With the infusion of dub and garage with r&b aesthetics comes Barrett Richards, the creative mind behind Kastle – experimenting in accelerating music that teeters between the lines of bass and soul. Through this genre often classified as ‘future,’ Kastle envisioned a label that could carry works of similar concepts in forward-thinking music – and with that, Symbols Recordings was born. In describing his sound as well as motivations in the label, “it’s a lot of music that just doesn’t fit anywhere else. The feeling is the genre. It’s not a garage label, it’s not a dubstep label, it’s not a house label but it’s all of these things and I think that at the core of everything, music is about a feeling. And that’s what I focus on with the label. When I decide to sign something, it’s because I felt a certain way about it – in a way that I just can’t deny.” And with this, Kastle has created a talented roster of artists such as Atlas, Chromatic, Sweater Beats, Druid Cloak, Lindsay Lowend and more.
In his debut album Stay Forever, Kastle uses a stylistic blend of classic r&b anthems with pulsating rhythms to create a new concoction of bass music. His musical direction switches from garage-infused soul like Things We Can Do to synthy house-inspired songs like Redlight. While Kastle has worked in different monikers in the past, experimenting in heavy bass and dubstep, his most recent work speaks more towards his musical tastes from when he was younger, stating artists like Run DMC and Herbie Hancock as inspiration. Going back to his roots of soul and hip hop, it is prevalent that his differentiating palette of styles has allowed himself to stay away from being pigeon-holed into a certain type of genre – a challenging feat that every artist faces.
While speaking about his inspirations, “a lot of times reading philosophy, existentialism and Nietzsche gives me an idea for music. I don’t want to sound like anybody else. I don’t really become influenced by other music, but it’s more from art and design.” And with this vision of collaborative mediums to draw from, Kastle brings a unique experience to electronic music.
Kastle returns to Vancouver this Wednesday, January 22nd at Celebrities Nightclub with locals Kline, Dubconscious and Decibel Empire.
– Vanessa Wongget tickets