lot of the artists are up and coming, and most of them are signed with Dub Police. They are the future of what we are doing, and are the guys to actually take this into the future. Variations having been coming to our shows for a while and eventually gave me a CD. I heard it and was straight on the phone to them to sign them up. I heard Mydas when he sent me a link on Facebook, which normally is full of crap! But I could hear the potential in his sound and what he was doing. It's great when it happens like that, that's always the best way!
While other superstars of the Dubstep scene appear to be somewhat shunning their dubstep roots, you seem to be remaining true to the scene and refreshingly this mix seems to be filled with as many warps and wobbles as in your previous work, was it a conscious decision to stay true to your roots for the CD?
I'm just doing what I love, and I still love it. It's not secret, just that simple.
Lots of defectors from the scene has made space for some enormously talented and exciting producers/DJs/Record labels coming from the Dubstep scene recently, are you excited about the direction that Dubstep is heading in?
I'm excited to hear where it's going to be in a few years, it's all changing so quickly. I'm very excited about we are doing and where we are going!
Was the mix recorded on vinyl or CDJs?
It was done at my studio on my computer, but I practiced and tested a lot of mixes on my CDJs before hand.
We hear that you have some special plans for a live event here in London in April, can you tell us a little bit more about that please?
It's our first Dub Police of 2014, and it's very special to us. We have worked very hard to put something together which is a bit different to a club show. We are trying to take it back to basics. Just a room, a warehouse space, with a nice soundsystem and great line-up, keep it simple!
District deliveries seem to land but once a year, and each one has been a full-frontal, multi-style show stopper. This is no exception as we find him exploring the true spirit of dub on "Roy's Theme" by way of a slow and steady 4/4 that kicks through the wonderfully mournful sonic sludge. "Aftermath" continues this pensive theme but does so with gurgling sub bubbles and an array of iced-out mechanical flourishes. "Tempest" completes the set with the darkest message of the EP thanks to its electro bass murmurs, brutal halfstep and vicious FX. Exceptional contemporary dubstep.
Dancehall don Sizzla presents a deep, emphatic sermon on meekness over a sharp steppy beat and crisp oriental strings. Shooting wide on a remix flex, Muti Music have curated a full spectrum selection: from Benny Page's reggae skanks to Son Of Kick's stampy bass hype via the deep tribal drum dynamics of I Said No's rub and Andreilien's tropical snaps and slams, each and every take adds a whole new chapter to Sizzla's captivating narrative.
Fat Kid On Fire come though with their seventh release, this time by 17-year old Parisian bass-wonder, Argo. Sharp snares, brutal kicks and razor sharp bass feature on the deep and atmospheric "Hundred", while "Plan B" utilises a sinister vocal sample which takes things in a very dark halfstep direction. Machine gun sonics, savage walls of powerful low end and driving percussion make up the last original, "Seek", while "Asylum" gets a remix from Living Proof, who turns in a real head nodder worthy of Argo's originals, accented by some tasty dub influences. Highly recommended!
Prescott's sound has certainly matured since he emerged in 2010. Breaking through on Nice Up with raw bootleg badness, his gradual movements into authentic contemporary dub have proven his skills as both a musician and a man who understands successful dub dynamics. Highlights across this deep and meditative Liondub debut include the spooked out echoes and trembles of "The Eight Devils", the lonely oriental flutes and strings of "A State Of Mind" and the dark, pensive drama of "Moving In The Shadows". A true dub ninja, Prescott's rise is one that commands complete respect.
Deep Medi's Turkish mastermind makes a comeback on the Innamind imprint with a pounding, raucous bundle of hefty kick-snares. It's the kind of tune that gets people into an utter state in the dancehall, and one which you'd imagine Mala dishing out. His remix of Lurka's "Refresher" is equally as piercing and doubly nasty. Highly recommended!
Konvex has been mesmerising us with his voodoo-infused sound on a variety of labels and now arrives with two new bombs on Wheel & Deal. "Antimatter" takes things down a minimal route, with a stark, but cleverly layered, tropical digital drum pattern escalating to delirious heights. Wayfarer takes the tune into meatier, stop-start dubstep territory and "Parallel" awakens Konvex's techno influences for some thumping good er, thump. Solid.
Hard-working experimental dubstep types Downliners Sekt are masters of the deep, woozy, claustrophobic groove. This third full length - their first for acclaimed French imprint Infine - is jam-packed with such moments of smoky goodness, all soft-focus rhythms, dubwise chords and long-drawn out pads. It's intoxicating, all right, and evokes hazy memories of sitting in smoke-filled rooms early in the morning, feeling strangely in tune with the bubbling, off-kilter rhythms seeping from the speakers. Highlights are pleasingly plentiful, from the jumpy dreaminess of "This American Life" and vintage Hyperdub deepness of "Eiger Dreams", to the cascading pianos and field recordings of "Junior High" and tough, dancefloor-focused "Once Mercurial".
Nodding to the resurgence of dark and edgy grime, Rinse snap up this EP from Celestial Trax which makes a more bold interpretation of the icy subtleties of Wen and co. "No More" treads on nervy string stabs and gun shot samples that dart around the mix with that agoraphobic amount of space that typifies the newer strains of the genre. "Wax Forest" moves away from gritty urbanisms towards a more esoteric, electronica influenced soundworld, but without losing the concurrent atmospheric tones from the opening track. "Blockx" meanwhile gets crafty with a snappy rhythm and some tense string notes, while "Sinner" lets a little trap influence loom over the drums, and "Sutekh" settles for the most dank and oppressive of vibes on the whole EP. "A Cross" brings a wry finish to proceedings with an approximation of jungle tropes completely repositioned in the curious world that Celestial Trax inhabits.
Burgeoning half-step D&B producer Epilleptech steps up to Terra Null with this immersive EP of psychoactive rhythms and pulses that carry the torch from the Autonomic days. "Nyctophobia" does a fine job of dirtying up its basslines while all around patter crisp drum lines and spooky atmospherics, before "Natural Selection" heads into a more overtly unhinged head space that revolves around an existential speech sample. "Peru" goes down its own path into intricate percussive lines with a tribal twist about them, both spiritual and menacing in the same bar, and then "Premonition" delivers the finishing blow with a slow-paced lurch leaving all the more room for the bass to growl out.
Little is known about Parisian producer Cyborg (other than that he hails from Paris). However, mystery, if worked correctly, can be the biggest key to success in the music biz, so let's just go with it. "Shadowdriver Vol 1" is the nearest we've got to a long player from the Born In 1986 and Sex & Desire producer. Proceedings begin with the ominously theatrical "Ouverture" before embarking on the choppy Gallic synth pop of "Awake", the skewed RnB pop of "Face To Face" and the velvety luxuriance of "Virtual Love". Very '80s, very Kavinsky and very cool!
Not to be confused with the nu-disco act of the same name, Kool FM's Squarewave has been making big noises on the London scene since his early D&B days as well as with his more recent group Nasha Experience. Lately though he's been concentrating on dropping some fierce beats via his own New World Audio label and this here is his latest bomb. "Time Kills" sees him hook up with MCs Celph Titled and Faez One for a menacing hip-hopper - all stark trappy verses that marries meaty bottom end with flighty top end melodies.