Su. 20.12.2020 | 20:00 – 22:00 Uhr
Schallobst #45 – HYPNOTIZING: Remembering Caspar Pound
In the early years of Techno a young lad called Caspar Pound laid the foundation for an inherent part of modern dance culture. Spawning labels, enabling careers and curating an infinite stream of innovative music Caspar would have reached the magic age of 50 in this strange year of 2020.
With this special feature we will honour and celebrate his art and legacy, by revisiting his early work together with personal insights and memories from some of Caspar’s earliest and closest companions, long time collaborators, production partners and contemporaries.
Featuring (in order of appearance:
— Marc Williams (HHFD, Project One)
— Pete Smith (The Hypnotist, MLO)
— Plavka Coleridge (Rising High Collective, Jam & Spoon)
— Thomas Andrezak a.k.a. DJ Tanith
— Michael Wells (G.T.O.)
— Caroline Hervé a.k.a. Kittin
— Jerome Hill (Super Rhythm Trax)
— Michael George (Clubber)
— Gerd Janson (Running Back Records)
Re-listen to the show on mixcloud:
or if you prefer YouTube: https://youtu.be/92ACLYpVTy4
01 – Intro – Intro – 00:00:00
02 – A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd – Total Confusion (Heavenly Mix) – 00:00:18
03 – The Hypnotist – Rainbows In The Sky (Natural High Mix) – 00:01:20
04 – G.T.O. – Pure (Energy) – 00:04:02
05 – The B-Sides – Magic Orchestra – 00:05:10
06 – The KLF – What time is love? – 00:05:12
07 – Quadrophonia – Quadrophonia – 00:05:14
08 – Beat In Time – The Real Time – 00:05:16
09 – Quazar – The Seven Stars – 00:05:18
10 – Joey Beltram – Energy Flash – 00:05:20
11 – Space Opera – Space 3001 (Part I) – 00:05:22
12 – LFO – LFO – 00:05:24
13 – D-Shake – Yaaaaaaaah (Freestyle club mix) – 00:05:26
14 – The Shamen – Pro-Gen (Beatmasters Mix) – 00:05:28
15 – Tricky Disco – Tricky Disco – 00:05:30
16 – Speedy J – Wicked Saw – 00:05:32
17 – Cybersonic – Technarchy – 00:05:33
18 – The Orb – Huge Ever Growing Brain (Orbital Dance Mix) – 00:05:35
19 – 808 State – Cübik – 00:05:37
20 – A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd – Total Confusion (intro) – 00:06:38
21 – A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd – Freedom (Mellow Mix) – 00:06:48
22 – A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd – Total Confusion (Confusion Mix) – 00:09:26
23 – A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd – Start The Panic (Mix 2) – 00:15:18
24 – A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd – Total Confusion (Reprise) with accapella live rap by Marc Williams – 00:21:48
25 – 4 For Money – It’s A Moment In Time (Rising High Dub) – 00:23:35
26 – The Hypnotist – Pypee’s Magic Journey – 00:31:03
27 – Project One – Roughneck (Caspar Pound Remix) – 00:35:06
28 – Linx – You’re Lying – 00:41:44
29 – Richie Havens – Going Back To My Roots – 00:41:50
30 – Public Enemy – Power To The People – 00:41:57
31 – The Hypnotist – The House Is Mine – 00:42:06
32 – The Hypnotist – Hardcore U Know The Score – 00:46:38
33 – Rising High Collective – Fever Called Love (London Mix Instrumental) – 00:49:57
34 – Rising High Collective – Fever Called Love – 00:52:15
35 – Rising High Collective – Reach (Pete Smith Mix) – 00:57:51
36 – The Hypnotist – Hymn – 01:04:53
37 – The Hypnotist – The Ride – 01:09:47
38 – The Hypnotist – Rainbows In The Sky – 01:15:56
39 – Rising High Collective – No Deeper Love (Irresistible Force Remix) – 01:24:16
40 – Friends, Lovers and Family – The Seaside – 01:28:58
41 – A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd – Total Confusion (ROD Remix) – 01:34:50
42 – The Hypnotist – Untitled – 01:40:06
43 – C of E – Church Of Extacy (Ooowee, I Am Ready…!) – 01:42:45
44 – C of E – Church Of Extacy (Confess to Acid Mix) – 01:44:10
45 – The Hypnotist – Night Of The Livin‘ E-Heads – 01:46:02
46 – Industrial High – Militant Core – 01:47:45
47 – Rising High Collective – Fever Called Love (Alt. Vox Mix) – 01:49:49
48 – The Hypnotist – Death By Dub – 01:53:11
49 – A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd – Total Confusion (Heavenly Mix) – 01:53:33
50 – Outro – Outro – 01:59:39
CORRECTIONS & UPDATES
After the initial broadcast of the feature, several sources delivered updated information to the author. Whenever possible, these updates will be added to the distributions of the feature on Mixcloud, YouTube and the download version
Correction 1: Caspar was actually born in Hertfordshire, as the youngest of seven children. He was brought up in Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire, before moving to London at the age of 18 (Source: sibling of Caspar Pound)“
FULL TRANSCRIPT & MUSIC CUES
Intro (Dialogue: Frank Booth and Jeffrey Beaumont + „Hypnotizing“ by Raw Silk „Do It To The Music“)
——— MUSIC: A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd – Total Confusion (Heavenly Mix)
Pete Smith: Funny
Marc Williams: Talented
Pete Smith: Charismatic
Plavka Coleridge: Very ambitious
Moderation: HYPNOTIZING: Remembering Caspar Pound – a feature by Roger van Lunteren
Plavka Coleridge: [Passionate
Marc Williams: Enigmatic
Pete Smith: Open minded
Marc Williams: Crafty
Pete Smith: Good hearted
Marc Williams: Sharp, as in very sharp
Pete Smith: A cool dude
Marc Williams: I think he wanted to make an impact.
Plavka Coleridge: He was a hustler.
Marc Williams: He was just a bloody genius.
Plavka Coleridge: Very bright
Marc Williams: I don’t think I’d be who I am today.
Pete Smith: He drew people to him.
Marc Williams: He was an enigmatic studio genius.
Thomas Andrezak: He was a landmark in my sets.
Pete Smith: You play it on a dance floor and it works, then that’s all you need to know.
Marc Williams: Strange guy, very, very complex character.
Plavka Coleridge: Very capable
Pete Smith: Faceless Techno Bollocks
——— MUSIC: The Hypnotist – Rainbows In The Sky (Natural High Mix)
Moderation: In the early years of Techno a young lad called Caspar Pound laid the foundation for an inherent part of modern dance culture. Spawning labels, enabling careers and curating an infinite stream of innovative music, he stayed active on the scene, right until his untimely passing in 2004, at the age of only 33.
Moderation: In this year – 2020 – Caspar would have reached the magic age of 50.
Moderation: With this special feature we will honour and celebrate his art and legacy, by revisiting his early work together with personal insights and memories from some of Caspar’s earliest and closest companions, long time collaborators, production partners and contemporaries.“
Moderation: Electronic music had a long history before it all took a strong new turn in the year 1990. It felt like all trends and genres melded together to become this one big love: soul, disco and early electro beats, the rhythmic flow of rap and hip hop, the melancholy of new wave and the post punk era of the 80ies, and even the attiude of punk itself. In hindsight, it looks like a natural and inevitable development, that, after acid and house music had justifiebly dominated most of the late 80ies, the sound fusioned with the cold and often harsh sonics and sawtooth synth lines of the preceding 2 decades of industrial music and noises. This all lead to thee revolutionary techno movements, which defined the second half of the golden era of modern electronic dance music from 1988 to 1992.
Moderation: Starting in 1990 the techno movement united the scenes all around the world. They all shared the music, the love for the music and the love for the love. The sound contained many familiar elements, but the time and composition lead to new and powerful tracks, and every day was packed with exciting new releases. Even though the tracks sounded quite dissimilar in those days, the mindset of all scenes was the same: peace, love and dance – a universal language.
——— MUSIC: G.T.O. – Pure (Energy)
Moderation: Wherever the spirit happened it was dark, deep and foggy. Stumbling through the strobo flash lights, longing for that sonic rainbow in the night sky. Somewhere in your hood or the neighbouring towns some people had set up an illegal event. Mostly the locations were hard to find and sometimes impossible to get to. If the secret event was not secretly canceled without any notice at all. No place was safe or worse enough to deliver the perfect backdrop for the illegal dance occasion. That is: if you found it – in a warehouse, in a tunnel, in abandoned factories or in dried-up riverbeds underneath bridges.
Moderation: In those days underground dance music was filled with striking hooks, when almost every track instantly became an eternal classic, defining the genre while expanding its boundaries at the same time.
Moderation: When you went dancing in 1990 underground dance floors usually sounded like this:
——— MUSIC: 1990s Music Medley
G.T.O. – Pure (Energy)
The B-Sides – Magic Orchestra
The KLF – What time is love?
Quadrophonia – Quadrophonia
Beat In Time – The Real Time
Quazar – The Seven Stars
Joey Beltram – Energy Flash
Space Opera – Space 3001 (Part I)
LFO – LFO
D-Shake – Yaaaaaaaah (Freestyle club mix)
The Shamen – Pro-Gen (Beatmasters Mix)
Tricky Disco – Tricky Disco
Speedy J – Wicked Saw
Cybersonic – Technarchy
The Orb – Huge Ever Growing Brain (Orbital Dance Mix)
808 State – Cübik“
——— MUSIC: 808 State – Cübik
Moderation: Looking back at these tracks today – 30 years later – the top hits of that time still are thee defining blueprints for Techno even today. Many of the legendary pioneering artists from the 1990’s techno heyday are still active, doing their thing, evolving.
Person / Peterborough
Moderation: Others unfortunately never even got the chance to get so far. One of those innovating pionieers was Caspar Pound – the Hippie next to the Homeboy and the Funki Dredd, and one half of the infamous Hypnotist. He founded the labels Rising High and its sublabels Sapho and Ascension and kept exploring new territory with every step he made. With his solo projects and many production and writing partners he wrote enormeously unique and groundbreaking tracks – that shook dance floors all around the world.
