Old Era: Joker

Bristol’s Joker burst onto the scene back in 2008 with a string of releases on Terrorrhythm, H.E.N.C.H, and his own label Kapsize. He was making a more melodic alternative to the dubstep sounds coming out of London, and before long, this sound was tagged as the ‘purple’ sub-genre.

Alongside Bristol contemporaries like Mensah, Guido, and Gemmy, he gave the city a new sound of its own; and pushed it worldwide with material on Tectonic, Hyperdub, Hardrive, and eventually, an album on 4AD.

Ahead of the release of the purple-drenched ‘Old Era’ 12″ on Kapsize, we chatted to Liam McLean about the label, plans for 2013, Route94 and more.

How is everything in general for you at the moment?
Hmm, I’m doing ok at the moment, feel like I’ve been falling off a bit, but it’s all good because I’m working hard again. I’ve been a little frustrated because I’ve had to move my studio back to my mums, because the people who lived upstairs from me were complaining too much so I have like 1/4 of a studio until I get myself into a house (haha).

The ‘Old Era’ 12″ is next out on your own label Kapsize. What is to follow that?
A track I have made called ‘Zim Zimma’ and a few others, it should be like a 3/4 track EP. There will be some Gemmy releases too.

What makes a track ‘suitable’ for Kapsize? Or, would you, in theory, release anything you like?
Yes pretty much anything I like, because if you look back to the Benga release it sounds nothing like anything on Kapsize, but I just loved the tracks.

Your release schedule has been reasonbly quiet this year. Was this a deliberate move?
No, doing the whole album and everything slowed me down a bit, but, 2013 I’m back on track starting from ‘Old Era’.

Are there plans for a follow up LP to ‘The Vision’? What else are you working on?
100% a follow up from ‘The Vision.’ Some more instrumental based stuff, and a few vocals and I’ve been producing for other artists albums. No names being said though!

How much has your sound changed and evolved since the album? Have you been exploring slower, 120-130 BPMs in either production or sets?
When I make slower stuff, or faster stuff than 140(bpm) you wouldn’t really hear it in my sets. Would more be for someone elses album, or I’ll let other people play it, or just jam to it in my car.

Are you Route94?
Ha! and you guys have still not figured this out. I feel like just saying who it is and fuck up everything. But no, its not me!

‘Old Era’ is out on November 5 via Kapsize Recordings.