We always like it when new books about DJs come along, particularly when they’re written with passion and enthusiasm. ‘God Is A DJ* (*But He Only Warms Up For Sasha)’ captures some of the initial excitement of the UK clubbing explosion that spawned one of the first superstar DJs – Sasha.
From following Sasha in the early days at legendary northern club Shelley’s and elsewhere, Brendan Blood got to know The Man Like quite well over the years. He’d end up back at the DJ’s pad for after-parties, acting as his driver to gigs a few times, and generally becoming his No.1 fan (as well as a club promoter with a certain notoriety himself). Hence this personal story of interactions with Sasha over the years is pretty gushing, but it’s refreshing to have a music tome written from unexpurgated personal experience that doesn’t just chronologically reprint reviews and press releases from an artist over the years.
This is no objective analysis, but captures succinctly the spirit of travelling to a rave with mates, dodging the police to reach a party, and experiencing the communal rush on a dancefloor that’s going off. It’s quite quaint to hear that big records for Sasha in the early ‘90s included Zoe’s ‘Sunshine On A Rainy Day’ and a remix of ‘Mr Loverman’ by Shabba Ranks, and some of the piano house classics Sasha used to drop would probably make the prog DJ wince these days, but that’s all part of the charm when charting the growth of a DJ. We hear about Sasha’s rejection of trance, his conversion to digital DJing via James Zabiela, and the build-up to his artist album ‘Airdrawndagger’ along the way – and did you know that Sasha was Grade 8 at the piano?
So based around his own encounters with Sasha is this book that the author doesn’t even mention Sasha claiming the Top 100 DJs crown in 2000 (it only crops up later in the book when Sasha is quoted from a magazine interview), although this doesn’t claim to be an authoritative historical overview.
Somewhat bafflingly, there is a foreword by TV personality Vernon Kay, who’s apparently known Blood since his early northern clubbing days, but don’t let that put you off. This tome kisses Sasha’s ass over and over again; however, it provides a revealing insight into one of the most important DJs of the last 20 years.
God Is A DJ* (*But He Only warms Up For Sasha) is published by Dawber Publishing, price £10.99
Words: Carl Loben