Moderation: When entering an event, the chances were not too odd that you were being welcomed, and at the same time, blown away by this: “
——— MUSIC: A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd – Total Confusion (intro stabs)
——— MUSIC: A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd – Freedom (Mellow Mix)
Moderation: Born in 1970, Caspar originally hailed from Peterborough, a 2 hour drive north of London. He got involved with music by buying many, many records all the time, and did the first Hip Hip Show on a local radio station in 1987. He also DJed and ran a club together with some fellows, who would later form UK dance act „Shades of Rhythm“.
Moderation: During the second summer of love, when Acid and House Music took the UK by storm in 1988, Caspar could not resist the magical attraction of London, home to the legendary nightclubs like Shoom and Future. Caspar was driven and drawn, and settled there right away, to delve into the hustle and bustle of the big city, while the new sounds kept expanding to continental Europe.
Moderation: He moved through the scene for some time and knew that he had something to contribute, and that he was able and determined to do so. First of all he managed to get some studio time, but it was apparent that he needed support. Then he received a tip that he should go and see a certain Marc Williams, who lived in the area. Hence, one morning in 1990, somewhere in London …
A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd
Marc Williams: I was lying on the floor. The door knocks on my bedroom. He just stuck his … He just came in … eh,.. eh… I mean, this guy’s a lanky, he’s tall, like six foot god knows what. And I’m really short. So I’m lyin‘ there and this massive guy with huge shaggy hair that I’d never seen, you know, just popped in and said: „Hey, you’re Marc, aren’t you?“. And I’m like: „Yes“. „Eh, you make music?“ „Yes!“ „I need someone to come to the studio and write a tune with me, write some music with me!“. „Well, I’m your man..“ and I … We just did it. I got up. We had a chat. He said, meet me around here. I met him. We went to the studio.
Marc Williams: And that’s how I met Caspar. He just appeared like an apparition [laughing].
Marc Williams: The studio we worked in was incredible. This studio was way ahead of where we were. It had a Fairlight System. The sound in this room was unbelievable. So when it came to „Total Confusion“. We were playing on equipment that I just had never used before.
Marc Williams: The arrangement for „Total Confusion“ is one of the strangest arrangements you’ll see. It goes on for ages. You’ve got that countdown. Then the rap comes in and you’ve got the stabs at the end with the „to to to“ in the end. You know, he had so many ideas…
——— MUSIC: A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd – Total Confusion (Confusion Mix)
Marc Williams: I remember when we went in to do „Total Confusion“. It was the day after me tripping. I had taken some, you know, 1990ies experimental things and yeah, I remember we sampled the guitar stab from a group called „Original Concept“ [mimics guitar stab], and the original tune it went „This is total confusion [mimics guitar stab] not an illusion [mimics guitar stab] dance on and mess…“.
Marc Williams: This was Caspar’s idea, go for that „Total Confusion“ and then take that guitar stab and he spanned it across the keyboard. And I had to hammer this kit. He said: „Just play it as hard as you can. I don’t care!“. And in my head, I had „Cübic“ from 808 State [mimics Cübic twice] playing in my head and I’m tripping and … or coming down of it. And the spaces between the keys looked larger to me than the keys. So I kept feeling like I was missing them, so it made me want to play them harder. Oh, I was all over the place. And he saying: „Play ‚em harder, man!“ And of course, he’s got this massive fuzzy head of hair bouncing up and down while he’s saying play it harder. And I’m spanking these melting keys.
Marc Williams: He’s saying: „Play it harder!“. And I’m just [mimics „Total Confusion“]. So towards the end, when the stabs go really crazy, that’s when he was really on [mimics guitar stab], and I’m spank… [mimics guitar stab] [mimics total sample], and he’s going: „HARDER!“ and I’m: „I’m going harder!“ [chuckles] it’s just … And he knew what he wanted to get out of me…
Marc Williams: I had my hang ups after thinking like: „I was, you know, why didn’t I get more?“ But he was being a producer and getting it out of me. It wouldn’t have happened, without, you know, squeezing that juice. So, yeah fair play.
Marc Williams: Putting the delay on the whoos [mimics whoos] „who who who who who“. I put those in. I programmed everything. But Caspar said: „Put a delay on it!“ So he had these little magical sparkle touches that just added a spiritual energy to what we put down. I was really happy with what I did [mimics whoos] „Whoo whoo“ dry. But when he said: [mimics whoos echoed] „whoo, whoo, whoo, whoo, whoo-whoo whoo whoo. It just aaaaaaah …
Marc Williams: He just knew how to do that thing that made you put your hands up. He understood what those kind of lazers were doing to people. And, you know, the mixture of those visuals with that either ambient, uplifting or real gritty ground and kind of thing is what made him spectacular.
Moderation: The track was almost finished but Caspar and Marc felt like something was missing.
Marc Williams: We needed something. We were flying in that room and we weren’t going to leave there without having something to walk along there. And we’re in the studio, we’ve put together this kind of amazing piece. I didn’t know it was amazing, but it obviously was and it was powerful. We need to get this done now. A limited time in the studio. Let’s finish this thing. So I said I’ve got this rap that I’ve written for someone else.
Marc Williams: I could always put the rap on there, as a placeholder, so we’ve got something in the space to hold us. And he’s like, okay, let’s try it. I go in the box, I do this rap and he’s looking at me, going: „This is really good. We should keep it!“ I’m like: „Hell, no!“ I’m a serious producer. I’m a serious musician. I don’t do raps. And he’s like: „Yep, but it’s good, mate!“. And it never bloody came off.
——— MUSIC: A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd – Start The Panic (Mix 2)
Marc Williams: I turned up at home that morning, it was an all night session, and knocked on the guy, Tony, who had gotten me a room he was like always listening to every tune I’d ever made. Knock on his door, he’s in bed. He gets on, like me: „I think we’ve done a good tune, you know!“. He was like: „Really?“ I put headphones on him and he’s lying down. And he plays the tune and within like 30 seconds, he’s bolt upright in bed, eyes like alive. And he’s like: „What the f… is this? This is crazy!“ I’m not really sure what’s happening.
Marc Williams: Well, a few days later, Caspar comes around, picks up the phone, goes: „Hi, yeah, I’m calling from Rising High Records, I’d like to have a meeting, come down, play some tunes, bla bla“ and they’re like, they just: „Yeah, come down, wuh…!“ Virgin, EMI … I’m like, looking at this: „How the f…. lip did you just wangle this?“ I’ve been sitting in bedrooms, playing these dodgy Casio keyboards for god knows how long, I’ve just walked into Ian Levine’s studio straight away. And from there we’re going into every record company. Just from this confident young guy who just knew how to spin it, you know.
Marc Williams: Me and Caspar go out to these record companies, and we get turned down the first day by three labels. Every single label: „Nah…“. So that night after being rejected three times, me, Caspar, and we take my friend that I played the tune to that morning, we go to a famous club called Shaftesbury’s. There was a classic night called „Confusion’s“, a legendary night.
Marc Williams: And on the night bus on the way back home, I say to Tony: „Why don’t you come out with us tomorrow? To some of these meetings …“, because we had a really good night and were buzzing on the way back home on the night bus. Me and Caspar are laughing, we’re telling Tony these stories about, you know, going around to these record companies, and it not working. And Tony’s really like confident that there’s something wrong with these people because he was blown away and why don’t they understand.
Marc Williams: And Tony’s got these funky dreads, short back and sides, and he’s this hunk of a man, built strong square chin. There’s me just lily livered musician and Caspar, this lanky, kind of character. I never really thought of the sight of me and Caspar walking into to record companies, what that must have looked like: „Who the F are these two twats?“. But Tony was the great equalizer. Tony was the person that gelled this whole thing together.
Marc Williams: And it really taught me a lesson because the next day we went out, and it was a complete 180. Everybody wanted to sign us. Because I realized that a lot of people listen to music with their eyes. When you are looking at „Earth, Wind and Fire“, when you’re looking at „Michael Jackson“, it’s not just the music, it’s his dance moves. It’s the spectacle of „Parliament“. And a guy coming down in a spaceship with his nappies on that makes you kind of go crazy. The sound is complemented by the vision.
Marc Williams: So I didn’t realize that until we went around and we just got a deal straight away. Sheila, her name was that, at Tam Tam, signed us.
Marc Williams: Maybe the fact that we had such a light hearted attitude about failure that day, helped us to get over it and think of new ideas and bring Tony in. Maybe if we were more hurt and knocked back, we wouldn’t have had that kind of optimistic attitude.
Moderation: „Total Confusion“ entered the UK single charts at position 56 in October 1990. As so often, success is not only a good thing.
Marc Williams: We were young and full of energy and pride and the ego. Ego and the artist are best friends. And it’s the most destructive element of any artist, I think is the ego. You need some, but if you don’t control it, it turns you into an absolute horror. What it was for me, I believed that people were looking at me as just the rapper, because the front of house look of „Homeboy, Hippie and A Funki Dredd“ is that you had Caspar on the keyboard, I was the rapper and Tony was the DJ.
Marc Williams: The fact was, I was the guy behind the keyboard and the rapper, and Caspar was more of the sample guy and Tony wasn’t in there at all. So by the time it came out and all the press and everything seemed to be gearing towards „Caspar the studio genius“ and the rapper’s Marc. The rap was done as a place filler. To get someone else to do a rap.
Marc Williams: They wrote about the tune „Total Confusion“ and all they wrote was: „Caspar Pound, this enigmatic studio genius“, comes up with this song and they completely ignored me.
Marc Williams: So I had an ego, a bit of a chip on my shoulder about it. I wanted the kind of respect that I thought I deserved for the work that I put in. And it led to me and Caspar having a massive bust up. And that was our lowest moment. And that’s when we split.
Marc Williams: But we ended up just getting back together and doing „Project One“ and all sorts of stuff after so like blokes do, we had a pint. We had a pint of beer, shot the breeze for a little while, chatted about it and got over it, started making beats again.
