Hailing from Glasgow, Casement produces and plays tunes influenced by the full spectrum of sound system music, taking sounds from dancehall, garage, jungle and grime and mashing them with global club music to get as many people moving as possible. He has released music ranging from 90-190 BPM on labels such as Top Billin and Nice Up Records and played nights all around the UK, throwing parties pushing big bouncy bass at all times.
Here is his guest mix for Kelburn, and you can read our Q&A with him below…
Hi Casement! First off, can you introduce your mix to us?
It’s a bit of a mishmash – loads of different genres and vibes, like I did in my Kelburn set in the summer. It goes from dancehall tempo all the way up to 160-170, like jungle footwork. It’s a whole spectrum of bass and club music, which is what I always like to do.
Reggae and sound system culture are front and centre in your music. How were you first exposed to that kind of music?
My dad was a northern soul DJ and he always liked ska and his reggae as well. When I was a wee guy, I used to sit and pour through Virtual DJ, and I got absolutely hooked on Jamaican music. So dancehall’s always been a big part of my life, and then as I got older and started going out, I managed to go to some sound system nights. I like the blend of that schiide of music. It ties in nicely, because of the sound system, with club dance music. It’s a nice marriage of the different kinds of bass. I just love that stuff.
Your dad must be really pleased that you’ve become a DJ as well.
Oh yeah, definitely. It was like passing on the mantle a bit. I guess he did his own kind of raving, the northern soul stuff, talcum powder on the dance floor kind of vibe. The dance side of things I picked up myself, basically by being terminally online as a teenager and pouring through YouTube and finding loads of different remixes.
How did you start producing?
Weirdly, the first stuff I started to make was back in my scene kid era with Chiptune. I was really into all the gameboy tunes and all that. I was absolutely useless for ages but I got hyper fixated with it and just grafting for ages. But as I grew up I started finding different kinds of music – that’s why I make a bit of everything because as I was growing up, I was trying to make everything that I was listening to.
You’ve done a lot of interesting collaborations, including a link up with grime MC Coco. How did that come about?
That was me and my pals down in Yorkshire – 1Forty. Legends, really nice guys. They put me on really early. I was making a lot more grime back then, and we linked up and they ended up getting me down to London to do a Rinse FM thing.
They hooked me up with Toddla T, and he does a lot of work with Coco. It was this beautiful sequence of events where he was like, “We’re looking for beats,” and before you know it, Coco was making a tune over one of my beats. It was released on Toddla T’s label and got some Radio 1 play, because of Toddla T’s show. That was a big milestone for me. It was really sick.
You work in a lot of different genres within bass music. Do you think that that distinction between genres is as important as it used to be?
I do and I don’t. Personally I enjoy going to a certain night knowing that I’m going to hear certain things, but I enjoy even more as a DJ to mix up loads of different stuff. Say if you go to a night and you know the DJ is going to play a footwork set, and then all of a sudden they’re slamming something completely different – nothing makes me happier. I really like severe sharp left turns in a mix. I’d rather everything is just a big melting pot, so long as it sounds banging.
We’ve just come to the end the “summer of jungle”, which Nia Archives started. What do you think is next for bass music in the UK?
I would say, from my perspective, maybe footwork 160 vibes. That had quite a big underground resurgence for a while, but I don’t know if that’s as palatable for the mainstream masses. Jungle’s a lot more easy. I would love nothing more than for something daft like proper old school bassline to come back, but we’ll have to wait and see.
What’s up next for you as Casement?
I’m actually bringing my own night, Casement in the Basement (classic rhyming name, it had to be done) to Glasgow in Stereo in December. I’ll be getting the Bruk Out guys in. It’s all sorts of different bass music. I like the idea of bringing through my mates and platforming them doing their different things, but I’d like to do focussed ones as well. I might do a grime/dubstep special. I’m definitely going to do a happy hardcore donk one – I’m a massive fan of that side of things.
Finally, what’s been your favourite set that you’ve seen at Kelburn?
I really liked Swindle’s set in 2019. That was incredible on the Viewpoint stage. I remember he played “Millionaire”. What a banger.
And one of my pals, Strawberry Jam, I always love their sets. Nicest guys in the game. I was buzzing when they played the Landing Stage this year, because they absolutely levelled up. They killed it.