Written by Caballero Oscuro
Much more than just a DJ mix CD, Sasha’s new Global Underground release is a deconstruction and reimagining of the selected tracks. Utilizing Ableton Live software, additional electronic hardware, as well as a production team that included the Spooky duo of Charles May and Duncan Forbes among others, Invol2ver sounds like a polished and original studio album instead of a mix CD. As Sasha explains it, “In every way, Invol2ver is closer to a production album than anything else. We were like kids in a toy shop basically, hunting out as many old mixing decks, drum machines and guitar pedals that we could find on eBay”. While this reliance on old equipment reportedly gave the album some unpredictable and gritty results, it’s all layered together so flawlessly that it only adds more character to an already thrilling effort.
It’s been over four years since the first Involver, and beginning around that time Sasha completely revised his mixing process, abandoning the classic vinyl for Ableton Live software that allows him to make every set unique, blending and extending specific elements of songs into each other rather than just beat matching. While his early work in this medium had some hiccups, seeming far too focused on manipulating the gear rather than moving bodies on the dance floor, it’s abundantly clear with this release that he’s fully mastered the technology and risen far above what was ever possible for DJs in the past.
He’s also kept up his globetrotting superstar DJ schedule, circling the globe solo as well as with longtime cohort John Digweed. He’s been a legend for a generation now, and rather than rest on his laurels he’s very much at the peak of his powers this year. From an auspicious outing with Digweed to start the year in LA, through triumphant summer returns to legendary venues such as Ibiza and Creamfields, and now with this massive CD release, he’s well on his way to employee of the year status even after two decades in the game.
The tracks as selected by Sasha include a few recognizable artist names, most notably Thom Yorke and Ladytron, but ultimately this mix is far more about the sum rather than its parts. The CD oozes class and refinement, chugging along in a solidly progressive house vein like a finely tuned and expensive timepiece. It’s clear from the onset that a master is at work, as he’s confident enough to let the mix build through an extended intro that withholds the bass for a few minutes before dropping in all its glory. He also avoids any cheap peaks, relying on his stellar track selection and intricate engineering to carry the mix through to its final, most clearly defined riser, “Sometimes I Realise” by Engineers. Equally at home in the club or iPod, Invol2ver is an instant classic destined to age exceptionally well.
Invol2ver is available via digital download worldwide and is also available on CD in both a standard version and a limited edition that includes a second CD of Sasha remix exclusives.