She doesn’t wear a mouse head, write Top 40 hits, or make six figures for a single Las Vegas performance. But London-born, Berlin-based Cassy is one of the foremost resident DJs in the world, with regular sets at leading underground clubs Panoramabar (Berlin), Trouw (Amsterdam), Rex Club (Paris) and as of this year, the brand new Output in Brooklyn, New York, modeled after those music-centered magnets.
“Output is a club that’s still underground enough for DJs like us to play whatever we want to be playing,” says Cassy, born Catherine Britton. “It’s not about anything other than music. It’s an extremely good opportunity to make something happen.”
While she doesn’t say it outright, that “something” could be the growth of an EDM alternative; a re-focus on the long-form, gradual, dimly lit DJ sets that defined dance music not even five years ago. Exclusively playing vinyl records (you won’t catch her hiding behind a laptop), and favoring funky, atmospheric house grooves sans vocals, Cassy could be one of the artists to guide that looping left turn. She’ll plant the seed this Friday at Electric Zoo, the EDM mega-festival on Randall’s Island in New York (Aug 30 - Sept 1).
The CODE team’s been hammering “Fabric 71,” Cassy’s floor-burning installment in London club Fabric’s untouchable compilation series, for months now. So we asked the vinyl devotee to select ten songs that any dance music fan needs to have on wax. Her list ranges from timeless classics in any genre, to ‘80s synth-pop indulgences, to new-school house jams that only exist in 12-inch form.
Talking Heads, “Once In A Lifetime” (Sire)
“My all-time favorite band, and that's the song that sums it up.”
Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “The Power Of Love” (ZTT)
“One of the most beautiful songs ever. The whole album [“Welcome to the Pleasuredome”] is amazing. I would play and sing it in my room to no end.”
Wham, “Everything She Wants” (Long Version) (Columbia)
“One of the most fun and best songs ever. Great to party and dance to. Great production; so well done.”
Talk Talk, “It's My Life” (EMI)
“I love Talk Talk. So beautiful, so touching.”
Prince, “'When Doves Cry” (Warner Bros)
Human League, “The Things That Dreams Are Made Of” (Virgin)
“Could not do a list of ten without Human League.”
Japan, “Quiet Life” (Hanse International)
“Japan has to be mentioned. Tragic I didn't mention Simple Minds, actually. This track is so representative of those days, and a certain vibe I’m missing today in music”
Jovonn, “Garage Shelter” (Nitestuff)
“One of the best dance floor tracks ever. This is what house music is to me. It's deep, deep, deep, deep, deep. So sexy.”
Choice (Laurent Garnier & Shazz), “Acid Eiffel” (Fragile)
“One of the most beautiful techno tracks ever. I could cry every time I hear it.”
Duster Valentine, “Against The Wall” (Rush Hour)
“My new all-time favorite.”