10 iconic Sasha moments
The original superstar DJ
Ricardo Villalobos, Jeff Mills, DJ Harvey, Solomun, Moby, Richie Hawtin, Masters At Work, The Prodigy... all of them definitely deserving of their icon status, sure. But none have ever been labeled the "Son of God", have they?
That’s the kind of level we’re working on with Alexander Paul Coe, better know as the almighty Sasha. The Welshman has been omnipresent in UK dance music for the last three decades and remains as popular as ever. He was there in the halcyon days of the Ha?ienda and he’s still pulling in punters by the bucket load today. The crowd that went to see him throw down a five-hour set with regular partner in crime John Digweed at Glastonbury this year is indicative of the joy he brings ravers, young and old.
They’re lofty expectations, but Sasha has proven time and time again that he is fully capable of backing them up. His "Last Night On Earth" label has become one of dance music’s most desirable destinations for the progressively-inclined side of house music fans. He still smashes Ibiza every time he’s out there and is still releasing tunes, like the recent ‘Trigonometry’, that had everyone hanging out for an ID when first heard.
Sasha, we salute you. Here are the original DJ superstar’s most iconic moments.
"SON OF GOD" MIXMAG COVER
Sorry Sasha, we know you didn't like being called this at the time, but we've just gotta get it in. It's a Mixmag cover that's gone down in history, after all. Cover number two for Sasha hit shelves in Feb' 1994 and had us asking that all important question: is he the Son of God? Ridiculous, yes, but the DJ sets he was delivering at the time were worthy of him being praised in the way of such a mighty figure. It was also around this time his elation-fuelled debut single 'Higher Ground' was wooing clubbers after years of remixes. "I just hate having my picture taken" were his words during the cover shoot. Still, the photographer managed to get a now classic shot years before the praying hands emoji littered WhatsApp conversations.
"RENAISSANCE: THE MIX COLLECTION"
Sasha and John Digweed: a partnership of dreams. The treasured Renaissance club in 1993 was where it all began for the pair, hooking up behind the decks, and they were at the helm to kickstart Renaissance Records with 'Renaissance - The Mix Collection'. So highly rated, it hit number 26 in Mixmag's Best Dance Albums Of All Time and has been heralded as a classic mix album over and over again. No wonder with three versions of Leftfield's 'Song Of Life' and a rework of Moby's 'Go' among the three-CD collection. If it's a lesson in progressive house and trance you're after, lock into this for your schooling.
Another collaborative mix album, another release from Sasha and John Digweed that's regarded as one of the all-time greats in dance music. Split into two discs (North and South), the pair go on a frenetic ride of trippy rave rattlers, with the odd blissed out stop-off giving room for a breather. Tracks come from the likes of William Orbit, God Within and Underworld, and to celebrate the 10-year anniversary last year, we picked out 10 of our faves. It's a proto-trance, techno and progressive house lover's dream.
"SCORING WIPEOUT 3"
Seriously, hands up if you remember playing Wipeout on Playstation. The futuristic racer is one of the 90s' most beloved games thanks to its combination of cutting-edge (at the time) graphics and futuristic design. Its adrenaline-inducing soundtrack complimented the game perfectly, delivering on the idea that you were in the future. Breaks, techno and more wavy pads and bleeps than you can shake a stick at. Honestly, the track above popped into my feed earlier this week and I was sure I'd heard it at Dekmantel. Who was behind it all? Sasha.
"Fancy remixing Madonna, Sash?" "Yeah, why not." The conversation was likely more detailed than that, but we imagine Sasha's answer to remix one of the biggest pop stars in the world was a swift one. Taking on her 1998 track 'Ray Of Light', he knocked up the probing, 10-minute Ultra Violet Mix, the erratic Strip Down mix and the sizzling, hyper-coloured Twilo Mix. The original's storming enough, so Sasha's magic touch was a bonus raver had been waiting for.
"WINNING BEST PROGRESSIVE HOUSE DJ THREE YEARS RUNNING"
We hope Sasha's got plenty of polish, 'cause it seems the awards are never-ending. The years 2008 to 2010 were particularly fruitful, him sweeping up the Best Progressive House DJ accolade each year. He'd won Best Tech-house/Progressive DJ in 2005, also being nominated for the award on four other occasions. Let's not forget the Muzik Awards gave him the Outstanding Contribution to Dance Music trophy in 1999, either. Just imagine that mantelpiece...
"HIS MIXMAG COVER MIX IN 2013"
Mixmag cover number three for Sasha meant we were treated to an exclusive mix from the DJ. 'Mixmag Presents: Never Say Never' was easily the best of 2013 for Mixmag staff, regularly on rotation to round out the summer after it was released in August. Dizzying and gentle, it brings on a feeling of elevation as Sasha moves through tracks by the likes of Bonobo, Dusky, Henrik Schwarz and an edit of his own. If anyone was really questioning whether he still had it after all these years, this mix is the one to put the haters to bed.
"THIS INTERVIEW WITH THE EDGE IN 1992"
Back in 1992, Sasha was still in the formative years of his rise to superstardom. The long-haired artist was interviewed by old video magazine The Edge and seeing as house at the time was such a youth movement, the graphics they implement over a pretty straight-shooting Sasha is quite hilarious. There were some gems we gleamed from the interview, though: when Sasha was 12 he loved Billy Joel, he loves Japan and he eats his Cadbury Cream Eggs whole. Impressive.
"HIS TWILO RESIDENCY"
Think of the British acts that never managed to break into the United States. Oasis, Robbie Williams, Spice Girls, the list goes on. You know who never had trouble over the other side of the Atlantic? Sasha. Having been regularly booked for massive parties in Orlando, he was picked up by New York nightclub Twilo for a residency on the last Friday of every month with best mate John Digweed. Held in the highest of regard by American clubbers, Twilo was actually only open from 1995 to 2001. But Sasha and Digweed helped it build a legacy.
"RETURNING TO IBIZA WITH JOHN DIGWEED AT PRIVILEGE"
The biggest club hosting two of the biggest DJs playing their first back-to-back in Ibiza since 2009? You better believe we were there. Of course the guys smashed it, clinically rolling out "contemporary deep tech crafted for big room crowds", as we described it, at the opening. The duo announced their eight-week residency starting in July 2017 and runs through to September 2017.