"Striking the right balance has been hard."
Like many of its counterparts, Crucast, one of drum & bass and bass music's most prominent brands, had quite the unexpected year in 2020. A UK-based record label and artist collective, Crucast has been fostering the growth of some of bass music's most talented rising acts. However, amid the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the game plan for live events and music releases had to shift.
While still striving to elevate bass music's rising talent, Crucast has set some major plans for 2021. Crucast founder Joe Lazcru kindly took some time to chat with EDM.com about how it's been adapting to societal changes and what's next once the world returns to some semblance of normalcy.
EDM.com: Crucast has been steadily building quite an impressive roster on both the bass house and drum & bass fronts. What's the first thing you're looking for when listening to demos and finding great new talent?
Crucast: Originality is very key these days as so many artists are trying to find their own sound. It's also a big head-start for us finding like minded people as us who have the same passion as us when promoting their music.
E: How has the collective's approach shifted during the pandemic? Is this a great chance for artists to get more experimental?
C: It's definitely had artists rethink their approach with releasing music. Some of the more established artists have been worried about releasing club heavy tracks with no live shows going on at the moment, on the other hand it's really essential to keep yourself active online. So striking the right balance has been hard.
E: Who are some standout artists innovating the bass music sound at the moment?
C: Any artist creating unique styles seem to be the ones standing out. Bru-C has just delivered his second album and it's great to see an MC take his own lane from an underground scene. We have seen lots of new artists come through the ranks too, which is great and creates some competition on the well known individuals. Watch out for Kanine, Zero Hoda, Eloquin, Cooky, and Tsuki this year.
E: How was the response to the Crucast Indoor Festival at Printworks last year?
C: It was amazing for us to sell out 4,500 tickets at Printworks, as we only started doing Crucast events 3 years ago, where we sold out XOYO in London, so it has been a great ride so far. We were meant to be doing an even bigger London show this autumn, but hopefully that will happen in the future after the pandemic. Printworks is an icon for UK clubbing, and it was an honor to do a show there.
E: Crucast is gearing up for a big, socially distanced return at Troxy in February. What was the process behind assembling the lineup, and navigating the regulations surrounding the pandemic to put this event on?
C: Not many people know, but theatres have different rules and regulations, so you can sit 1,000 people, so with this being the biggest thing we could do we jumped at the opportunity. The lineup is based on some of the label's big hitters. Fingers crossed it can go ahead, as London has just gone into tier 3 =(
E: Tell us a bit about the Crucast x Night Bass team-up.
C: This project actually started in December 2019. It's taken 12 months to actually get it delivered, all of the artists except Skepsis & Flava D did the track remotely . It's great for us to get some exposure in America and the same for Night Bass in the UK. We love the Night Bass sound and highly respect what they have achieved.
E: What's next for Crucast?
C: Waiting for the shows to kick start again, we have sold out tours which were put on hold and the same with festivals. I think we are lucky and have managed to reschedule them all for 2021, so we are looking forward to that.