Carasel: Backlash – Fundraiser to Rebuild a Studio

Carasel: Backlash – Fundraiser to Rebuild a Studio


If you’ve ever been the victim of a burglary you know how devastating the entire experience is. Discovering the place has been done over, then trying to figure out what exactly has been stolen… It’s everyone’s worst nightmare.

Now picture this: You’re a music producer/ artist and your entire studio, along with hours of original music and sample banks simply vanishes. Cue rage.

This is precisely what happened to Carasel, Blacksmith and Foreign Concept in May of this year when they discovered their studio in Bristol had been broken in to. In true fashion the entire D&B community has rallied behind them and shown their support. In an effort to rebuild their studio, they’ve organised an event/ fundraiser with a mammoth line-up to boot.

We caught up with Carasel to chat about the incident, fundraiser and more…

Ez Ollie! Great to chat to you again, shame it’s under these circumstances! Back in May Foreign Concept, Blacksmith and yourself had a studio broken into which you all shared… Mate, what a low blow. Tell us about how you discovered the place had been done over…

I had a phone call from Matt (Foreign Concept) who was first on the scene.. The earth-shattering ‘mate, can you get down here, we have been robbed. They have taken everything’ seemed to echo in my head, and I think there was a pretty long pause before I even responded. I jumped in the car and caned it down to the studio, experiencing different waves of anger and upset and just hoping they hadn’t taken hard drives and certain things. It’s a feeling I cant describe really. One of shock and utter depletion. When I arrived on the scene the steel secured doors had been battered down, the whole place had been rinsed, our vocal booth smashed up. I had to sit down for a second..

Heavy :/ What exactly was stolen?

Everything. Brand new 27″ Imac, about 6 synths, Mic Pre amps, 2 Mashine drum machines, mics, 2 pairs of Adam A7 speakers and loads more without even mentioning the hours and hours of music we were working on, plus the sample banks… Man, it cuts me up to even talk about it! We had only been in the new premises for 3 months and were uninsured so we lost everything we had built up over the years in one big swoop.

Absolutely devastating. I know any burglary is hard to deal with, but there is something about music being stolen that hurts the most. Hours of original work, lost to some muppet…

Yeah really is painful. I had a lot of new material saved on that computer, but my partner Blacksmith had been putting in the work crazy, and was on such a roll at the time. He had just finalised beats for MTA artist Knytro, Jurrasic 5’s Marc 7 and loads more, all gone in one swoop. I was so gutted for him, he’s had a really tough time recently for reasons outside of music, and it was such a blow when things seemed to be moving forward so positively.

Are you keeping an ear out for any of your music to be released by some up and comer? 😉

Ha! I would love for them to try! Then at least we would have some kinda leads on the scum bags that did this.

As always there are positives even in the worst situations and in this instance you must have been blown away by the sheer support from the community when the news broke… Pretty damn heart-warming!

Yeah, it’s nuts! Really has helped to spin a negative into a positive. When we first announced the break-in social media went crazy, sharing the info of the stuff taken and so on. We had lots of artists reach out – the likes of S.P.Y, Danny Byrd and Die literally offering us pieces of kit to get us back on our feet, it was really overwhelming. I think it resonated with so many artists as they just thought “daaaaamn, what if that happened to me?” All I can say to other artists is please get insurance and back up using a online cloud service and not external HD’s that you keep in the lab anyway as thieves will take those too!

Wise words. You guys are hosting a fundraiser this month at the Thekla in Bristol to try and recover some of the equipment that was stolen. Tell us how the event came together…

So many people were telling us we had to do something to restore the balance so that’s where the idea for ‘Backlash’ came about. So many artists reached out asking what they can do so we thought lets turn this on its head and have a party! Let’s celebrate all the good in our scene and show off that community spirit in a one off event and try raise a few quid to get some kit back at the same time, and so far the response has been incredible. Thekla hit us up and offered us the venue for free, that sealed the deal for us, it’s hands down my favourite venue in Bristol, so when we got that call it was a sign and we thought let’s do this!


What can people expect on the night?

I am over the moon with the line-up. It’s incredible we even had to apologise to some pretty big acts that wanted in but there simply was not enough space on the bill! We have acts like DC Breaks, Crissy Criss, Blackmarket, Voltage, Gorgon Sound AKA Kahn & Neek in the main room, not to mention 4 incredible special guests that will be revealed on the night. The main headliner is such a biggie… A D&B veteran and pioneer doing his first set at Thekla in maybe a decade, plus 2 special acts from Hospital Records and one from MTA… When people find out who it is they will flip! We are so grateful to all the acts. Every single one is playing for free to help us rebuild which is just incredible. Check out the event page for more info.

