Many of us will know Culprate for sounds like THIS:
Last week he flipped a supersized switch with his third album Culprate – Deliverance. A switch that took most of the year to flip, it all began with this crowd-funding request on Indiegogo on February 11. A frank and honest request direct from the Bristol artist, he asked for help to make an album that would explore his creativity and expand on his current sound. Breaking down calculations to how much musicians, studio time and various other production factors would cost, he set his target as £22,730. When the campaign closed on April 1, he’d accrued over £26,000.
With backers and investors in place, he spent the entire spring and summer creating and developing the album, which had been bubbling in sketched, sampled and synthesised form since 2012. Delivered last week, if you’ve not already checked it, here’s the stream.
A rich, sometimes perplexing and complex, psychedelic experience that offers something new on every listen; Deliverance has that timeless air that resonates with every decade since the 60s and musical elements that nod east and west. Sitting somewhere between Bonobo, Trentemoller, Pink Floyd and Squarepusher, it shows Culprate on an entirely different level.
This is what comes the most naturally to me. More so than dance music, it’s how the music comes out of me. I have to work very hard to find inspiration to make club tracks
Bottom line: it’s the album he’s always wanted to write…
“I’ve been making loads and loads of trippy music since I started putting stuff out there… Back when I’d get like 50 plays a year on MySpace!” he laughs. “It’s a reflection of what I listen to like Amon Tobin and Squarepusher. Everything comes from somewhere. Whether you’re conscious of it or not is another thing but this is what comes the most naturally to me. More so than dance music, it’s how the music comes out of me. I have to work very hard to find inspiration to make club tracks.”
Those massive bass-belechers he’s been blasting off for the past half decade or so haven’t come easily. In fact, if a mate hadn’t slipped him a copy of dubstep’s most famous mix CD, they might not have happened at all.
“I was making really experimental D&B then my friend gave me Caspa & Rusko’s Fabriclive CD,” he explains. “At first I didn’t like it but it grew on me and I set myself a challenge to make a similar sort of track in five hours. I did it and things took off with offers of shows and remixes and everything. It’s fun music, it’s great to play out and I do love it. It’s just much harder to come up with those type of tracks.”
It might take him longer to make, but he’s confirmed there’s still plenty of bass left in his club tank. And it’s worth noting that – unlike many of his peers who have opted for a second alias – everything will be delivered under the Culprate name…
“I get bored really easily. I make loads of different types of stuff. There’ll be definitely more of the trippy stuff in the future and there’ll definitely be more of the clubby stuff in the future,” he states. “But I do try and keep the two worlds separate. I’ve found the two don’t mix too well. So whether I sit down to make a dance track or a trippy track, I’ll go in fully on each one. I did think about making aliases. But it took me so long to come up with Culprate. I’m shit at naming tunes, let alone coming up with a whole new artist name! I’m very lucky to have a fanbase who enjoy both styles and really seem into what I’m trying to achieve so there isn’t that much confusion when I drop weird shit. People get it.”
I wasn’t going to do ‘have dinner with Culprate’ because that would actually be really boring. It all had to relate to the music and how I can work with or help other artists.
A fact that’s reflected in the target-busting crowdfund request; Culprate does indeed boast a loyal following. And it’s not hard to understand why; everything about this project has been really considered and is totally genuine… from the incentives you could pledge money towards, to the fact that this album will always remain 100 per cent independent.
“In terms of the incentives I tried to come up with stuff that people could relate to,” he admits. “I wasn’t going to do ‘have dinner with Culprate’ because that would actually be really boring. It all had to relate to the music and how I can work with or help other artists.”
This same attitude is expressed when we discuss commercial opportunities that may arise from the album. While experimental sounds like these aren’t so popular in the clubs, they’re huge in TV and big screen soundcapes.
“This sort of music is massive in certain circles,” he says. “It’s all over the TV. It’s all over the movies. But it’s not for clubs. It’s what people listen to in their daily lives. Music that you don’t need to mix for it to be fun. I have been approached by big labels to get it sync’d but it didn’t sit right with me. To do all of this work then make music that people have to invested in, only to sell it on again. I wanted to keep it independent. I’d feel like a hypocrite otherwise.”
A spirit that’s indicative of just how genuine and thorough the Deliverance project has been since public inception, Culprate’s main mission now is to take everything he’s learnt and apply it to everything he sends our way in the future.
“It’s been such a learning experience; what I’ve taken from this has been incredible,” he grins. “The pressure of the experience; when you’re in the studio and every second is costing you money – studio time, the musician’s time, your time – then it’s a whole other level of stress. Next time I’ll know exactly what I have to do to be more efficient.”
The operative phrase being ‘next time’. With dreams of a live show and more ideas on how to develop creatively and expand his repertoire furthermore, Culprate has reached a new level… But he knows there are many more heights to reach for and explore. He also has more club bullets ready to drop in the new year, too…
“Yeah, expect an EP around March time,” he reveals. “I’ve been working on a lot of hyper breakbeat and a bit of drum & bass. But I’ll let you know about that when the album’s calmed down a bit and becomes old.”
It will take a lot longer than a few months for Deliverance to get old… Not only the sound of one individual artist maturing, but another really exciting twist in the bass music tale, the whole development, attitude and communal behaviour behind the album is one of the best industry stories of the year. It’s one of the best sounding ones, too.