Contrary to what many may believe, CASisDEAD is a director first, musician second. In a rare interview for I-D magazine, the Gary Newman loving, Nigella Lawson fancying masked maverick said “I'm trying to make short films. Music's just the soundtrack”, and anyone who’s invested their time in his YouTube channel would have to believe him.
Fans of the Newcastle United supporting Tottenham resident have waited a while for new music, but Monday finally brought the La Roux featuring ‘Park Assist’; releasing via XL Recordings. Manifesting a dystopian future, the track’s visuals are some of Cas’ best, as he changes into a more robotic mask and … full extermination mode. As for the song, he enlists Com Truise for an 80s synth led instrumental; following in vein of previous cuts Pat Earrings and … .
In light of this new era for CASisDEAD, we wanted to revisit his past through the medium of music videos. As someone who places heavy emphasis on his visuals, they are well worth dissecting, and tell you a lot about the man of whom is so submerged in mystery.
Starting with a sample from American cult-classic ‘The Warriors’, Leon Best epitomises the unpredictability of Cas’ persona. Being from Tottenham, and supporting the Toon, is a paradox in itself. However, like the ex-Newcastle, Blackburn and Charlton Athletic striker he has always been incredibly undervalued and overlooked for his services. The video revels in its low budget aesthetics, telling the narrative of (formerly named) Castro Saint’s life in un-filtered, true-to-life circumstances.
Drugs Don’t Work
Cas’ video for the Verve sampling DDW illustrates the bleak realities of being trapped in a cycle of addiction. The video starts with him lying submerged in his own sick, whilst strobe lights flicker over the rappers disassociated figure. The shots become increasingly kaleidoscopic, cutting between the wordsmith’s ascetic existence and people struggling with their own dependences.
What’s My Name ft Giggs
Despite still investing his time in a criminal career, What’s My Name suggests that Cas’ life is on the up. The delinquent activities displayed in the video seem more controlled and Giggs lends his services to Ragz Originale’s smutty instrumental. The track started a legendary friendship in Britain’s musical landscape, and the two artists have continued to collaborate with one another in later years; including a hilarious interview with Charlie Sloth in 2016.
Weekend ft King Rico and MasonISDead
Weekend is one of the rare videos on Cas’ YouTube that barely features himself. It’s also not on normal streaming services meaning, if you wish to indulge in the track, you have to watch the visuals too. Castro keeps the cinematography in house, enlisting his DEADTEAM network to curate the vibe and three models to take on the job of rapping his lyrics. Although it’s not his most conceptual video, the track displays his nuanced ambitions as an incredibly unique artist, and it came in a year when he released collaborations with both Giggs and Tricky. The video was filmed ‘on location at famous massage parlour ‘mae-lins’ in Bangkok, Thailand, 1996’, which given the nature of CAS, you wouldn’t argue against.
Until Pat Earrings, fans knew CASisDead as a white line snorting, hookers indulging drug dealer who cannot distance himself from his vices. Partnered with the video, this single exposes a more sensitive side to the raconteur, who falls in love with an escort and pays for her through his best quality drugs. Unsurprisingly, their relationship doesn’t work out as he would have hoped, and he ends the video still in pursuit of her love.
Park Assist ft La Roux
And so, it’s been a long three year wait for new CASisDEAD material. We’ve had a few clothing drops on DEADCORP.COM, studio sessions teased through Instagram live, and before lockdown, fans had a handful of gigs they could attend to see him in the flesh. For someone with such a tribal following, it’s odd that he’s made people wait all this time, but Park Assist is already enough to tell us that it will all be worth our while. The video starts off in a more utopian fashion to the realist vibes of previous singles, showing off Cas’ previous masks and the one he’s adopting for this stage of his existence. Some robotic love interest frees him from an incubator, and before we know it, he’s on a tyrannical mission through time and space to zap La Roux, who offers a contagious verse. It’s all as Gary Newman-esque as many would have hoped for, and the added financial help of XL Recordings looks to really invigorate the diegesis of CASisDEAD.