The DJ and record-producer to kick the asses of all the other DJs and record producers, Sasha rocks our world. Acid house, progressive trance, break-beats, Euro and US house, pop and/or electro – it’s a relief to us that Sasha says he’d rather not be pigeon-holed, because we’re really struggling to pin this dude down.
Regularly turning up in polls as one of the best DJs in the world, ever; and once named on the cover of Mixmag magazine as the Son of God, the artist otherwise known as Alexander Coe is probably best known and loved for the mixes he created with fellow DJ John Digweed in the 1990s. Talking about the tracks they used, Sasha told Mixmag, ‘I basically interpret them to the way that I’d want to hear them in a club that I play at.’ Well, it seems the fans agreed, because these days, the Internet is awash with Sasha aficionados exchanging the track-listings from the DJ’s old live sets. So, to save you the trouble, here are five favourites we prepared earlier.
1. Millennium Eve, Gatecrasher, Sheffield, UK.
Where were you at the turn of the twenty-first century? Sasha was in Sheffield – where international clubbing brand Gatecrasher hosted a huge NYE event at the Don Valley Stadium. 25,000 people were there to witness Sasha’s set, which included remixes of tracks by Jean Michel Jarre, Underworld, Morgan King, Tilt, Saints and Sinners, Luzon, DJ Remmy, Bedrock and Mindtrap. Here’s a sampler:
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2. Renaissance, April ’92
Sasha and John Digweed first met when they were both resident DJs at Renaissance, a dance music club in Mansfield, England. Renaissance’s associated record label (Renaissance Records, natch) released the duo’s first collaborative mix album, a 3 CD set that quickly achieved gold record status – but before that, Sasha played some storming gigs. In April 1992, one mix included Mariah Carey’s Make It Happen. Carey and progressive house? We didn’t see that coming.
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3. Involver (2004)
It’s not all about live sets: Sasha’s recorded material is just as inventive and thrilling as his gigs. He described his 2004 album, Involver, as a ‘fusion of mix album and production record’, and he used software like Ableton Live, normally used at live events to loop track, to get the sound he was after. The penultimate number on the album, a remix of Felix da Housecat’s ‘Watching Cars Go By’, snared Sasha a Grammy nomination.
4.Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1, 15 January, 1994.
Each week since October 1993, BBC Radio 1 has been broadcasting two hours of non-stop mixes under the rather unsurprising moniker, The Essential Mix. Hosted by (and often featuring) Pete Tong, the show’s brought us classic mixes from the likes of Andrew Weatherall, Sister Bliss, David Holmes, and of course, Sasha. This particular set dates from way back in January 1994, so we’re glad to see that Sasha set the BBC’s bar high from the start:
5. Fundacion NYC (2005)
So you don’t start thinking Sasha was a UK-only phenomenon, we’ll finish with Fundacion NYC – an album based on the live sets the DJ performed at his residency nights in New York and LA. Showcasing his use of Ableton Live software, it’s a great example of how technology can make tunes even more kicking.
Sasha’s been doing his thing for nearly a quarter of a century. Hardly surprising then it’s so tough to pick just five mixes. We’re sure you’ll agree our choices rock, and remember: with Nokia Music, you can get more of Sasha whenever you want, wherever you want. But have we missed out any tracks or sessions you think warrant? If so we’d love to hear about them.