Sasha - Involv3r

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  • 19 years have passed since Sasha appeared on the cover of Mixmag, hands clasped in prayer, the crown of his head framed by a halo. Above him was the coverline "Son Of God?" Legend has it that after its publication, the Welshman, piqued by the provocative nature of the cover, entered into a bit of argy-bargy with the magazine's editor outside Ministry of Sound. Yet, as he would himself later concede, it helped rocket him into the clubbing stratosphere, and to become, arguably, the first truly global superstar DJ. A decade on from the period most consider Sasha's heyday—when he and John Digweed bestrode the earth as twin progressive house behemoths—he releases his first mix album since 2008's Involv2r. And he's still working his ass off. These days it's somewhat of an oddity to find a double-CD mix split between club and chill-out, even more so one on which every single track has been remixed by the DJ. Seven of the songs on Involv3r have even been recreated twice. CD1 begins with Taragana Pyjarama's "Growing Forehead," the fragile, arp-drenched original mutating into a shimmering mass of synths and gossamer-light percussion. By its second track—ThermalBear's driving, bass key-swollen "Turn The Tide"—Involv3r finds its groove at a steady 124-125 BPM. The meeting of The xx and Mr Coe proves suitably epic, the latter tweaking the melancholy popsters' "Chained" into a chugging, atmospheric cruise, replete with sputtering xylophones. There's a treat for Sashaphiles in the shape of "Shoot You Down," an all-new production that's hung upon thudding synths. Tooled exactly for purpose, the top and tail of each track fit inside each other like Russian dolls. It's a different kind of emotional punch that Sasha unleashes on the beatless half of the package. As an elbow in the ribs to remind listeners of his versatility, it succeeds. That said, it's probably best consumed in individual doses. This is especially true of the The xx rework—Sasha allows its doleful, emotionally-wrought charms to unwrap themselves slowly over seven-plus minutes, going from near silence to a breakdown that never takes off. So much modern dance music is on a quest to strip tracks down to their raw, rhythmic essentials. As a counterpoint, perhaps that's why the wide-open space where Sasha roams still has so much appeal.
  • Tracklist
      CD 1 01. Taragana Pyjarama feat. Kicki Halmos - Growing Forehead (Sasha Involv3r Remix) 02. ThermalBear feat. Arrow Down - Turn The Tide (Sasha Involv3r Remix) 03. Little Dragon - Crystal Film (Sasha Involv3r Remix) 04. The XX - Chained (Sasha Involv3r Remix) 05. Benjamin Damage & Doc Daneeka feat. Abigail Wyles - Battleships (Sasha Involv3r Remix) 06. Ultraista - Smalltalk (Sasha Involv3r Remix) 07. Ananda Project - Moment Before Dreaming (Sasha Involv3r Remix) 08. James Zabiela - The Healing (Sasha Involv3r Remix) 09. Blondes - Wine (Sasha Involv3r Remix) 10. Keep Shelley In Athens - DIY (Sasha Involv3r Remix) 11. Sasha feat. Kicki Halmos - Shoot You Down 12. Foals - Late Night (Sasha Involv3r Remix) CD 2 01. Taragana Pyjarama feat. Kicki Halmos - Growing Forehead (Sasha Beatless Remix) 02. ThermalBear feat. Arrow Down - Turn The Table (Sasha Beatless Remix) 03. Little Dragon - Crystal Film (Sasha Beatless Remix) 04. The XX - Chained (Sasha Beatless Remix) 05. Benjamin Damage & Doc Daneeka feat. Abigail Wyles - Battleships (Sasha Beatless Remix) 06. Ultraista - Smalltalk (Sasha Beatless Remix) 07. Ananda Project - Moment Before Dreaming (Sasha Beatless Remix)