SKAPES

Interview: Eskape Musik Head Honcho Skapes

The busy producer and label boss talks to us about his latest project.

Skapes is a relatively new name on the underground house scene, but you may already know him as one half of Twocker (with Low Steppa). As Calvertron, or from his earlier work, clocking up well over 100 vinyl releases under his real name Alex Calver.

skapesSome of Alex’s career landmarks include releasing his music on Data (Ministry of Sound), Toolroom, 3Beat, Cr2, New State and remixing a diverse plethora of big league acts like Guru Josh, Korn, Skepta, Sander Kleinenberg, Zero B, Stanton Warriors and Enter Shikari.

He has also enjoyed a successful career as a DJ touring the globe several times over making regular appearances all over the States, Europe, South America, Asia and Australia, where he mixed a successful Ministry of Sound compilation album. 

His new pseudonym Skapes is already making waves with regular plays on BBC Radio 1, Rinse FM, 1Xtra and Kiss FM. His latest releases on labels like Simma Black/Red and Criminal Hype have gained support from heavy hitters Todd Terry, Carl Craig, Mark Knight, Richy Ahmed, Claude VonStroke and Steve Lawler to name a few.

In late 2015 Skapes founded his own label ‘Eskape Musik’ and was nominated no.2 by Traxsource in their ‘10 Artists to watch’ featured in ‘Magnetic Mag’.

SkapesWe have always followed Alex’s work and it was a honour to ask the man behind the many alter egos some questions about his time in the industry.

You’ve had many alias over the years, producing various styles. What genre would you say you’re most comfortable writing?

I’ve enjoyed all of it, I loved making the hard techno stuff and it was nice having everything released on vinyl. I think the physical medium gave more value to the music, tracks seem so throw away now. I enjoyed running my Jack knife label and was lucky enough to tour the world off the back of it through its Beatport success.

What has been your biggest lesson you’ve learnt during your time in the industry?

Always keep it fun and enjoyable, once that goes what’s the point?

You’ve been in the scene a while now, who has always been ahead of the game, production wise in your eyes?

Some producers I dig are Camelphat, Mihalis Safras, Riva Starr and Hauswerks

What is the one track that never gets old for you, no matter how many times you hear it?

Another tough question, I don’t really spend much time listening to older dance music. If I’m at home listening to music, letting my hair down I’m more likely to listen to Rock n metal.

You’ve recently teamed up with Abode resident Jimmy Switch for their latest release “You Think”, how did that come about?

Jimmy hit me up and asked if I wanted to collaborate on an EP. I said yes so we swapped some sounds, samples, loops etc and got to work.

What is one mistake you see a lot of up and coming DJs / Producers making?

I don’t pay enough attention to notice anything like that.

You had some massive hits back in the day with Will Bailey (Low Steppa) under Twocker. Can we expect any forthcoming releases under that name again or is there other plans for you two that you can share with us?

Twocker is very unlikely to resurface but we enjoy making music together and occasionally get together to do the odd EP or bootleg.

And finally, who is your favourite superhero? Fiction or non?

Spider pig

We recently reviewed his ‘You Think’ EP with Jimmy Switch, which is out now on Abode Records. Check it out here and see what we thought.

Keep up with all things Skapes and tune into his 4 weekly radio show on Grant Nelson’s ‘D3EP radio network’.

Beatport – https://www.beatport.com/artist/skapes/430038
SoundCloudhttps://soundcloud.com/skapes-1
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SkapesMusic/

REVIEW: Skapes & Jimmy Switch – You Think EP - ABODE Records

REVIEW: Skapes & Jimmy Switch – You Think EP

ABODE Records

Rating: 7/10

Skapes (formerly one half of ‘Twocker’ with Low Steppa) joins forces with ABODE resident Jimmy Switch for a new EP on ABODE Records.

The title track ‘You Think’ opens with with a burst of high energy, modern tech house. The tribal overtones and vocal hooks grab hold of you early and and don’t let go until you’re a tired, sweaty mess. While I found the white noise risers and elaborate drops a tad cliché, they do a great job of elevating the track throughout, and just as you think it’s reached it’s peak Skapes and Jimmy deliver another level of sound to switch up gears.

‘Changes’ is an altogether more civilised affair. A bass lead, deep tech roller with a groovy charm. With a less peak-time and more after hours feel, the welcome lack of sweeps and whooshes allows the quality of the duo’s production skills to shine through.

‘Everybody’ is the standout track for me. The solid kicks and well placed tops are clear from the start. The crowd noise and trance sounding synths create an almost euphoric atmosphere, while the great repetitive pops keep you firmly in tech house town. I wouldn’t be surprised if this track does very well, both in the charts and on the dance floors.

I’m looking forward to hearing more from Skapes & Jimmy Switch in the future.  

Always support new music. Buy the EP on Beatport here.

Read more about the ABODE In The Park Festival line-up here.