Marc Williams: „Enigmatic“ I think that was the thing that got to me when I was younger. It’s a word I’ll use now, but I think it was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. But I would now use that word. Ironically, I would pull that word right back out and say they were correct. He was „enigmatic studio genius“, because I don’t know how he managed to come up with ‚em big tunes. I just don’t know how he managed to do it. He was an enigmatic studio genius, yeah.
Marc Williams: So Total Confusion was [mumbling Total Confusion, inhales, starts the rap…] „I see you walk the streets …“
——— MUSIC: A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd – Total Confusion (Reprise) with accapella live rap by Marc Williams
Moderation: „Total Confusion“ marks the intial starting point for the careers of Caspar and Marc. This track had no „4 to the floor“ beat like many other tracks, and it wasn’t alike any other breakbeat tune either. In fact nothing ever sounded like it before and since. It follows its own rules and stays unmatched until this day. It may even be burnt into your musical memory, depending on how intensively you experienced the time back then.
Moderation: For Caspar and Marc it was a door opener to further exciting experiences, new acquaintances and possibilities.“
——— MUSIC: 4 For Money – It’s A Moment In Time (Rising High Dub)
Marc Williams: After getting signed to Tam Tam, in order to get us moving, they got us to do a remix for a track called „A Moment in Time“ by a group called 4 For Money, big piano house tune: [sings track] „Da, da, da, da, dada … It’s more than time.“
Marc Williams: Tam Tam Records, their local studio was F2 studios in Mount Pleasant in central London.
Marc Williams: And Pete Smith was the resident engineer. And we did our first couple of tunes with him, the remix.
Marc Williams: Pete is a savage … [laughs out loud]
Pete Smith: I was working at the studio and for the owner, I was helping him with his tracks. Because he was putting out tracks on his own, and in return he was giving me studio time so that I could work on some tracks for myself and he would put them out.
Pete Smith: Caspar was with Homeboy Hippie and Funki Dredd, who just had a bit of a hit with „Total Confusion“, and they came in to do a follow up track. Yeah, they seem to be riding high. They were you know a lively bunch of lads. And yeah, we got on really well in the studio.
Pete Smith: Initially, it was a very fun time. It was a really buzzy, little set up and people were coming by all the time and it really felt like something was taking off. There was a lot of energy. The studio was working. People were in there 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Making music. it was a really sort of creative and energetic place to be.
Pete Smith: I mean, that’s what everyone was into, that was mainly the people coming through the door at F2. And there were several other engineers doing tracks there producing and remixing and all sorts of stuff. So it was a hub of positive dance energy.
Marc Williams: So that’s how we really got to Pete. And I just learned so much from him because, this was maybe my second time in a professional studio. The first one was writing „Total Confusion“ and the next one is „remix is this big dance tune“. And I’m sitting with Pete, who’s got all this experience, and Caspar pushed him and I pushed him and he didn’t break. And that just told us this was the guy and he just like: „Yo, give me more!“ That was Pete: „Give me more. Let’s go!“. Pete’s a gee, absolute gee.
Marc Williams: I met Plavka through Caspar.
Pete Smith: Plavka … Plavka was working with The Shamen and I was doing their session, and … that’s how I met her. I don’t know how she hooked up with Caspar, but people were always dropping by the studio. It was a bit of a sort of center. There was always a few people hanging out and drinking coffee or tea or whatever, and talking and playing each other a bit music. And so, you know, she was always on the scene.
Plavka Coleridge: I met him by chance. I was going to „Mount Pleasant Studios“, which is in King’s Cross. And I was going there because I was going to be recording the song „LSI“ for the Shamen, because that’s the group I was in at the time. That’s where I met Caspar. He was there because it turns out that’s where he was always recording, always working. I know that, like when I met him, I thought, wow, it’s so cool to meet him. I didn’t really know that much about Homeboy, Hippie and a Funky Dredd, but he was telling me about it and he seemed like an incredibly cool person. And quite honestly, I think it was love at first sight [laughs] …
Marc Williams: It was like a clubhouse. We were all just down there mixing and melding and it was just beautiful.
Pete Smith: You hear that about other places. It was just fortunate that it was there.
Moderation: F2 studios became a melting pot for people of all kinds of backgrounds and generations which led to mutual inspirations. In retrospect Marc sees similarities to his younger self from his perspective as a manager for today’s young artists.
Marc Williams: You’ve got to put yourself in the time, it was a whole new movement. When I think I got to a certain age and a whole new set of kids came to me and I kind of I saw them as my future. So I gripped onto them.
Marc Williams: And I think Pete saw that in us. And that we were these young kind of upstarts that have just come in with this brash new sound, you know … put a delay on that, more reverb, more bass, more bass that, you know. We were like dangerous and I think Pete spotted that and just thought: „These guys are like throwbacks“ You know, it was very rock and roll, what we were trying to do and I think it’s sung to him. I never really dug into Pete’s past because he was a very quiet guy, but he was a quiet storm…
Pete Smith: I’m 10 years older. But that’s why it was kind of interesting for me because they were having a sort of revolution and I’d had a revolution. I mean, I’d been a punk musician in the 70s. So I’d kind of that idea of just making your own music and not working for the big record labels and stuff.
Pete Smith: I’ve been around since then. And so when it came around again basically with sort of hip hop and stuff coming from the states, I was reenergized and excited by that as we’ve been kind of bogged down, again, by big record labels and big pompous rock groups. And the whole sort of acid house and house music in general, just the warehouse nature of it was really exciting.
Pete Smith: And I was still active and putting out tunes, you know, all through that, really. So … but I did have a sort of a distance because of the age difference.
Pete Smith: I don’t know if that worked in any way to my advantage or their advantage or whatever, but I kind of like to think it might have made some difference.
Pete Smith: But I partied pretty hard. You know, I got … [laughs] I didn’t let them get away with anything that I wouldn’t do.
Marc Williams: Caspar went into F2 and started his label from the studio. and I started joining him down in the studio in the basement, It was a very cool spot and we could just come in and out, it was just like our hangout spot, you know.
Rising High Records
——— MUSIC: The Hypnotist – Pypee’s Magic Journey
Moderation: Caspar founded the label „Rising High Records“ in early 1991 on the premises of F2 studios, partnering with the studioowner Rob McLuhan. Initially Caspar wanted to release his own music on white labels, just until he found another record deal. But that didn’t work out as planned. The label was part of his master plan, which did not necessarily include the situation, that he found himself in; all of a sudden running three record labels as a label manager in a full time job: Rising High, Sapho (together with Pypee, the dancer of the Hypnotist), and Ascension.
Marc Williams: He always had this Rising High umbrella thing that he wanted to do. He wanted to do an umbrella company. I remember him telling me this straight away.
Pete Smith: I think, what was interesting to Caspar, and what attracted him to become involved with me and Rob was that there was already a sort of a little business established, which the sort of the kernel of a little label. And just the mechanics of getting records pressed and getting labels made and distribution and things like that were already in place. So, I think plus the studio had a good reputation as a sort of dance music studio in London and further afield actually, people came down from all over the country to work there.
Moderation: Caspar had a clear vision of what he wanted Rising High Records to become. He was observing very closely what R&S Records from Belgium and the UK’s Warp Records were doing, and he wanted to establish Rising High as a high quality label.
Moderation: Soon Rising High became one the most important UK labels for dance music, and it was a well respected player in the international scene. The quality of the releases spoke for themselves, dancefloors were thankful, promotion was almost unnecessary.
Moderation: The label’s reputation opened intercontinental doors, leading to licencing deals with the labels Underground Resistance from Detroit, R&S and german labels Low Spirit and Harthouse.
Plavka Coleridge: There was a lot of incredible labels putting out white labels and things like that, which was so exciting because it meant that, you know, somebody could put their ideas down and record and it be pressed and it would just be out so quickly. And that’s what’s really exciting because it was very kind of like of the moment and it kept changing. And that’s what’s exciting.
Plavka Coleridge: You know rather be like going with a big major label and it takes it two years for your music to come out. That’s not the point. Unlike what we were doing on the scene that we were in.
Plavka Coleridge: It was all influenced by music coming out of Holland, Belgium, Germany. Frankfurt was the epicenter of techno at that time and that was a big influence on Caspar.
Moderation: The first release on Rising High Records was „Rainbows In the Sky“ by the Hypnotist. A project, he formed with Pete Smith. The track took off in Germany immediately, getting Caspar and Pete to spend much time in Frankfurt and Berlin. It took the UK about 6 months to discover this gem.
Moderation: The direction of Rising High was not really following any strict rules, but it did specialize more in rave, techno, ambient and chillout music.
——— MUSIC: Project One – Roughneck (Caspar Pound Remix)
Moderation: When the releases were critically acclaimed, Caspar thought he would try and keep it just that way.
Moderation: But then again, he got excited about a new demo from Project One or Interface, which he felt from within, were prime examples for the sound of Rising High, without a care about their commercial potential or performance.
Marc Williams: Doing „Project One“ with Caspar was a great experience for me because it was a sound that I believed in, more so than the hard core sound. It was my heritage that I could bring forth. So when I did „I love to smoke marijuana“, the three or four Project One EPs I did were among his best performing stuff. And the West-Indian experience in London is very powerful. So it just worked very well and helped me be a very integral part of what became Drum & Bass, which I still to this day am amazed and really proud to be part of that. And that was down to Caspar. Because we did „Total Confusion“ together, he just gave me freedom to be who I wanted to be on Rising High. And he said, whatever you want to bring me, just bring me.
Pete Smith: The essence of the tune was the important thing. And yeah, Caspar … we were sort of as one with that idea that if someone brought in a track, he’d release what they brought in. It wasn’t a matter of sort of striving for perfection, you know, it was just … just capture the spirit of the thing and then try and put that out.
Moderation: Caspar once said in an interview that he got a lot of demo tapes, listened to them all, but signed almost none.
Moderation: Knowing himself how to make electronic dance music in various styles, and being aware of the freedom of music production, made it hard to convince him of the music he got sent.
Moderation: And because he liked a lot of different music, and Rising High was not necessarily pinned to any genre, he knew, when he had heard a potential Rising High record.
