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…”
Subvoice - Vampirella (DBX Remixes) [Subvoice Electronic Music]
Cassy: "This one. It's a fantastic record. I've been wanting to buy it for ages but it's like a hundred and fifty or two hundred dollars. I just can't spend that much. I mean maybe Daniel could give me an mp3…" Cassy thinks for a bit. "Which I'm going to ask him for. Yes."
CH-Signal Laboratories (8003 Lucerne) – Scale 1 [Sandwell District]
Cassy: "Okay, what kind of title is that? It's stupid! It's actually an English record done by an English and a German guy - I'm not allowed to name names. It's one that I really love playing at the moment. You can play it anytime. But you want to play it when most people can listen to it because it's so good. It has a very nice kick drum and it's very juicy. It's very minimal but it's not a "minimal" record. I don't even know what minimal is but just to make sure that people don't mistake it for "minimal". This is nice, er, minimal techno. But it only has like three sounds. Or four."
Mike Ink - Rosenkranz [Sähkö Recordings]
Cassy: "This is an old one on from 1994 and it's been repressed. Also very minimal. But not minimal. You just have to be really careful because otherwise you start calling people's music minimal! Mike Ink is a fantastic artist. Well, he once was. Is he doing any music at the moment? I haven't heard his new stuff. This is from a really long time ago. He did records for Warp and for Sähkö. This was around the same time that he did his ‘Studio' records, but this is different from the ‘Studio' stuff though; this is less a tool and more musical."
Shackleton - ‘Blood on My Hands' (Ricardo Villalobos Remix) [Skull Disco]
Cassy: "This is not out yet. It's seventeen minutes long. The original version is thirty-two minutes. This kind of music is nice because you can really build up. I prefer playing long tracks. This has an acid feel to it. But new wave acid. It has this synth sound that's a bit like [makes cool synth sound]. It's great to play because it creates an unbelievable atmosphere. It changes the room immediately. People start listening and maybe even stop dancing for a second. It's nice when this happens, when you play something and people are surprised, but then it goes on and they really love it. And the longer you play it, the more they actually get into it. This is very hypnotic."
Baby Ford – Mysterious Record [Unknown]
Cassy: "I think I should mention a track by Baby Ford that I don't have. I would really like to have it. I tried to buy it and then I couldn't get it. He's one of my most favourite artists. I have so many records by him, so many Ifach and so many acid house records he's done. He's just great. He should just be mentioned. But, er, I don't know the name of the record."
Portion Reform - Cold War (Stolen Version) [Progress Report]
Cassy: "This is another old one I really like playing. It's fantastic. The record is ‘Progress Report' by Various Artists, but I think it's all one person. Always these artists, they don't want to be named! It's actually by Regis from the British Murder Boys. It's a double 12". Every time you put it on, people just really love it. [listens to record] It's quite ecstatic. It's very loud. Maybe it just uses four or five drum sounds but it fills the room. It's very groovy – a bit Latin?"
Betty Botox - RVNG Of The NRDS Vol. 2 [Rvng Intl.]
Cassy: "This is fantastic. There's one downbeat disco track and the other two are percussive, faster disco tracks. But it's not cheesy, more trippy and weird. And there's one track you can't actually play properly. I mean you can play it, but you can't mix it because it's not in beat. I think disco edits, or percussive house, for me it's part of a house set because that's so traditional. And also they're tools; they don't have vocals and they don't have anything annoying about them. Because as a DJ you need tracks, you need tools and you need something that can repeat itself over and over again. These are good tools and they always make for a great atmosphere. A bit more of an ecstatic feeling and people will smile. Of course some people leave the dancefloor, but usually it works. Yeah, I love it. I'm not a massive disco fan. I couldn't take a whole night of disco, but I really like disco like Ron Hardy. It's very trippy and very strange. Very dark and groovy. And you can build it in a house set no problem."
Cabinet Classics 1994-1998 & Cabinet Unreleased Classics (1994 - 2005) [Plus8]
Cassy: "These have just been re-released. They're old Berlin tracks, mostly done with the 909. Most people actually hate the 909 but I really love it. I don't know how people can hate it. This is minimal stuff also, but not "minimal". If you want to listen to Berlin techno or house this is it. This is really what describes a Berlin party. Some of the tracks are too techno so I can't play them because all the girls leave. They're like "Oh, techno" and then everyone starts crying. [plays track] This, for example, is too much for girls. But it's fantastic. You play it and the atmosphere changes and everyone's like 'Wow. What's this? What's going on?' [plays another track] Monotonous and hypnotic. But it sounds great. I wouldn't call it old-fashioned, I would just call it classic. These guys actually are not doing music anymore. They stopped. Though Trike sometimes does tracks. It's a shame though. But then on the other hand, not everyone wants to be a DJ or a techno star. So why not? Why not do another job? I think there is much more to life than discos. But some people don't think so."
Mala - Bury Da Bwoy [DMZ]
Cassy: "I play dubstep records in a house set and slow them down. But I know nothing about dubstep. I hate the word dubstep. So many guys make great music, and then they have to call it "dubstep"? I only like certain dubstep labels or records. Not that I dislike the other ones – I think it's very innovative and people are being very creative and making music that's really high quality – but it's not really my cup of tea. I like some drum n bass, I like some dancehall or jungle and this of course is the follow up. Some of it I can really listen to, other stuff is just too boyish for me. The attitude is a very young one, which of course is completely fine, but usually a certain type of person likes a certain type of sound. It's kinda boyish and cool. And I'm not cool at all. It's not my thing. But I try not to draw distinctions between music. Of course I'm not going to play reggae in the middle of a house set and start growing dreadlocks. Okay, I'll stop now. Now I'm just digging my own grave." MySpace: Mala - Bury Da Bwoy
Tobias – Dial EP [Logistic]
Cassy: "Finally I'll mention my husband's record because I have to do family promotion. I think his new record is very good. But it's weird - I've listened to it for such a long time now. I stopped playing it and now I've started playing it again. Because as soon as records are released, you know you're going to hear it a lot. Sometimes you can't listen to them anymore because you've heard them so much. So I really tried to play it as little as possible. I hope he continues with this project. I will make him."