WHEN CruCast return to London’s premiere division Printworks venue this Saturday 23rd November, it will be on a standalone ticket this time as they continue to up their game amongst the league leaders of the bass music world.

 Crucast

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Crucast

Their ‘sold out’ 5000+ capacity event accessing all areas rounds out their Autumn ‘19 ‘Indoor Festival’ tour and finishes another astounding year on a high for the UK’s fastest rising youth music brand.

CruCast were booked for festival stage takeovers at Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds, Creamfields, SW4 and more this year, plus enjoyed a foray in Ibiza with Together at Amnesia. If this wasn’t kudos enough, the CruCast label, which was only launched in 2017, has not only expanded its influence from primarily the ‘bassline’ genre to successfully encompass all bass music styles, it has done more to remove the north-south divide than any politicians.

Originally set up as a YouTube channel to share DJ mixes by CruCast founder Joe Lazcru, the channel’s popularity grew with the rebirth in popularity of bassline music in the raving heartlands of the UK. Evolution in the global underground rave scene saw the cross pollination of dubbed up screeching keyboard stabs across myriad styles including dubstep, jump up drum & bass and US and European EDM but most notably it had helped reinvent the bassline sound, aided and abetted by CruCast and its artists, its music channel, parties and record label.

The new bassline sound resonated hardest in the Midlands and the North before increasing support from Rinse FM and BBC 1Xtra helped it roll out across London, the South, South-West and rest of the UK.

After a run of successful CruCast events, the label was formed in 2017 and now releases a single every week, followed by a couple of end-of-year compilation albums to round up all the tracks to give its supporters the opportunity to own them all.

 Lazcru... Picture: Khali Ackford / KōLAB Studios

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Lazcru… Picture: Khali Ackford / KōLAB Studios

We caught up with CruCast’s head honcho, DJ and artist manager Lazcru on the eve of their biggest endeavour to date.

CruCast is yet another rave phenomenon to blow up in the UK, that’s not been acknowledged in the mainstream yet. Is recognition from the music establishment even important these days for what the label does?

Although the rave scene is underground in nature, it’s important to the artists who are giving their all week in week out, playing to thousands of young people, to gain recognition for their unique talents. Unfortunately, the mainstream media is slow to catch onto the sounds of the street, pick up on trends or recognise youth culture; after all grime took over 10 years to be honoured in some way. Obviously, we have growing interest from BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra as well as continued support from Rinse FM for artists such as Bru-C, Skepsis, Darkzy and Indika, so we’re making inroads into the collective consciousness of the music industry.

What will be the highlights of CruCast’s Indoor Festival at Printworks?

To be honest, the line-up of 40 artists speaks for itself, with highlights for many being Skepsis joined by Bru-C on the mic featuring some of the tracks from his debut album ‘Original Sounds’. They will be followed by Darkzy accompanied by CruCast’s other MC/artist of note, Window Kid, ending with Guv B2B Hedex on the ‘jump up’ d&b tip. This event features CruCast’s popular bassline sound mixed up with Jungle, jump up / drum & bass, dubstep and UKG, both DJ-wise, set-wise and across playlists. It’s like the coming together of bass music styles under one banner, representing unity, what the CruCast label stands for. It’s going to be an amazing day for bass music overall in the capital with 5000+ ravers in one place, loving the bass.

What will you be bringing to your own DJ set on Saturday?

I’ll be bringing the very popular MC AD and loads of new music that you may never have heard before. I’ll be on mid-afternoon at 15:45 as I’m obviously overseeing the whole event and need to be on hand for logistical stuff, plus I also want to see the proceedings from a raver’s perspective. With my label hat on, I love to see what’s dropping and working in the dance, so we can improve our game in a&r and production.

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What was the vibe like at your previous Printworks show?

We played as part of a cooperative under DJ Hype’s Playaz banner. It was headlined by Hype & Hazard, SASAS and CruCast and I guess was a good gauge of how things could play out for us in the future if we kept our game tight. As anyone who’s been there will know, it’s one of the most amazing warehouse-style venue spaces, with three main hall areas that are absolutely incredible with people as far as the eye can see and you can’t see the back wall. It’s a venue that the UK as well as London should be proud

CruCast is now taking London by storm. Why do you think the capital has finally cottoned onto the label’s soundtrack?

