Bristol based DJ/producer Caski talks musical influences, his opinion on the ‘130’ sound and shares some future collab ideas…
We know that you came from a dubstep background and that you have released music on El-B’s Ghost Recordings as well as Akkord’s EMF imprint. Do you think the 130 style that you’re currently making is still influenced by dubstep or do you have a new source of inspiration?
I’d say to some degree my music will always be influenced by any and every form of music that I’ve listened to or heard out in the past, whether that’s subconsciously or knowingly.
That also goes for music that I’ve made in the past too, I probably learnt the most, in regards to production, from the people I had around me when I was making dubstep, some of the stuff those guys are making now is incredible.
As far as a new source of inspiration goes, I believe anything that my ears like can be considered to be inspiration.
There’s something very distinct about your sound at the moment, could you tell us a bit about where you feel this has come from and how it has been shaped?
For the most part it’s a mixture of underground music, I do find it relatively hard to pinpoint what my sound is exactly, but that’s sort of how I like it, if that makes sense? In my teenage years I was always into the darker side of garage and grime, so I’m sure they’ve had a hand in the forming of what I’m making now.
What are your opinions about the 130 sound, where do you think its heading?
Good question! If I’m honest, I only ever use the term loosely, I play and make a variety of BPMs but it’s a lot easier to say “130” rather than explain in detail how every track is made at a range of different tempos and is inspired from different places.
Regarding where it’s going, it isn’t easy to foresee at the moment, but I’m happy to just have a range of styles to be able to play out rather than just playing an hour of similar sounding tunes.
What has been your favourite musical time period? Could you tell us about some of your favourite artists in music? They can be past or present and not necessarily influencing your music but artists that you like to listen to.
Sure, although I’d actually missed it being in full swing by the time I knew what it was, the dark garage era is one that’s especially close to my heart. Without the music El-B, Horsepower, Wookie, etc were making I probably wouldn’t be making the music that I do now. Some of my favourite artists to listen to at the moment include James Blake, FKA Twigs, The XX and Airhead.
Some of the footage from your set at Boomtown Fair this year looked crazy. How does it compare playing at a music festival to in a club?
Haha! Yeah… Boomtown was hands down my favourite place I’ve played so far, I opened the Circo Baile / Bassline Circus stage on the Friday and I couldn’t have asked for it to go any better. Thanks to the ravers who were literally having it from start to finish!
Another really fun set was on the Saturday night for a b2b2b with Benton and Amy Becker. Sending a shout to Koast for being on point as always when hosting both sets!
I love playing in club venues if the system is right and it’s not too bright in there, but festivals are a nice change because you don’t have to just play conventional sets. Even if you do, everyone is there to have a good time and it’s in a different setting.
You’ve been gaining a lot of radio support by the likes of B Traits, Monki and many of the DJs on stations such as BBC Radio1, 1Xtra and Kiss. How does it feel to hear some of your darker music being aired on national radio and supported by these DJs?
It’s great! It just goes to show that you don’t have to compromise what you’re making in order to reach an audience as widespread as these national radio stations have. All in all, I’m very thankful and highly appreciative of the support I have been receiving this year, no matter where it comes from!
Following your EMF release back in March with huge tracks like Dancehall & Elephant Tribe, can you give us any indication of what new music we can expect to hear in the mix that you’ve done for us?
I believe context is important, so I won’t say too much, but within the mix you can hear some brand new tracks from me, both unsigned and forthcoming including a first play collaboration and loads of music that I’ve been playing out recently!
Are there any artists who you’d like to collaborate with currently in the scene? And if you could do so with any artist, past or present, who would you pick?
A few artists I’d like to collaborate with include Tessela, Akkord, Nurve, Akin, Strategy, Lamont… the list goes on. If I was able to pick anyone at all, at this moment in time I would choose Airhead.
What’s next for Caski?
My track Tunnel Music is forthcoming on Keysound Presents: Certified Connections which will be out on November 24 on CD, Digital and 2×12″. The next show I’m playing is October 17 at Motion in Bristol for The Blast x Swamp81 alongside a HUGE lineup!