It’s been 10 years since Cassius released a new album, but one half of the French duo, Philippe Zdar, has filled the time since by producing and mixing numerous albums. That includes records for Beastie Boys (Hot Sauce Committee Part Two) and Cat Power (Sun); today, Mike D and Chan Marshall return the favor by joining Cassius on their brand new single “Action”.
Premiered during Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 program, the track was originally only meant to feature only Marshall. While in New York City, however, Zdar and fellow Cassius member Boom Bass found themselves having lunch with Mike D and decided to bring him in on the song as well. “And then he arrived in the studio and after one minute in the studio — and Chan was doing our vocals — he said, ‘I think I like this thing,'” Zdar recalled to Pitchfork. “They talked together and it was done in three hours.”
“The song came with this world liberation theme,” Mike D said of the funky disco cut, “and then I came with a modern-day relationship theme, and somehow the two went together. It’s kind of like toast and Vegemite go together only in Australia.”
“Action” builds off the “era of a Compass Point record” and modernizes it with the type of adventurous mixing you’d find in a modern NYC studio. “I’m really kind of a little bit romantic for the lost era,” Mike D said. “There’s a lot of us that are — kind like James Murphy, same thing — we feel like it’s this magic era that happened before us. And it wasn’t even necessarily disco. It was a promise of how creative a DJ could be with funk, soul, Italo — whatever you want to call it — music to make this experience. It was the beginning of the DJ as a headliner.”
Take a listen to the track below.
Zdar refrained from speaking about what’s next for Cassius after “Action”, though he did reveal that he’d recently been in the studio with Phoenix as the band worked on their next album. “It’s really something happening and really new in a way,” he said. “They have to finish it.”