JOSH CAFFE TALKS TO BACK TO CULTURE ABOUT HIS LATEST RELEASE.
Josh Caffe has been an integral part of the nightlife of London (and far beyond) for some time. As one of the wave of DJs/producers that have emerged over the last few years that have been taking house and techno to much more interesting places, alongside the likes of Alinka and Shaun J. Wright, Lauren Flax, and frequent partners-in-crime Hannah Holland and Posthuman, DJ/vocalist/producer Josh has steadily been organically gathering fans of his work all over the globe.
This last year has particularly seen Josh harvest the fruits of the labours of the last few years, with the year being rounded off with the debut release on his new label Night Sheen Records (an extension of his Night Sheen nocturnal adventures), Josh’s own “Black Magik Dawn”.
“2017 has been Pretty busy. I’ve had the chance to collaborate with some really inspiring and talented producers and artists which has been an interesting journey for me as an artist. Deciding to set up my own record label was a big decision this year and a lot of work but I wouldn’t change that for the world. I’m really grateful ‘Black Magik Dawn’ is finally getting to see the light of day.”
From the first listen, Black Magik Dawn makes clear that it is a cohesive collection of works with a multitude of layers, rather than a grab bag of dancefloor ammunition. Josh describes it as “… my interpretation of the ‘birth of new spirit or form’. A kind of dark, abstract yet positive form that I feel embodies veracity, fears, sexual desires, ability to love and rebellion. I wanted to explore this through my lyrics and production collaborations.”
Extending beyond the audio and into the visual realm, two of the tracks are also set for release as video singles, whereby Josh worked with Alex Shaw and Holly Hunter.
Initially conceived as an album set for release on another label, “Black Magik Dawn” ended up taking a slightly different path. “I wanted to really explore ‘Black Magik Dawn’ at length and have each track embody one of the attributes. I had a really clear idea of how I wanted to tell the story not just through the production but visually. Everything had to be perfectly synched.” The decision was made to self-release the work in two different parts; “Part 1 taking a darker approach and Part 2 a bit rebellious and abstract. I was really lucky that everyone I asked to be involved in the project was up for it and got the idea of what I wanted to create. It really helped keep a consistency throughout.”
Another facet of “Black Magik Dawn” is that it feels like a very personal work, as if Josh is opening the door into some arcane world of his own creation. “There’s been lots of things that influenced the feel, from personal experiences and battles, to certain places I’d been. I was listening to a lot of old Fingers Inc and A Guy Called Gerald music at the time and I loved how the vocalists on their records told stories through the lyrics and the feel of emotion in their voices. I wanted to create a similar music experience for our time.”
This is an experience which also transcends the recording, and can be witnessed live, an environment perfectly suited to Josh. “I have a small band with me for some shows and we’ve incorporated live bass guitar and drum pads into the set. The tracks have morphed into something else which has brought a whole new element to the shows. Again it’s about telling a story and immersing you in the tracks so everything from the soundscape in between songs to the visuals has been specially created. I’ve also been working with Ibrahim Kamara on the styling. He’s someone who I have a lot of respect for as a black African creative/artist.”
“Black Magik Dawn Part 2” will be coming soon on Night Sheen Records, in addition to new music on Midnight Riot and Jack Trax, andother labels throughout 2018. Josh will also be returning to the USA in the Spring for a DJ tour. The next year or two are already looking very busy for Josh Caffe, who will be “… continuing to make unique music both as a solo artist and with my band Nostalgia of Mothership. Touring my dj sets and live shows all round the world. Spreading Black Magik Dawn everywhere!”