Sally Caithness also known professionally as Sally C was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and got into DJing while living in Dundee Scotland, but Sally has always had a strong foothold in her current residence of Berlin where she has lived since 2015. Having played all over the city it wasn’t long before she was throwing out lengthy sets in Griessmuehle, Saule at Berghain and Melt! with sets at Panorama Bar and more worldwide under her belt its become clear she is alot more than one of the new up and coming names in dance. Having taken early inspirations from DJ’s like Fast Eddie, Tyree and K-Hand, her sets have a driving energy with a US pulse that almost feel like you have been lassoed on to the dance floor. This energy is definitely a big part of her production style too with her excellent imprint Big Saldo’s Chunkers which were instant sell out’s worldwide. We sat down and had a brief chat with Sally about the mix and the approach she takes to DJing.
This is Phonica Mix 102 Sally C:
Hey Sally, thanks for joining us! Can you tell us about your mix and what the idea behind it was?
I wanted to create something that reflected where I am musically and the sounds I’ve been most
obsessed with over the years. The mix is a curation of carefully selected records and it is an
expression of my eternal love for older music as well as new sounds that compliment this.
Can you tell us a bit about how you usually approach recording a mix or a set?
I like to take some months to properly prep and plan a mix. I haven’t recorded a mix like this in over a
year so it was really nice to get into the process again. I need to ease into the idea behind a mix and
not plan too rigidly from the beginning. It’s easy to overthink mixes sometimes, so it’s important to
take my time and roll through each stage. I start with how I want the mix to feel and always write down
thoughts, feelings, ideas, eras, genres etc. Then start collecting music for the mix, I will have a fresh
dig in store and order specific records on discogs. I love planning a mix as much as executing it. It’s a
real joy to curate and select music, fine tuning along the way until you reach the sweet spot of
knowing you’re going to really enjoy mixing these sounds together. It takes some time after recording
too, until I’m happy with the sound and levels. I used to have a rule of recording in one take, but I’ve
moved away from that limitation and allow myself to make mistakes and not get too caught up in
making it perfect. At the same time, flow is super important as I need to be really in the groove when
recording to express my message with the sounds that are being created.
What’s your preferred method for finding new music—do you still enjoy digging around in
dusty crates, or do you prefer to buy online?
Setting aside time to properly rummage through dusty crates is by far my preferred way to find new
music. There’s no other way that compares to this and the satisfaction you get from this process. I
love to go to my local store Bikini Waxx Records and spend hours there listening, digging and taking
time to properly listen to the records. Everything is so fast these days it’s nice to slow down in this
moment. It’s like therapy for me. I love to dig on Discogs too, a lot more now than in the past as I’m
away a lot, but I’ve found my way of finding super specific records on there and it’s becoming more
enjoyable but I will always prefer to dig in the record store. Unmatched magic.
Your last two releases on your Big Saldo’s Chunkers imprint have been big sellers in the shop,
can you tell us a little bit about them? How the label itself came to be?
These were my first productions that were going to be released so I really wanted them to come from
me. I wasn’t in the mindset of releasing on other labels and went with my gut to start the label to carve
my sound out in my own way. And the name encapsulates exactly what the label and the first two EPs
are all about, the tracks are dance floor chunkers. Music written for the dance floor and sounds that
make me tick with simplicity at the centre. I take a lot of inspiration from music from the era I’m
obsessed with the most – old rolling grooving ‘80s and ‘90s house, hip house and breakbeat. There’s
no other era of music that gets me so excited and transcended. I’m definitely aiming to carry this
sound through in my records. I guess a homage to the sounds that have influenced me so much. I am
eternally grateful to pioneers of these sounds like K-Hand, Fast Eddie and Bassbin Twins to name a
few. The inspiration they have given me with their music is unparalleled.
What do you have up your sleeve for 2023?
I’m really excited going into 2023, feeling centred. I recently moved into a new studio which has been
so fucking nice. There will be more Chunkers incoming and I will be working with artists I love. Got
some nice tours coming up, debuting in some countries. Looking forward to sharing new music in new
Sally C’s ‘The Way To Do It’ is out now on Rhythm Section.
Check out Sally C’s Big Saldo’s Chunkers 001 and Big Saldo’s Chunkers 002.