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Interview: Sin City’s Cato talks to us about his debut album

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Cato dubstep

This week sees the release of Cato’s hotly anticipated debut album, The Unknown. Dropping on Sin City Recordings, the 18-track beast explores the deepest, darkest depths of everything from dubstep and grime to hip hop and trap. The end result is an incredibly polished product that shows a refreshing diversity in Cato’s work. Tunes like Ghetto Funk come with an undeniably raw energy that will get heads nodding, while our personal favs, Missing and Sometimes, pull things back into more ambient quarters, with creative samples and lush melodies complementing deep, heavy bass.

With support from some of the biggest names in the scene — Hatcha, N-Type, Spyro, Walsh and more — it looks like 2014 is set to be a huge year for Cato. But who is the man of the moment and what makes him tick? With only a smattering of info out there about him, we decided to find out more. Check out the Q&A interview below. But first, have a listen to the album sampler. And don’t forget to bag this free tune.

In your own words, who are you and what is your music all about?

Hi I’m Cato, I guess a large part of my music is probably about fitting a gap between hip hop and grime, but at the same time trying to make a sound which doesn’t fit in any group. I suppose they were my first strongest influences, which years later still inspire me to make something that fits both. I love the bass weight that you get in dubstep and grime, but also love the melodies and interesting sampling you get from early hip hop.

Your debut album’s just dropping and it is sounding fresh. How are you feeling right about now?

Thanks, Im feeling happy with it, N-type asked me to do it over the phone a while back now and for years of listening to Rinse and N-type it’s a a big compliment, so I just got straight into it. As a result it’s been a kind of a journey, it’s helped me realise more of what my sound is. I’ve never really known what it is to be honest, but doing an album kind of forces it out of you somehow.

Listening through the album, it is incredibly diverse. What was the process like in putting it all together? Which of the tracks are you most proud of?

I make music generally during weekends and what ever has inspired me during the week will have an influence on that day when I make it, either intentionally or subconsciously. I listen to quite varied stuff to be honest. I love Radiohead, James Blake and Jamie xx, I like the idea of making emotive electronic music, so I knew I wanted to reach out to people who appreciate similar vibes. But then I will also listen to Meek Mill, Just Blaze and Dipsets older stuff, which always makes me want to do something which is quite opposite that inspires tunes like Wrong Neighbourhood, Dark Energy and Ghetto Funk. I think actually selecting the tunes for the album I could have gone down one or the other route but It felt right to showcase both as an intro for people into what I make.

As far as choosing the tunes I’m most proud of, it’s way too hard to say. They each serve their own purpose.

You’ve had a lot of support from some of the scene’s biggest names. What’s it been like becoming part of that family?

It’s been really fun and a big privilege. Hatcha and N-type are hard working and so passionate about what they do, it’s really good to be around that energy. I’ve listened to them both along with Plastician on radio for years, before dubstep was even big.

I remember seeing Hatcha play at my uni as well thinking he always has sick tunes and loved the vibe he pushed. Then fast forward and I’m doing an album for their label, feels strange. They’re also a hysterical double act. Some trips to venues Ive played at with them are just pure banter. Nothing but respect for those guys.

There’s not much info out there about you. We couldn’t even really find a photo of you. Are you deliberately flying under the radar? Any plans to beef up your social media presence?

It’s probably because Im not a massive fan of having my picture taken! If it’s taken without me knowing, that’s always better. I think at the end of the day the product is the most important part, thats what excites me the most, I would rather sit down to make a tune than do all the online stuff. However I do realise it’s time to get more of an online presence established so I best crack on.

Cato dubstep

Do you DJ much? Do many live shows? Anywhere we’ll be able to see you perform in the coming weeks?

Yes, I’m in the process of organising the next set of bookings at the moment, just waiting on dates which I’ll put on my Facebook, Soundcloud, etc But you can catch me playing at Fire Club in Vauxhall for N-types next Wheel and Deal show, also Rude Bass down at Brixton and in Belgium around March.

Where do you like to hang out?

London in general has a lot of good places, I don’t actually live there I’m from Kent, but most of my friends are dotted around London now so thats mainly where I socialise. The Griffin in Shoreditch is good as well as Camden’s Lock Tavern is always a good spot.

Putting out this album is a massive step on your own journey. Any up-and-coming artists out there you think deserve a break next? Anyone else we should be keeping an eye on?

Sure, I think Yikes is gaining momentum quickly recently and has always been pushing quality deep 140 bpm vibes, always enjoyed his stuff and it’s getting better every time. There’s Kinzy as well, very varied in tempos but you can tell it’s his sound, he’s got a cool percussive sound that he does across trap, techno house and dubstep. And lastly Jafu is a sick producer pushing a kind of jazzy deep shuffle vibe, really fresh.

What else is important to you in life besides your music?

Friends, family, good food, travelling, sneakers, sports and my dog.

That Lauryn Hill remix was pretty big. Any other remixes in the pipeline?

Thanks, I love working with vocals and there’s definitely more to come.

Any shootouts you wanna give?