Although CruCast has been best known for its faithful support in Nottingham, Birmingham, Oxford, Manchester and Newcastle, we were selling out in London at XOYO and Electric Brixton and the South Coast, Brighton and Bournemouth from early doors. It’s just that we had never tried to tackle anything this big in London before due to our wish to grow organically and earn our place in dance music’s history the hard way and also not to risk the reputation we’ve strived to build. The good news is London’s party massive are very open minded to the breadth of sounds and styles we are offering and some of the CruCast faithful from around the country are descending on us for the day to ensure it will become party central.

CruCast’s rise to fame has seen the label host and takeover ten festival stages in 2019, are you blown away by the public support you’ve received in such a relatively short space of time?

Yes, we’ve enjoyed amazing support from ravers, partygoers, clubbers and students at all the events so far. Obviously, it’s a big responsibility to maintain this level of production and satisfy everyone’s expectation, however it’s quite simple. We just need to keep it simple and need to feature great DJs and MCs who connect and interreact with the crowd and of course provide the best soundtrack we can generate for everyone’s tribal enjoyment.

What would you say has been the highlight of CruCast so far for you?

Ahead of tomorrow, I would say playing to a crowd of 20,000 people at Boomtown was a game-changer for me. It was absolutely mind-blowing to see everyone hanging on your every beat and feel the pure pleasure and enjoyment the music created in the moment. We also recently played to a crowd of over 15,000 people at Leeds festival and received brilliant feedback so we will be very keen to return to play there again, especially straight after hosting Reading, SW4 and Creamfields that weekend!

How is CruCast received internationally?

We have some more European dates in the pipeline and we have a lot of support in Australia and New Zealand, with a tour soon to drop. We are planning a big Ibiza show and European festival dates in 2020. There is widespread support for bass music in Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic (home of Let It Roll festival), Poland, Croatia, Ukraine etc. so there’s plenty of support. We are also discussing American tour dates and festival dates.

What’s next for Crucast? What’s instore for 2020?

We will be announcing a UK Spring Tour directly after the Printworks party, where the evolution will continue. We are looking to host events in some cool venues next year. We have even been in discussions about staging our own UK festival, which would be another game-changer for the label. Obviously, the summer months are about the festivals and we will be announcing our 2020 festival takeovers in due course. We are fortunate in that CruCast has a momentum of its own, spurred on by its supporters, crew, music makers and performers, we just need to oil the wheels and let the creativity flow and go with the flow. We have no intention of slowing down. I’d also like to take this opportunity to mention the label’s artists, Skepsis, Darkzy, Bru-C, Window Kid, Kanine and Indika, the label’s most recent signing and one of the most vibrant new drum and bass DJs to emerge on the scene and receive a lot of recognition, not just for her individuality but for her ability to engage with the crowd deliver her sound to all ears.

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I’d also like to mention Bru-C’s first album release ‘Original Sounds’ is dropping today on CruCast. As an MC, he’s one of the biggest personalities on the rave scene and a huge bass music enthusiast. As an artist, he’s making waves in the industry and is on the verge of inking a major deal with an opportunity to bring his cheeky rhyme style to the masses.

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Bru-C, the MC at the forefront of the bassline scene brings his heady brew of rave rhymes, nifty vocals and MC magic, from Long Eaton to the world, with his debut album ‘Original Sounds’ released today, 22nd November, ahead of his appearance at Printworks. The town from where he emanates lies slap bang in the middle between Derby and Nottingham, which is the centerstage of bass music in the UK as well as a crucible of UK rap and grime culture.

The rising star has been recording and releasing music since 2014, making friends on the rave scene and notching up street anthems and boasting huge collaborations with Skepsis on ‘Most High’ and ‘Take It Slow’, ‘Hide The Ting’ with Darkzy & Window Kid, ‘What’s Going On’ with Darkzy, ‘Don’t Wanna Know’ (feat. Hadean), ‘Weekend Boys’ with Window Kid, Jamie Duggan & Booda, and popular drum & bass single ‘Wagwarn’ featuring Bassboy.