Moderation: This way the label started and pushed the careers of chill out maestro „Irresistible Force“ aka Mixmaster Morris, Luke Vibert as „Wagon Christ“, Black Dog Productions and the later Plaid … among many others.
Moderation: But even though Caspar was confident that he was correctly filtering out the 75% that was deemed not good enough, one would certainly have taken a closer look at the demo material and evaluated the decision in a much more differentiated way, if one had known beforehand how an artist would develop.
Marc Williams: This happened to everyone. This is not exclusive to him. But it was one of those moments where, I could see one of his frailties came out, and I’ll never forget this one: Someone came in, it was a girl that works for him, in the studio, like an assistant. And she brought a demo tape in and played it to him. And he kind of poo-pooed it because I think of the person who played it to him.
Marc Williams: He poo-pooed it like: „Yeah, no, we don’t need that!“, walked away. And it turned out to be the „Aphex Twin“, is that how you say his name? So we sat in and heard really early „Aphex Twin“ stuff, and he was just this kid from out in the country that she knew personally, that was just doing these beats in his bedroom. And Caspar was like: „F… Nah, we don’t need that!“ Because I think he was too close to what he was. Being this kind of „Hardcore god“ and. I don’t think he’d mind me calling him that actually [laughs out] … but he [laughs out] … but yeah, we both sat down and I didn’t tell him he was wrong, which is kind of my own thing. But he … we turned it down, and that was a moment where I think we were both kind of, in out, we were both getting high off our own supply. Feeding ourselves a lot in the studio like: „We’re the guys!“ And yeah, to turn down „Aphex Twin“, and then he turned up like, you know, six months, a year later…
Moderation: To keep the high quality output going – from a business point of view – the label worked just like any other company.
Moderation: Some releases were successful and fortunately made enough money to crossfinance the label’s activities. For example „The House Is Mine“ was Rising High’s best selling release at the time, it sold 50.000 copies.
Moderation: But making hit records was never Caspar’s priority, because he thought that could kill a record label.
Moderation: And this attitude paved the way for the art and artists of Rising High – and possibly spawned some dreams about life-spanning careers in music.
Plavka Coleridge: That whole time when I was with Caspar, it was like it was like a dream come true. Because we had like this tribe, because obviously he created Rising High Records and then he signed all these artists. So we kind of we’re always surrounded by a bunch of similar people. And we were all in similar age, and so it was just incredible, I had like this gang of people to hang out with and it was pretty damn cool. And then, like, he and I had been able to, like, go off and do gigs all over, well and then also going to different recording studios and doing some TV shows. It was, it was definitely a dream come true.
Moderation: When it came to the Hypnotist, you would never know, what happened next. So if you took a sweet piece of this:
——— MUSIC: Linx – You’re Lying
Moderation: Something embracing like this:
——— MUSIC: Richie Havens – Going Back To My Roots
Moderation: And a powerful positiveness like this:
——— MUSIC: Public Enemy – Power To The People
Moderation: With the Hypnotist you most probably would end up here:
——— MUSIC: The Hypnotist – The House Is Mine
Pete Smith: In the studio you know, it was rocking. I wasn’t interested in making a good studio sounding record. I wanted something that sounded good on the dance floor, you know, that was always the thing.
Pete Smith: I mean, obviously, they could sit and chill to some of the tunes, but, it was happening on the street and in clubs.
Pete Smith: If the ingredients are in there, it’ll work, you know, so … Sometimes I had to keep the young ones in line a bit [laughs], but they havin‘ fun, so, that’s cool.
Plavka Coleridge: The Hypnotist was definitely Caspar’s rock stance. It had that rock posture, you know: „The Hypnotist, like really hard“. I remember he had some funny samples, it was hysterical. But, you know, it was like this really hard persona. The music was insane. It was like very masculine and very … Yeah [laughs] … definitely entertaining. It’s good.
Pete Smith: And then, me and Caspar, I guess it was probably because initially he needed someone to engineer his sessions. He wanted to do some tracks and things he was up for trying out. Just a sort of meeting of minds and a good situation.
Pete Smith: I’m always looking for deejays to come along with boxes of records and bring me some breakbeats and bass lines and stuff like that. So it’s a sort of mutual thing, really. Dejays were and still are probably … they’re sort of magnets. They’ll find stuff, they will spend hours going through a box of records in a second hand shop just to hopefully find maybe one track that they can use. And I didn’t have time for any of that stuff and wasn’t particularly interested, but he was bringing that to me, sort of a D.J. mentality and I was probably bringing the technical side, plus I could program synthesizers and stuff like that. So it made a good team.
Moderation: Maintaining a certain kind of contrast within a track was an essential and integral part of the creative process of the Hypnotist.
Pete Smith: I think it’s a matter of probably just a technical thing, really. When I was doing mixing mixing tracks, I would be probably a bit more technically aware of using effects and stuff like that. Whereas I think Caspar would go for a kind of dryer, more sort of edgy kind of sound. I would say that was probably the main difference. In terms of what we liked to listen to, when we were working, we’d have it earsplitting loud and it would be rough as hell. That was the criteria, I mean, the speakers in our studios used to get replaced every couple of weeks, because they just … they wouldn’t last. But it was about dynamism and getting some energy and sort of getting people nodding their head and tapping their feet and just making sure that it was sort of focused in that direction. And if everything is like really rock hard and blazing and there’s no contrast. So I think the contrast between this sort of slightly smoother sound and a sort of tougher techno, makes for a better track.
Moderation: In the studio it was all about capturing the moment and getting it straight – because having to record to tape didn’t tolerate any messing about.
Pete Smith: We had a saying, you know, that we don’t do demos. Which was my approach for a long time because I used to hear people would bring in demos when I was doing studio work and say: „Oh, we want to do this again in the big studio.“
——— MUSIC: The Hypnotist – Hardcore U Know The Score
Pete Smith: And I’d listened to the demo and say: „Why do you want to do this again? This sounds great. Put this out! You know, this is a really good, fantastic track. If you do it again, you’re looking to lose that something that’s … that you’ve got there.“ People would say: „Oh, no, we need, you know, the record label wants it done in a big studio…“ and all this production and stuff like that, whereas the original idea was raw, exciting, you know. there might be some things you could improve if you wanted to, but you know, I’ve seen ten thousand people going crazy on the dance floor, to something that was made on a Tascam Four Track with cassettes.
Pete Smith: Especially with digital because, I come from an older tradition of using tape. Once you’ve recorded something, you recorded it and obviously you can patch it up and you can do a little bit of editing and things like that. But with digital, you’ve always got the constant ability to change everything at any time. So you really need to have discipline to know, when something is going to be permanent and you’re not going to go back and fiddle and fiddle and mess about. At least with tape, you had a discipline to sort of get it down, get it as good as you can and then move on to mixing.
Pete Smith: I’ve worked with lots of people that have started with very primitive, I mean, really primitive stuff, „bedroom techno“ and „bedroom hip hop“. You know, people had their Technics deck and just cuttin‘ records together and putting out white labels and stuff like that.
Pete Smith: I’m going back to sort of Reggae traditions, of people would make a tune and they pressed it up on a dubplate and then take it to a dance. And if it dropped at the dance, then they knew they were on to something, you know, and that it’s not really for people to go home and listen on their record players or their stereos.
Pete Smith: I did like that DIY ethic. It’s just not restricting yourself really by any kind of technical nonsense, you know. People don’t notice in the dance floors, you see the dance floor filling up when a track goes on. They don’t know if it’s done on a four track or done on a eight track or digital or analog or anything.
Pete Smith: „Hardcore you know the score“ That was a great one to make. I remember we had some really good times in the studio, putting that one together. It was just a phrase that you’d hear on pirate radio stations in London. They’ll be shouting that out, so we put that on a tune. It’s the studio manager on another phone in the building, shouting his head off [laughs]. And we just sampled that, you know. He’s called Andy Higgins, by the way. That was the man doing the „Hardcore you know the score“. Shout out to Andy.
Rising High Collective / R.H.C.
——— MUSIC: Rising High Collective – Fever Called Love (London Mix Instrumental)
Moderation: Even though the name „Rising High Collective“ – or shortened: R.H.C. – had already been mentioned even on A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd’s first release „Total Confusion“, „R.H.C.“ had only really formed after Caspar teamed up with american singer Plavka.
Plavka Coleridge: When I met him, first of all there was just this chemistry. And so it turns out it was shared chemistry but it was coming from a place of admiration because we were on the same path. We were both twenty one. I had just moved there recently from L.A. I kind of like escaped, never been in England, but I just knew I was so into the rave scene and at the time America didn’t know anything really about really cool underground dance music unless if you went to Detroit or something. But I was very young. I was still living at home. So but then Caspar was, I was really impressed by him, because he was already making records and I was doing it with the Shamen. And so I just think it was a real meeting of the minds. And we were like kind of just into the same thing. very passionate about the scene.
Marc Williams: And then Caspar comes in with this gorgeous siren of a lady with a soultry american accent. She was vampish, she’s gorgeous. He said, like: „Marc, we’re writing music together.“
Moderation: R.H.C. then was Plavka & Caspar as the core members, and anyone who had ideas to contribute was invited to join in.
Pete Smith: It was very loose, really. I think they did lots of sessions with lots of different people, engineering and things like that. It was a kind of broad range of people doing different things.
Marc Williams: And because we were just around all the time, it was something where you could be there and it’s like: „Oh, I’m doing something. Do you want to jump in?“
——— MUSIC: Rising High Collective – Fever Called Love
Moderation: Again, it was never Caspar’s priority to make hit records, but he was itchting when he started R.H.C. with Plavka. In a way they shared a vision of what a techno track could be.
Plavka Coleridge: We need to do the very first techno track with a real song. So not just gratuitous like adlibs, because there was many, many techno tracks with just some adlibs. But he said, we’re going do a full song meaning verses, chorus. And so we thought we would do it with Marc Williams because Marc Williams is a very good songwriter. So I remember the three of us, were working at the studio. And of course, Pete Smith, he was always the engineer because Pete was incredible with all the sound and the EQ-ing and what have you.