Yeah, firstly big up the Sin City Records team, and secondly anyone who’s supporting my music.

Follow Cato on Soundcloud / Facebook / Twitter

Buy the new album on iTunes / Juno

Follow Sin City / On The Rise

Interview

Planet Mondo Interview: King & Joker

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Recently, Planet Mondo had the opportunity to talk with EDM and dubstep djs King & Joker who are featured right here on our website. We talked dubstep and more. Don’t forget to check out their page right here on Planet Mondo.

Planet Mondo: What best describes your music & why it’s unique?

King & Joker: “Our music is definitely bass music… like a mixture of Big Room and Festival Trap”

Planet Mondo: Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

King & Joker: “ur influences are very far apart and that ‘s what makes it work we guess… The Joker gets inspired from big trance heros like Tiësto en Above and Beyond, genres these days are  going from Big Room to Bass music…  As the King Gets his inspiration from Trap and Bass producers like Troyboi, Marshmello, Jack Ü, Major Lazer”

Planet Mondo: What are you currently listening to?

King & Joker: “Big Room to Bass music… Troyboi, Marshmello, Jack Ü, Major Lazer, KSHMR, Blasterjaxx”

Planet Mondo: Do you have any projects you are working on?

King & Joker: “of course… ? its a secret ”

Planet Mondo: Your coolest experience thus far (performing or recording)?

King & Joker: “finishing the first track as King & Joker and getting more than 22K plays”

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Interview

Planet Mondo Interview: Dylan Heidt (TNLTTRWRD)

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2017 is already proving to be an incredible year of dubstep music, which is why we are stoked to share with you an interview with one of the dubstep djs featured on Planet Mondo, TNLTTRWRD.

Planet Mondo: What best describes your music & why it’s unique

TNLTTRWRD “I believe my music sounds the way that it does, because I find inspiration in so many different areas and avenues of life. I grew up listening to artists like The Doors, Bob Marley, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Eagles and Steely Dan (thank you Mom and Dad, haha), but as I grew older…probably around the time I hit elementary school…I was introduced to Hip-Hop and Rap. I was a huge Shady Records fan (Eminem’s record label), but also listened to everythingfrom Ludacris, UGK and T.I. (Southern Hip-Hop/Rap) to West Coast stuff that was out at the time like E-40, Mistah F.A.B and Snoop Dogg. That was really my first taste of production that I ever got and to this day what I believe to be the driving force that made me want to get into music production in the first place. There are still songs from the early 2000’s that I hear and immediately get chills down my spine, because of how good the production on said song is.

When I got into middle school, I went through a bit of an odd phase for a year where I listened to metal and that was about it. Bands like Black Sabbath, Metallica and Motorhead dominated the rotation of songs on my IPod as I would be walking the halls of my school with friends. When I was in 8th grade though (my last year of middle school) one of my best friends, his older brother
played us a Datsik song…I want to say that it was, “Nuke ‘Em”…but as soon as I heard it, my life was changed forever. I didn’t know how this guy was making the instruments sound the way that they did, but I knew I wanted to know more about this new kind of my music and thus began my journey into the world of electronic music.

After I broke free from my Metal phase and throughout high school I went back to having a pretty wide variety of music that I love and would listen to on a daily basis and to this day that’s exactly how I am. One minute I could be listening to the filthiest Dubstep record out at the moment, the next I may be listening to a Sublime song and from there I might throw on some Miles Davis, haha. To sum it all up, I have big ears and if I didn’t, I don’t think my music would sound in any way, the way that it does today.”

Planet Mondo:Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

TNLTTRWRD “My biggest musical influences? Hhmmm, it’s tough to say, but if I had to narrow it down and pick a few, Steely Dan would definitely have to be very high on that list. From there, on the production side of things…Hip-Hop/Rap- wise anyway…I would say everybody from J. Dilla, to FKi 1st, TM88, 9th Wonder, Ant (from Atmosphere) Metro Boomin and Zaytoven have all been very influential to me in one way, or another and some of those guys are relatively new in their own right, so that’s pretty cool.
In terms of electronic music production I would have to say that artists like Herobust, Flying Lotus, Hippie Sabotage, Cookie Monsta, DVBBS, Datsik, RL Grime and Zomboy have all made a pretty big impact on me in one way, or another as far as influence goes.”

Planet Mondo: What are you currently listening to?

TNLTTRWRD “Currently I’ve been listening to Post Malone’s debut album, “Stoney” on repeat actually, haha. Other than that I’ve been getting into a producer by the name of P Buddy who is pretty sweet and other than that it’s been just my usual mix of Classic Rock, Reggae and Hip-Hop/Rap.”

Planet Mondo: Do you have any projects you are working on?

TNLTTRWRD “At the moment, I don’t have any real projects that I’m working on. I did release my debut studio album, “Situational”, not long ago though and even more recently I put out a Hip-Hop/Rap instrumental EP titled, “For What They Know Not”.

I do have a couple of pretty big remixes coming out within the next month, or two here, so definitely keep an eye out for those! Both of those projects that I talked about above can be found in their entirety on my SoundCloud account, so definitely go check them out.”

