Cassius | Zoom 99-16
A selection of the best tracks
Cassius | #cassius |
(Hubert Blanc-Francard [Boom Bass], Philippe Cerboneschi [Zdar])
[1996-…], Paris, Île-de-France, France |
Cassius is a French musical duo from Paris, founded in 1996.
Cassius records and releases music in the house music, indie dance and synthpop genres. The group consists of producers Philippe Cerboneschi and Hubert Blanc-Francard, better known as Philippe Zdar and Boom Bass.
Zdar and Boom Bass started working together in 1988, producing albums for the French hip-hop artist MC Solaar. In 1991, they created their first project, called La Funk Mob, and the following year, they started to increasingly experiment with electronic sounds. Zdar’s experience with electronic music was influential in his involvement with Étienne de Crécy in the project Motorbass, who released a sole full-length album, Pansoul.
In 1996, Zdar and Boom Bass then created “Foxxy”, their first self-published house music track, under the name Cassius, and the moderate success that followed lead to them remixing tracks for acts such as Air and Daft Punk. In January 1999, they released their first single to become a mainstream hit, “Cassius 1999”. It entered the UK Singles Chart at #7. This was soon followed by their debut album, 1999, which had two more singles released from it, “Feeling For You” and “La Mouche”. The music videos for “Cassius 1999” and “Feeling for You” portrayed the character Deadman, from DC Comics, as a DJ superhero.
2002 saw their second album release, Au Rêve. This featured the “empowered female disco” track “I’m a Woman”, with Jocelyn Brown on vocals, as well as the hit single “The Sound of Violence”, featuring Steve Edwards on vocals. This album also had collaborations with Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah and Leroy Burgess.
Cassius returned to the studio in 2006, for the more experimental single “Toop Toop”, but the next album, titled 15 Again, featured more vocal collaborations than the duo had done with Au Rêve.
While rehearsing their 15 Again album tour, Cassius provided the community with the a cappella track of their single “Toop Toop” and encouraged fans and friends to start remixing the song. It became an immediate success: the band started the Cassius Workshop project and released more a cappellas for remixing purposes. They claim to have received more than 400 remixes.
Cassius’s song “I Love You So” was sampled on the track “Why I Love You” on Jay-Z and Kanye West’s 2011 collaboration album Watch the Throne.
To younger audiences, Cassius is a fun mobile app that sings “I Love U So”. Young friends, you have so much to learn: that Zdar and Boom Bass were at least as influential in the emergence of ‘French touch’ at the turn of the century as a certain helmeted duo; that their album 1999 forms part of the perfect line-up in any disco between Homework and Moon Safari; that Depeche Mode, Björk and Pharrell Williams all once sought out Cassius (perhaps using the ancient technology of a pager); that their hits Cassius 99, The Sound Of Violence and Toop Toop all ignited the dancefloors of the world with their brilliance well before I <3 U SO; and that MC Solaar, whose best albums were produced by Cassius, was France’s top rapper. Young friends, you lucky devils, Cassius is back with incredible casting: Cat Power and Mike D of the Beastie Boys (a New York rap band which enjoyed success in its time).
[Rock en Seine 2016]
Good session! Enjoy!