Cassius (band)

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Cassius performing at RockAdel Festival in 2012
Cassius performing at RockAdel Festival in 2012
Background information
Also known asLa Funk Mob
OriginParis, France
Years active1988–2019
Past members
  • Zdar
  • Boombass

Cassius was a French musical duo active from 1988 to 2019 and consisting of producers Philippe Cerboneschi and Hubert Blanc-Francard, better known as Zdar and Boombass (or sometimes Philippe Zdar and Hubert Boombass).[1][2][3] Under its different incarnations the duo is likened to the "French touch" movement of electronic music in the second half of the 1990s.



Hubert Blanc-Francard (French: [ybɛʁ blɑ̃ fʁɑ̃kaʁ]; aka Boombass), born 31 March 1967,[4] is a French musician and producer. He is the son of sound engineer Dominique Blanc-Francard and the older brother of the French musician Mathieu Blanc-Francard, better known by his stage name Sinclair.[5]


Philippe Cerboneschi (French: [filip sɛʁbɔnɛski], Italian: [tʃerboˈnɛski]; aka Zdar; born 28 January 1967 in Aix-les-Bains and died 19 June 2019 in Paris)[6] was a French musician, producer and sound engineer, of Italian descent. Zdar was Dominique Blanc-Francard's assistant at studios +XXX (Plus30) when he met Boombass in 1988. Outside the Cassius group, Zdar was producer and sound engineer. He was the owner of the French recording studio Motorbass (inspired by the name of his group with Étienne de Crécy).[7] He notably recorded several albums of -M-, Phoenix and Chromeo. He also recorded for Franz Ferdinand, Beastie Boys, Lou Doillon and Sébastien Tellier among others.[6][8] He was in a relationship with the French actress Aure Atika with whom he had a daughter (Angelica) and then with Dyane de Serigny with whom he had two other children (Pénélope and James).[9]


Zdar and Boombass started working together in 1988, producing albums for the French hip-hop artist MC Solaar. In 1991, they created their first project, called La Funk Mob, and the following year, they started to increasingly experiment with electronic sounds. Zdar's experience with electronic music was influential in his involvement with Étienne de Crécy in the project Motorbass, who released a solo full-length album, Pansoul.

In 1996, Zdar and Boombass then created "Foxxy", their first self-released house music track, under the name Cassius, and the moderate success that followed lead to them remixing tracks for acts such as Air. In January 1999, they released their first single to become a mainstream hit, "Cassius 1999". It was published by Virgin Records, and entered the UK Singles Chart at #7.[1] This was soon followed by their debut album, 1999, which had two more singles released from it, "Feeling For You" and "La Mouche". The music videos for "Cassius 1999" and "Feeling for You" portrayed the character Deadman, from DC Comics, as a DJ superhero.

2002 saw their second album release, Au Rêve. This featured the "empowered female disco" track "I'm a Woman", with Jocelyn Brown on vocals, as well as the hit single "The Sound of Violence", featuring Steve Edwards on vocals. This album also had collaborations with Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah and Leroy Burgess.

Cassius returned to the studio in 2006, for the more experimental single "Toop Toop", but the next album, titled 15 Again, featured more vocal collaborations than the duo had done with Au Rêve.

While rehearsing their 15 Again album tour, Cassius provided the community with the a cappella track of their single "Toop Toop" and encouraged fans and friends to start remixing the song. It became an immediate success: the band started the Cassius Workshop project and released more acapellas for remixing purposes. They claim to have received more than 400 remixes.[10][non-primary source needed]

Cassius's song "I <3 U So" was sampled on the track "Why I Love You" on Jay-Z and Kanye West's 2011 collaboration album Watch the Throne.

In 2016, Cassius released their fourth album, Ibifornia, with Pharrell Williams, Ryan Tedder, Cat Power, Mike D and Matthieu Chédid (as guitarist of the album) as guests.[11]

On 19 June 2019, two days before the release of Cassius's fifth album Dreems, Zdar died after accidentally falling from a building in Paris. He was 52 years old. On the release day of Dreems, the band announced that the album was the final album from Cassius.[12][13][14]

Following the passing of Philippe Zdar, Ed Banger and Glitterbox Recordings have come together to release the final collaborative Cassius production, with the blessing of Boombass and Zdar's family. It's a remix of the song 'I'm Not Defeated' by Fiorous. The song was released on 21 February 2020 on limited vinyl edition.[15]

After Zdar's death, Boombass continued his solo career. Being alone now, he says in May 2020, that Cassius has no more reason to be.[16] On 20 September 2019, Boombass released a remix of "Grand petit con" performed by -M-.[17] He unveils on 14 May 2020, "Pour que tu", which is present on EP Le virage, consisting of 5 songs and released on 5 June 2020.[18] On 25 August 2021, Boombass published a book entitled Boombass. Une histoire de la French touch in which he recounts his career in the music industry. The book is published by Léo Scheer Editions.[19]



Studio albums[edit]

Title Details
Au Rêve
  • Released: 17 September 2002
  • Label: Virgin (Europe), Astralwerks (US)
15 Again
  • Released: 11 September 2006
  • Label: EMI
  • Released: 21 June 2019
  • Label: Because Music

Compilation albums[edit]

  • The Mighty Bop Meets DJ Cam et La Funk Mob (as La Funk Mob, with Bob Sinclar and DJ Cam) (1995)
  • The Bad Seeds 1993–1997 (2004) (as La Funk Mob)
  • CASSIUSPLAY: Nike+ Original Run (2008)


