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Kasket Case

Nathan Chadwick

Something fresh and different - we’ve all heard it before but this time it’s true. Brighton’s served up many a musical treat in the realm of electronic music in the past, and the latest – Kasket – could well be the next south coast superstar. Find out more within…

What is dubstep these days? Is it the sounds of Daleks being eviscerated by Mr Blobby with a vomit-powered chainsaw, as advocated by Skrillex et al? But then, does dubstep really exist anymore?

Many tunes that could have been heralded under the dubstep banner seem to exist without genre, and some would say that’s a good thing, but such stratification will always exist. However, for the reasons mentioned just above, sticking Kasket’s sounds into the same genre as dubstep seems rather unfair on 22-year-old Charlie Baldwin.

I first heard of him with the Torn Letters EP, which showed that this producer has a more holistic approach to making music, moving floors and messing minds. That EP used as sound palette that was far deeper and a lot more expansive than many contemporary releases. In fact, I’d go as far to say that two of the tracks, False Profits and Dyslexic Poets in particular, reminded me more of vintage releases from The Black Dog rather than elements from dubstep.

It comes as no surprise to hear that the inspirations and techniques wrapped up in Kasket’s sound is as wide-ranging as the listening experience. With an EP dropping on Apollo Records later this month (vinyl 10th/Digital 17th), the style switches again to something rather more reflective and – perhaps – whimsical.

Using a live-sounding element throughout, and a hefty dose of sample trickery, it’s a glittering gem among the Dalek remains. August Fades has a groove and flex that could very well go so very big, without resorting to the fromage-friendly techniques of the top 40. It’s a little piece of wonderment in an otherwise gloomy summer. So, who is Kasket?

How would you describe the Kasket sound?

I like to think of it as organic (cheque’s in the post – ed) and wild, with a lot of natural elements – I have a habit of changing things around a lot but still keeping an electronic feel.

Who were your early inspirations?

So many to mention, but these are just a few: from Frank Zappa to Miles Davis, Prodigy and Bjork.

How did you start the music production process?

I got my first copy of Reason when I was around 16. I just started messing around with it and from then on got more and more interested in what I could create with sounds and took it more seriously. I then moved onto Ableton. I loved making my own sounds, chopping and stretching things – it’s so much fun and never gets tiring.

How do you feel your music has evolved since your first releases?

A lot has changed from my earlier music. You grow up and mature in your music, you find a sound that grabs you and you just work and work until you get there. Like I say though, I always changed my mind, never sat still on one sound.

Where do you source inspiration from outside of music?

I do juggling in my own time and do some drawing to wind down. I like seeing new places too – I like to travel.

You use sampling a lot - what is it that you hold most dear about this approach?

I use sampling a lot because I enjoy the way you can make something completely different to how it originally sounded using different elements from a song and changing it into a different vibe.

What's the most peculiar thing you've sampled?

I’ve recoded everything from frying bacon to tearing paper, and even people’s conversations. I take my recorder everywhere I go, it never leaves me – it’s very useful to have and you never know what you’re going to get.

When producing, do you set out with a pre-conceived idea or is it, "as it comes"?

You have an idea of what you want to do, but it never stays that way. You can end up with some wonderful mistakes or just a horrendous mess, but I just keep going until it sounds and feels right.

Which piece of studio kit is your favourite?

My Virus B and the Kontakt plug-in, they’re both great tools. You can have endless fun, go mental and get some fantastic sounds and textures. I have spent hours just playing around with them and I have never got bored.

Where do you think electronic music is heading?

It’s hard to say, it always seems to be changing, and there are always new genres being pushed out there. I can't keep up but from what I'm hearing, there is some nice fresh music out there, which is great. However, I have noticed people going to back to using old-school vibes, 808 drums are back in and as popular as ever. So really I have no idea, but I'm enjoying the ride.

Who would you most like to collaborate with, and why?

There’s a lot of people who I would love to work with, one being Fever Ray (The Knife) and Amon Tobin – even Liam Howlett. It would be a dream come true to work with those people, I love their work.

What's your approach to a live show?

There’s a lot of interaction with the music, making endless vocal loops, using homemade percussion and being able to really control a set. I love being able to go mad and make a set that’s more of a journey.

Where can we hear you DJ in the coming months?

There’s a few things hopefully in the later months, more live sets I believe, and a few DJ sets, but nothing has been conformed just yet.

I hear you also play in a covers band - any chance of an overlap of musical intent?

Ha Ha, ah it's just a bit of fun with a few mates from my area. My brother plays in the band (bass) – it’s a good laugh and something to keep you busy. It’s nice to just to play tunes you like and not having to be too serious about it.

Which one of your tracks are you most proud of?

At the moment, the track August Fades, as it was the first tune I made where everything just worked. I was so excited about it and at that moment I knew what sound I wanted.

How did the forthcoming release come about?

A friend of mine, who runs the label "Diamind", introduced me to Renaat Vandepapeliere (R & S head honcho and all-round electronic music legend - ed), so I kept sending him tunes and kept pushing myself with it. I met Mixmaster Morris also and both of them were a great help. It basically rolled on from there.

Is there an album project in the works - and what form would that take?

At the moment I'm working on my album for Apollo. No track names or info yet, but I'm making sure its something I'm very proud of and taking my time. There will be a lot of live elements to it.

You've mentioned before that you'd like to work in film - which film would you liked to have soundtracked, and which soundtracks are your favourites?

I would have loved to have worked on Akira or Blade Runner, as I love my sci-fi. But my favourite soundtrack is the music used in Six Feet Under. Most of the soundtrack was composed by Thomas Newman . I also like Danny Elfman’s work in the film 9. I also like the soundtrack to There Will Be Blood" – they are all just great in their own unique way.

Who would be your ideal person to remix one of your tracks?

I would love to have Amon Tobin do a remix – it would be interesting.

Could we have a current top ten tunes?

Tunes I'm always playing are:
10. The Floppy Boot Stomp - Captain Beefheart
9. Wilhelms Scream - James Blake
8. Silent Shout - The Knife
7. Earth A Killya - King Midas Sound
6. All I Need - Air
5. Joe's Garage - Frank Zappa
4. Us Against Whatever Ever - Ghost Poet
3. Life On Mars - David Bowie
2. Pardon Me - Incubus
1. Concrete Schoolyard - Jurassic 5

What does the future hold for the Kasket project, and what other avenues would you like to explore?

I hope to keep doing what I want I do, and gig the live set a lot more. I would love to travel the world with my music and sets, maybe plan to start a full band with the Kasket project, but who knows what the future will bring. I would like to work with Apollo and Screwloose records more, as they are great people to work with. Hopefully, in the future, I’d like to start a career in film music.