September 29, 2006

Interview: Cassy

Berlin DJ, producer, and vocalist Cassy Britton has released tracks and remixes for Mental Groove, Perlon, and Playhouse, as well as her own self-titled label. Stylus caught up with her to talk about her new label, single, and mix CD…

Stylus: How does DJing at [Berlin’s] Panoramabar differ from other locales? Does it play to any particular strong points of your style?

Cassy Britton: Well first of all I know the club and I feel at home there, though I have to say that every single time it’s different – a different crowd, a different mood. I’m nervous everytime I play and I don’t know what’s going to happen…what helps is that I’ve got three hours and I have time to relax into it and build something.

Do you feel that your experience producing your own tracks plays a role in how you structure your DJ sets?

I thought it would make a difference, but it’s actually the other way round. More DJing helps me structure my tracks.

A lot of people that have seen you DJ say you find this “zen, contented space” even when you’ve been playing for hours on end. Can you explain anything about your mental state of focus?

I try to leave myself alone, as I was taught in my acting training (funnily enough at some point one adheres to what one was told). Everytime a negative thought pops up, I try to not let it get hold of me for too long…sometimes it’s very difficult, though.

What was the initial thought/moment/catalyst that lead you to start making your own music?

I just wanted to do it all by myself. I was sick and tired of watching other people do what I would love to do, so I had to push myself a little further and get over my fear of failing and sounding like a loser. And curiosity of course. I just wanted to know what it’s like…

Why did you decide to go with your own label, as opposed to releasing elsewhere?

Also curiosity, and a strong interest in the process of releasing music – something very important to make yourself familiar with as a musician. The times of big labels doing all your work are gone, and as a musician you have to know as much as possible in order to let your music speak and be successful. You can’t allow yourself becoming the victim of some uncontrollable circumstances. Sometimes shit happens and that’s very good. You learn, but the rest of the time it’s important to, as you say in German, to “hold the reins in your own hands.” But I still want to release music on other labels, especially Perlon.

It seems like a lot of Berlin-based producers are stuck using the same tones, plug-ins, etc. Who do you feel is really pushing things forward and exploring new styles/sounds at the moment?

No one. I guess we all do what other people have done. There are some people who’s work I love and really appreciate for its authenticity or for its vibe or…I can’t describe it further, I guess those are very subjective preferences.

One final question: any forthcoming releases you’re particularly excited about?

My husband Tobias’ next record, on Logistic, is one of my most favourite tracks at the moment. It’s also on my mix cd. It’s called “Dial.”

Cassy’s new mix CD Panorama Bar 01, and single “Alexandra/Toyah,” are both out now. For more information, visit her official website.

[Colin James Nagy]


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