A techy, computer game like, geeky customisable introduction that Sasha has taken on the road and played (in a variety of forms) as the start to many if not all of his Fundacion nights begins his latest compilation on Global Underground.
Now post-intro-countdown and the journey begins with Adam Johnson's 'Four Squares' in an epic, melodic and drawn out form that reeks of Sasha unique style. Richard Davis mix of Swayzak's Another Way slides through, kicking off with a deep smooth progressive bassline and melodic styling. Before the sweet soulful sounds of Beanfield - Tides feat. Bajka mixed by Carl Craig (and now edited by Sasha) knocks in with the stunning tribal vocal putting you in a trance as this musical excursion continues.
It's at about this point that you may notice (assuming you pay attention to what you listen to) that the mixing is far beyond seamless and next to impossible to work out. Unless you’re quite the trainspotting junkie you’ll struggle to work out where track a) finishes and track b) starts... or if that sample is from the track you’re supposedly listening to or the one that is a couple slots ahead. The whole album has been worked, leveled, edited and hashed live on Sash’a Ableton controller so intricately with various samples kicking through 3+ tracks that it’s very difficult to tell which part of what track you’re listening to and what artists it belongs to.
It gives a new era of life to the listener and it is undoubtedly an incredible way to put together a mix CD.
Considering they are both being released at the same time let's take Nick Warren’s GU028 as a prime example. Warren’s mix is great. It plays host to loads of excellent music and as soon as the first track sets off it works. This is because Warren is not attempting to reinvent the track - its production is already complete. On the other hand FundacionNYC pushes you to think about what you’re listening to. It is remixed and edited on the fly, so that individual tracks are not discernable and the final product is a very different one.
It is a mix in Sasha’s true style, and true form. Take the obviously historical steps... AirDrawnDagger was his artist album that flowed in an almost timeless production style. Involver entered with a new style compilation - a complete set of unique Sasha remixes produced to work together and compliment each other. FundacionNYC takes this idea to the next level with live remixes and some extraordinary equipment was required to do so. The fine tuning of each track removes the usual seems in a mix - blurring the boundaries between a compilation and a live production.
Sasha's provides his Midas touch of production gold to give this a mix that special something. And best of all it not only defines where Sasha is at the moment (in terms of club sound) but where he is headed.
"Somewhere between an Iberian sponge cake and a Bedrock brownie."
So back to the music...
From where we left off somewhere around track 5 or so (it’s very easy to get lost in this compilation) the mix continues, featuring layer upon layer of light, fluffy, vibrant ...progressive music. Somewhere between an Iberian sponge cake and a Bedrock brownie.
Funk Da Void, Closer Musik and Phonique fill the stunning musical void before what is a major portion of this album. Working as the pivotal center stage for FundacionNYC and as a joint event by two of very talented producers combining forces to stunning effect is James Holden and Thompson’s ‘Come To Me’. It is featured twice on this album, starting with the ‘Last Version’. It acts as an introduction to the 7 minute ‘Club Mix’ which is nothing short of incredible. The vocals, the timing, the deep subtle bassline... put simply – it is production genius. Add Sasha's tweaking, tuning and mixing and the result is something you will find listening to over and over.
Things move from this progressive angle over towards the electro side of the genre scale. A bit of M.A.N.D.Y, Freeform Five and Andre Kraml (with an eclectic twisted remix from Holden) follow well. And things are all on course for a relatively flawless compilation as 'Blacklight Fantasy' takes over. A great deep thumping electro tinted track with huge melodic rifts and great electronic vocals... and then it all goes a bit pear shaped.
If you're familiar with the Felix Da Housecat episode towards the end of Involver, smacking in a with a raw electro sound somewhat out of place (read the Involver review), you will either love or hate what comes next as Sasha has basically done it again. Second last track, all things going smoothly … then clash. Electroclash even. I don't get or enjoy the use of 'We are Glitter Mix' of Goldfrapp's Strict Machine it's heavy thumping rough bassline rifting guitary sounds - so I'll leave it at that.
M83, with a great vocal housey track remixed by Superpitcher closes the album with a light airy rough vocal vibe. And there it is.
Sasha’s new Fundacion series on GU takes the natural step as a live remixed and edited compilation using his unique and specially crafted Maven controller, his Apple and the latest Ableton Live software allowing him to work purely from a digital platform to great effect.
So has the huge investment in both time and money been worth the risk for Sasha? Definitely.
Tracklist: Sasha - FundacionNYC on Global Underground01. Badger - Rise Of The Machine
02. Adam Johnson - Four Squares
03. Swayzak - Another Way (Richard Davies Mix)
04. Beanfield - Tides feat. Bajka (C’s Movement #1) (Carl Craig Remix)
05. Kosmas Epsilon - Innocent Thoughts (Stel Remix)
06. Funk Da Void - All That Matters
07. Closer Musik - One, Two, Three (Ewan Pearson Remix)
08. Phonique --99 & A Half featuring Alexander East (I:Cube Remix)
09. Holden & Thompson - Come To Me (Last Version)
10. Holden & Thompson - Come To Me (Club Mix)
11. M.A.N.D.Y. - Jah
12. Playgroup - Behind The Wheel (DJ-Kicks Electroca$h Mix)
13. Freeform Five - Electromagnetic (Tiefschwarz Dub)
14. Closer Musik - One, Two, Three (Ewan Pearson Remix)
15. Andre Kraml - Safari - (James Holden Remix)
16. Freaky Chakra - Blacklight Fantasy
17. Goldfrapp - Strict Machine (We Are Glitter Mix)
18. M83 - Don't Save Us From The Flames (Superpitcher Remix)
Other Global Underground reviews