Sasha ‎– Involver

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Tracklist

Grand National Talk Amongst Yourselves 10:22
Shpongle Dorset Perception 9:31
Petter (5) These Days 2:54
UNKLE What Are You To Me? 4:07
The Youngsters Smile 9:33
Spooky Belong 7:37
UNKLE In A State 5:39
Lostep Burma 12:01
Felix Da Housecat Watching Cars Go By 8:11
Ulrich Schnauss On My Own 7:42

Versions (15)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
GUSA001CD Sasha Involver(CD, Album, Comp, Mixed) Global Underground (3) GUSA001CD UK 2004 Sell This Version
none Sasha Involver EP(CDr, EP, Promo, Smplr) Global Underground (3) none US 2004 Sell This Version
GUSA001VIN Sasha Involver(2x12") Global Underground (3) GUSA001VIN UK 2004 Sell This Version
GUSA001VINSP Sasha Involver(2x12", Spe) Global Underground (3) GUSA001VINSP UK 2004 Sell This Version
GUSA001 Sasha Involver(7xFile, MP3, 320) Global Underground (3) GUSA001 UK 2004
GUSA001DIG Sasha Involver(8xFile, MP3, Comp, 320) Global Underground (3) GUSA001DIG UK 2004
GUSA001CDX Sasha Involver(CD, Album, Comp, Ltd, Mixed) Global Underground (3) GUSA001CDX UK 2004 Sell This Version
GUSA001CD Sasha Involver(CD, Album, Comp, Mixed) Global Underground (3) GUSA001CD UK 2004 Sell This Version
GUSA001CDSP Sasha Involver(CD, Album, Comp, Mixed + CD, Comp + S/Edition) Global Underground (3) GUSA001CDSP UK 2004 Sell This Version
GUSA001CDPR Sasha Involver(CD, Album, Comp, Mixed, Promo) Global Underground (3) GUSA001CDPR UK 2004 Sell This Version
GUSA001CD Sasha Involver(CD, Album, Comp, Mixed, Unofficial) Global Underground (2) GUSA001CD Russia 2004 Sell This Version
GUSA001CDRP Sasha Involver(CD, Comp, Mixed, Promo, Smplr) Global Underground (3) GUSA001CDRP UK 2004 Sell This Version
GUSA001CD Sasha Involver(CDr, Comp, Mixed, Promo) Global Underground (3) GUSA001CD UK 2004 Sell This Version
828272130184 Sasha Involver(9xFile, WAV) Global Underground (3) 828272130184 2017
none Sasha Involver(CDr, Album, Comp, Mixed, Promo) Global Underground (3) none UK Unknown Sell This Version

Recommendations

Reviews Show All 24 Reviews

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J0rdz

J0rdz

May 28, 2020
referencing Involver, CD, Album, Comp, Mixed, GUSA001CD
Hands down one of my all-time favourite electronic albums, or any style of music for that matter, this is as close to perfection as Progressive music gets as far as I’m concerned. A unique approach to the tried and tested DJ mix compilation, Sasha and his talented production team (Charlie May, Barry Jamieson and co) took each track and remixed them to construct one of the most beautiful Progressive House albums of our time.

Some might classify this album as a straight-up DJ mix compilation, but it’s far more than that. The amount of time and care that has been taken with the reworking of each track is mind-blowing, and it shows! There’s not one stale part in the whole album – instead, each track compliments the other, blending together seamlessly to create an intensely interesting and highly emotive piece of art.

The scope of artists included within the album is also noteworthy – from the intro track of Grand National’s Indie-Rock number ‘Talk Amongst Yourselves‘, to UNKLE’s vocal Prog masterpieces ‘What Are You To Me?‘ and ‘In A State‘, through to Shpongle’s Psy influenced ‘Dorset Perception‘ – listening to any of these in their original forms instantly demonstrates just how much they were changed and adjusted to fit within the album.
josteih

josteih

May 24, 2020
referencing Involver, CD, Album, Comp, Mixed + CD, Comp + S/Edition, GUSA001CDSP

From the news section of globalunderground.co.uk:

Including bonus CD featuring ‘Selected Remixes 92-03’

This is a Special Edition Collectors Set of Sasha’s hugely successful Involver CD. The special edition spans two CDs, CD1 is the original album and CD2 is a retrospective of Sasha’s finest remixes from the past decade chosen by the man himself, many of which have never been released on CD until now.

