Since my DJing career started, there have been some DJs who have appealed to me more than others. Paul Oakenfold and Paul van Dyk were my first major influences, and at around the same time, the Northern Exposure series was released from Sasha & Digweed. Immediately I realized that what I liked was brighter and uplifting music and that what they played were songs that were more deep and dark. I found myself affiliating with the cheesy trance subgenre which was the complete opposite from the Sasha and Digweed crew.
Over time my respect for both Sasha and Digweed has developed and my 180 degree turn has begun. Since the release of Sashas first artist album, Airdrawndagger and his Global Underground appearance on their Ibiza: 13 compilation, he has captivated me with his ever-changing style and ingenuity. This newest release on the now legendary Global Underground label has brought me into the realm of almost being a Sasha fan. This ten-track mix CD is a collection of some of the finest works Ive heard.
All the tracks on the disc have been remixed as Sasha exclusives for this compilation. He takes the original tracks and molds them to fit his style and the overall feel of the disc. He pulls from an interesting pool of records for this one; Felix da Housecat, Spooky, Ulrich Schnauss, Petter and the ever mysterious UNKLE all merit a track or two on here.
When popping in this disc after a long day at the office, it was easy to let my mind wander and forget about everything- just drifting away into the melodic breaks tracks that inhabit this CD. He starts it out with Grand National on Talk Amongst Yourselves. Instantly the Sasha remix effect is present with an intro that describes perfectly what to expect. The tracks flow together in a way that I have never experienced on a mix CD. Petters These Days is blended seamlessly with UNKLEs What Are You to Me, and when I say seamlessly I mean it, these tracks are mixed in at the 3 minute mark of the third song and rides all the way through till the 4 minute mark on the forth track.
This is like a full on remix done with no synthesizers, no effects, and no samplers; just two turntables and unprecedented skills. The Youngsters check in next with their track Smile, which is more breakbeat madness combined with some ruff synth loops and a soulful BT-styled vocal. Richard File and James Lavelle (aka UNKLE) churn out the next track, their smash underground track In a State. This song needs no explanation from me and if you are unfamiliar with UNKLE, youd better ask somebody. Our gracious host cuts and chops this one to produce a magical track that takes you on a journey.
Coming up on the end is the Chicagoland favorite Felix da Housecats Watching Cars Go By. The fabulous female robot voice mesmerizes you instantly and the continuing guitar riff is fun and exciting at the same time. Along with the Cyberwhore sample, it is purely a Felix party. The finish comes from Ulrich Schauss. I expected a long dramatic drawn-out outro, but what I found was both interesting and cool. The track On My Own is quite upbeat and banging and is certainly what you would not expect from the ending of a Sasha mix CD.
Sasha is reinventing himself with new breaks sounds and seems to be having a good time while doing it. I think this disc was best described when Pete K. told me that the album is chilled breaks, not what you will expect. If that isnt the truth, I dont know what is. Watch out, Breakbeat is coming and theres no stopping it