Photo: Press (Cressida)
Cressida’s contribution to our Groove podcast starts off as an hommage to the Birmingham techno sound established by Regis, Surgeon and Female, however that does not mean that his own sound would be easy to pigeonhole. His latest EP Borneo Function for the Voitax label sees the the Berlin-based Brit explore his relationship with grime for a massive four-tracker that will still work on a techno dancefloor. It’s probably no surprise then that also his mix offers the occasional surprise in between.
You grew up on grime, but were also listening to metal and hip hop as a teen. When and how did you get into dance music, particularly techno?
Drum and bass was all around me when I was growing up but it didn’t really resonate with it back then. I used to go down to house parties Brighton with my friend Nils back in the day which introduced me to dubstep though, particularly the Swamp 81 stuff. That’s where it probably started before I ended up going out properly and then places like Corsica Studios and Dance Tunnel used to be favourite haunts of mine when I lived in London.
Your new EP Borneo Function harks back to grime and dub as key influences in your biography. How did it come about that you revisited them?
Grime has never left my playlists since when I was like 12 or 13 when it got on there to be honest. From having it on my shitty phone at school, to having it on my shitty CD walkman at school, it’s always been there. We went from swapping illegally downloaded mixtapes to buying Boy In Da Corner by Dizzee which I revisited again recently and it was still as fresh and angry as it was before. It was the first proper grime album I saw in commercial shops before it blew up. All the early grime stuff has withstood the test of time for me.
Borneo Function is your second offering for Berlin’s Voitax label. What’s your connection to the label like?
I met Christoph, who lived with my friend Pasqual at the time and we got talking about music. We kept bumping into each other at clubs in Berlin. He then introduced me to Benny aka Paàl and Martin aka Invia, showed them my music and then boom. I then ended up moving into their house where I live with them now. We’re all best friends now which makes things a lot easier. Benny and I swap ideas probably daily and have played some fun back to back sets in our time. We jam sometimes and give each other advice and opinions on finals mixes, etc. If I send them tracks they don’t like they tell me the truth, which is hard to find nowadays! They really support me and my vision and don’t confine me to genre. If the music’s good they’re happy. The worst thing about living with Benny though is probably having to eat three pizzas weekly, as this is an obligation that I did not know about before moving in…
In a recent feature, label founder Paàl selected a few tracks that would make you dance. Which ones would you pick for him?
No house party at our house would be complete without Paàl getting on:
Gwen McCrae – “Keep The Fire Burning”
Not Waving – “Children Are Our Phuture”
Elektrochemie LK – “Schall (Thomas Schumacher Remix)”
Sepultura – “Policia”
From Hymn to Lust to Salvation and Toxic Masculinity or Borneo Function, your records’ titles always imply a certain overarching theme. What topics find their way into your work?
To be honest I get inspired by sound bytes I hear throughout the day. It could be song lyrics, it could be news headlines, it could be something from a film I’m watching. When something sounds cool I write them down in my notes so I can use them so I don’t end up saving all my Ableton projects as “dkjglskjdgkls”.
What was the idea behind your contribution to our Groove podcast?
It’s definitely one for the dancefloor.
Last but not least: Where can we see you behind the decks in the near future and what are your plans as producer?
I’m currently working on an album. It won’t be techno and it will definitely won’t be one aimed entirely for the dance floor. Experimenting with time signatures and BPMs to see what works at the moment. I’m still making techno when I’m in the mood though. I’ve switched up methods when I’m producing and I’m still getting used to integrating all my new bits of gear into my workflow so it’s a bit of a slow process right now. As for gigs I’ve got Kiev for Meta Culture and then I’ll be heading to the United States with the Voitax crew. Keep your eyes open for more Voitax tours as well later this year.