MATRIXSYNTH: French DJ and Producer Philippe Zdar of Cassius Has Passed Away

Thursday, June 20, 2019

French DJ and Producer Philippe Zdar of Cassius Has Passed Away

Philippe Zdar on the Yamaha CS80 from will seelig on Vimeo.
Above is a video of Philippe on a Yamaha CS80 posted back in 2009.

He was a member of the French electro band Cassius and produced Phoenix's album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix and debut album.

An anonymous reader wrote in with the following:

"Cassius was / is a huge French electro band. They were part of the scene that Daft Punk and Air came out of. Additionally he DJ'd, produced, and mixed records.He had an insane studio in Paris called Motorbass with an insane collection of synths and recording equipment.

From that BBC article:

Fusing disco and acid house, Cassius - named in homage to US boxing legend Cassius Clay - emerged as part of a new wave of French dance music in the late 90s, alongside acts like Daft Punk and Air.

Their debut single, Cassius 1999, which featured a chopped-up sample of Donna Summer's If It Hurts Just a Little, reached number seven in the UK charts.

Although they never matched that success again, the duo remained in demand as producers and remixers, working with acts like Phoenix, Hot Chip and MC Solaar, while their 2006 album Ibifornia featured artists like Pharrell Williams, Cat Power and Beastie Boy Mike D.

Prior to Cassius, Zdar also released an album with Etienne de Crécy under the moniker Motorbass.

Currently unavailable on streaming services, the record, titled Pansoul, was listed as one of the '100 lost albums you need to know' by NME magazine.

A retrospective review by Uncut magazine described Pansoul as "the starting point for the French dance movement", while Spin called it 'the most important album in French house'."
And via the Guardian:

"Zdar’s solo production for other artists earned him a reputation in his own right. He stepped in to save Phoenix’s 2000 debut album, United, when sessions with the initial producer went awry. His next fully fledged work with the French soft-rock group was with their 2009 breakout album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, which won the Grammy award for best alternative music album in 2010."

Philippe Zdar on the making of the Phoenix Album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
MixbusTV Studio Tour Episode 1: Cassius' Motorbass Studio Paris
Cassius - Toop Toop

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