Pete Smith: I was probably just doing the technical stuff, again, working the mixing desk and sequencing and a bit of synth programming, stuff like that.
Plavka Coleridge: And then, of course, I sang it. And then I would say all the production was Caspar.
Marc Williams: And the kind of „Da na masana, na da da da da da da da da da da da da dah“ [sings Fever called love] was something that I had kind of sketched in my head.
Marc Williams: They were words that I had already written. And then when she sung it, it felt like I wrote it for her, because she made it sound dreamy.
Plavka Coleridge: I love it, yeah, to this day and I think it sounds fresh. I think it’s special, again, because of what I was saying about what we set out to do with that track. It was very clear, and also it It all worked. Like it had a really good melody, you could sing along to it. And it was cool and it wasn’t like cheesy, yeah [laughs] …
Marc Williams: That song, I get goose pimples with that one. Now that’s a tough tune. That song it had teeth, it had gears, it had claws.
Marc Williams: Soft, beautiful pad across that really hard coarse beat. So you’re surfing on this thing and all of a sudden the heavens open up: „Aaaahhhhh“ and like: „Ah, it’s a beautiful day“. The same thing he did with Plavka. You had this [mimics Fever Called Love bassline] . And you’re kind of like: „oh oh oh“ [mimics Fever Called Love voices], and this real kind of coarse thing. And then all of a sudden you’re swimming under this beautiful siren, almost like a … like a mermaid’s come.
Marc Williams: He was fearless, man. He was fearless guy. He just knew how to make things rub.
Plavka Coleridge: It was just so much fun. When Hypnotist was booked to play at the Omen, it was just incredible because we were just doing music on our own in the scruffy little studio in Kings Cross. And then we went to Frankfurt and then all these people knew about the Hypnotist and it was just so incredible. We’re still really young and we had never been … we’re not performers, you know, or anything like that, but we learned as we went. And then I got to do „Fever Called Love“, so we kind of tossed that into after the Hypnotist’s performance. That’s how it led to us meeting Renaat from R&S because he was at the show and then, you know, he signed us as R.H.C..
Marc Williams: And he just had this way of dowsing you, soaking you in emotion, whether it was a hard coarse or ambiance, he soaked you in it, he overplayed it, he wouldn’t give you ninety percent, he’d give you a hundred and fifty percent, it was just mad. It’s great, great stuff.
Moderation: „Fever Called Love“ was Caspar’s favourite R.H.C. track. That was the one that made his heart flatter. It reached Position 65 in the UK single charts in January 1992. Casper then had slight regrets that it was released on R&S instead of Rising High. But the R&S label boss Renaat had talked him into that, somehow.
Marc Williams: Basically, we did „Fever Called Love“ and it was an underground hit, but it didn’t have commercial success. Now, one thing that me and Caspar could constantly do was underground, the streets, the clubs. We could really go at it, you know. But we had no commercial success and we didn’t mind that until R.H.C.. R.H.C. was when he really wanted to go up a level and we did „Fever Called Love“ and I think it did well considering what we did. And that was enough to get Jam & Spoon to notice Plavka.
Marc Williams: „Reach“ the next song we did, I think we overplayed that one. We put a lot more money into that song.
——— MUSIC: Rising High Collective – Reach (Pete Smith Mix)
Plavka Coleridge: One time we went to go do a TV show with Pypee, he was dancing for us. And we were going to perform a song called „Reach“ and we went to do the „Hitman and Her“. It was quite a big TV show at the time. It would come on late at night on the weekends. And the people that hosted it would go to different nightclubs and raves. And then they would like put it on TV. So the idea was like if you were out with your friends, you come back from a club and you watch the „Hitman and Her“. And it was really fun, we did that show. We were like in some club or something. We didn’t do a lot of TV shows. We were like a critically acclaimed kind of group. We weren’t really top 40 or anything like that. But it was fun [laughs].
Marc Williams: Jam & Spoon do a tune called „Right In The Night“. Wow, that tune went off. Whooooo, that tune went off, we’re watching this tune at number one in the charts for bloody weeks. And I’m watching Caspar’s spirit just getting knocked and knocked and knocked. Because he wanted to be the guy that brought commercial success to Plavka.
Marc Williams: He wanted to show he could do that. He had a label, a studio, a team. He got a great songwriter and me and him. And „we can produce this. We can make this hit“, you know. And then she goes and does it with Jam & Spoon. And it kicks … you know what: it kind of kicked my butt as well if I’m being real. Because, you know, we were a unit down there and Plavka was our chance to smash it.
Marc Williams: Pete Smith is an engineer. But I think with that kind of sound, he was really taking an instrumental part in it.
Pete Smith: I got into arranging quite a bit. Personally, I think arranging’s very underrated, I think 80 percent of the track is the arrangement, in my opinion. Making sure that things drop when they drop and stuff like that and keeping it tight.
Marc Williams: I was just the songwriter. So they got me in to write a song. I put the chords on „Reach“ for Caspar. And I did a remix but my main thing was writing „Fever Called Love“. That was the most I did for R.H.C., to be honest.
Pete Smith: „Reach“, yeah. It was quite a long time working on it. Never quite reached its potential, but I liked it.
Marc Williams: We did really well. But we didn’t do Jam & Spoon, you know, and me and Caspar knew that if we really put our minds to it and we made the right moves, we could have done that. But we didn’t want to. We didn’t want to. We enjoyed where we were.
Moderation: Plavka and Caspar continued producing and recording as „Rising High Collective“ among other names, keeping the concept of changing line-ups.
Plavka Coleridge: I remember he started recording some songs for me just under my name and he was releasing them on Rising High. Because I got more and more into like I wanted to sing like a proper song. I was thinking that if you’re in dance music, sometimes the vocalist is not important as a track and as they put the track really loud and put the vocalist quiet. And I was like, „wait a minute“, because I had more old fashioned ideas because I’m from California, United States, I think in a song a singer is really important.
Plavka Coleridge: So I was writing more songs and were doing „Feel the fire“. I just listened to it the other day and it’s really good. And I was like in that point, like getting into Trip Hop too like Portishead and stuff and it kind of has that sound.
Plavka Coleridge: And I wanted to express myself in a more soulful singing. I thought that „Fever Called Love“ was pretty soulful, that’s cool, you know. Yes, so now whenever I hear anything that we do, it’s just there’s just a lot of love, yeah.
Marc Williams: That was R.H.C., Plavka was wonderful, genius. I think it really helped Caspar, it hurt at first, but it helped Caspar move on from the whole „Total Confusion“ era and stuff, and it helped him move into the ambient and stuff like that. You know, it was a necessary step.
——— MUSIC: The Hypnotist – Hymn
Moderation: Live performances were always nice when someone did it, which in many cases was not possible in clubs back then.
Moderation: Also a live performance was not necessarily better than the recorded studio version. In the end nobody in the audience could tell the difference, between what was played live and what was played back from tape anyway.
Moderation: So it didn’t bother Caspar too much – or – in his own words he was: „not too snobbish about it“.
Moderation: According to Pete, the Hypnotist’s live appearances were …
Pete Smith: Oh, a bloody mess, usually.
Pete Smith: It was me and Caspar and a guy called Pypee, who was our front guy. He was fantastic. He just got the crowd going. I was always a bit uncomfortable with doing a live thing with a playback, so I always tried to make sure that at least I had a synthesizer that was plugged in. If we were doing it to playback, then I could play something on top and give it something to make it so it wasn’t just people listening to a tape. But I used to have a lot of fun.
Pete Smith: We didn’t really have much time to work up a show, really, we’re just doing sort of short promotional little things, so… But it was great to actually be in front of an audience and get some feedback. I think a lot of electronic music doesn’t really experience that. Obviously, deejays do, you know, the deejays are the heroes of today.
Pete Smith: You can sit in a studio and fiddle about with different Hihat patterns and, you know, stuff like that for days and days, but you get it onto a dance floor and then, you know, you get that feedback, so… Yeah, it was gratifying. But it was sequenced digital music.
Pete Smith: You know, I just needed a keyboard to play that I could just, just throw in a few sounds and stuff like that.
Pete Smith: I come from a background of playing in bands, you know, so… There’s no question of standing on a stage, unless you’re presenting something, you know, that you’re actually doing it. Sort of it feels a bit like a fraud, you know, a bit … Not, quite not quite being honest.
Moderation: The line up at the Mayday 1991 in Berlin, was of the highest quality the techno scene had to offer at the time: DJs Frank de Wulf, Westbam, Sven Väth, Tanith. And live acts: Ravesignal, Speedy J, Mental Overdrive and The Hypnotist.
Moderation: Berlins legendary DJ Tanith, real name Thomas Andrezak – remembers the live performances that day.
Thomas Andrezak: It was a night where everybody that I saw on stage, gave everything [laughs]. It was totally different by what the artists were doing, but everyone gave everything. Like sweating and putting everything in there, and you saw it the hall, because I was up there in this VIP area and we looked down at it, like this mass going crazy to everything that was happening.
——— MUSIC: The Hypnotist – The Ride
Moderation: The output of Caspar’s projects was critically acclaimed, but the perception of the productions and the music he was involved in, of course varied at the time of release, depending from what perspective one looks at it.
Marc Williams: I was completely shocked at what happened. I didn’t know. I just didn’t know what we’d done. Caspar knew more than I did. He realized that we’d made something really big because I think he’d been out a lot more in the clubs, he’d be in the game a lot more … I don’t know, he spotted it before I did. I just couldn’t spot it. He was just a gee like that. The reaction of people to that song „Total Confusion“ was mind blowing for me because, they really all got it, and I still didn’t I didn’t get what we did.
Thomas Andrezak: The first encounter was, I think, 1990 with A Homeboy, a Hippie and a Funki Dredd. I played that at my first club night that I had for myself at the second UFO club called „Cyberspace“. And I was responsible for the harder or faster kind of techno, whereas others wanted to go more into the acid, or house direction. I wanted to always have it the fastest, the hardest, and it fitted perfectly. [laughs]
Pete Smith: The Prodigy for example, were doing stuff which had a lot of crossover, had, you know, breakbeats. It had Ragga, you know, the Ragga thing was big in Britain, sort of early drum and bass, so the hardcore stuff really didn’t go. It wasn’t really too popular, actually.
