Get To Know Skapes
Hailing from the UK, Alex Calver is Skapes. You may know him from some of his previous work with Low Steppa as Twocker, or even as Calvertron; his electro, fidget house and dubstep alter ego.
His new Skapes pseudonym is already making waves on the house scene, with regular plays on BBC Radio 1, Rinse FM, 1Xtra and Kiss FM. His latest release, the ‘Mean Streets’ EP, is available on Low Steppa’s Simma Red imprint and offers up three serious slices of spacey beats and pieces for the more discerning consumer. We decided to have a quick chat with the Nottingham based producer about his DJ and musical techniques, as we Get To Know Skapes.
Do you ever get nervous before a performance?
Not really, sometimes a tiny bit anxious maybe, but that all goes as soon as I do the first mix. If I have lots of new stuff to play I get really excited; there’s nothing better than looking out and seeing a crowd of people shocking out to your tunes!
While performing what hydrates you, beer, liquor, water, champagne, wine?
I started DJing as a full time occupation well over a decade ago, I’d have to say about 80% of those shows were performed after a good drink, I love chugging beers and djing! I’ve decided recently to have a break from booze. I played a couple of sets on the weekend in the UK totally sober and loved it!
Hardware, software or both?
When I started out producing in the late 90s you had no option, you either hired a studio or bought the kit, and it wasn’t cheap. There were no VSTIs. I managed to build up a pretty awesome studio with a 32 channel Mackie mixing desk, Akai/Yamaha samplers, plus lots of Roland Analogue synths and outboard effects processors. I started off using cubase on an Atari ST with a tiny black anf white monitor, but it was amazing fun; so tactile, like being a kid again with all these awesome toys! Eventually the software got better and the convenience of doing everything ‘in the box’ outweighed the hands-on fun of outboard gear. I sold most of my equipment by 2004. I do everything on an iMac and controller keyboard now, still using Cubase.
Describe your music in three or four words…
Banging, skippy and bassy!
Name one thing you wouldn’t do without while traveling?
My Macbook Pro: Mobile studio. Office. TV!
How do you define success?
Looking back on a body of work you’re proud of. Getting to travel the world and experiencing life in a multitude of cultures can be as enriching as financial gain I think.
Name three things you must have at all times?
Oxygen, water, bass (and maybe maltesers!)