In techno circles, Cassegrain shouldn’t need too much of an introduction. With a label résumé that includes, among others, Prologue, Infrastructure New York, Killekill, and Ostgut Ton — as well as highly regarded performances at Berghain, Village Underground, and Output — they’ve more than stamped their name on the scene. Alex Tsiridis and Hüseyin Evirgen — the two artists behind Cassegrain — formed the project after a chance meeting at the Redbull Music Academy in Barcelona. In the years following, they collaborated remotely via email, sending stems back and forth before making a move to Berlin where they currently share a studio.
We sit down with Cassegrain ahead of their debut Australia tour to talk about everything from music / travel / life balance, aliens and what the Cassegrain project means to them.
You both live in different cities, where are you both based and how do you find the balance between music/travel and life?
We started out living in different cities but we are both based in Berlin since almost five years now. It definitely made us more productive as we share a studio here. We were also able to find our sound being in the same place, working together in the same room. Everything became more organic. It also helped logistically, travelling to shows, etc. We maintain a healthy balance I’d say, if we’re away a lot on the weekends, we tend to slow down midweek, try to stay healthy, or if we have some time off we’ll go out in Berlin a bit more frequently to compensate for the lack of sound systems.
The Cassegrain productions are almost entirely analogue, has this been an intentional move for any reason or do you simply enjoy analogue more than digital?
It was just a natural progression for us, we gravitated towards gear (not necessarily “analogue” gear – it can be digital). But essentially, for all the obvious reasons, more fun, hands on.. more feeling – less time with a computer mouse. Saying that, there’s a lot of editing that goes into finishing our music so we still spend plenty of time in front of the screen.
Hüseyin, we read in another interview you said “aliens are coming”, what do you know that we don’t??
I’m sorry, I´m not allowed to give any further information about this. I might get into some trouble otherwise.
In your spare time, what do you like to do and listen to?
Alex: I do some drawing and design work here and there and I cram in some gym time in as often as possible. I definitely spend too much time on the internet, unfortunately! Music wise I’m listening to a lot of soundtracks / ambient-leaning music and mainly LA hip-hop at the moment.
Hüseyin: I read a lot of books. Mainly history, philosophy, occult and religion history and sci-fi. I´ve been going to the gym quite often in last half a year and I enjoy watching Japanese teenage soap operas. Apart from electronic music, I listen to a lot of classical music, some metal and hip-hop as well (also a big fan of Lana del Rey). I often go to museums and galleries. Also cooking is a big passion for me.
You’ve been touring your live show a lot lately. What’s been the driving factor for the move away from DJing and into the world of live performance?
In fact, we started out playing almost exclusively live. We’ve really come together over the years, we trust each other on stage, we have a chemistry going and our live sets have become more and more improvised as a result. We never rehearse, that’s kind of a rule. Over time we have been booked for more and more DJ gigs, so that’s also been a lot of fun and refreshing. At the moment it’s probably a 50/50 split. We love doing both – it’s a very different process and experience.
This will be your first tour in Australia, have either of your been to Australia before? Do you know have an idea of what to expect?
Alex: I’ve never been but have wanted to for as long as I can remember. I’m half Welsh / half Greek, so I’ve always felt a connection from both sides, plus a cousin of mine on the Welsh side lived in Melbourne for many years so I’ve heard a lot about it.
Hüseyin: I’ve never been to Australia either. Of course, i can’t wait to be there and I would love to spend a bit longer time there. People always tell me that I actually look like a Koala, so really hoping to see a few of my fellow Koala brothers and sisters.
Summarise Cassegrain in three words:
Organic, borderless & hypnotic
Interview by Fergus Sweetland