The 13-track ‘Original Sounds’ album is made up of instant anthems with memorable rhymes and catchy rhythms and includes ‘You And I’ with Simula, which has amassed 4 million streams on Spotify and 2 million YouTube views in just a few months, together with recent singles ‘Sunrise’ feat. Chromatic, ‘Wavey One’ with Mr Traumatik & Tsuki, ‘Inhaler’ and forthcoming single ‘Snakes & Ladders’, as well as rave favourites ‘Bits’ with Window Kid and ‘Mega Man’ with Tsuki.

Bru-C works his MC magic and vocal talents across several genres including bassline, d&b, grime, UKG and dubstep, proving his status as a pivotal figure on the bass scene and a cultural icon of the UK rave scene and also internationally.

So Bru, where did it all begin?

It began in Nottingham, where I’m from around 2010, after a few years writing grime and trying to get noticed in rap battles, street battles etc. Then when my son was born in 2012, I stepped back from the game to earn money working in a clothes shop as well as being a plasterer to help support him, before ending up even deeper into it with a career as a MC and vocalist on the rave scene and doing some events with Flex Records featuring dubstep and bassline.

How did you get into the rave scene?

I was big into dubstep and the previous bassline scene, which was very big in the Midlands and the North. I remember buying Mixmag with Chase & Status on the cover when I was 16 and thinking this looks interesting. Then my sister took me to a drum and bass rave to see Goldie & Plastician play at Stealth in Nottingham and I remember being blown away by hearing drum & bass properly for the first time, which I obviously record as well as bassline jams. It was then that I could see the potential for someone like myself to make a difference as a vocalist/MC on the rave scene. Then, there were other rave MCs locally who made the jump to successful recordings such as D Double E whose ‘Jackuum’ album is blowing up and Devilman famed for his ubiquitous drum & bass anthem ‘Drum & Bass Father’, so I felt I had all to play for.

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When did you start recording?

I’d been recording for a while before I started releasing, but the first commercially available tracks came in 2014. I’ve tried to consistently release stuff, backed up with slickly produced videos, making Torquay look like St Tropez to give people a taste of the positive energy and pure good times we stand for.

What are the highlights of the album?

The album is a real mash up of bass-infused tracks, with a couple of comedic skits with the funniest man in the rave and co-collaborator Window Kid thrown in for good measure. When we rock tracks together, we don’t do it conventionally, we wrote tracks like ‘Hide The Ting’ and ‘Bits’ completely spontaneously, drinking prosecco on the train to London. While ‘Weekend Boys’ was the stuff we used to chat when we were a group of lads working in a clothes shop in Nottingham and going raving every weekend. The album also includes tracks like ‘Sunrise’, which has been this year’s biggie for me, ‘Wavey One’ with Mr Traumatik and the next single release ‘Snakes & Ladders’ featuring Ella Knight, an amazing singer from Nottingham who has been part of Gilles Peterson’s ‘Future Bubblers’. She’s sort of reminiscent of Yasmine Lacey in terms of professionalism, a singer who has gone on to receive accolades and respect from her contemporaries and discerning jazz fans. One of my favourite tracks features a dirty beat a New Zealand producer called Wa-Fu sent me. The track is actually called ‘Dirty’ and is a good representation of what I do.

What lies ahead for Bru-C in 2020?

It’s been a rollercoaster ride of travelling and performing onstage to thousands every weekend, but without the time to stop and enjoy the spoils of the party. There have been three tours going on consecutively as well as promoting our clothing brand Krudd, which is celebrating its third birthday next year. We have 2 big festivals lined up and are also planning +14 events with Crucast for 2020 and stuff in Ayia Napa.

It’s been reported that you’re on the verge of signing to a major label?

We’re in discussions right now about releasing an album, which is exciting news. This doesn’t affect my relationship with CruCast as they manage me as an artist, so I will still be a CruCast performer.

Bru-C is currently undertaking three tours including Crucast’s indoor festival UK tour culminating a headline appearance at Printworks on Friday 22nd November; the ‘Original Sounds’ UK tour with dates at Lakota, Bristol on Friday 22nd November, Friday 29th November Leicester 30Ten, Friday 6th December Sheffield Tank. An Australia/NZ tour taking in Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Canberra, Mackay, Newcastle in Australia and Bay Dreams festival in New Zealand.

For more information on CruCast Indoor Festival at Printworks on Sataurday 23rd November head HERE.

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