CiCi, the alias of Claire Cavanagh, is one of Britain’s most exciting musical taste-makers. You’ll hear her playing radio shows and clubs across the UK, Italy, and Ibiza, where she currently lives and holds a residency at Pikes for Cosmic Pineapple. Before the pandemic struck, she played the main room at Fabric and was also touring through Europe and Asia alongside some of her favorite artists: ItaloJohnson, Mr G, and Luciano. Then, during the pandemic, she released her EXTRANEOUS, her debut EP, on Warehouse Music, the London label of Mella Dee. (Her second EP will land next month on on Man Power‘s Me Me Me, with Warehouse Preservation Society and Zillas on Acid remix duties.)
Growing up in Dublin, Ireland, Cavanagh studied fine arts and dance, but she also found herself absorbed by artists like Björk, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Nine Inch Nails. Before she was even a teenager, she’d bought Daft Punk’s Homework, and this opened the door to electronic music. By 2009, she was not only promoting her own parties across Dublin but spinning records at them too, playing the sort of stuff she’s become known for today: breakbeat-driven bombs, percussion-led groovers, and soulful house. It wasn’t until 2015, though, that she began to produce, eager to express herself further. She taught herself Ableton before borrowing synths on rotation from friends who produce. She sent some of her first sketches to Ryan Aitchison, better known as Mella Dee, who snapped them up for Warehouse Music.
Recorded in her bedroom in Ibiza in the middle of February, Cavanagh’s XLR8R podcast is a collection of the tracks she’s dying to play out as touring picks up again—and it makes us excited to see her perform soon. Across its one-hour run-time, you’ll hear fizzing breakbeat and bumping house but also electro and techno stompers, from artists like Monophonik, Daniel Troberg, and Inigo Vontier. All of this is mixed smoothly and seamlessly, and infused with Cavanagh’s psychedelic energy, making it a heads-down mix that’ll have you pining for the dancefloor.
01. What have you been up to recently?
I’ve been touring and working on new music mainly, and making the most of some downtime before the summer season. I live in Ibiza which is so lovely at this time of year, because it’s just before the clubs open and there’s perfect weather for enjoying swimming and exploring around the island. I’ve also just got back from a mini fashion week tour in Italy which was super fun.
02. What have you been listening to?
I listen to OpenLab radio a lot, at all times of the day and evening. I also have a monthly show called Curiosities on the station where I play more experimental styles. This show is always fun because I get to play a lot of alternative stuff I wouldn’t normally play in the clubs!
03. How was the lockdown period for you?
It was tough in many ways, as I’m sure it was for everyone, but I did use the time to get my head down and focus on music, plus start to think about the next steps once we were allowed out again.
04. Where do you spend your time nowadays?
I’m based in Ibiza but I frequently travel to the United Kingdom and Italy a lot for shows.
05. Last year you put out Extraneous, your debut EP, on Warehouse Music. How did the release come about?
Ryan Aitchison (a.k.a Mella Dee) liked the tracks and so it was exciting for me to release on Warehouse Music as I’m a big fan of his sound and there are also so many other bomb releases on the label.
06. Where did you record this mix?
From my room in Ibiza.
07. What setup did you use?
On the Pioneer XDJZX that I flew over, which is so handy for being able to record straight to USB.
08. How did you go about choosing the tracks that you’ve included?
I really wanted it to reflect exactly the vibe I’m on in this present moment, and I think I did.
09. How does it compare to what we might hear you play in a club?
You would definitely hear me play some of these tracks in the club. So I guess the mix journeys into the club.
10. What’s on your horizon for 2022?
Festivals, festivals, and more festivals! I have such a busy summer ahead with lots of great shows in the pipeline on top of my Ibiza residencies. I’m really excited to be on the road again and be part of some really fun parties around the world.
XLR8R has now joined Mixcloud Select, meaning that to hear the podcast offline you will need to subscribe to our Select channel to listen offline, or subscribe to XLR8R+ to download the file. The move to Mixcloud Select will ensure that all the producers with music featured in our mixes get paid. You can read more about it here.
Full XLR8R+ Members can download the podcast below. If you’re not an XLR8R+ member, you can read more about it and subscribe here.
01. Robert Ames & Ben Corrigan “Citadel of Kicks” (Modern Recordings)
02. Dalfie “Forest Fresh” (Gruuv)
03. DOTT “Spacey Mango” (Jugaar Records)
04. Inigo Vontier “Maquina” (Calypso Records)
05. Hooverian Blur “Square Jazz” (Sneaker Social Club)
06. Harvey Sutherland feat. Dâm-Funk “Feeling of Love” (Martyn Bootyspoon ‘with tongue’ mix) [Amidst]
07. Coloray “Line Break” (Sam Goku Remix) (Atomonation)
08. David Agrella “Walking Loud” (AGRELLOMATICA)
09. David Holmes feat. Raven Violet “It’s Over if We Run Out of Love (Working Men’s Club remix) (Heavenly Recordings)
10. Monophonik “Downstream” (Qilla Records)
11. Daniel Troberg “Stomach Acid” (Tilliander remix) (Acidchicken & Cutt Records)