By Jacob Katel
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Over at Space, a Digweed-less Sasha will light up his Mac for the up-all-nighters, hoping to wipe the been-there off of their faces via an ever-changing mix of mantle-deep house and experimental downloads fresh off the boat.
Constantly barraged by new MP3s from electro-tweaking hopefuls around the world, the superstar DJ has even more to choose from nowadays than back when he was playing illegal house raves in the Lancashire, England area and his record-buying addiction nearly put him in the poorhouse.
For better or worse, depending on your level of traditionalism, the Welshman has compressed his mammoth collection into Ableton sequencer slices, and even that component is streamlined. He rarely, if ever, uses non-Ableton plugins, preferring to play things safe for a change, after experiencing plenty of underwear foulings when he used unfamiliar equipment.
But once Jimmy van M finishes warming up the crowd with his deep melodic house, Sasha won't be leaving all the work to Ableton. "I think it would be very easy with Ableton to just kind of work out a set in advance and kind of stick with it for a few months," he says. "[But] I try to be as spontaneous as possible. All the work you do at home getting ready for your gigs allows you to be spontaneous like that. When you get into a live situation, you're trying to be as spontaneous and creative as possible when you're surrounded by 3000 people."
Raised on Top 40 gunk like The The and the Police in his native Wales, Sasha took up residency at Shelley's in Stoke-on-Trent in 1991. It sent the limey press into a tizzy, culminating in Mixmag's making him its first cover DJ and propelling a legacy that has included a Billboard Top 200 album and a popular remix of Madonna's "Ray of Light." Eric W. Saeger