The double disk/vinyl includes special packaging. Both are housed in a special foil outer sleeve with new artwork for both products.

Released
11th October UK (CD Release), 18th October Vinyl.
25th October Rest of World
16th November USA & Canada
josteih

josteih

May 24, 2020
referencing Involver, CD, Album, Comp, Mixed, GUSA001CD

From the news section of globalunderground.co.uk:

Involver blurs the lines between the DJ mix compilation and the producer / artist album. Every track is an original Sasha remix or re-creation that has been exclusively recorded as an original piece for this project.

Mix albums and remix albums are often compilations of recently amassed work but the vision for Involver was to build a project from the ground up, so Sasha looked at various records he admired and loved and wanted to re-create. Ulrich Schnauss, Felix da Housecat, Unkle and Grand National were all immediately on that list and it is testament to Sasha's reputation that they willingly handed over their music for him to re-work. With the content in place, his focus turned to reworking his tools. Involver turned out to be both the reinvention and application of a wholly new array of software and hardware. By virtue of the tools and processes he created, Sasha was able to step into the studio and try things as if has was working in a live environment, just as if he was mixing tracks in a club. Once again this is the sound of Sasha staying one step ahead of the pack.

“It's all great music, but with my own interpretation,” states Sasha. “Things like The Youngsters and Spooky are tracks that I’ve been playing for two or three years. I’m presenting them back out into the world again my own way which is exactly what DJs always talk about doing. They don’t have the tools to do that when they are in a club. The fact that I got all the separate parts to the mixes and put it all back together to create my own sound is the ultimate form of DJing.”

Involver came about through exploration and experimentation - it became the redefinition of a creative process in a way that keeps Sasha’s craft in line with the ever-changing world of technology.
josteih

josteih

May 24, 2020
referencing Involver, CD, Album, Comp, Mixed, GUSA001CD

Introduction of the Involver concept from the news section of globalunderground.co.uk:

Sasha is set to bring a fresh twist to the DJ mix CD concept with a unique album series for the acclaimed Global Underground label, promising a very welcome return to the label that released his world renowned, award winning San Francisco and Ibiza albums a few years ago.

The first CD of his new multi-album deal with the label is due out Spring 2004, and it will be no ordinary DJ album, it will blur the lines between artist album and DJ mix. Sasha will write, remix, re-produce or re-edit all the tracks on the album, making each song an exclusive contribution to this mix.

“By doing it like this, I really feel it’s a step forward, it gets my creative juices flowing and it feels like a natural continuation from my artist album,” says Sasha. “There are lots of gems promised for the album including some brand new original Sasha productions.

This also marks Sasha's first release since his groundbreaking 2002 debut artist album Airdrawndagger which has sold over 150,000 copies worldwide. “Airdrawndagger took up so much of my time, such a chunk of my life, so I’m really excited about giving my DJing some attention,” Sasha says. “I’m looking forward to showing people out there where my head is at musically.”

Sasha is currently in the studio working on the finishing stages of his mix. “I want it to be a bit more eclectic than my other CDs. And I’m not necessarily worried about this super smooth continuous club mix. I’m interested in something that jumps tempo and vibe, it’s not going to sound like a standard club mix.”

Sasha is recognised as one of the worlds’s most innovative and iconic DJs and it comes as no surprise that his first mix album in almost four years is certain to attract international attention. Music-lovers deserve something more creative from compilation albums--and that’s exactly what this new Sasha work is all about: exclusive tracks especially prepared by the man himself that you can’t get anywhere else and mixed in his inimitable style.

