DJ Cat - No Cat Nappin- Here
Monday, 14 July 2008
New York's DJ Cat may have played for the influential Amy Sacco of Bungalow 8 fame, fashion bashes, and even a private Robert de Niro party, but she's no mere 'celebrity DJ'. Cat has underground credibility. She can rock a boutique event - or the cutting-edge superclub. She's a clubbing democrat - and, at that, an internationalist. And these days the exuberant American is evolving from global DJ into 'recording artist'. 'My number one priority right now is making music,' Cat says from Tokyo, where she's the guest of the T-shirt company Chief & Mischief. She compels me
Cat, who's already lent her vocals to Arthur Baker's Ready to Blow, believes that with so many 'blog DJs' drawing on the same resources, a selector needs to be original - and what better way than to drop her own exclusives-
'I really wanna make music,' she says. 'I feel it's something that's important because, when you go to see The Crookers play, or any of these other DJs, like Felix [da Housecat] even, a lot of them play their own stuff - and how cool is that- I remember DJing with Peter Hook and he was playing Bizarre Love Triangle. I was like, 'Whoa, New Order's playing New Order! That's so cool - I wanna do that.' That inspired me. I want to make music so I can play it out - and I bet it's just so much fun. So I've really been just concentrating on making music. I would love to be able to play a set where it would be like my music - and remixes of it.'
Cat is returning to onelove after summer's tour with Alexander Technique as DJs Are Not Rockstars (DANR). Curiously, before gravitating towards the decks, Catherine Wentworth wrote for the hip hop 'bible' The Source. The Houston native switched from journalism to fashion photography and, ironically, it was in this role that she demonstrated her musical acumen, assembling mixtapes for colleagues. Cat soon found herself working for an events company. She booked Mark Ronson to play for Vogue - and he spurred her on to DJ.
Cat's attitude is more that of a rock n roll chick than the hip hop flygirl. Her musical sensibilities are expansive. The effusive DJ cites everything from new wave to '90s rave to contemporary electro. 'I'm an '80s girl - even though I didn't grow up in the '80s. I love '80s music. I'm all about [the] '80s - I love it... I think I was born in the wrong decade.'
Indeed, when listing her favourite classics, Cat doesn't rattle off the obvious. Animotion's unlikely Obsession was one of the tracks that sparked her fascination with electro-funk. She's a 'big rocker', too, with a partiality for Van Halen. However, Cat hasn't forgotten her writing. She's documenting her experiences as a DJ in a book. And she continues to indulge her love of the visual arts. She's increasingly intrigued by film. Nevertheless, Cat's focus is still on readying an album. Having conceived Kinetika Records, she's collaborating with electro-punk maven Automatic Panic, who's based out of Texas.
Next, Cat will present an EP, I Cat NY. As for her steelo- 'I love things that are poppy and girly, but then also very rock n roll and hard and '80s and analogue-sounding,' Cat says.
Watch this space.
WHO: DJ Cat
WHAT: Plays onelove at Tank
WHEN: Saturday 19 July
MORE: onelove.com.au / myspace.com/djcatnyc