Guest Playlist: Caytra

Caytra is an up-and-coming London-based trio. Their compositions come layered with the sound of London nightlife, which echoes the clear influences of Kamaal Williams but also further afield with inspiration from Jaco Pastorius, Kaytranada and Herbie Hancock. Together, they blend technicality and danceability tied to each member’s unique musical personalities. Having released their first single, ‘The OG’, in April, the trio continue to make waves with ‘You Lost’. Enjoy the driving four-to-the-floor groove, disco-inspired bassline, and arpeggiated synth lines culminating in an impressive drum solo from James Gullis.

Featuring James Gullis (drums), Conor Cotteril (bass), and Sam Ithell (guitar), the trio has carefully curated a playlist of tracks that influence their latest single. From Kaytranada’s iconic production style to the EDM meets Jazz of St Germain, check it below.

‘As a collective, we’ve always had an incredibly clear vision of what we wanted from this project. That’s why when we formed this collective we jumped straight in the deep end, doing everything ourselves from the producing, to the writing, to the engineering and arranging.’ – Caytra

Sam’s Selection

Your The One:
This song was on heavy rotation for me around the time we were working on “You Lost”. I found myself wanting to inject this sort of club culture based vibe into our own music and found an avenue to do so through writing a chord progression that emulated the feel of tracks like “Your The One”. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Kaytranada’s iconic production style was a huge influence on the conceptualisation of “You Lost”.

Shrimp Dance:
I discovered this song purely by accident whilst listening to a playlist curated for late night drives. The arrangement of this tune was a huge inspiration for me. The way the song ebbs and flows between repetitious motifs whilst maintaining a consistent level of improvisation makes for an almost brand new listening experience every time I listen.

Strings of Light:
Strings of Light was the soundtrack to my first year studying music. The chord progression itself is synonymous with the sound of London jazz. The way the track’s iconic bass line rotates around such an iconic chord progression really served as a great source for inspiration when it came to writing around a piece that was essentially written out of a jam between a drummer and a bass player.

These Walls:
These Walls is a masterfully crafted song. The song features guitar work that stands up to any of the great Jazz Funk records that come to mind. It’s no surprise to find the work of Terrace Martin and Larrance Dobson on the production of this track.

The Horizon:
I first discovered Christian Scott via his tiny desk and have been a fan ever since. The Horizon features a really interesting mix of instrumentation alongside a unique approach to production that I rarely hear in tracks commonly associated with the likes of Christian Scott.

James’s Selection

Find My Way Home:
Introduced to me by a good mate at a house party somewhere in Devon, this was the first track that really opened my eyes to NUKG and the wider world of electronic music. I guess you could argue this is where the first spark of ‘You Lost’ was formed. I found myself wanting to play this sort of music, but with our own jazz vibe. The slightly faster tempo (136 Bpm) influenced ‘You Lost’ too, which is at a speedy 140 bpm!

Nearly 8 minutes of the same chord, but not a dull moment. This track really showed me how repetition could be made really interesting by just dropping in and out textures and sounds to keep the feeling of movement within the track. This then led to how ‘You Lost’ was both written and constructed.

Ibiza by Night:
I first heard this track in the toilets of an Italian bar in the center of Sofia in Bulgaria. This track was one of the first I heard where dance music was combined with jazz sensibility and improvisation. The drum track being a classic four to the floor dance groove, whilst the Rhodes solos throughout creates a track which you can get fucked up to and dance to in the night and then enjoy for its musical intricacies the next day. This was something that definitely rubbed off on ‘You Lost’.

Mr Wu:
I’m not sure how much needs to be said for this one, other than just go and listen to it! When it first came out, I had it on repeat everywhere I went for about a month (I imagine Kamaal got a good pay out from me alone). I also think it’s responsible for getting me a speeding ticket. I’m sure you can hear what influenced me in this track, from the super House-y key’s progression to Mcknasty’-s choppy take on the classic club groove.

Rose Rouge:
This is just a great example of where EDM meets Jazz, published on Blue Note in 2000. At first listen, it isn’t the sort of thing you’d expect from Blue Note. Much like all the other tracks it just made me want to play some heavy dance grooves in a jazz setting and show it was a recipe that worked.

Douha (Mali Mali):
This track came out right around the time that ‘You Lost’ ended up first being played, I was living with my mate who was super in to Disclosure. As soon as I heard it I was in to it, so it was just always on and ended up becoming a bit of a soundtrack to my days. Like anything you listen to or hear over and over, whether you like it or not, it will always come out in your playing and writing, and that was the case with this one for sure.

Conor’s Selection

Kid Charlemagne:
This is arguably one of the most well-known tracks from Steely Dan’s album “The Royal Scam”. The track features bass from Chuck Rainey. Chuck has played on all my favourite Steely Dan tracks. I love the movements of his lines and, technically, how he transitions from slap to finger playing.

Oh happy days:
Oh happy days is another track that features the work of Chuck Rainey. To my knowledge, Chuck has worked extensively with Quincy over the years, and there’s no mistaking his musical identity amongst the titans of the session industry he is featured alongside.

This track features the work of Jaco Pastorius alongside Joni Mitchell. This track really influenced my approach to the lines played on “You Lost”. Pastorious executes his lines lyrically and compliments Joni’s voice masterfully. It’s the perfect example of a musician serving the song whilst maintaining a level of improvisation that breathes new life into every bar.

Pyramid Song:
This is a lesser known Radiohead track but probably one of my favourites. Although not explicitly related to Bass, the arrangement of this song is on a whole other level. It really made me consider how and where I would enter on “You Lost”.

This is one of my favourite takes on a classic standard. It’s difficult to find the credited bass player, but I’m guessing it may be Robert Miller. The use of repetition with slight variation over the changes really provided a great source of inspiration when it came to “You Lost”.

CF Smith

Permeating your ears with good music.

Leave a Reply