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MP3 Music, October 25, 2004
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"Involver" meets the listener smack at the point where Sasha's 2002 artist album "Airdrawndagger" and the future of electronic music collide. He is the DJ that rode in on a tidal wave of adoration from the North of England's explosive early 90's club scene and has for the last 10+ years consistently sold out every venue, festival or club that has been honored to witness his legendary performance abilities. This is Sasha's first mix compilation in nearly 5 years and his first full length release since the critically acclaimed Airdrawndagger. It is unlike any album that has ever been released in that it completely and perfectly integrates the concept of the DJ mix compilation and the standard producer/artist album. Every single track on this album is an original Sasha remix, re-creation or production that has been exclusively recorded as an original piece for this project.
Pure, weightless elegance, Involver is true to its title, as Sasha comes up with a mesmerizing stunner. Two years after the lukewarmly received artist record Airdrawndagger, the Welsh waxman and frequent John Digweed co-collaborator has retreated into remix territory, but with a twist. In an effort to meld songwriting ambition with his feather-light touch behind the decks, 10 stellar tracks were totally remade in-studio, not just blended together. The result sounds livelier than dagger, putting Sasha's superb instinct for dance flow to work. Still, despite the presence of Felix Da Housecat's "Watching Cars Go By" stomper, it's a very even record; themes patiently recede and resurface from the bubbly bottom of the mix. The warm, warbling melody from Petter's "These Days," for example, reappears long after you think it's vanished for good, lifting U.N.K.L.E.'s "What Are You to Me?" into hypno-dance orbit. Songs like Spooky's "Belong" and Lostep's "In a State" breathe the same air, rising and falling with interlocking rhythmic poetry. It's a daze of a record, ideal company for moody afternoons spent staring up at wispy clouds and vapor trails. Matthew Cooke
Top customer reviews
This record will stand out ten years from now. It feels like another Northern Exposure installment. It's got that sort of soundscape. *Almost entirely breakbeat* Uncharacteristic to the genre, the melody on these tracks carry as much weight as the rhythm. Involver is SLOW and steady... each song belonging to the other. It shifts back and forth through breaks and house effortlessly. There isn't a single "skip" track. Remember how you felt when they dropped 'out of body...' on the first Northern Exposure? Track 3 'these days' has THAT and he holds on to the melody 3 minutes into the next track. no anthems. no overdramatic prickley synths. no trance. just left with a feeling of something new. feels like music caught between night and day. twelve min. mindbender 'burma' and the closing track 'on my own' justifies buying one this alone.
This release is not for newbies. This is for jetset, veteran clubbers looking for the next thing! looking for glam trance anthems? Look elsewhere, preferably something that starts with 'the ultimate.' grow up kid. face it. Sasha's just better than your favorite DJ. This one was made, not mixed! The future standard of DJing will be those who can mix breaks to progressive and vice versa all night! that takes skill. SASHA, Dave Seaman, Phil k., & Lavelle are already there. Look for it on Global UnderGround!
OK. Here we go;
1-Mixing: 6/5 (six out of five, as if mixed by the hands of god)
2-Re-mixing tracks: 6/5 (better than the original artists intended)
3-Track selection: 4/5 (could have done better)
4-New concept: 5/5 (there is currently nothing like it)
so, although Sasha scored less than perfect in his track selection, he still averaged more than 100% overall.
If you did't like his Airdrawndagger, you would love Involver because they are so different. Still, dance compilation it is not. The most luxurious, intellegent, mature and beautiful electronica music it is.
He is Sasha. Enough said.
1. The mix is great from one song to another. I hate mix CDs where they basically just find the break and creep the song in. The same is true here, but the songs do perfectly mix from one to the next without being annoying at all.
2. I like the way he breaks down each track in the song to redo the music and evolve into something unique.
3. The liner notes on the CD case is excellent. This is what I like about other artists who talk about the specific tracks to explain or give insights about it.
1. Remember I am reviewing the whole CD and packaging. The limited edition I got is a little annoying. It's wonderful to have, but in no way is it easy to handle. From the pillow case packaging to the separated liner notes. I would recommend getting the normal CD case, but if you're into these limited editions then this would be for you.
2. While listening to the tracks, I am reminded of another great DJ - BT and his "Movement in Still Life" album. The style of distorting the vocals and instruments is the same.
3. Sometimes there are moments that can be dull with no vocal or effects, just a beat with no character. I wish he put something in those moments to help me transition between breaks.
All in all a keeper worth listening to over and over.