World-reknowned DJ Sashaâ€šÃ„Ã´s attention to detail on his Involver mix helped earn him a 2004 Grammy nomination. It also made the set difficult if not impossible to recreate live, away from a studio setup.Enter Sasha the tinkerer: Fundacion is his first CD-length mix using Maven, a new â€šÃ„Ãºblack boxâ€šÃ„Ã¹ he built for instant mixing and production. The equipment lets Sashaâ€šÃ„Ã´s increasingly complex transitions and revisions be executed in the studio and replicated in the club — or vice versa.
Fundacion for the most part is seamless, like any good Sasha mix. As the technology fades into the background we can focus on the music itself, which is quite unlike any good Sasha mix. This isn’t meant to be “3 A.M.” material, but light ambience and breezy beats muffle what’s screaming to be a full-throttle house album.
Some of the selections are sublime, including Holden & Thompson’s “Come to Me” and Adam Johnson seemingly channeling Risky Business‘ sex scene on a train. Some, however, are ridiculous. A remix of Closer Musik’s “One, Two, Three” is credited twice as filler, and Playgroup deliver a heavy-breathing rendition of Depeche Mode’s “Behind the Wheel.”
Even Sasha’s hardest tracks pull punches in terms of length (see Kosmas Epsilon, M.A.N.D.Y.) or placement (he closes the album with electro skronk from M83 and Goldfrapp). This album simply feels incomplete, like the first quarter of a long night behind the decks.
If Badger’s opening mix narrative “Rise of the Machine” is any indication, this new Maven system is warmed up. Now weâ€šÃ„Ã´re just waiting on the same from Sasha, whose work after Fundacion should offer to fans more appropriate climaxes or chillouts.