The music video for Beam Me Up begins with fake documentary commentary saying “Nobody knew where they came from, they just appeared”. It’s an apt metaphor for the meteoric rise of Seb Furrer and Alex Björklund, the Swedish electronic dance music duo who form CAZZETTE. Beam Me Up has shot up Billboard’s Dance Mix chart at number 7 and rising in the past few weeks, making CAZZETTE one of the hottest new acts of 2012 in this genre. They’ve dubbed their take on EDM as ‘dub house’, a combination of dubstep and house so infectious that it makes me want to spontaneously break into dance.
What’s unique about CAZZETTE’s career is that unlike other bands who are running scared of music streaming services, they decided to make their début by releasing their first album Eject (in three parts) exclusively on Spotify. Part of the charm is that they created an app within Spotify to replicate the visual interface of playing a mixtape. Creating a curated experience through specialised apps is something other artists have also tried – Def Jam and David Guetta in particular come to mind – but CAZZETTE’s take on what an ‘album release’ should be in a world of streaming music is refreshing precisely because it is a ‘natively digital’ experience. They borrow a lot of heritage from other contemporary EDM artists: they were signed on by the same company who manage Avicii and released an official remix track for Swedish House Mafia. Other borrowed touches are more subtle, such as the duo wearing ‘cassette head’ masks during live shows much like deadmau5 wears a mouse mask.
While I found the tracks on their Eject Pt II – Weapon, Endorphine, and I Surrender – to be underwhelming for their sameness to current EDM fare, the first part of their album release with tracks such as Beam Me Up, Run For Cover, and The Rat are all a delectable fusion of genres that has rightfully won them a nomination in this year’s Swedish Grammy Awards. Eject Pt III picks up the slack with its eminently danceable tracks such as Renegade and a bonus track titled Blood Theme – which I loved for its pop-culture reference, as it’s a remix of Daniel Licht’s theme for the American TV show Dexter. Overall, CAZZETTE has become one of my favourite contemporary artists in the genre for their ‘brand’ image and innovative style.