With System Failure his first EP of 2021, dubstep OG Caspa seems to all about capturing the craziness that was 2020 while also looking to the future. The second offering on his new Ghost Town imprint, System Failure follows up the heady, surreal vibes of December’s Let’s Get Weird EP with minimal, no-nonsense beats and crashing bass drops.
Released just over a month ago, System Failure is already making waves, with EP tracks “Babylon Bill” and “Cut That” among his top 10 most popular ever on Beatport. Now still tinkering with his new Ghost Town label and several other potential projects, Caspa’s just as focused as ever on the music and as excited as the rest of us to get back to the dance. Check out what he had to say about System Failure, Ghost Town and 2021 while listening to the exclusive full stream stream of “Cut That” below.
How did you come to the decision to strike out on your own with a new label and start Ghost Town?
I’ve been wanting to start a new label for a few years now and after doing an EP with Bassrush and successful branded nights in LA and Chicago,. It felt right to use the name to launch a new label. I wanted to build a new home and brand for my music and eventually all my back catalogue; I want to leave a legacy and this will be part of it.
What do you feel you’ll be looking for in terms of A&R with the new label?
As for now it’s just to release solely Caspa tracks, as I want that to be the foundation. However, I will be starting another side label later this year as there’s an abundance of talent and music around me. I’m good at picking out big tracks and identifying bangers and it’s time to use that knowledge for the next next!
You say your Let’s Get Weird EP was a response to the surreal quality of 2020 and System Error is about fighting back in 2021. How do you think that’s reflected in the music of the two EPs?
If you hear a track like “Sedated” from the ‘Let’s Get Weird’ EP or “Broken System” from ‘System Failure,’ I believe you can hear what I’m trying to say. I/ We are influenced by the environment we live in and this is just my self expression of that, if you look at my 2019 EP, ‘Psychotechnics,’ it carries a similar vibe.
“Babylon Bill” has a sort of wild-west-meets-digital-dystopia vibe. Did you want to lead with that track as a sort of nod to the times we’re living in and the idea that things are getting pretty wild out there?
It’s interesting that you say that, I feel many people might share the same view as you. I chose Babylon Bill as it’s an absolute stinking banger! And it says everything I need to say I feel. Definitely my favorite track on the EP. Think I’m going to write a VIP for it!
“Broken System” seems to be about exactly what the title is: the plodding along of a broken system that serves no one anymore but stays in place nonetheless. How did you get the sound to match that oppressive, ominous feeling?
I don’t know what you’re listening to, but I thought it was quite an uplifting EP! All jokes aside, it’s meant to be empowering. Progression not oppression! Yes, they all carry a theme and sometimes that can be interpreted as negative when it actually isn’t, maybe it’s just honest. It’s a heavy industrial style track but manages to keep that dubstep griminess. I’m all about that vibe!
There’s a sort of unhinged, experimental and minimal quality to a lot of these tracks. What was the thought process in having such a dichotomy of sound here?
I wanted to write something that just sounded huge on a massive sound system, as well as a phone speaker or in headphones. I wanted it to convey a real cinematic experience with that stripped back, early Dubstep sound.
Following the journey of the EP, it seems that “Cut That” is not so much an end but rather a beginning. Rallying against this System Failure to build a stronger vibe via a breach and reboot. What were you wanting to “cut out” from the system?
First off, all the tracks were written to mash up a dance floor and give people ‘Bass Face’ second there’s a lot of people out there talking rubbish and as my 2009 album title said – ‘Everybody’s talking, nobody’s listening.’ Fear can be a powerful tool. Anyone ever tried talking to you in the club while your trying to listen and enjoy the music; it’s for them ones too.
Despite being quite heavy and having doomsday vibes, the message with System Failure seems to be one of hope through music and creativity. Why do you think that’s such an important message right now?
I wouldn’t agree with the term ‘doomsday’ vibes, they’re just an expression of the energy that’s out there. Without the freedom of creativity we can’t be who we are. We’re here because we create. It would be like caging a bird or clipping its wings, it’s important that we all have this right because without it are we even human?
As things start to open up again in the UK, US and Europe, what are your thoughts about playing out again in terms of safety versus keeping the music alive? Is there a way to strike a balance?
If you put too much salt in the food, you ruin the meal, everything is balance – but let’s turn them bloody speakers on!
Any upcoming stuff you can talk about for yourself and the label in 2021?
Look out for new music material, live shows and a cheeky stream in the summer.