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  • Filed under: Review
  • 08/19/2013

Pick

Cassy Fabric 71

Movement is a given when it comes to mixes, but momentum is rare. Most of us could cobble together a handful of aesthetically consistent tracks, let Traktor sync the beats, and end up with an hour of material that's no more or less memorable than average. This holds for commercial as well as free releases; despite their creators' best intentions, a considerable number of mixes don't really do much beyond refreshing the DJ's brand. Judging by the rarity with which it happens, it must be staggeringly difficult to accomplish the underlying, straightforward goal of a mix: collecting tracks in a way that makes listeners want to dance no matter where they are or what their particular stylistic niche is. As listeners, we can tell almost instantly if a mix has that current, some tingling sensation that draws us along and puts conscious thoughts in the backseat. This is the kind of easy joy that Cassy Britton sustains throughout Fabric 71.

This is not a surprising development for Cassy. Her talent is widely appreciated; at the moment, she has residencies in top-tier clubs in Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, and New York. Her reputation is built on a kind of nonpartisan dedication to basic but elusive pleasures, and the consistency with which she hits the major pleasure centers is exactly what she's built her career as a DJ, producer, and label head on. She doesn't overthink her entry into the London club's mix series—foamy melodies emerge one after the other, ebullient ride cymbals mark time, and kicks leave aftershocks without being hard or inflexible. Overall, there's an earthy, sun-soaked feeling of well-being that one might associate with Ibiza—one of the places the nomadic artist currently resides—if one can put aside their cynicism about foam parties and the like.

Not much happens, in the narrative sense, across the mix's length. Cassy's role is mostly to nurture the protean vibe established by the first track—"Tune In" by Arttu, featuring the earth-mother realness of Diamondancer's vocals—which sets the tone for the 16 others to follow. In this sense, it's a linear mix. And yet, once the listener has heard a big track like Benjamin Damage's "010x" or a deeper cut like Losoul's "Brain of Glass" in this context, the unmixed originals sound slightly gray. That's a sure metric of a DJ's effectiveness—if trainspotting and tracklists are the furthest thing from listeners' minds, if what's happening in the monent conquers every other consideration. Regardless of who produced them, Cassy's selections have an remarkably distinct purpose in the DJ's hands. Every track—from a Pachanga Boys remix of John Talabot to Emptyset—snaps so perfectly into place in Fabric 71's succession of blissed-out moments that it seems superfluous to even name them as distinct entities. DJ Sprinkles pulled off a similar feat with Where Dancefloors Stand Still earlier this year. It's a simple mandate, putting things that sound good together on the way to making something lengthy that sounds even better. Through a combination of technical skill, unjaded ears, and crystal-clear intention, Cassy has assembled something special with Fabric 71.

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