Now into its tenth year and on the cusp of release number 100, Aus Music is delighted to announce a debut album from long time house and techno tastemaker Cassy. Entitled Donna and featuring 12 stunning tracks, it marks a real evolution in the UK artist’s sound and stands alone as a coherent long player made up of very real songs.
Catherine Britton is a celebrated DJ and producer who can work crowds at underground havens like Berghain and Panormabar as much as she can at vast outdoor festivals like Tomorrowland. Her productions are inventive, left of centre house and techno affairs that have come on esteemed labels like Perlon, Uzuri and Bass Culture. Cassy also runs her own self titled label, has made an entry into the hallowed fabric mix series and never lives in one place too long. That shows in the wide remit of sonic influences on display in this singular long player offering.
With no real plan other than to make an album as unpretentious and natural as possible, Donna simply reflects the sounds that have enthused and inspired Cassy over the years, but it did’t come easy. “I had broken up with my husband, left Berlin, left my friends and left a way of making music and a way of living life,” she recalls. “It was too painful to make music. I tried singing and it felt awful. I had to look at myself and understand how much I truly disliked myself. I had to get out of all my unhealthy relationships with people that were a mere reflection of how I felt inside. Music producing was out of the question. It reminded me of who I tried to be for other people.”
Once the album writing process eventually started in earnest after six years of stop start, Cassy found out she was pregnant. Six months of structural experiments ensued with sound engineer and friend Iad Agabekov, as did a relocation to LA and then Philadelphia. It was here the album was finished as Cassy found new inspiration and passion with her new born son and partner. They, along with friend and “soul brother” King Britt, ”helped me transform the album into a more mature version of me and my music. Into the version I am ready for the world to hear.”
Opening with the downbeat vocal darkness of ‘This Is How We Know’ this album has you immediately enthralled. From there, a deep and moody selection of stripped back but emotive cuts range from crisp and kicking to more menacing and troubled. Plenty of vocals lend the whole thing a personal and intimate feel, with the overall mood lovelorn, vulnerable and honest. There is minimal techno, soul infused house and Latin flecked rollers next to creepy slow burners and delightfully freewheeling and melodic disco style cuts.
All in all, Donna makes for a roller coaster ride that is accomplished and unpredictable, and very much proves Cassy has much more than just effective club music up her sleeve.