Planet Mondo: Your coolest experiences so far (recording or performing)

TNLTTRWRD “I’ve had a handful of pretty cool experiences so far throughout this musical journey that I’m on, but by far the coolest happened when I was living out in Los Angeles for a little while. I was able to meet and hang out with (on a number of different occasions) legendary songwriter, producer and a plethora of other things, Jerry Goldstein.

Just being around somebody who has been in and made such a monumental impact on the industry for as long as he has and listening to the stories/soaking up the knowledge that he shared was an incredible experience for me.”

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Interview

Planet Mondo Interview: Dj View

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With the holidays around the corner, there are plenty of parties on tap to keep your head bouncing and your body moving. We recently sat down with Dj View and discussed a number of topics in this exclusive interview.

Planet Mondo: What best describes your music & why it’s unique

 

Dj View: When I envision my music as subject matter, something concrete, I see a machine yielding a machete stomping through the jungle hacking at all that’s in its way.  Some could say underwater robots/aliens for the drops but I like to base my introductory and break elements off of feelings from past experiences, mostly in dark wooded areas.  When I was young I would put on my headphones and walk through the woods at night all alone.  There was something overwhelming about it that I really enjoyed and looked forward to throughout the day.
It was like a drug; very intense at first but after a little bit I was in my comfort zone.  I always try to replicate that intensity that I felt in the intro/break/outros of my compositions.



Planet Mondo: Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

Dj View: As of right now the artists that have my attention are Kadaver, Sudden Death, Ecraze, Graphyt, Emoxx, Samplifire, MurDa, Evilwave, and Oolacile.  These dudes are taking over the scene with their next level sound design and brilliant arrangements.

Planet Mondo: What are you currently listening to?

 

Dj View: So I produce so often that I tend to get sick of hearing all these loud wubs.  When I take a break from production to work in my painting studio, I tend to go back to my roots and listen to a lot of DNB and hip-hop.  DNB artists such as Black Sun Empire, State of Mind, Calyx & TeeBee and as for hip-hop artists I am a huge fan Gucci Mane and Pouya been on the come up as well, I’ve had his UU album on repeat for 3 weeks now.”



Planet Mondo: Do you have any projects you are working on?

 

Dj View: “Yes of course!  I try my best to always stay busy.  If you are on your grind you have a chance to shine, without the grind you’re literally taking away any chance to grow as an artist.  Music wise, being an independent dubstep producer is competitive, you literally have to be one of the best to get any kind of recognition so I always try to reach out to relatively newer producers that I see are trying their best because I know we can make a great track together and that’s all I ever wanted when coming into the scene was to make good music and enjoy the process with other like-minded producers.


I currently have works in progress with Antima (Italy), DWARV (Wisconsin), Novice (Minneapolis), ORBiTE (Sweden), Kasework (Michigan), Calladore (Ohio), Bootyswag (Pennsylvania), and I’ve recently reached out to Kill OG and Pandemic after having a good time with them at a recent show.  I love collaborations but I also like to work on my own productions as well.  As of right now I have 13 unreleased dubstep productions compiled in a folder; currently in the demo process.


Being brought up listening to Dr. Dre and Ludacris, I have an undying love for phat 808s.  I am also a hip-hop producer for Cleveland based record label and marketing, Associate Records.  I work with artists, Mopacino, Corey Bapes, Layzie Bone, and Denise Monroe.  I have produced over 30 songs that are all unreleased for Corey Bapes and have 8 productions coming out on Mopacinos’ album which should be released first quarter of 2017.


Music aside, I am a geometric abstraction painter; some would call me an Op Artist.  I fell in love with painting not too long ago, during my undergraduate program at Kent State University.  I used to draw a lot in charcoal but once I was taught how to work with color correctly, I begun to see the limitless possibilities and started my endeavor as an abstract painter.  Over the past 2 1/2 years I have been exploring different ways to create optical effects with color.  The process is long yet meditative and through my system of application, my imagery yields unexpected results.  I have visions of what I want to create but through my process my ideas become dissected.


A good friend of mine and I have been working towards creating sound activated animations of my paintings that can then be projected onto stage setups during my live shows.  You can check out some of my paintings here”:  http://alexjesko.com/paintings/)


Planet Mondo: Your Coolest Experience Thus Far (Recording or Performing) ?


Dj View: “Recording the albums with the crew at Associate Records was a blast.  It was great to meet the engineer and just have a good time doing studio tings.  Performance wise, I’d say my favorite show I’ve been a part of is one I did with Trollphace and Boogie T.  Those dudes are real chill, Brock got the best sense of humor for real that dude is hilarious + they killed their sets!

Performance with Squnto was dope too!  Not surprisingly, he was the one that got me into chopping during my sets.


Pre show, we were watching Shiverz chopping the f*ck outta his sets in Montreal and it really got me thinking of ways to introduce new compositions to create new experiences for the audience during live performances.”

You can check out Dj View‘s music on his official Planet Mondo artist page right here.

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