Pete Smith: Well we had a review once, which Caspar put on a T-shirt, and it was: „Faceless Techno Bollocks“. That’s what one reviewer thought. I was not really aware of it being especially brutal, I mean, I spent some time in Germany at the Tresor and places like that, and I’d heard plenty of much, much tougher tunes. Our stuff sounded very, very soft after coming back from a few nights there.
Pete Smith: I think the influences in Britain was a lot more sort of crossover between different styles of music. And … there was this element of humor. It was something which we kind of enjoyed in the studio, making stuff that was funny. Just the broadness of where you hear something that inspires you or makes you laugh, you know, something you think is funny. Because I think there’s always room for a bit of that and music.
Pete Smith: There were certain deejays I guess that would play a harder set. But I think the mass appeal, or whatever the mass was at the time was, was probably for sort of more varied deejay set. Whereas the stuff that I’d heard in Germany, there would just be, you know, sort of eight hours of brutal, [laughs], you know, brutal slamming. It would be great, but in England or in Britain, it’d be a bit more mixed up. And I think that comes back. You know, there was sort of a hip hop base and there was a reggae base and there was just a little bit more variety in the sources that people were using to make their tracks. I forgot, I mean, that Belgian stuff that came out as well. I can’t remember any of the tracks now, I mean, that was … That was pretty tough, you know, that was tough stuff.
Thomas Andrezak: I perceived it as epic. It was like hardcore symphonies for me. And that was different to other tracks like the Belgian stuff, or Acid stuff where you heard it like a few times, and you knew where you had to go in. It wasn’t like, like normal tracks, like there was so much happening in the tracks that it was like, you listen to it ten times and you always hear a different layer in the tracks.
Thomas Andrezak: It was even difficult to mix because you didn’t know where to get in, where to get out. „Rainbows In The Sky“ for example: the best was to play the whole track through, because the track was telling a story in itself, you didn’t want to interrupt.
Pete Smith: The different cultures of the different European countries produced different styles of music, obviously. And I think there’s a certain soul element that was kind of present in a lot of British electronic music, maybe…
Pete Smith: We loved going to Germany. We always wanted to keep coming back. Every place we went there was just brilliant. And the German people were just so open and very inspiring in that way, like the hardcore ravers in Germany, would just be so hardcore. You would see them in sort of five or six different clubs in the space in two weeks they just travel the whole country and they seem to be permanently partying. So we asked them: „Well, do you work or anything?“ And they just look at you and laugh [laughing]: „We don’t work. We don’t work. We … We ravers.“
Pete Smith: In the UK that was a different scene, really, not quite so hardcore.
Thomas Andrezak: Mainly in Germany, it’s more like four to the floor, and In England you had more like the breakbeats into that, or breakbeats under a four to the floor. But I do not think it was so different, the difference came later on. At first it was kind of mixed. I played at Universe 1992 and I played most of the stuff was, for me, hardcore but it was the same stuff that they played there. And I was German [laughs], the first German there. And … I didn’t perceive it as so different [laughs]. After Gabber it became different. But it was like past 1993, but before it was like all mingling up like the UK Hardcore, German hardcore. If you call it hardcore, we called it „Hardcore“. But it wasn’t like a term „hardcore“. But the English Hardcore was, in the history, more like breakbeat oriented and the German or the Continental, I would say, the continental Hardcore was more like four to the floor and getting faster and faster.
Moderation: Whenever DJ Tanith needs a peak in his DJ set he still plays a Hypnotist track.
——— MUSIC: The Hypnotist – Rainbows In The Sky
Thomas Andrezak: He was a landmark in my sets.
Thomas Andrezak: There was like, acts like „Forcemassmotion“ to the same time or „Automation“ from UK, which were kind of also epic, but different. But Caspar always had like the… he was more „full on“ [laughs]. When I wanted to bring the set to like the highest peak, or the weirdest peak, then I would play a Hypnotist track.
Thomas Andrezak: This is my classic in my sets, „Rainbows In The Sky“. And because it was like you could play it with, like for example, Acen „Windows In The Sky“ because it was in the same kind of weirdness, like all mixed together, do you think it doesn’t fit together, but it worked well in this context. He made it fit.
Thomas Andrezak: You can bring sets to like different peaks, like the fastest peak, the loudest peak, the craziest peak or the the weirdest peak and Hypnotist „Rainbows In The Sky“ was always like … with this staccatos is in there and the build-ups and everything. It was like it worked for it’s own. You just let it go and have the crowd go mad.
Person / Work
Moderation: During these first years Caspar worked with plenty of people on numerous projects and created such a high output, that one could easily wonder how all this could come about in the first place.
Marc Williams: Me and Caspar had a broader thing, it was a good relationship, but it did great sometimes because we did rub each other. We worked in the same studios. We work, we did different sessions. We programmed keyboards and used each others. People use samples and sounds. There was some crossovers, but there were things that Caspar did, that I learned from.
Marc Williams: He had no rules.
Marc Williams: And neither did I really. We were young upstarts, so, you know, when we sat around the studio with Pete, a lot of the stuff I knew, a lot of the stuff we were doing, he was kind of going: „You guys, this doesn’t really make sense.“ But he went with it and he pushed. Pete was an absolute savage. He would just push harder than anyone else.
Pete Smith: What Marc said is interesting, because we had a good relationship. One of the things about having a good relationship is you don’t actually talk to each other about having a good relationship. It’s something that just works. And we worked quite a lot together, just us two in different places, in little studios, working on ideas and stuff like that.
Pete Smith: The one outstanding thing, with Caspar was throughout every time we worked together was that nothing was off limits. Every style of music we would listen to. He’d bring in boxes and boxes of records, he’d be playing, spinning tracks all night. We’d be listening to everything from Country and Western to Ragga to Hip Hop. So it’s just to have an open mind, really, and to try everything you can. You never know what’s going to spark your imagination to start a track or what will bring a track together if you sort of trying to find a focus.
Pete Smith: I think as one of the people working at that time that he was, it was a very conscious effort to bring lots of different musical styles together.
Plavka Coleridge: First for a while, like he was really into, like, Shut Up and Dance. And that whole 90s thing of Drum and Bass, was called – it’s actually is called „Jungle“.
Plavka Coleridge: He was very much into like the whole techno, the R&S, Joey Beltram, I remember… He had his how he would set up his track.
Marc Williams: The one thing with working with Caspar I’ve found is that we were fluid, man. There was no sitting around, and: „Maybe we should go in this direction?“. Even if it didn’t make sense, he was someone who drove the idea right through. And we’ll worry about what it looks like after when we look back at it. But let’s finish this thing. So we never really got in a situation, where we had to worry about anything or look back, look change, go back, it was just go, go, go.
Marc Williams: This guy just drove it through and you know, the results were amazing.
Pete Smith: It was work. We had a lot of fun. But sometimes you spend a day and a night, you’re in the studio for 24 hours and you don’t come out with a track. But you try everything, you look for inspiration and sometimes it doesn’t come. But it’s all good experience, and you know, one day you get lucky, one day you don’t.
Plavka Coleridge: He’s very confident in the studio. He knew exactly the kind of sounds that he was after and what he would do. And because he just lived and breathed it, all the time when we would be like chilling out, we’re just always listening to music, you know. It was just incredible. It was really fun. I think it was mainly his passion you know that was just a magnet. When anybody’s like, so excited about something, it’s always fun to be around someone like that.
Plavka Coleridge: He was really into a dark sound, as everybody knows, that would listen to that early stuff of his. The more scarier, the better. Very, very hard. Like „Total confusion“, you know that song was like, really, really a lot of noise. But it was also full of energy.
Marc Williams: It’s he who dares, wins! And Caspar was one of the most daring people I’ve met musically. Although in quiet he was the most insecure about his music, than anyone I’ve ever met. He knew his limitations. He knew that when sitting around me: „Marc, you’re a great musician.“ he said. But I was in awe of his daring and bravery, and he was fearless in the studio. But when he was playing you back a tune, you could see his shoulders hunch over and you would do that sniggering thing and you’d look at him and he’d not be so confident and sure.
Pete Smith: It was just accepting that you you need to dig deep sometimes just to find a good idea. It’s not going to work every day. But when it does, it’s fantastic. You know, we sort of kept each other going. And when you come up with a real cracking little tune or whatever, then it pays its own reward, really.
Pete Smith: You have to really look at it as a, you know, a learning process. You develop, you learn from your mistakes and then stuff like that. But, I mean, going back to one of those things about the sort of humorous moments is, well, I mean, we made lots of mistakes, which we would think were terrible, but no one else noticed.
Pete Smith: So, you know, that’s how it goes, really. But, yeah, you just try and do better next time, you know, and keep moving forward.
Pete Smith: Again, it’s that thing of no rules. If it fits in the track, then it goes on the track. People say: „Oh, you can’t use that. It’s not hip…“ or it’s whatever like that. There’s no rules like that, If it works, it works, and especially if you play it on a dance floor and it works, then that’s all you need to know.
Person / General
——— MUSIC: Rising High Collective – No Deeper Love (Irresistible Force Remix)
Marc Williams: Caspar is a weird guy. It’s very strange, because I didn’t feel that Caspar was a kind of deep musician, that nerdy jazz type who wanted to just make melodies and … you know.
Marc Williams: I mean, He did it, man. I guess that’s what genius is, you know. You make those moves and you, you know that with limited skills, you can do amazing things.
Marc Williams: He always had a crafty look at his eyes, like he was about to get one over on us. I think it was about to make some kind of name for himself, because it was always this kind of: „Yeah. We’re going to get one over on them on this one!“ It was always something like that with him.
Plavka Coleridge: If you were not going to think about him and his music, I would say that if you just met him, like somewhere, he comes across as shy. A bit introverted until you meet him, until you get to know him. But he’s very bright, he’s very capable, he’s very ambitious.
Plavka Coleridge: And he was really goofy and a lot of fun. But he was very, very driven because, you know, someone at 21 already hustlin‘, he already had that song „Total Confusion“ out. You know, he was … he was a hustler.
