West London bass head, label owner and festival smasher Caspa has been at the forefront of the Dubstep scene from its humble beginnings. From the Fabric First CD which helped to bring the genre into the limelight things have gone from strength to strength. Currently globetrotting around the world from club to festival we caught up with the Dubstep don to talk about his new album.
Thanks very much for taking time out to speak to us! Can you tell the readers where you are in the world today and what you’ve been up to over the last 7 days?
I am in my home town of Fulham, London right now, just going through album press bits and bobs. This week I have been finishing a “behind the beats” mix and interview for Mistajam, a mini mix for Annie Mac, bouncing stems for remixes for the next single, along with album press interviews and phoners. I managed to make a new tune as well!
It’s fair to say that you are a true pioneering trailblazer. Thinking back to the early days, can you tell us what you think were some of the most important decisions you made were that helped you achieve such success?
One of the most important decisions for me and one that has paid off was starting my own label early on. It was a great way of establishing myself and getting new music for my sets and to release. The second thing was choosing to do the Fabric Live CD, the timing was perfect, I felt like it took Dubstep and put it on a pedestal to the world which helped blow us and the scene up internationally.
Obviously whatever decisions you made along the way certainly have helped you to become one of the most important players in the game. Does it ever feel surreal and how do you keep grounded if things start to get a bit Hollywood!?
It’s always been surreal to see where it’s come from and where it is now and all the things that I have done in between. I’m a grounded person anyway and I’m surrounded by good people, so I don’t need to worry about stuff like that.
As an elder statesman of the scene, and someone who is well respected for helping to develop young talent, what are three simple bits of advice you’d give to the fame hungry readers wanting to achieve a similar level of success as you?
1. A grand don’t come for free.
2. No one likes an idiot, don’t get high on your own supply.
3. Believe in yourself
You seem to be comfortable collaborating with others which isn’t something that everyone can do easily. Your new album features some great examples of this! What is the key to a good musical partnership and are there any dream team studio link ups you’d still like to do and why?
Working with people outside of your comfort zone is always going to be different, I think it’s easier and more enjoyable to work with like minded people. I’d love to work with a bunch of artists, but on a no pressure basis, just vibing in the studio. I’ve always wanted to work with Adele, Mavado and Mobb Deep.
The new album Alpha Omega contains a massive new body of work. What are your personal highlights and why?
Firstly they’re all my highlights – otherwise they wouldn’t have made it on the album. But my personal favourites would have to be “Sexy Beast” because it’s a real traditional Caspa dance floor track and I loved making “Smoke and Mirrors” with Geoff Smith, felt like it was a Depeche Mode meets Caspa track.
How long has the production process been going on for and does your constant touring help or frustrate the music making process?
Both albums have never been made sitting in the studio for a month trying to knock out as many tracks as possible. I like making music for albums over a period of time, I think it gives it more depth and diversity.
For all the young producers reading this interview, was there a particular piece or hardware / software that featured heavily in the new album, and could you possibly give us one cheeky tip or trick that you find really works well in the studio?
Yeah it’s a plug in and it’s called Caspa ☺. As for a production tip I’d say less is more, don’t over pack or push your tunes too hard, give them space and let them have dynamics.
Talking about the global bass scene now, just like with house music or techno, the longer dubstep has been around, the more strands and offshoots appear to evolve. It’s obviously very exciting but does it worry you that potentially the scene will become too fragmented with some styles being viewed more favourably than others by the fans or media? How do you keep on top of this constant evolution and decide whether it’s time to throw in more ‘glitch hop’ or ‘trap’?
At the end of the day as a producer you have to make what you wanna make. Don’t over think things and don’t worry about the hype. If a tune’s a TUNE, it’s a “TUNE”!!! It’s quality over quantity and that’s the key to keeping any scene thriving.
Finally, we hear that it gets pretty crazy out there on tour!? What’s the most rock and roll thing you’ve done or seen on the road that’s legal for us to print?
The most rock n roll thing that’s happened on the road, is that I can’t remember anything – that’s how rock n roll it is!!! As I lay here on a white rug in my Y-Fronts, a cowboy hat and gold chain, drinking a gin and tonic on a Thursday afternoon watching road wars on TV. Goodnight, much love.
Check out Caspa's new album below:
Caspa Track Recommendations
Love this tune it’s a proper dance floor smasher but it’s not over complicated, simple beats and bass with a real simple but strong melody. Kills it every time!
Oiki - who’s from Russia is a new signing to Dub Police. I’ve been playing this track for the last year, it’s a great transition track between Dubstep and Trap. A banger and must have!!
Subscape’s one of my favourite producers and he has the ultimate sound between the jump-up dance floor sound and the smooth liquid sound. This track most definitely proves that! Love the swing on it, love the melody and the vocal, great all round track.
Filth Collins, another Dub Police artist but this time from Australia. This is as close as you’ll get to a Caspa sounding track on Dub Police, love its stripped back minimalistic beats and bass. This one’s for the sound systems.
My favourite tune from The Others album, love the melody on this and love the energy. Great festival tune.
Obviously the best track in the list!! ☺ I remember just over a year ago hitting the guys up and asking if I could remix this track because I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. Definitely my favourite remix to date and I had a lot of fun in the studio with this.
Love Dismantle’s music, so it was great to get him to remix one of my tracks, love what he did and how he switched up the energy.
It was an honour for me to work with Keith Flint from The Prodigy, it was a real highlight in my career. For me this tune sounds ahead of its time and I think it will become more popular as time goes on, I believe it’s a classic in the making.
Hazard was an artist that I’d been wanting to get a remix from for ages! He doesn’t do many remixes, so when he agreed to do mine I was very excited, this tune’s a proper DnB roller and I know everyone in the DnB scene was battering it. Sick tune!
Love what Flosstradamus and Baauer are doing at the moment, so this remix was born to be killer, love this tune and always try to speed it up or slow it down to fit in my set. A must for any Dubstep, Trap, Hip-Hop or Bass head