Musical Styles: Bangin progressive electro tech funk
over a decade of playing music that makes me move and will hopefully move you
The latest mix CD by Billy Casazza is entitled It’s Not Me It’s The Music, but he’s really just being humble. Because while somebody else could run out and buy the same records, nobody could spin the way he does, building an escapable vice that commands you to move. “I have always been around dance music and dancing, even when I was Kid,” says Casazza. Growing up on a diet of Front 242, New Order, Kraftwerk, and Nizter Ebb, it wasn’t long before he found electronic music and the love affair truly began. “The first time I heard electronic music I was hooked. I bought records for my friends to spin at all the high school dances in the late 80’s, at that time I had now idea how to DJ.” Although he admits that his main goal at the time was just dancing with the girls. During the early rave days he bounced around from party to party, in 97 he started to DJ out of frustration with the tired sounds he was hearing on the dance floor. “I figured I could buy the records I loved and play them-If they didn’t make me dance I wouldn’t buy them. I still live by that rule.
Honing his skills and developing an unique blend of dark funky, tribal sounds, progressive and electro, and plenty of breaks for the dancers, Casazza quickly moved beyond the confines of California’s Central Valley where he is based, growing a devoted following in San Francisco’s best clubs. 1015, Ruby Skye, Mighty, Anu, 111 Minna, Mezzanine-Casazza has played them all, Djing alongside the likes of Dj Dan, Paul Oakenfold, Scumfrog, Rabbit in the Moon, Terry Mullan, Gene Farris, Hipp-e, Spesh, Soulslinger, RPO, Dylan Rhymes, Doc Martin, Garth, John Howard. As word of his talents spread he began getting International gigs. He played parties in Portugal, Romania, Egypt, Bali, Java, Mexico, Thailand, Argentina, Brazil, Taiwan, and Panama have all been rocked by Casazza.
His Favorite gig? “Opulent Temple at Burning Man is always an experience, but Ecosystem 2.0 in the Amazon Rain Forest in front of 2000 people as the sun was coming up. I had to play after Ken Ishi and a psychtrance Dj, but some how, some way, everyone stuck around smiling and dancing, going off until 10 in the morning, .” It’s a long way from his first gig ( a tequila-fueled house party with the typically annoying request for commercial Hip Hop) but Casazza is a natural in front of crowds, whether its festivals like Burning Man or SF’s Love Fest Parade or the smallest dive bar.
As Casazza continues to travel, and holds down a residency at Anu called Dose, and Opulent Temple, the next step is to focus on his own Label Nutbass Records. Nutbass has already released two 12”s that have been played by the likes of Jerry Bohnam, Gabriel and Dresden and Jondi and Spesh and have received good reviews in BPM, but Casazza wants more. The best thing in the world is to play your own songs and watch everyone dance and have fun,” he says. “My goal is to play just my own music. I think then I could consider myself a true artist” All modesty aside, just ask anyone losing it to one of his sets-they will tell you he is already an artist of the highest order.