Ben Blue: I've just gotten the CD and I love it. Did it turn out as
you envisioned it?
Sasha: They never really do actually - I had a couple of tunes lined up before I went into the studio that I definitely knew I wanted to use, but they kind of evolve and develop as you're working on them.
BB: You didn't make the CD in the traditional way; could you
talk a little bit about how you did it?
Sasha: Well I mixed it down with my computer and my controller, trying to mix it as much like a live DJ set as possible by using the new software..
BB: How did you choose which tracks you were going to use, was
it based on the Foundation residencies?
Sasha: Yes, there's definitely some tracks in there that have been relevant to the residencies; but there's also some stuff in there that I haven't really played at the residencies and that worked on that day. The thing about the album, it's just a snapshot of that moment. If I'd done it a month later I probably would have used a lot of different music, or a month earlier as well. Whenever you work on mix CDs you just tend to capture a moment, really.
BB: I understand.
Sasha: I've been bombarded with music since I finished the CD and there's definitely a lot of stuff that I would use if I was to record it now.
BB: Right, and that must be difficult
Sasha: Yes, because you're always searching for that one track, you're waiting for something to show up. Maybe you're having a problem, trying to find somewhere in the mix to get a track to work with another track.
BB: With Ableton Live, I know you could be mixing even fifty
tracks if you wanted to. Have you found yourself overwhelmed at all
with those possibilities?
Sasha: Most time you have to stay focused. I've definitely had nights where I've tried to be a little too adventurous- tried to mix too many different styles across a short space of time and lost the dance floor. But you have to stay focused on what you're doing and know where you're going with it.
BB: Right, absolutely.
Sasha: I think it's a very powerful tool but in the in the wrong hands it could be a really messy experience.
BB: Very dangerous. When you were making Involver I remember
you were using Live as kind of like a third table.
BB: And just dropping over your sets with your CDJs.
Sasha: Yes. I snapped out of that really quickly, though; as soon as I realized what you could do with Ableton I just I ditched the vinyl. But it took most of last summer to get all my music recorded and chopped up and ready to use, and it took a big chunk of time working on my controller [the Maven] and getting that ready.
BB: Yes, I remember reading about it at the same time, you
were talking about the need for a controller for Ableton and DJs, and
it didn't exist
Sasha: I went and talked to a few companies, I just got the feeling that nobody was really prepared to make an Ableton-specific controller. I think they were all sitting there waiting to see what happened and I knew if I sat around and waited for these guys it's going to be two more years until I get my hands on one, so I designed my own. And it took us about nine months, a lot of energy, and a lot of resources - but it's been fantastic. It really opens the program up being able to control it.