KUSP BEGAN AS AN EXPERIMENT BETWEEN TWO FRIENDS IN LIVERPOOL REDISCOVERING THEIR LOVE FOR DANCE MUSIC. FAST FORWARD A LITTLE OVER A YEAR LATER AND KUSP HAVE RELEASED SOME STELLAR MUSIC ON RESPEKT RECORDINGS, ODD & OCTOPUS. WE CAUGHT UP WITH THE GUYS AHEAD OF THEIR DEBUT EP ON WE ARE THE BRAVE...
Hello guys, thanks for taking the time to speak with us at Virtus, where in the world are you right now?
We’re actually just on our way to Manchester from Liverpool. It’s Luke’s birthday night out so there’s a group of us off out to see the Chemical Brothers for the evening!
KUSP is a relatively new venture, at least on the record releases front anyway, can you tell us how the project came about & also how you came up with the name?
Previously, Luke was part of a project called “makes no sense” that had tracks signed to Shadowchild’s record label ‘Food Music’. Jack was a solo act resident DJ at a few parties in and around Liverpool. Together, we’ve been best mates who’ve promoted parties for nearly a decade but, we never sat down to work on music together until just over a year ago. What was originally just a mess about in the studio eventually turned into a new project after receiving some short-term success, with Boxia supporting one of our early productions on BBC Radio 1. The dictionary definition of ‘cusp’ basically means “on the edge” and “two arcs that form a point”. So we changed the spelling and used that idea to symbolise our name within our logo.
Do you find having someone else to work with is easier in the studio?
Yes! Having that other person to bounce off always makes it easier when you’re wondering what to do next. Both of us have our strengths and weaknesses, but we think what’s most important for collab’s and duo’s is that you’re both bringing something unique to the table.
Already in the short life span of KUSP you have received some fantastic global support of your music, what do you think has been your most well received track so far?
Dominator. After playing it out and seeing the reaction it gets on the dance floor it’s been quite surprising. The number of messages we’ve had on our socials from people asking about the release date has been insane too. Seeing Alan Fitzpatrick playing it at some of the biggest shows and festivals around the world like Creamfields, Drumcode Festival and Awakenings… those are the moments you can only dream of as a producer.
Next up is a huge release on We Are The Brave, can you tell us how your relationship with Alan Fitzpatrick came about and do you think this is your strongest output in terms of quality to date?
A friend of a friend put us in contact with Alan in the summer last year, he told us he was keen to push UK artists, so we pushed ourselves in the studio to try and make the most of the opportunity. It’s great to see a top level, worldwide touring DJ like Alan to find the time to nurture some of the less well-known talent out there. We feel this EP is some of our strongest work to date but, we also believe, your best is always yet to come!
You have been involved in some excellent showcases in the recent past, what was it like playing before Jeff Mills & did you get a chance to pick his brains?
It’s not often you get to support and share a booth with a true pioneer like Jeff Mills. Its mesmerising watching him jam on a 909. He was on a pretty tight schedule so didn’t have time to pick his brains too much, but we exchanged a few words and a handshake afterwards. We actually ended up going back on after him into the early hours with an impromptu b2b set with good friend Gemma Furbank, who also played a blinding set that evening.
What is the process in the studio that works for you guys in terms of favourite DAW, hardware, software...and where do you get the most inspiration from?
Ableton, there are so many different ways to use it and it’s just hands down the quickest for us to get ideas down. We’re always on the lookout for new synths and hardware but for workflow purposes we’ll often do a lot of our work all within the box. If we add a synth to the setup it’s got to be something intuitive, that’s instantly inspiring and doesn’t require hours of reading through a manual.
What producers are you really digging in your sets at the moment?
There’re tons of incredible artists at the moment so it’s hard to name them all...
Frazi.er, Risa Taniguchi, Robert S, Keith Carnal, Truncate, SHDW & Obscure Shape, Dax J, Rudosa, Boxia, Stef Mendesidis.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting out a career as a DJ/Producer, what would it be?
Enjoy the process! Sometimes it can be disheartening when you don’t feel as though you’re getting anywhere. It can be a bit of a bumpy ride at times with ups and downs along the way. But it’s the passion that’s got you into it in the first place and that’s what will take you further. Rather than trying to look how far away you are from where you want to be it’s better to look back at just how far you’ve come since you started instead. It feels like the more you give to this industry the more you’ll eventually be rewarded with.
And lastly...will this year finally be Liverpool’s year?
Haha! As Liverpool fans it’s safe to say we’ve been in this position before and it’s still not happened. So we’re just happy to be top of the table right now and hopefully that's where we’ll end up when the season finishes!
Pre-order the brand new Dominator EP from Kusp here: https://wearethebrave.lnk.to/Dominator