By Paul Rodgers
CALGARY – Dubstep giant Caspa has been hard at work in the studio, churning out tunes more akin to the roots of the genre than the hyper-produced, mainstream “brostep” that’s come to dominate the cyber airwaves and festival bills. Perhaps best known for his pivotal FabricLive mix with Rusko, that arguably did more to shape the genre of dubstep than any one other release, West London’s Gary McCann is now setting out on a tour that hits only Canadian locations, in order to “show that dubstep is still popping in Canada.”
“I just feel like there’s a lot of love in Canada,” says McCann.
“And they love bass music. And it’s got a lot of history there.”
He said with this tour he wants to “make a statement” that the original sound of dubstep still has the ability to get bass-heads to flock to dance floors. McCann has played numerous shows across North America, and spent a four-month stretch of time living in Denver, Colorado. He got perhaps the best taste of North American bass culture when he played Shambhala alongside Rusko last summer.
“It was interesting,” relays Caspa.
“We had so many people in our career asking us, ‘When you playing Shambhala’ and it was like fuck it, was finally good to say, ‘We’ve played it, if you wasn’t there, too bad.’”
McCann is mindful of the stress put on an artist by the cycle of excessive touring and partying, then returning home to record more music and repeating.
“You need to find that balance of enjoying writing the music to go and enjoy it playing it out, not just too much in the studio or too much live. You need to get that balance right and I think that’s what keeps the energy flowing.”
He said in the early days of his touring career, nearly 15 years ago, he would try bringing a small studio set up with him everywhere he went on tour, but would only succeed in creating ideas, never full tracks.
“When you go back to basics and you start writing music and enjoying writing music and not in a hotel room on the lobby floor doing a bloody remix, for me that’s not fun and that’s not why I do it. You need to be in the studio being creative, enjoying what you’re doing.”
In terms of the music he has been creating from the home-front, it is an absolute return to form. His Vibrations series thus far consists of five songs that highlight his origin story in music: stripped back tracks with deep bass wobbles and minimal, effective percussion usage.
““Deja Vu,”” he says, “that’s the last track I released. When I made that, that’s why it’s called “Deja Vu” I wanted to make a 2007, 2005 sounding kinda tune but on steroids, with 2017 production.”
McCann is also the founder of imprint Dub Police, but in recent years he has decided to step back in order to slow down and focus on putting his time, energy and money into his own project.
“There’s only so much that you can put into music and keep pumping it in and pumping it in and pumping it in,” McCann explains.
His philosophy on touring, recording and the future is quite simple: keep things consistent, and more importantly enjoyable. He has been putting quality time into his recording process, releasing one single at a time, in an “old school” fashion and touring where, when and how he sees fit.
Caspa performs September 3 at OV Club (Winnipeg), September 8 at the Starlite Room (Edmonton), September 9 at Marquee Beer Market (Calgary), and September 10 at the Pump Roadhouse (Regina).Caspa, dubstep, Marquee Beer Market, OV Club, Pump Roadhouse, Starlite Room