Soundtracking the emergency: Is there space for climate change in dance music?
Blogger turned DJ/promoter CASPER C has lots of fingers in musical pies. There’s the ever-excellent Blogger’s Delight that he set up in 2006, party collective/label Adventures In The Beetroot Field through which he has a hand in Field Day, plus a day job keeping the bookings for Camden’s Lock Tavern nicely on-point. Does the man sleep? I’m not convinced. Having braved Stoke Newington Cemetery with photographer Gabriel Green for an appropriately ghostly shoot, he winged over this killer mix at some ungodly hour in the morning. Told you he didn’t sleep.
So tell me about your mix…
It was supposed to be a bit of a love letter to some of my favourite tracks and labels since my year zero – the first time I saw Ivan Smagghe DJ in 2003! There’s a few classics from Kompakt, Versatile, M_Nus and Trax, alongside rising stars like Arto Mwambe, Jacques Renault, Rebolledo and Click Box. It was originally recorded live, but a few quirks here and there persuaded me to put it together again on Ableton.
You seem to have a lot going on – what are you focused on at the moment?
At the moment I’m focused on DJing and promoting, and not so much blogging. My day job puts paid to that but I’m glad to have been involved in such an exciting time for writing about and sharing music online via Fluokids. I think the climate has shifted since those heady days, but I like to think that the emergence of blogs such as ours went some way to opening people’s minds to unexpected new music.
Blogger’s Delight is pretty much an institution these days. How did it all start?
In 2006 I was offered the chance to come up with my own night, having promoted a few parties in Dalston with other people. I think it’s fair to say I overcompensated with my first party – there were 19 DJs, including early appearances from Duke Dumont and Kissy Sell Out, alongside Radioclit, Silverlink, some fellow music bloggers such as Headphone Sex and, with a bit of emotional blackmail, Justice as ‘secret guests’. We went through a purple patch of persuading great acts to appear, often in secret, including Simian Mobile Disco, Brodinski, Yuksek and Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve. Nothing out of the ordinary, you might think, except this was taking place from 3-11pm in an 80 capacity room in a Camden pub.
What’s all the fuss about with U-Stream then? I hear you’re into it…
It always fascinates me when new technology comes along and after an initial period of reticence or confusion, people start to turn things around to their own advantage. I didn’t see the social potential in Youtube or Twitter in their early stages, but these days they come as second nature. U-Stream is an interesting way for DJs to present a different side of themselves. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, you can announce an impromptu set on the site itself, Twitter or Facebook and then you’re away. I’d like to think that it’s a great way for those in remote areas, or short of cash, to hear the latest music. It’s also a trainspotter’s wet dream as they can ask the DJ on the spot what records they are playing at any given moment, via the chat function.
What new music have you been getting excited about in 2009?
That’s a difficult question but a few favourites off the top of my head though would be everything that Matias Aguayo and Comeme are coming out with, It’s A Fine Line, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Fuck Buttons, the Brontosaurus label, Sound Pellegrino and Riva Starr, the L.E.S.S Productions crew, Dam Funk…
And finally, do you have any thing else in common with your ghostly namesake?
Other than the fact that I’m white as a sheet and gormlessly friendly? Not really.