Cassy: Fabric 71

Assembled in in Vienna in February 2013, Cassy's fabric mix is a classic example of the slow-burn, with the seventeen-track set gaining lift-off nine cuts in and roaring at full throttle thereafter—which is not to suggest that the opening tracks aren't energized, too, as they give off more than their fair share of heat, but to clarify that the mix adheres to the classic narrative trajectory of exposition, rising action, climax, and dénouement. Catherine Britton brings much to the project: she currently holds residencies at Panoramabar (Berlin), Trouw (Amsterdam), Rex Club (Paris), and Output (NYC); has issued compilations for Cocoon and Panoramabar; and is a seasoned crate-digger who's worked at Berlin's Hard Wax record store.

The set's earthy tone is established early by Arttu's tribal intro “Tune In” and its declarative voiceover (“Funk for life lifting our spirits to innocent childlike joy. Are you tuned in to this funk for life?”) before settling into a more standard house style via Livio Imrprota's effervescent “Mare010” and ItaloJohnson's bongos-happy “06 A”—a satisfying enough warm-up, to be sure, yet the mix still feels, at this stage, a bit flat, as if it's biding its time and holding something back.

Basic Soul Unit kickstarts the deeper plunge when his acid-soaked “Basic Necessity” leads into a Pachanga Boys Blue remix of John Talabot's “When the Past Was Present,” its hammering funk groove, Kraftwerk-styled synth motifs, and dizzying voices a sure sign that things have taken a turn for the better. From here on out, it's one highlight after another: brain-addling synth-stabbing and squiggly rhythmning from Losoul (“Brain of Glass”); snappy techno both piledriving and motorik from Marco Zenker and Emptyset (“Landwehr” and “Completely Gone,” respectively); and arguably the mix's peak moment (and climax), Benjamin Damage's “010x,” which powers chiming house piano chords with a fabulous aerodynamic groove that's got time capsule written all over it. Cassy ends the mix on a strong note with one final surprise: Duster Valentine's “(My Back is) Against the Wall,” a deep house flamethrower royally crowned by a vivacious vocal performance. Such moments make the mix's less enthralling start seem like a distant memory.

October 2013