Moderation: And because Caspar was vivid in his genre, in the game, delivering results, a lot of attention was given to him.
Pete Smith: That’s always something that seems to happen with any sort of musical group or duo or whatever. Someone takes the spotlight, and I was perfectly happy with that, that was fine.
Pete Smith: After Rising High started there was quite a lot of interested in the label and as Caspar was the head of the label, he seemed to attract a lot of attention, so … Interviews and stuff like that would come his way as part of The Hypnotist. But also he’d be interviewed as the label boss and he’d be up for promoting the label and new acts and things like that, so … It was understandable that he would take that role and he did it brilliantly.
Pete Smith: Charismatic. He drew people to him.
Pete Smith: He was always amenable to journalists and people from music magazines and stuff. He was a very charismatic guy and he was very charming. He could hold people’s attention, so … That’s just the way it worked, really. I mean … I could say I felt a slight resentment, but, you know, looking back on it now, I can see precisely why that was the case. And, yeah, I don’t have any problem with that at all.
Moderation: At a certain point in time, it appeared like a necessary step for Rising High to move away from the F2 premises, and set up somewhere new and independently.
Pete Smith: Concerned the split between Rising High, where it started, and the management company that persuaded Caspar to sort of go and set up on his own. To me, that was a difficult time because I had sort of friendships with both. The owner of the studio where Rising High took off, obviously with Caspar, it was a bit difficult.
Pete Smith: Well, very difficult for for a while. So it was … it was a sort of torn loyalty. And I didn’t like that. And I don’t think Caspar liked it either, really.
Pete Smith: But it was a decision which was sort of made for him on behalf of him. I don’t know if it worked out too well. These things happen, it was that sort of big bust up there, which was unfortunate, yeah … it left a kind of bad taste in my mouth.
Pete Smith: We’ve never had any disagreements about music or promotion or anything like that, really.
Pete Smith: We had a lot of fun. We had a lot of fun, you know, and … those times, yeah, they were very special.
Person / Feel & Sense
——— MUSIC: Friends, Lovers and Family – The Seaside
Marc Williams: With Caspar from the beginning, I realized that much more was possible than I thought. I was a very limited West Indian kid who grew up in church. I realized that I had some talent in music and I could write melodies all day long.
Marc Williams: Caspar showed me there was a whole world out there, that I didn’t understand, I didn’t know. I was fascinated with kind of deep house. And Caspar came in, and just the way he approached everything, everything was possible.
Marc Williams: He remixed one of my tunes, „Roughneck“, a heavy remix. I didn’t like it. But when it hit the clubs, everybody liked it.
Marc Williams: Everyone went nuts when it went to the clubs. And I had to literally reframe my own thinking because of how he approached the music made me a lot more daring. It made me a lot more adventurous. It made me understand that being safe is cool, but you won’t stand out for it. You won’t get plaudits for being safe.
Marc Williams: He’s just a guy that just was so edgy, he was so out there that he made everything else safe. It is not hard to sell a track that says „I love to smoke marijuana“ in it. That was low hanging fruit for him. What was hard to do was that Rainbows track that he did. „Rainbows in the Sky“, just a genius track.
Marc Williams: The sound that he used for that was a sound that I made on an OSCar keyboard. And we had a big bust up over that as well, because I made that sound and was doing a track on my album. And he did that track, and used the same sound. And I think I was just annoyed that he used it better. [laughs out] But yeah, he … and he gave me that crafty smile again when I called him out on it: „Yeah, don’t worry. I got one over on you!“ And [laughs out] he was a … it was … he was just a bloody genius, wasn’t he?
Reception & Influence today
——— MUSIC: A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd – Total Confusion (ROD Remix)
Moderation: Caspar saw techno music as a release of tension, that would help people getting all their emotions out on music, instead of beating themselves up on the streets or exhausting themselves at the psychiatrist.
Moderation: And so his work, his influence and his motivation have left lasting traces until today.
Marc Williams: I think he wanted to make an impact.
Marc Williams: I’m starting to see a lot more movement, old school movement. I don’t know if it’s the 30 year anniversary of hardcore. I don’t know what it is, but I do feel a lot of that era now. When Carl Cox ended space, he played „Total Confusion“ as one of his last 10 tracks. It was that moment that started a slow, very slowly retriggering for me of where we had been. So I must admit I have been on YouTube a bit and done some listening back. You know, the single tear rolls down the eye as I remember my youth and …
Marc Williams: … what a fucking good start we had.
Thomas Andrezak: [00:06:25] It’s the same reaction as to the time where they came out: they go mental. It’s a weird thing with like the tracks from the beginning of Techno. It’s like the blueprint of Techno ‚til up today. And so the strange thing is that the the old stuff still works like they were before. A lot of them. A lot of them don’t pass the test of time, of course, but the ones that pass the test of time have the same reaction nowadays as they had in the beginning, when they first came out. Which is strange to look at, but it’s great, just like you see … the foundation of what became the blueprint of Techno is in the nucleus: which is going mad, mental and everything. And Caspar lived that [laughs] … and [laughs] … You hear it in the music. And I think if you’re living that and can put this into a track, it always works like it’s a capsule, which you can always open and you have the same reaction of that.
Marc Williams: [And the kids that I hang out with now are so impressed, by „Total Confusion“.
Marc Williams: [Just the reaction. I don’t know why, but I’ve kind of got a bit nostalgic and started looking back a little bit and … When I listen to that song, I and I’m reading the comments underneath on some of these people would post on YouTube and I knew they loved it. But how it affected people’s lives and psyche is incredible. I mean, I didn’t know. I just didn’t understand.
Marc Williams: [And I now I listen to it and it does make me chuckle because I’m like: „I kind of get it now!“, it’s taken me 30 years, but I kind of start to understand why people got it so fast [laughs out].
Pete Smith: I think what Caspar and his sort of generation brought into the scene was a sort of acceptance and embracing of all of those different aspects of Hip Hop, Reggae, Electronics. As is being seen now in the Grime scenes and the music of today. It’s very sort of eclectic. And that sort of idea of melding all those different styles was one of the things that Caspar and his sort of generation were responsible for.
Pete Smith: It’s more common now, but it was less common there and look…, people there were people who would be purists and say: „Well, you can’t use that and you shouldn’t use this and…“.
Pete Smith: The Drum and Bass guys, they were pretty purist.
Pete Smith: They wanted to have these rules again, which I thought was really weird. Thankfully, it’s all moved on from then again, so it’s an open … an open book now, you know, again.
Plavka Coleridge: Whenever I want to listening to Represent radio, which I listen to a lot. It’s a London underground station, but it’s a big station. But I heard a track somebody made and then it had, had one of those sounds from „Total Confusion“ where it’s like those voices that kind of sound like „Woo, Woo Woo Woo Woo“, it had that. And I was like: „Oh, my God, that’s from Total Confusion“. You know, they were at the beginning of that whole explosion of rave. And I think that influenced a lot of people. Even the older generations that never heard that, they heard someone that was influenced by that and it kind of like carries on.
Thomas Andrezak: That’s very interesting because like when you look at the late 90s and the 2000s, I would say he had no impact. Because Techno changed to another side. But if you get the Techno, which is coming up now from the younger generation, which is again, more up like 140 beats per minute and faster, this a lot reminds me of what Caspar did at the beginning of the 90s.
——— MUSIC: The Hypnotist – Untitled
Thomas Andrezak: I think there is a change of Techno where you can’t make really money with it, so you can go wild, with ever what you want. And I think it’s got more distinctively like Tech-House or House, which is more like 120 BPM or 125 BPM, and Techno is going back to its roots, where it was faster, like 140, which is my favourite BPM [laughs].
Thomas Andrezak: And I think nowadays these kids are like twenty-four to twenty-seven, I don’t know if they heard about Hypnotist, but I hear a lot of Hypnotist in their tracks. Like they know the history of Techno. Probably they have all these YouTube documentations, read about it like in „Klang der Familie“, listen to the music and got probably inspiration by the older tracks, and I hear definitely Caspar Pound in there [laughs].
Thomas Andrezak: I play regular, when you can play nowadays [laughs], at Tekknozid which is like a classic event, where I play … ppfff … almost any Hypnotist track [laughs], I think. Because I try to change it from Tekknozid to Tekknozid because I don’t want to repeat myself. And so I always have to look out what I haven’t played yet or what is left or what will fit this time, and… I think I played every, every Hypnotist track at least once.
Moderation: Until today, the work of Caspar Pound still reverberates strong inside those people, who had either collaborated with him, played his music or were eternally affected by unforgettable dancefloor and club experiences.
——— MUSIC: C of E – Church Of Extacy (Ooowee, I Am Ready…!)
Michael Wells: Hi there, my name is Michael Wells from G.T.O. talking here about Caspar Pound. For me, his outstanding feature was the infectious laugh. He was a tall guy and seeing him laughing and giggling to me was the signature of Caspar. We recorded the „Signs of Chaos“ and „Church of Ecstasy“ with Rising High Records and also made a G.T.O. remix of Caspar’s track „House is mine“.
Michael Wells: I remember we were invited to Sven Väth’s party, a birthday party in Frankfurt, with me, Lee Caspar and Plavka. I think we were supposed to write a piece for DJ Magazine, but after hitting every club in Frankfurt, we missed all the celebrations and simply had a great time, with that ubiquitous laugh of his.
Michael Wells: The music of Rising High was a reflection of those times and everything from Trance, Techno, Jungle, Chill Out, Rising High: This was all a reflection of Caspar Pound’s musical taste, which was wide ranging and eclectic. I remember when we first played him „Church of Ecstasy“. His face was blank and after hearing it, then suddenly a smile appeared and exploded into his famous giggle. That was Caspar.
——— MUSIC: C of E – Church Of Extacy (Confess to Acid Mix)
Caroline Hervé (Kittin): Hi, it’s Kittin, and I’m very honoured to say a few words about Caspar Pound. Because he was one of the first guy I bought music from.
