cassy 8.5.13_173a

So Ibiza was an obvious choice given your gigs this summer, but what other things do you think about when deciding where to live? Do you worry about having a studio, perhaps?

That was one thing that was really annoying for a very long time. I was working in my last home in Berlin and had a home studio set up in our living room. I moved, got a divorce, left Berlin and was on the move but didn’t wanna move all my machines ’cause I needed to get out and discover other things. It was clear to me I didn’t want to live in Berlin the rest of my life, that was something I never planned to do. But moving with a studio is difficult ’cause you can’t move it to different cities, obviously.

Then, working with a laptop is something I’ve never tried doing – or wanted to do – so I tried it. I got the newest version of Live or whatever but it’s just not me. I don’t enjoy working on a laptop. The Vienna apartment was too small, so then I decided to find people around the world that I connect and can work with, and that’s what I’m doing now. I’m working with someone in Geneva and someone in Ibiza now, and that’s the best solution.

Does that account for your recent dearth of productions, then?

Definitely.

Does that worry you?

No, I don’t worry about it at all because I’m not making music [just] to please people! I have to have my heart in it and feel there’s a point. I’m starting to feel it again now. I’m not an experiment person, though; I don’t go to play with machines but to express myself. If I do something, I’ll do it – start it and finish it and then it’s done. It’s always productive when I go in the studio, so I’m not worried about it.

I wonder if you have the dancefloor and your own DJ experiences in mind when you make something like the recent Parris Mitchell remix?

Funnily enough, no. I don’t really. I remember having this discussion with [Basic Channel’s] Mark Ernestus. We were talking about how you make tracks. He’s doing different things and not doing techno any more and I guess if you are a producer, and figure out how to do a house track or a techno track or whatever, you might get bored of it ’cause you figure out how to really nail it.

For me I don’t know how to do that. I listen to everything just as music, I don’t know if that makes sense? I know how to use house and techno tracks as tools as a DJ, but as a producer I try to have as little in my mind as possible. I just like drums and sounds. I try to regulate my mind not to think and not to have anything in my head at all.

As a producer I try to have as little in my mind as possible. I try to regulate my mind not to think.

Is that something you do when DJing as well, then?

Yes, I try to as much as possible. I mean, the last years have been extremely hectic and challenging and it’s not always possible. But I try to leave myself alone when DJing as much as possible. That’s probably the only thing in life where I’m completely at ease and not too worried about stuff, not too human.

Has your DJ style changed as you’ve learnt more things and played more places? Your calendar is chock full, so does that drive you to want to change it up from night to night?

Not really. On the contrary, I find the more I play the better. Sometimes when you’re tired or technical requirements aren’t great, it’s difficult to play a great set. But I think the more experience you have, the more variety of gigs you have, the more you can use what you’ve learnt from the various situations.

Yeah, that variation is interesting. You seem to be in a rare position where you can play a massive festival like Global Gathering in Carl Cox’s tent, and in the same weekend play to the heads at Panorama Bar.

Yeah, I’m very happy about that. It took hard work to get there. I get great enjoyment from doing both; I’m a DJ, it’s what I want to do. I always make it clear to myself – what am I doing, why am I doing this, because it’s tough. You always want to enjoy what you’re doing and the more successful I get, that isn’t going to change. You can make more money but the job and task itself is always the same, so I try to analyse and figure out what it is a DJ is supposed to be doing, so when you get to the core of it, it doesn’t matter if it’s for three people or 50,000.

Are you conscious of the crowd’s different backgrounds? The Berlin people are likely more choosy than those in a field in Staffordshire…

Definitely. I mean, yeah, the people can be geekier, but I have it all – people you think will be geeky but who are oblivious at an after hours, and the more appreciative – maybe not geeky – but a crowd really going for it at a festival in Germany. I think you can have both in both camps. What was interesting was Dimensions festival. The floor I played was not as big as the main floor, or Carl’s at Global Gathering, but there was a geeky vibe as well as a party vibe. It was a nice combination and the more people you can combine, the more vibes and tastes, the better it is for your set. If you have people that can rave and enjoy a festival as well as music that gets a bit deeper, then that’s better.

If you’re doing what I’m doing as an artist or creative person, we’re all control freaks even if we seem mad. You have to be in order to live your life every day and travel and get on with it. But it’s extremely important to not get stuck and I guess that’s why I’m also keen on challenging myself and leaving my comfort zone.

The more vibes and tastes, the better it is for your set. If you have people that can rave and enjoy a festival as well as music that gets a bit deeper, then that's better.

Author Kristan Caryl. Photos: Jimmy Mould
12th August, 2013

Comments

  • But to be honest I don’t care about track names, I just play records in a shop and buy them if I like them…. i thought i was the only one

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  • as a guy i find those last couple of answers pretty offensive & sexist. how would you feel if a man made those comments about women? and to say women have to work harder than men to become successful in the music industry is just ridiculous. it’s actually easy if you’re good looking, and you are, harder if you aren’t i would imagine. it’s not about what you play these days as much as how you look.

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  • I doubt that Nina had to work harder than others to achieve her stellar success. She played her cards wisely and IMO owes a large portion of her success to the facts that she is so beautiful and Ben’ her BF. Both wouldnt be possible if she werent a woman. Great interview otherwise.

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  • Paris Hilton loves both producing music, and DJing. She therefore is better than Heidi and Annie Mac.

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  • god look at all the men with a chip on their shoulders up there ^

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  • Feminism on steroids, she’s so sexist, chill Cassy.

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  • she strikes me as a libertarian — an anti-collectivist. i love that. fuck the collective.

    also her statement — “djing is not about people having their hands in the air” — is some shit I have been trying to explain to people for years — i couldn’t agree more.

    she seems like she’s really honest with herself about what it is she’s doing…

    great read.

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  • ‘artists’ should try to refrain from making unqualified statements like ‘Capitalism makes Individualism possible’ …it makes me wonder if she knows what either word means.

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  • Wondering – are there multiple writers doing these interviews? Or just one person? Impressive if it’s just one person (lots of content in these pages)..

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  • With regards to DJing and DJ culture she says a lot of great things. Not so sure about the Capitalism thing though.

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  • great insights by cassy, what a nomad. she’s not shy about being feminist and nor should she be. it is probably a big reason why she has gotten to the top.

    if you look at the women she mentions, nina kraviz and steffi, they say similar things and are not shy about their sexuality. they don’t try to apologize for who they are, nor should they, just to please the misogynistic masses.

    bravo cassy!

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  • A lot of pretentious bollocks here…. The capitalism statement shows her obvious lack of knowledge and insensitivity. Also, very sexist, borderline chauvinism. Otherwise, a regular interview. Good job by Kristan.

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  • “A lot of pretentious bollocks here…. The capitalism statement shows her obvious lack of knowledge and insensitivity. Also, very sexist, borderline chauvinism. “

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  • if you compare the diversity of people in socialist/communist systems to the diversity of people in capitalist systems, you have to agree that Cassy’s comment is spot on! Even Bono has understood that capitalism is the superior system.

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  • Nna Kraviz doesnt have to apologize for what she is, but stating that she is ‘allergic to the word sexy’ and still posting pictures that can only be considered ‘sexy’ is a bit of a contradition. She doesnt deserve all the hate though.

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  • @miko… even bono?! why *even*? isn’t this the man who stashes most of his cash in tax havens (while banging on about poverty)? not sure if you had him down as a kind of people’s hero, but he’s resolutely not. though he’s a reasonable enough songwriter, of course.

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