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Casper 

Thursday, March 10, at the Mercury Lounge

The U.K. has seen many mutations in DJ production style. Its latest anomaly -- two-step -- is the catchy, danceable hybrid that uses the electric undercurrent of drum 'n' bass and the soulful craftiness of R&B (think Destiny's Child mixed by Roni Size). And it has found an American ally in Chicago's Casper (Julian Carow). Dubbed the States' biggest two-step DJ by Urb magazine, this turntablist has set his sights on introducing urban America to the likes of Wookie, Zed Bias, M.J. Cole, and DJ Zinc. Since the early '90s, Casper, an atmospheric drum 'n' bass DJ, has been active in the Chicago area, maintaining residency for the last half-decade on Strictly Jungle, the longest running weekly drum 'n' bass radio program in the country. Under the moniker Cascade, he and fellow beatmonger Chris J have produced several drum 'n' bass tracks, but two years ago, Casper grew bored of the sound and started to move toward two-step, spinning its signature bright and bouncy two-bar beats on dance floors everywhere. His website (heavyweightsound.com) is the main outpost of two-step in the U.S., providing downloadable mix sets and information on the genre. When Casper steps up to the turntables at the Mercury Lounge, you can expect a seamless transition of dance-friendly tunes from labels such as Locked On, Manchu, Soul 2 Soul, Sidestepper, and Public Demand. His style will indulge in everything from house and R&B to dancehall and electro, often with a drum 'n' bass edge -- all stuff that you'll hear nowhere else in America.

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