Inspired by new music, touting a fresh label, Sasha is still at the vanguard.
Sasha isn't one for nostalgia. It makes him feel “a bit weird”, he says. Fair enough.
If you're asked about your outstanding contribution to dance music, it's gifting you the opportunity to blow your own trumpet. For the first-ever superstar DJ, and the man who was once dubbed 'the son of god' in the dance music press, you'd think he'd jump at the chance. But that's not him at all. He's more keen deferring conversation to Andrew Weatherall's contribution, the man who he beat to the prize.
“If anyone deserves an outstanding contribution award, it's him,” he says. “He's always carved his own route.” Sasha, too, has been doing that himself since 1988. From the Hacienda to Shelley's, then Renaissance in Mansfield and Derby; his pivotal 'Renaissance Mix' and the 'Northern Exposure' albums, both crafted with John Digweed; his remixes of Madonna, his enduring work with Spooky's Charlie May and his constant embrace of technology to push DJing to its limits: he's always been at the vanguard. For many years through the '90s, seeing him play was a unique experience in dance music.
He played — and still plays — like no-one else, and had tracks no-one else had. He's since brought through talent like James Zabiela, who continues to push boundaries too.
After a couple of false starts running labels, his newest venture, the already influential Last Night On Earth, feels like “getting it right after 20 years”. “It's about surrounding yourself with the right people,” he says, a factor often cited by those who have had enduring success.
“I've always been constantly inspired by the music I get sent every week. That what makes the whole thing work, and there's still that buzz of finding an unknown producer, someone who's coming at electronic music from a different angle to other people. That's always inspired me the most.” And long may that continue.
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