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The End of the DJ (As We Know Him)

Interview and Exclusive CD Giveaway

DJ Sasha has made a radical decision. The superstar DJ plans to stop spinning records and CDs. He might even thrash his beloved Technics turntables. But don't cry just yet. Sasha will continue to make music, but in the future he will only be using computers to produce and remix his signature dance tunes.

"I know it is controversial, but I've had enough of vinyl," says Sasha in an exclusive interview. "Computers are revolutionizing what DJs can do and how they can interact with the music. Not only in the studio, but also in a live environment. It will change what people are going to expect from a DJ performance."

Sasha's decision to go all digital will likely turn the DJ world upside down. Switching from vinyl to computerized remixing is a heated debate among DJs. Some of them prefer the vintage feel of vinyl, and others prefer the clean-cut sound and versatility of digital music. In fact, when it comes down to it most DJs end up combining both in their sets.

Sasha used the endless possibilities of digital mixing on his newest remix album "Involver." "The record started out a regular mix project," he says. "But along the way I decided to put the entire record together as one piece of music rather than separate tracks. I reprocessed all the tracks and their sounds to make them fit cohesively as one eclectic piece."

sasha_involver_interview
Subscribers of the :: arjanwrites :: newsletter will automatically enter a drawing to win an exclusive Limited Edition version of Sasha's "Involver." Sign up today! Winner will be announced by August 15th.

Sasha (born Alexander Coe) is considered one the most innovative and popular DJs/remixers in the business. He is often grouped together with some of the world's greatest club jocks including Paul Oakenfold, Paul van Dyk and Tiesto.

The North Wales native was catapulted into stardom together with fellow DJ John Digweed in 1994 when the remix duo launched "Renaissance: The Mix Collection." The two separated in the late nineties, which gave Sasha the opportunity to further his interests as a remixer, songwriter, producer and label owner.

Sasha's embrace of digital music technology might indicate the end of the DJ craft as we know it today. His fascination with technology is not unique, but it does put a refreshingly intelligent spin on his approach to remixing.

"I think the days of a DJ spinning records on a pair of Technics decks are coming to an end," he says. "Certain elements of dance music have become very stale and formulaic. The only way the DJ culture will evolve is if people start to push the envelope by embracing new technologies.

"Involver" is by far the most involved and personal remix project that Sasha has ever put out. The record's final set combines vocal and guitar-driven electronica from some of today's top electronic artists and emerging talents including UNKLE, Felix Da Housecat, Grand National, Spooky and Ulrich Schnauss.

The DJ's progressive house and trance sets appeal to a variety of audiences. Sasha is happy that his work reaches across different groups, including gays. He points out how much he respects his gay fans and their equal rights. "I'm all for gay marriage," he says. "It is civil liberty issue that needs to be sorted out."

He is not sure where he fits among the hordes of other DJs/producers in the dance landscape. "I'm just not one of those DJs that likes to sit back and play commercial tracks, he says. "I just like to keep myself creatively occupied by always looking for something different."

He believes that the dance music that is most popular and commercially successful is "the really shitty end of trance music." "DJs are always grouped together," he says. "So a lot of us are tainted by the few that play that crappy trance music."

Subscribers of the :: arjanwrites :: newsletter will automatically enter a drawing to win an exclusive Limited Edition version of Sasha's "Involver." Sign up today! Winner will be announced by August 15th.

July 29, 2004 in Interviews | Permalink

Comments

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Bold statements that he's making. IMO, DJ spinnin with vinyl will never go out of style. There's a mystique and allure when you see some1 control the crowd behind 2 TTs.

Posted by: JimmydaMook at Jul 30, 2004 10:30:25 AM

Bold statements indeed -- pioneers tend to do this. I came here from Global Underground. Cheers. :)

Posted by: Torley Wong at Jul 30, 2004 3:55:54 PM

also came here through the GU board. nice read. didn't know he's for gay rights. me too (and i'm not gay). always learning something different each day

Posted by: michael at Jul 30, 2004 4:55:35 PM

Well to say the least i'm very SUPRISED and equally distraught over this news, I'm a major fan and he was the man who inspired my to become a DJ well while i hope it is not true he is leaving the DJ scene, i at least wish him success in the artist's side of the music industry....

Posted by: djprendo at Aug 9, 2004 9:03:46 AM

I doubt that other DJ's will change their formats. I think he is just trying something new for himself and possibly his fans. I don't know much about him or his music but just because one DJ decides to change his format I doubt the rest of the industry will follow suit. Who knows maybe he is on to something revolutionary? Lates

L

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Posted by: Special at Aug 20, 2004 3:34:50 PM

I think the question of whether to abandon the decks is partly one of showmanship and what people are accustomed to. It probably looks like the DJ is doing more work if s/he's spinning discs rather than clicking with a mouse/touchpad. I know of at least one program for using a computer for live performances (I think it's called "live") The more people start doing it, the more innovative and powerful the software will become. So, Sash, baby, when the hell are you coming back to Seattle?!!

Posted by: at Sep 10, 2004 9:45:46 PM

Can't wait to see what types of stuff this new technology makes possible.

Posted by: gothic Industrial music darkwave ebm idm trance at Jan 30, 2005 3:41:57 PM

Kewl read. This guy is too much of a genuis to be constrained by the limitations of mixing stored music on vinyl or CD. I think he just wants to do more when he's moving crowds. While I'm all for it, it gets more confusing of what he is actually doing LIVE, since alot of settings, sounds, tracks will be prefabricated. It's also interesting that the audience won't know if a whole set was stored. But again, I'm all for it, change is good, and I have no doubt he will continue to sell out on every venue. .. and BTW I have been listening to nothing but Involver for a few days now... This guy is how they came up with "A God is a DJ"

Posted by: Chris Kawahito at Mar 14, 2005 8:19:11 PM

All the DJ's mentioned in this article spin at Crobar night Club in NYC 530 W 28th street between 10th and 11th. Hot on Fire night club.... You must visit .... If you are in town Go you will be happy. I went there for my first time last month in July I had a great time...... www.crobar.com
Eric New York

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