Back to Basics with Caspa
Back to Basics with Caspa Photo by John Verwey

Through the past two decades, dubstep has come to make its mark on the culture of dance music, and though there are a ton of artists who have contributed to its success over the years, none compare to the outsized influence that Caspa has and continues to have on the ever-evolving genre. While he has blessed the decks at shows of all sizes all across the globe for over a decade, Caspa is perhaps best known for his commitment both in the studio and on stage to the sound of the underground with his dark and deep old-school vibe.

Now, a decade since his first performance in Los Angeles, Caspa is shifting gears and plans to bring something new and exciting to the culture. Aside from all the accolades that Caspa has earned over the years, it’s obvious that he still sees himself as a humble guy with a vision. Emphasizing his burning passion to keep the scene alive, Caspa agreed to chat with Bassrush to not only dive deep into his love of sound system culture in all its forms, but to give us a sense of just how monumental Saturday night’s Curated by Caspa show in Los Angeles is about to be (tickets and full details here).

Until then, check Caspa’s latest cut featured on our Bassrush Massive compilation album below and for more info on the past, present, and future of the dubstep don be sure to bookmark

We’ve just heard that PK Sound has been confirmed for the show this weekend! How important is the sound system to the experience you envision?
It’s the culture of everything. PK Sound is the sound the kids know out here and are responsible pushing the music culture. Having that part of the show for me is a big element and really the first thing we should think about whenever putting on a dubstep show—it all starts with the sound system. Sometimes it feels like it’s secondary to LED screens,  dancers, and all that stuff, but in reality it should really be about the sound first. So for me it’s so important and it really is the heartbeat of the Caspa curated show and the heart of dubstep.

Speaking of the show, it’s not the usual Caspa headlining set, is it? What does it mean to have the night “Curated by Caspa”?
It’s all about the experience and how we can bring something different to the table. It’s not just about coming to see Caspa, it’s about bringing the full spectrum of music to the table as a progression in an intimate setting. The emphasis is on the intimacy of the show. It’s not about selling tickets, it’s about bringing warehouse culture back to life. So many people didn’t get to experience the original underground soundsystem culture. Everything has become so over the top and BIG, that sometimes it’s just about getting back to that basic goodness of how it once was. Nothing compares to a show in a small venue or club with a good sound system, where everyone is sweaty. That’s what we’re trying to bring back. That’s the underground. Everything about the night is organic. Even meet and greets! Those don’t exist, if you want to meet me, come find me!

At what point did Bassrush get involved in helping make this idea a reality?
The curated part came about how we wanted to bring something different, so we worked with promoters who understood that vision and what we were trying do. Bassrush offered us the show and we put the idea forward, which they loved and really wanted to do it. It worked out really well in that way; it was an organic process. It really wasn’t forced or pushed to tour in anyway. My first show in LA was a little over 10 years ago, so now that I’m back here doing something like this, it’s just another part of the story. Everything has come full circle in a way.

It’s not about selling tickets, it’s about bringing warehouse culture back to life.

When envisioning the experience of the show from start to finish how did you approach your role as curator and what kind of moods were you hoping each artist would invoke?
No one is here to warm-up the show, everyone is a headliner and has come to play their own sound and style. The curated part is just about how it’s all hand-picked by me. All the artists that are playing are there to build the progression of the night. Matty G brings the old-school West coast feel that’s really exciting. Dalek One is from Denver and is sort of the new kid on the block pushing that deep heavy vibe. Thelem is from the UK and lives in Cali. People describe his sound to be a bit heavier, but it’s also a bit deeper; it’s got a lot of trap and grime influences. Each sound has its own element, which adds to the night and that’s kind of how I built it in that particular style and way.

Did you give them any guidance about their role in the progression of the night?
The sets are entirely organic. The artists are only picked to come and do their style and sound. I never want an artist to feel like people are expecting them to play a particular sound—just come and do you. That’s what it’s about, that freedom. It’s that organic process of giving people that platform and booking them because they do their thing. That’s very important to the night as well.

Any advice you want to give for Saturday’s show?
Arrive early and stay to the end; otherwise, you’re going to miss out. That’s exactly how we’ve put the show together. As soon as you walk in the door, it’s on. It’s about the progression from the start to the end. You wouldn’t arrive at the cinema halfway through the show.

Once LA is in the bag what’s next for the Curated by Caspa concept?
Right now, I’m focusing on myself and new music. The curated show only pops up when it works organically, we’re not trying to force it at all. I definitely want to do one in London, because that’s very important to me. That’s the home city. But it has to be the right club, the right promoter, and the right situation where we can book the right artists. And if we can’t, then it’s not going to happen. That’s very important because it’s not going to be something that’s just flung around in every city and it’s not the main focus at the moment.

Any other projects you’ve got in the works we should be looking out for?
Towards end of the year I’m putting out a remix package for my album Vibrations. We’ve got a Peek-A-Boo remix, an Eazy Baked remix, a Dalek One remix, and a Kloudmen remix—all new artists. You’ve probably never heard of them, but they’re future stars. My mission right now is to work out what I’m going to do with all this music. I’ve got lots, so there are a lot of options and a lot of exciting things in the pipeline, but nothing’s confirmed. So the focus really is to sort out the end of the year, finish up my east coast run, then work out 2019. People are finally getting and seeing what I’ve been for ages so I think 2019 is going to be the biggest year of my career. That’s what I’m predicting.