Caroline Hervé (Kittin): All his Rising High projects, like the Hypnotist and „Total Confusion“ and Homeboy, Hippie and Fuckin‘ Dredd was always a big foundation for my duty as a DJ to federate and spread what is raving and being united in a party, and forget about time.
Caroline Hervé (Kittin): Especially today when we are all locked down and we desperately need this feeling back. And his music represents that need and that love and that get together a magical culture that is Rave and Techno.
Caroline Hervé (Kittin): So rest in peace, Caspar. Thanks a lot for the gems that are still so modern and relevant today.
Jerome Hill: Jerome Hill here, from „Super Rhythm Tracks“ and „Don’t recordings“. Just paying like a mini respect to Caspar Pound r.i.p. whose influence here in the UK and beyond was absolutely huge really.
Jerome Hill: Personal favourite of mine from his catalogue would be Homeboy, Hippie and a Funki Dredd „Total Confusion“, but also his work as the Hypnotist „Rainbows in the Sky“, …
——— MUSIC: The Hypnotist – Night Of The Livin‘ E-Heads
Jerome Hill: „Night of the Living E-Heads“. Then the huge record that was „House is mine“ with „Pioneers of the warped groove“ on the B side.
Jerome Hill: Yeah, the guy’s done such a lot for the music. There’s a lot of cross-pollination going on between different labels and Rising High had its fingers in all sorts of pies. Not to mention the harder kind of Sapho record stuff that came a bit later. But yeah, yeah … Big up Caspar Pound.
Michael George: This is Michael. From the many aliases I remember Caspar Pound as being the Hypnotist foremost. „Hardcore you know the score“ when it came out was completely new to anything we’d heard before. And yet it sounded familiar as it had all the EBM sounds, the Belgian sounds in it that we grew up with, that came after New Beat. That also included the UK breakbeat, which we were very much into at the time.
Michael George: „Hardcore you know the score“ was an absolute banger to us and made us move like crazy and shout and jump for joy. „The Ride“ was one of the tracks that was harder, that was more brutal, that was more getting into our brains and into our blood. Whereas „Pypee’s Magic Journey“ just kept jacking like crazy on the dance floor because it had so much energy, so much power.
Michael George: aaahhh … unforgettable!
——— MUSIC: Industrial High – Militant Core
Gerd Janson: Hi, this is Gerd Janson. My first encounter with Caspar Pound’s music was probably through his Homeboy, Hippie and a Funki Dreed project, around 1990. I think I’ve told this story many times without really knowing that Caspar was part of that project. But I looked up his discography again and found out that he … yeah, that he’s basically responsible for inspiring me to get into the Techno or Rave scene.
Gerd Janson: The „Total Confusion“ track was part of a „HR3 Club Night“ Sven Väth show or mix tape. And I think I was kind of attracted to the weird mixture of Hip Hop, rave signals, Techno music, House, like this early 90s melange, without actually knowing anything about it, you know. It was my first encounter with Techno or electronic dance music or deejay culture as such in that way. But yeah, it kind of sounded like the future back then and it still does.
Gerd Janson: I mean, Caspar’s music or the projects he was involved in and the Rising High label, they’re pretty wide and broad. But compared to other people, I think he was never one to really look for the limelight, so he was this classic „behind the scenes“ figure or in the second row somewhere, but nonetheless important for the whole thing or the development of the scene. Yeah, I think he was definitely one of the influential people doing it from the very early stage on.
Gerd Janson: The other Caspar Pound track that was hugely influential for me, again, without kind of knowing that he was behind it was the Hypnotist „This is my house“. I think that was … yeah … one of the first things I also bought. Back then it was still a so-called „Maxi CD“ instead of the 12 inch record. But that time in 91, I think only my parents had a record player. But I wanted to listen to stuff in my room, so it had to be on CD and I bought the CD of that, yeah.
——— MUSIC: Rising High Collective – Fever Called Love (Alt. Vox Mix)
Gerd Janson: Again, it’s kind of an interesting or weird combination of an A and a B part. You have this super happy piano thing, which is something I still like to play and use to this day, pianos all over [laughs] … And then to B part of the dark rave side of it.
Gerd Janson: Yeah, two sides of the same coin, which I think basically also is the foundation of any good nightclub. Or rave. You have the happy times and the dark times and you mix them both together and then you have the good times [laughs] …
Gerd Janson: Thanks for having me.
Pete Smith: He got really busy with the label and probably it was sort of a labour of love for him to do the label. I don’t think it was run particularly well from a business point of view. I mean, it was what the guy was about, he was about exposing new music to wide as an audience as possible.
Moderation: Rising High Records is today run by Caspar’s daughter Sapho, who carrys on the label’s activities with new releases since 2015.
Moderation: Focusing mainly on remixes and re-releases of the catalogue, there are chances that unreleased material may see the light of day.
Moderation: According to Pete, there could be loads of recordings on master tapes from sessions involving Caspar’s countless projects and outfits.
Moderation: After the Hypnotist, Peter James Smith started a new outfit called „MLO“, together with John Tye of Lo Recordings. They released music on Rising High, R&S and several other labels. Peter stayed active in producing music, and he found himself moving back towards playing more guitar lately, his initial instrument. He still has a studio at home with a sort of up-to-date set up, which he uses fairly infrequently, maybe because he is …
Pete Smith: [laughs] … retired. I guess you’d call me. Semi … semi retired, but I’ve always have been semi retired, but I’m now actually „semi retired more“.
Moderation: Marc Williams has made a career in the music business. After founding his own label „Thumpin Vinyl“, producing a lot of dance music and becoming an integral part of the Drum & Bass scene, he turned to producing library music in the early millenium. At the same time he started working with young uprising artists, changed to manangement and now supports them in developing their careers. He runs a studio complex in London and enjoys working with new generations of talents.
Moderation: Plavka continued recording music with Caspar throughout the years. Equally she developed her cooperation with Jam & Spoon, with whom she celebrated further chart successes. Today she resides back in L.A., where she is currently writing and recording acoustic music, which is to be released on an EP in the near future.
——— MUSIC: The Hypnotist – Death By Dub
——— MUSIC: A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd – Total Confusion (Heavenly Mix)
Moderation: The spirit of Caspar still lives on in his music and the people he has worked with, even until today. His presence sparked inspiration, encouragement, realisation and gratitude.
Marc Williams: So it is strange because I am, with „Total Confusion“, I’ve spent a lot of my life running away from it because when we started out, I was more like „A Guy Called Gerald“ type producer. House, like Deep House and stuff like that and how me and Caspar just met and accidentally made this … absolute .. yeah.
Marc Williams: I really am grateful that I met him, he turned up and asked me to go to a studio. And he wasn’t doing it at the kindness of his heart. He was doing it because he needed someone to make beats with him. Because he understood his limitations. And he wanted someone that could play the keyboard and put a melody together and stuff like that, because that wasn’t his thing. He was a producer in the true sense of the word, you know. He knew how to put the bits together.
Marc Williams: The thing I would say to him is just thank you, because I don’t think I’d be who I am today without meeting this really confident white guy that got me in the game.
Marc Williams: I was suffering from my art. And 30 years later, my daughter goes to a great school. And I have a pension and 10 years from now I’ll retire and me and my wife will spend time travelling – touched wood – enjoying my life. And a great percentage of that is down to meeting Caspar Pound.
Pete Smith: I was really lucky to have that two bites of the cherry, to have a bit of punk thing and the homemade and, you know, it was a sort of teenage rebellion thing, and then… Later on, when the whole House started, you know, that sort of whole movement was really another sort of inspiring little episode.
Pete Smith: It’s nice to know that people appreciate what I did and especially what Caspar did.
Pete Smith: He’d be still doing music and probably producing and running a record label. I’m sure it’ll be a success. Enjoying life and inspiring other people.
Pete Smith: So I’d hope to be a friend and I’d hope to see him and if we would … possible that we could do some music, then that would be fantastic also.
Plavka Coleridge: If he was here today I would say: „I’m so glad that you were wrong. And you are living past the age of 30.“ Because he actually said that to me once. He said : „Oh yeah, I’m not going to live past 30.“ He says: „I’m going to be like Jim Morrison.“ But he said that. I think he just thought … He had a romantic notion about himself, I guess.
Plavka Coleridge: I suppose like what I went through and what Caspar went through, it’s a testament to to others, especially young people who have dreams about wanting to be in music. My background is: I don’t have people like friends or family in the music industry. And Caspar didn’t either. And I think that if there’s something you really want to do and you’re desperate to do it, you can make it happen. And that’s like something that I lived through and I have found for myself, something like that it just gives you immense confidence going through your life, knowing that you can do that.
Plavka Coleridge: I remember the first time that I heard my voice on the radio was when I sang „A Hyperreal“ with the Shamen. I was like: „Oh, my God, I know how the world works now!“ I had an epiphany. What it said to me is: I’m not a perfect singer. I’m not the best singer. I’m none of those things. But what it means is that if you have a hustle and if you have a desire, you can make things happen.
Thomas Andrezak: I met him again, like in 2002 or 2003 when I had him back in Berlin at a „Back to Basics“, which is also a classic event. And he was playing there live. He was so into the stuff that he fell over [laughs] and was gone. The music was still playing and I saw his finger coming up, doing so… But he was behind the stage falling around there somewhere. People had to pull him back up so he could go on [laughs]. It was a late but perfect metaphor for him, I think. Because every time I met him, he was like totally over the top. Not by drugs or anything, but he was always like these typical studio nerds that have a different reality. They pick all the loose ends, like with the modular [synthesizer], and put everything together and you wonder what comes out at the end as a normal person. And that was Caspar Pound … he still worked it. Crazy … [laughs].
HYPNOTIZING: Remembering Caspar Pound
a feature by Roger van Lunteren
Peter James Smith
Markus Arnold for cross-reading and review
Colin Faver for his 1992 interview with Caspar Pound
Schallobst Edition #45
Moderation: Thank you Caspar Pound for all these crazy moments and cozy memories. It has been an honour to have walked the earth at the same time you did. We are all still hypnotized by your music, you Hippie, you dark star, you rainbow in the sky.
A Homeboy: „SEE YA“