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Cascine Special: An Introduction

Since the first few records started trickling through the Twittersphere, we’ve been fans of new label Cascine. A spin-off of cult Swedish label Service (Jens Lekman’s home), Cascine runs the gamut from guitar-pop to uber-electronica, the unifying theme being that all the bands, records and artists are fucking great; there is no other way of putting it. So, as they turn just 7 months old this week, we chat to label head honcho Jeff Bratton about how Cascine got started and what releases are coming up, and he introduces World Tour to get this week’s Cascine special started.

PlanetNotion: How would you describe your music?

Jeff Bratton: Cascine’s a pop label, and on a whole, we tend towards beat-driven music with high production quality. We’re not averse to live drums and bands with heavier instrumentation, but that’s not where we exist now. The label’s focused on exploring the edges of pop music and I think our releases tell that story.

PN: What’s been exciting your eyes and ears the most in the last month?

JB: Ahh, so much. The world’s full of rad stuff. Visually, I’ve just moved back to New York and am blown away by how dense this city’s creative community is. And sonically, we’re loving new music by When Saints Go Machine, Niki And The Dove, Games, Keep Shelly In Athens and Museum of Bellas Arts. I’ve also been glued to the Nelly track ‘Just a Dream’, we’re definitely not averse to chart pop like that.

PN: How did you get involved with Cascine?

JB: Last spring, my work with Service introduced me to Sandra Croft in London and we, in addition to becoming close friends, realized that we share so many similar musical tastes. We would bug-out over email about old Embassy and Tough Alliance releases. Then, when we found Shine 2009 and immediately fell in love with their stuff, the decision was made to start a small imprint of our own.

PN: Anyone you’d really like to collaborate with in future?

JB: We quite like Italians Do It Better and would like to see something happen with them, perhaps. Acephale’s another label we respect, and Hippos in Tanks is impressive too. We’ve had two great collaborations already; one with Jamie Harley to uFrankly, though, we’re just keeping our heads down and trying to do great work for the artists already on the roster. 2011 is going to be a massive year for us. We’re really excited about the projects coming down the pipeline pipe.

PN: What can we expect from the albums?

JB: The Chad Valley EP is brilliant – so rich and dense and colorful. The tracks are exciting to listen to and the EP tells a feel-good story. Chad Valley’s production and understanding of how to construct a song are next level. Selebrities are a big, bright light. They make a sort of melodic new wave music that’s angular and also warm. The tracks from the new single are perfect for the season: sexy, dark and have great movement. We’ve just signed Southern Shores, gorgeous wanderlust holiday pop from Nova Scotia, and of course, the Shine album is definitely already one of our favourite records this year, and we can’t wait for everyone to hear that.

PN: The first band we have up to start Cascine week is the Swedish group World Tour. Jeff, tell us a little bit about them and how they came to Cascine?

JB: World Tour are Tobias, Felix and Merike from Northern Sweden. They make delicate pop music that is infinitely rich in detail and we fell in love with their song Sparks the instant we heard it. It was in the dead of winter, around Christmas, and it spoke to many of the mixed feelings of hope and trepidation we were feeling at the time.

SPARKS (Soundcloud):
World Tour – Sparks by CASCINE

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