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INTERVIEW: Casimir Engine (Radio DJ)

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a failed musician who’s only claim to fame is writing jingles for presenters on BBC local radio. I once decided that I needed to appear on every show on daytime Radio Six Music and failed with Lauren Laverne! My work life has been chaotic, so I decided during the Pandemic that I didn’t want to do the crazy work, long hour stuff and became a Barista for a while, a kitchen hand and a handyman (or not so handy) gardener.  

How did you first get involved with Kinetic 7 Radio?
Around ten years ago I decided along with a couple of friends to set up a local radio station! It’s THE single most expensive thing I’d ever done!! The idea behind the station was to promote new, exciting local artists. A bit like Bros, we had creative differences and closed the station after five years. Since then I’ve been lucky to work with some great people including the guys at Analogue Trash in Manchester. I’d been playing an extremely catchy track called Crash by a band called Low Tide Theory. Analogue Trash closed the station and a friend recommended I speak to Kinetic 7 Radio who I eventually found out were members of Low Tide Theory. It’s now part of my contract to play the song on every show!! 

What can listeners expect to hear on your Casimir Engine show?
A mix of music I enjoy from established artists who can range from The Normal and The Human League to Cliff Richards and The Carpenters. The Casimir Show is chatty and we try to have some fun. I’ve recently set up a show called #DATASTREAM. It’s a showcase for all of the new artists who contact the station each week. No chat, just great music. It gives me a chance to share the contact details: bandcamp twitter facebook etc so the listeners and followers can reshare, speading the word! It’s a bit like pyramid selling but without the cost! 

Why is it called the Casimir Engine?
I always wanted a fancy New Romantic style name for a project I was involved in. I tried the “reverse your surname” style like Limahl but my name has “krap” in it so it was a non-starter. I’d been reading a book by Arthur C Clarke (get me!) and he had a method of travel using a Casimir Engine. That’ll do for me!  

Do you favour any type of music in particular?
I do have a love for Electronic music but I can listen to anything except Folk! 

How do you prefer to receive music submissions?
Artists send music in loads of different ways and we accept anything, but my favourite is a simple email, dropbox link and a quick biog. I like to print out some info so prefer everything in black and white! Most artists send really beautiful links in full colour but it costs me a fortune in printer ink! 

Do acts still send you physical releases?
Some artists have sent CD’s, one has sent USB sticks in the past but in general we receive wav and mp3 files 

What's the best promo item you've been sent?
I’ve had various T-shirts sent over but a Hackney based band The Prods sent through a “magazine” of Ferrer Roche chocolates, a USB stick, A postcard, a stick of rock used in the video of the track and a Curly Wurly.  

What advice would you give to artists submitting tracks to you?
Always stick your name in the tracks ie Soft Cell with Tainted Love. Sometimes the track isn’t named and as a fairly dim person, I don’t realise until it’s too late. Give an idea of genre in your email/message so we can direct the track to the right show. Highlight the version you’d like featured if it’s an EP/LP/Remix selection. Add a document of what you’d like listeners to hear ie bandcamp, spotify  

Are there any press release words or phrases which automatically mean they get sent to the dumper?

Cas and his dog (Cas is the one wearing the hat)

Please tell us about any acts/releases which have really caught your imagination lately?
A label called Subexotic have sent some really cool artists. Not everything fits the show but I try and play something. Also an artist called Komputer/Lonely Klown sent in a really simple email with his new album The message was in a note document and again simple as “this is my album, hope you like it” 

Analogue Trash always send exciting music, usually through Puffer Fish the PR company, but Ade who runs the label along with Mark will often sneak me a tweet message, most recently with my fave band The Cowls new album! Radio sometimes has benefits!!  

Have you got anything new on the horizon?
I have a new jingle on BBC Radio Oxford that has a couple of fans, but as for radio Kinetic have set up a podcast. I ran my own for a couple of years and managed to hit 10,000 downloads which I find incredible. So we’ve moved the concept to K7R and have interviews and chat with people from the independent arena. In the past I’ve interviewed Public Service Broadcasting, BBC presenters and some bloke off of the Inspiral Carpets. 

Please tell us your 5 all-time favourite albums?
Gentlemen Take Polaroids by Japan
The Lexicon of Love by ABC
Dare by the Human League
Certain Calculations by the Cowls
Since Year Dot by Analogue Electronic Whatever

Which song would you like to nominate for the Green Banana Jukebox and why?
Being Boiled by The Human League. And the reason? It changed my life. 

Green Banana would like to thank Casimir Engine for answering these questions. 

Find Casimir Engine on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Interview by Skreen

Cas & the late, great Bernie Clifton (Bernie is the one not wearing a hat)