Like you said some seriously huge names on the bill! Again must be humbling to receive such support from your peers when you need it the most?

Its crazy it really is, I am genuinely humbled, honoured and so grateful to have so much support. They guys on the bill know that and they all know that in me they have somebody that will help them back with anything they need in the future without question.

You’re bringing the Carasel Live show to the event too – what’s involved in the live show?

Yeah, the live show is basically a mixture of my hip-hop and D&B tracks with a few surprises thrown in. We have taken it to Secret Garden, Nass Fest & Amsterdam over the last few weeks and had a great response so it will be great to bring it back to Bristol. It features my DJ Platinum, and of course Blacksmith, and it just felt right to do it at this show… Perform our own personal tracks on a night where people are coming out to support and rebuild our studio.

Along with the event you guys are also accepting donations from generous souls to help you get some of this equipment back. What I love about this is that you’re offering some pretty hefty prizes for those who pledge as well..

Exactly, so anybody that buys a ticket for the party gets entered into a prize draw for what we believe to be the best prize ever in drum & bass history! Seriously you need to check the list! Guest list for the rest of the year for all Hospitality, RAM, Motion Bristol and Critical events, goodie bags from those labels too, signed vinyl & t-shirts from Chase and Status, Mini Rigs and clothing from Recreo.co.uk… It really is mad! You can check the full list and buy £5 tickets to win all that stuff if you can’t attend the party buy clicking on our fundsurfer page.

You can donate as little as a pound and it all really helps to rebuild our studio. There are other perks on there as well.


Wicked. We saw you can buy mixdowns from MTA Records as well? What’s that all about?

Well Rob Macfarlane is Chase and Status’s engineer and he did all the mixdowns for the Culture Clash, most of the MTA stuff, Rita Ora, Emeli Sande, Pusha T, Skepta and Stormzy too, the list goes on. He’s good friends with Blacksmith and very generously offered his services as a perk for our fundsurfer. So for £50 you can get your vocal or track mixed by Rob to the same standard as a Chase and Status track, and know your money has gone to a great cause to boot. It’s an amazing thing to be able to offer.

Definitely! You’ve had quite a busy itinerary this summer! From Secret Garden Party, to Fabric, to the shores of Ibiza – highlights so far?

Summer has been incredible. I have not stopped, so many great shows and festivals. Highlights were definitely Glastonbury, an incredible couple of days with DC Breaks that saw us smash down Ibiza rocks, Dour festival in Belgium and then my live show at Secret Garden Party. Nass was mad also! Not to take away from all the other festivals though, as they have all been great to be fair! The Hospitality BBQ’s in London and Bristol were also special!

What’s new on the music front?

My debut album ‘Progression’ is getting a re-issue as a deluxe package with 5 bonus tracks soon and I have few drum and bass tracks bubbling away that will emerge soon. I just finished the ‘Altitude’ studio mix with Crissy Criss which you can grab on his website. Im also about to embark on a hip-hop project with one of my favourite drum and bass producers… I dont wanna talk too much on that right now as I might jinx it, but if it comes together as planned it really will be something special. Lots more tracks coming on my label AFT as well, we have 3 EPs lined up before xmas.

Nice one! What’s coming up for the rest of the year?

Well hopefully we will rebuild the studio and Blacksmith and I can get back to work!

Apart from that lots of shows! Diary is looking nice for autumn and winter.. Lots of shows with my Hospital Records family, AFT Records releases and parties and generally doing what I do and love which is hosting drum & bass sets!

Big up man, any final shouts/ words?

Yeah big up my brother Blacksmith, all the family at AFT / Ambush, Gram Agency and shouts to everyone who supports me! A massive thank you to all who are involved in the ‘Backlash’ party and special thanks to Hospital Records, MTA, RAM Records, Recreo, Critical Records and everyone else who has donated to the prize fun, it means so much!

Tickets for Backlash in Bristol are available here

Join the event page for more info and announcements. 

Donate to help the guys rebuild their studio and go in the draw to win THAT incredible prize. More info here.

You can follow Maja C on Twitter, @_Maja_C
Head of content and curator of Drum&BassArena's YouTube and SoundCloud channels, Maja also works across UKF's editorial pages.

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