Over the last couple of years, alongside the luscious, hypnotic club music that he’s famous for, Sasha’s been working on a collection of tripped-out, textured ambient music. “I'd be going backwards and forwards between the two things.
Whenever we'd finish a club track, I'd want to go and write something like this,” he tells DJ Mag about the process of putting together 'Scene Delete' for Late Night Tales. “I've been writing ideas down and not really finishing them, so it was really good to focus and have a deadline, building a project.”
It's an astounding, very easy-on-the-ears filmic release that pays respect to the likes of soundscape masters Steve Reich, Nils Frahm and Max Richter. With this in mind, would a movie score be something Sasha might like to work on in the future, perhaps? “It's part of the reason I'm hanging around in Los Angeles, there's a couple of exciting things in the pipeline…”
The track that reminds you of your childhood?
“I remember I used to listen to ELO a lot when we did car journeys when I was a kid. Let me think which of the tracks it would be. It was 'Out Of The Blue' or 'Discovery'? I think it was 'Out Of The Blue', 'Mr Blue Sky', 'Sweet Talking Woman'. It was around about that age when I used to get into music, around seven, eight or nine. Or The Police.”
The first record that you ever bought?
“Well, the first album I bought was 'Reggatta De Blanc' by The Police. I bought a couple of singles beforehand, but out of the bargain bin. The first single I ever bought, I think, was Judas Priest in WHSmiths. The Police record was the first time I ever went into a record shop and bought a record.”
What do you listen to that isn't dance music?
“Now, since the invention of Spotify, you just seem to follow what all your friends are listening to — random things. I have been listening to a lot of score stuff recently, just because I've been trying to get my head into working in that area.
I just follow all my friends' 'discover weekly' playlists and what they've been listening to. Been listening to a lot of classic electronic stuff, I guess a lot of the stuff I've been listening to to get ready to make the Late Night Tales record. I've been immersing myself in that kind of Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm, Max Richter. When I'm not working on making music with beats in it, I like listening to ambient, dreamy stuff.”
The track that’s guaranteed to make you cry?
“(Laughs) I remember when I was eighteen and I used to go out to clubs and I remember I wanted that CeCe Rogers 'Someday' record. They used to play it at the end of the night at the Hacienda and I couldn't get hold of it for about a year and it used to drive me crazy.
I used to have some proper moments at the end of the night on the dancefloor to that record. It might have bought me to the verge of tears. It doesn't quite have the same affect anymore. That was 1988 when I was a whippersnapper and I was just getting into DJing myself.”
What's an album or compilation that you're currently into?
“I was listening to this Scsi-9 thing. I don't even know if that's new. It's called Scsi-9 ‘Nostalgia’, I was just listening to it this morning, it's a wicked piece of electronic music.”
The record in your collection that you most treasure?
“It's a record I can't find actually, it's driving me a bit mental. I remember I'd been DJing and I'd stayed up all night and there was a knock on the door and this postman delivered a vinyl — a one-sided grey piece of vinyl with nothing on it, no note or anything.
And it was Recorded Delivery, you had to sign for it, and it was all very mysterious. And I put it on and it was the original version of 'It's Grim Up North' by The KLF. The version that they released of it as a single was pretty rubbish, but this was a tripped-out acid record, it was absolutely insane. And it's lost in my record collection somewhere. It's in there, I never would have given it away, I've got 50,000 records and I know it's there.”
Your all-time favourite track of all time?
“Today it'll be 'A Day In The Life' by The Beatles. I don't know why. It's an epic piece of music, it's one from my childhood and I remember being amazed that people could put together music like that.”