Josh Caffé is an assured part of the underground house and techno scene. He is someone who has nurtured a close following of fans thanks to his varied, lauded DJ sets and live PA’s. Currently running his own label Night Sheen, he just released a new album entitled ‘Black Magic Dawn’.
We had the chance to talk with Josh Caffé to celebrate his brand-new record.
Electronic Groove: Hi Josh, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. To get things started, can you elaborate on your first memories of electronic/dance music?
Josh Caffe: Thanks for inviting me. My early memories are from growing up in London in the 90’s, listening to pirate radio stations and watching TV shows like Dance Energy or The Word. I used to stay up late in my room and tune the radio on, record the sets and then listen back to them to death! We used to go to Notting Hill Carnival as a family every year and in the late 90’s the music sounds you could hear there were changing, so you were exposed to electronic music regularly.
My older sister also used to DJ and when we had small house parties I would always sneak downstairs and join them even though they hated it. Everyone would see this little kid dancing around in the living room at 2 am. I can’t really think of a time when music wasn’t a part of our household, it was second nature.
Electronic Groove: Are there any specific tracks or artists that inspired you to become and DJ and producer?
Josh Caffe: People like Mike Dunn, Kraftwerk, Jamie Principle, Matthew Herbert and Timbaland have all definitely inspired me.
Electronic Groove: Where are you living now? Are your surroundings influencing your productions?
Josh Caffe: Not so much at the moment. I’ve just moved back to North London after being in Borehamwood for a year. London still inspires me musically in some ways. I love that I still have places like Holloway Road or Dalston Kingsland nearby which have multicultural communities. Although this is changing rapidly. I’m lucky I get to travel quite a bit with my Djng and always come back inspired by the nightlife, the other LGBT communities and even the architecture I’ve seen along the way.
Electronic Groove: Your latest work ‘Black Magik Dawn’ was recently released on your own imprint, Night Sheen Records. What can you tell us about the production process behind it and the collaboration work that went into it?
Josh Caffe: Initially I’d set out to create a 12-track album. The LP is essentially about rebirth but from an abstract point of view, especially with the lyrics. I wanted to really explore ‘Black Magik Dawn’ in length and have each track embody one of the attributes. We wanted to create these abstract, slightly leftfield beats that you wouldn’t normally hear vocal structures on and give them some lyrics. The album was meant to come out on another label but this never materialized, so I broke it down into 2 EP’s and decided to self-release it. Part 1, taking a darker approach, and Part 2 a bit rebellious and harder. 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.
“The LP is essentially about rebirth but from an abstract point of view, especially with the lyrics”
Electronic Groove: How was the experience of working with this group of producers?
Josh Caffe: I’d previously collaborated with the producers involved so it made the process easy as we had an understanding of how each other worked. I recorded most of my parts separately at home, there was a lot of back and forth on email but I also traveled to Belgium to work with the Subs or Berlin to work with Alinka. For me, it was a great feeling to work with people who are not only friends but people who I admire as artists/producers.
Electronic Groove: Do you have a personal favorite track on the album?
Josh Caffe: I can’t really pick just one. They are all special in their own way and I relate differently to each track.
Electronic Groove: The first track ‘Death of Aquarius’ was chosen to create a music video. What’s the story behind it?
Josh Caffe: Well astrologically we are living in the Age of Aquarius but there are conflicting arguments about this. Either way, I wanted to say that this age was over with the birth of new spirt or form, which is my interpretation of Black Magic Dawn. The lyrics for this track are describing this force taking over me and I wanted the video to reflect that. I worked with a really talented visual artist called Holly Hunter and we wanted to show a voyeuristic journey of this kind of agitated human-being that’s being transformed in a dark but slightly beautiful way.
“It was a great feeling to work with people who are not only friends but people who I admire as artists/producers”
Electronic Groove: Are there any other releases coming out on Night Sheen Records?
Josh Caffe: Black Magic Dawn Part 2 will be following up soon with a remix package on CD. After this, I have a couple of artists I’d like to release music from so watch this space.
Electronic Groove: What other music do you like to listen outside of electronica?
Josh Caffe: It depends what mood I’m in, but I like listening to psychedelia, 70’s funk, and neo-soul. I’m really enjoying a lot of Steve Lacy’s productions, I’d love to work with him
Josh Caffe’s ‘Black Magic Dawn’ is already available. Grab your copy here.
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