Kastle Talks Symbols Recordings and North America Tour with Bonobo

If you had the misfortunate of missing Bonobo's Miami performance last year, the UK electronica wizard is back at Grand Central on Saturday. Now while this gig comes as part of his current North America DJ tour -- meaning no awesome full-ensemble live show -- the show packs a very special punch with opening act Kastle, one of America's own electronic boundary pushers.

As DJ-producer and Symbols Recordings boss, Kastle (AKA Barrett Richards) is at the helm of the "Los Angeles beat" scene and some of the most innovative sounds in American future bass.

Ahead of Saturday's show, we here at Crossfade chatted with Kastle about the L.A. scene, his label, and collaborating with Miami's own Austin Paul.

See also: EDM's Five Greatest Delusions

Crossfade: R&B and soul are obvious reference points in your sound. What did you grow up listening to? Which artists, records or specific styles of music do your think were most formative for you when you began to produce music as Kastle?

Kastle: I fell in love with artists like Herbie Hancock and Run DMC as a kid. "Rockit" is burned into my brain as my first musical memory and it really set the bar for me. Have you watched the video lately? It's still amazing. I still listen to '70s and '80s funk and soul music all the time because it is so timeless. It is an essence that I want in my music.

Thanks to the homegrown Los Angeles beat scene, L.A. has emerged as a real hotbed of innovative left-field electronic music. How do you think living and working in L.A. has shaped you as an artist? Do you feel part of the scene there, as far as engaging with other local artists and bouncing ideas and influences back and forth with them?

I love L.A. because everyone is free to do whatever they want. I think there's a lot of mutual respect between labels, crews, event nights, etc., and everyone inspires each other to work harder. I've met a lot of cool people who, while we may not share exact similar interests, have a lot of great energy.

See also: Music's Five Dumbest Marketing Trends

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Sean Levisman

Latest Stories