‘Oh. Charts.’ The RA mafia has just arrived at Hard Wax Records in Berlin where Cassy
works and told her why we've come. She looks disappointed. “I just feel so strange even looking at charts. Usually you just get one to ten with your picture next to it – I find it so…pretentious? Every time Groove magazine asks, I never do it. And then I feel like maybe I should be doing it because it's nice for other people.” Cassy is pondering the value of charts now. “Maybe it’s nice to hear that people like something that you like too, that a community is building up. But everything apart from that is all hocus pocus.”
Cassy is resident at the Panoramabar, the upstairs half of Berghain, the refitted power station that fuels Berlin clubland. Last year she was the club’s first choice to bring the energy of the venue to home stereos, releasing her debut mix CD ‘Panoramabar 01’ to a rapturous reception
. Like her mix CD, Cassy’s ten favourites this week are a mix of the old and the new. “I don't care about the age of a record too much,” she says. “It really doesn't matter when you play it in the club. Most people don't have a record player and they don't buy the records. I mean it's an expensive hobby and you really have to be into it. I completely understand people just wanting to listen on a mix CD or maybe just in a club, and just let loose.”
But this one is for the record nerds, so we have to ask: What does Cassy think of trainspotters bugging her when she DJs? "I don't mind them. I’m the same," she laughs. "Sometimes you just have to ask, you know? Because I'd get so annoyed with myself if I didn’t do it. Otherwise you’d never know."
Cassy got her start as a singer, (you can hear her acapella version of Villalobos' ‘Easy Lee’ on his Alcachofa mix) but she’s also a producer, releasing on Perlon, Playhouse and Mental Groove as well as her own self-titled label. RA was surprised Cassy didn’t mention any of her own records in her picks. "There are two remixes coming out soon. But I have to work a little bit more,” Cassy says guiltily. “I'm not such a keen releaser. I have to pull myself together a little bit more. No, I have to. I will."
We sit in the sunlight by the window as Cassy rushes around the shop picking out records and spinning them one by one. Ask a stupid question, but does Cassy get most of her records through Hard Wax? “Yes, because I have no time to go anywhere else. But I do try to buy old stuff via Discogs, which you can do now. Like old records that aren’t released anymore. You can contact the seller directly.” Is it easy to find secondhand records in Berlin? “No, no one sells records here. You have to be very lucky. Better to buy on the Internet. Sometimes you have to pay two hundred dollars or whatever for it of course.” So what has Cassy paid two hundred dollars for? “Nothing! Well, I was going to once, but then I just thought no, that’s silly." Maybe better to just play an mp3? “No, I never do that. I really hate playing mp3s. But there is one that I don’t have by Daniel Bell…”
Cassy the Bass Queen spins her current top ten for RA at Hard Wax in Berlin.
Under the gun: Cassy