Gary McCann and Chris Mercer aka Caspa & Rusko mixed the latest installment of the Fabriclive series. “Fabriclive 37” is due for release for fabricfirst Members
and in Europe on December 3, 2007 and in the US on Mai 2, 2008.
Many turn the last month of the year into a merciless chasm-filling throng of merriment and shiny cheer; and we are no different. Although we’re not ones to embrace the commercial surface; we draw our happiness from below. And we mean way down low, propelled by a constant, almost omnipresent sub bass, mirth drowned deep in tension, dark delicious moody music and for many the future sound of London. That’s happiness, masked as dubstep delivered readily by two of the new guard of sub soldiers, Caspa & Rusko. FABRICLIVE 37: CASPA & RUSKO is an almost perfect blend of dark narcotic melancholy and up front torrential dancefloor delight, all wrapped in cavity filling ridiculous low-end bass destruction and delay.
Brought together by a love of each other’s music, Caspa (25-year old Gary McCann) and Rusko (22 year old Chris Mercer) are considered part of a new breed of dubstep talent, sweeping the deep furrows of ground laid bare by peers like Digital Mystikz, Iration Steppas, Kode9, Skream and Benga, mixed with their own jump up comical party fresh and somewhat relentless sound. Coming together from Leeds and London with mutual loves of dub reggae, drum’n’bass, hip hop, and as fans of their own scene, Caspa & Rusko have been DJing and producing for just a few years, yet have been representing the dubstep dream the globe over as music fans from all corners draw them into a constant stream of performance and release requests. Their musical roots are somewhat similar, with both having delighted in their musically involved upbringings.
“My whole family was musical. My dad was a record collector, he was mainly into punk but collected everything across the board. There was always a lot of that music in the house growing up. I used to love jungle, at school I remember swapping tape packs and will always remember this Brockie & Det tape I had. My brother was into a lot of hip hop so I listened to a lot of artists like Wu Tang Clan, Mobb Deep and Nas. Soon after, I was listening to a lot of Rawkus artists and MCs like Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch and Common. Musically I had everything going on around me.” - Caspa
“My mum used to sing in a band called “Ventura Highway” right up until about 3 months before I arrived. So I was on stage before I was even born! It was like this weird kind of country/folk music. She used to play the mandolin too. So I used to have musical instruments and guitars everywhere around me in the house. I’ve still got a banjo somewhere and I play bass and saxophone too. I spent two years at music college but never went to lectures, they had amazing studio facilities so I made the most of them instead.” – Rusko
Caspa (founder of the Dub Police, Sub Soldiers and Storming Productions labels, having also released on Tempa and Argon imprints) created what some call the hottest dupstep anthem of 2006 with the heavily championed ‘Rubber Chicken’, loved as much by drum’n’bass royalty like Roni Size, Andy C and broadcasting dons at the BBC, as much as his own scene. Always a fan, he fell somewhat headfirst into music after his professional basketball career was thwarted by a 15-times dislocated shoulder.
“I used to play basketball. I played for England and had a scholarship to America. I was a semi-professional player until I dislocated my shoulder – I ended up doing it 15 times! I had to stop playing so started to concentrate on music.” - Caspa
While Rusko (classically trained with a degree in Musical Production, with hip hop and original dub productions under his belt as Rusk), has similar anthemic status for 2007 with the constantly dropped ‘Cockney Thug’ having found fans from the 50,000 Arctic Monkeys punters cleverly plied by Ross Allen, to Diplo, Swith & Sinden, Clipz, Chase & Status and the Scratch Perverts to within the walls of a recent drum’n’bass heavy night one FABRICLIVE when it was the only non-jungle track dropped by three separate headline DJs, all within a few hours of each other. Also a fan, it was his love of original dub reggae that pushed him into production.
“Dub is the one for me. The whole studio ethos behind dub music is what got me into making electronic music. Having grown up in Leeds I used to take my tracks down to the Iration Steppas record shop soundsystem in Leeds and they’d tell me – do this or do that. I’d keep going back and talking to them and those boys guided the way for me really.” – Rusko
Caspa & Rusko definitely recognise a crossover between the dub reggae, garage and drum’n’bass scenes and pull the best elements from each to make the sounds and sets they do, injecting this breath of fresh air into their selection for FABRICLIVE 37. Having chosen a new generation of artists from all around the world, picked because of their tried and tested audience reactions, this mix is as true a testament to the sound this duo emanates as it is to the sound of now.
“The Fabric mix is pretty relentless. It’s a full on, current mix of tracks that we felt have smashed the dancefloors over the last few months. If you listen to our sets you can tell we’re party DJs. We take an influence in our mixing style from the drum & bass heads, leaning towards a jump up style with quick mixes, plenty of heavy basslines and chopping and cutting. But we didn’t just want to go for the “power hour” option of an absolute rinse out all the way through! We wanted to include deeper moments to give the whole mix more impact. And the mix includes up and coming artists from across Europe and the US, such as L-Wiz and Matty G, alongside tunes from the likes of DMZ and Skream and some other big names in the world of dubstep.” – Caspa & Rusko
01. Caspa - Born to do it - Sub Soldiers
02. L-Wiz - Girl From Codeine City - Dub Police
03. Caspa - Cockney Violin - Dub Police
04. Uncle Sam - Round the way Girls - Tes La Rok RMX - Argon
05. Rusko - Jahova - Sub Soldiers
06. Caspa - The Terminator - Sub Soldiers
07. Cotti - Legacy - -30
08. Matty G - 50K VIP - Argon
09. The Others - Africa VIP - Dub Police
10. Distance - V - Chest Plate
11. Caspa - Big Headed Slags - Sub Soldiers
12. Rusko - Too Far - Sub Soldiers
13. Coki - Sponge Bob - DMZ
14. Caspa - Louder - Pitch Black
15. Caspa & The Others - Well ‘Ard - Sub Soldiers
16. Unitz - The Drop - Dub Police
17. Rusko - Hammer Time - Sub Soldiers
18. Rusko - Mr Chips - Dub plate
19. Orien - Look At My Eyes - Dub Police
20. The Others - Fun House - Dub Police
21. Rusko - 2 N A Q - Sub Soldiers
22. Rusko - Cockney Thug - Sub Soldiers
23. Rusko - Cockney Thug - Buraka Som Sistema RMX - Sub Soldiers
24. Skream - Guru - Dub plate
25. Rusko - Beta Max - Dub plate
26. D1 - Im Loving - Tempa
27. Caspa & Rusko - Rock Bottom - Destructive
28. Orien - Rainbow Tear Drops - Dub Police
29. ConQuest - Forever - Dub Police