  • The Rawkers E.P. (2010)
  • Ibifornia (Remixes) (2017)

DJ mixes[edit]

  • I Love Techno (2011)



Single Year Peak chart positions Album

"Foxxy" 1996 1999
"Cassius 1999" 1999 77 25 17 14 35 52 7 8
"Feeling for You" 72 52 72 76 57 57 16 6
"La Mouche" 53 27
"I'm a Woman"
(with Jocelyn Brown)
2002 55 63 7 Au Rêve
"The Sound of Violence"
(with Steve Edwards)
58 29 79 49 1
(with Ghostface Killah)
"Toop Toop" 2006 52 39 76 15 Again
"Rock Number One" 2007
"Youth, Speed, Trouble, Cigarettes" 2009 Non-album single
"I <3 U So" 2010 15 47 52 The Rawkers EP
(featuring Cat Power and Mike D)[29]
2016 114 Ibifornia
"The Missing"
(featuring Ryan Tedder and Jaw)[30]
"Go Up"
(feat. Cat Power & Pharrell Williams)
"W18"[32] 2018 Dreems
"Calliope" 2019
"Don't Let Me Be"
(featuring Owlle)[33]
"Rock Non Stop"[34]
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

La Funk Mob

  • "Tribulations Extra Sensorielles" (1994)
  • "Casse Les Frontières, Fou Les Têtes En L'Air" (1994, re-release in 1996)
  • "357 Magnum Force" (2004)

Production credits[edit]

Albums produced by Cassius[edit]

Title Year Artist(s) Credits
Qui sème le vent récolte le tempo 1991 MC Solaar Production by Boombass and Jimmy Jay
Prose Combat 1994 Production by Boombass and Jimmy Jay
Co-production by Zdar
Paradisiaque 1997
MC Solaar 1998

Tracks produced by Cassius[edit]

Title Year Artist(s) Album Credits
"Tranquille" 1994 Sinclair Que justice soit faite! Production by Boombass
Mixed and recorded by Zdar
"Burning Bridges" 2013 OneRepublic Native Production
"Something's Gotta Give" Songwriting and production
"Oh My My" 2016 Oh My My Featured artist
"Adieu mon amour" 2019 -M- Lettre Infinie Additional production

Albums produced, mixed and recorded by Zdar[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 97. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. ^ "Cassius Biography". IMO Records. London. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Cassius - Biography & History - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  4. ^ Blanc-Francard, Hubert (2021). Boombass. Une histoire de la French touch. Léo Scheer. p. 14. ISBN 978-2756113548.
  5. ^ "Sinclair - Biographie : naissance, parcours, famille… -". NRJ. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  6. ^ a b Raya, Aurélie (30 June 2019). "Philippe Zdar, mort d'un pionnier". Paris Match (in French). Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Motorbass, ou l'histoire d'un studio français déjà mythique". Les Inrocks. 8 August 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Mort de Philippe Zdar du duo Cassius : un homme solaire à l'ombre des studios - L'Express". L'Express. 20 June 2019. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  9. ^ "Philippe Zdar et Dyane de Serigny, couple solaire et éternel". Paris Match. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  10. ^ "CASSIUS". 30 November 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2012 – via MySpace.
  11. ^ "Cassius revient ensoleiller la rentrée avec "Ibifornia" et un set à Rock en Seine". France Info (in French). 23 August 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Philippe "Zdar", membre du duo électro Cassius est mort (agent)" (in French). France 24. 20 June 2019. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  13. ^ Snapes, Laura (20 June 2019). "Cassius's Philippe Zdar dies in fall from Paris building". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  14. ^ "Cassius Philippe Zdar - Grammy Winning Music Producer Dies in Accidental Fall at 52". MSN. 20 June 2019. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  15. ^ "Ce remix sera la toute dernière production de Cassius - TSUGI". Tsugi. 9 January 2020. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Boombass : "Cassius n'a plus de raison d'être" - Jack". Jack. 22 May 2020. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  17. ^ "Lettre Infinix - EP by M on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  18. ^ "Boombass dévoile "Pour que tu", extrait de son projet solo ! - Hands Up". 18 May 2020. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  19. ^ "Culture d'été. Boombass, moitié du duo Cassius, se confie dans un livre". France Info. 24 August 2021. Retrieved 25 August 2021.
  20. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (pdf ed.). Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 52.
  21. ^ "Zoeken naar: cassius". Ultratop (in Dutch and English). Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  22. ^ "Recherche pour: cassius". (in French and English). 2003–2012. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  23. ^ "Suche nach 'cassius'" [Search for "cassius"]. Offizielle Deutsche Charts (in German). GfK Entertainment. Archived from the original on 7 July 2014.
  24. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Archived from the original on 2 June 2009.
  25. ^ "Dutch Charts".
  26. ^ " – Swedish Charts Portal".
  27. ^ "Die Offizielle Schweizer Hitparade und Music Community".
  28. ^ John Bush. "Cassius". AllMusic.
  29. ^ "Action (feat. Cat Power & Mike D) - Single by Cassius on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  30. ^ "The Missing (feat. Ryan Tedder) [Radio Edit] - Single par Cassius sur Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  31. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Singles Téléchargés - SNEP (Week 35, 2016)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  32. ^ "W18 - Single by Cassius on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  33. ^ "Don't Let Me Be - Cassius, Owlle - Deezer". Deezer. 24 May 2019. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  34. ^ "Rock Non Stop - Single by Cassius on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved 15 August 2019.

External links[edit]