Sasha knew there was only one label he could work with for his new mix album which is why he signed an extensive deal with Global Underground. “I think Global Underground is a really important brand for dance music,” he says. “They’ve been really important in my career. And they continue to be an essential part of spreading DJ culture around the world. When I wanted to do a mix compilation, they were the first people I thought of.”

Andy Horsfield – director of GU commented “This is a massive project for GU, it's an amazing opportunity for us to work with Sasha again and give his fans worldwide a unique listening experience.”

The new Sasha album will be released in Spring 2004 with tour dates throughout the spring/summer in Australia, Asia, North America, the UK and Europe.
Rich.C

Rich.C

June 23, 2019
edited about 1 year ago
referencing Involver, 2x12", GUSA001VIN

You can certainly hear the influence of the xpander ep on this (especially the track baja) and the success of airdrawndagger, sasha proves he still has it and his ear for good tracks ensures in my eyes that he is still the don in the progressive house scene
TringGremlin

TringGremlin

January 16, 2019
referencing Involver, CD, Album, Comp, Mixed, GUSA001CD
Had this in the limited edition soft case gutted to have lost it.

The transition between Shpongle and Petter is 90 secs or so of absolute excellence.
crazyaejay

crazyaejay

June 22, 2018
edited over 2 years ago
referencing Involver, CD, Album, Comp, Mixed + CD, Comp + S/Edition, GUSA001CDSP
After listening to this over the past almost 15 years, one thing always bothered me about it. It's such a phenomenal mix and tracks 1 to 8 are seamless yet tracks 9 and 10 (although they're great tunes) just seem like they're tacked on at the end because Sasha happened to enjoy them so much that he felt it necessary to include them. Now, when I listen to it; I usually turn it off at the end of track 8 because it makes it a more fulfilling and complete-sounding musical experience.
spoons

spoons

November 3, 2017
referencing Involver, CD, Album, Comp, Mixed, GUSA001CD

In my opinion, the last good thing he did, DJ mix/album/compilation wise. Guy J and Henry Saiz have been doing the sort of stuff I expected Sasha to be doing around now.
Zygomorphic

Zygomorphic

September 10, 2017
edited over 3 years ago
referencing Involver, CD, Album, Comp, Mixed, GUSA001CD
At this point, the 21st century has defined well-over half of Sasha's career, and is still best exemplified by this first Involver, one of his earliest releases in this era. Considering that the first few years of the 2000's were a huge slump for house and trance, Involver solidified itself as a shining beacon in the midst of mediocrity, albeit shy of perfection.

The implementation of a 'remix album' is particularly apt for Sasha, who holds roots deepest in the DJ/mixing family rather than in production - not to say that the latter is lacking, as shown here. Instead, it helps Sasha to really turn on the gears, because he has full control over the soundscape and its progression. Case in point: 'Dorset Perception' in its original incarnation, while nothing short of a spectacular track, makes absolutely no sense in this mix. Before I had first heard Involver, I recall scanning the tracklist and being concerned with this track's addition - at that time unaware that this is, in fact, a remix album. Sasha, with his DJ ears, is able to make out and create a remix that surprisingly works in the scope of its surrounding tracks. This also applies to the variety of vocal tracks from miscellaneous genres found in the mix. In most cases, an abundance of vocal tracks remixed independently, then randomly stitched together, would sound overbearing and not really what we typically come to Sasha and other similar DJ's for. It can teeter on pop-py (see Invol<3r), but Sasha's careful curation and remixing solidly avoids that, and the vocals remain unobstrusive and blend with the instruments.

Some clever mixing also occurs, such as in the mash-up/medley of 'These Days' and 'What Are You To Me?' or the sudden transitional drops from 'Smile' into 'Belong' and, subsequently, into 'In A State'.

The strongest portion of this release is in the triple threat of 'Belong', 'In A State' and 'Burma', which most clearly speak to one another at a mixing scope, transitioning easily from one to the next. As it so happens, they are also the best individual listens. His 'Belong' remix is my absolute favorite track from Sasha, and while I'm about to gush over it, please be aware that I think you should also listen to the full, single version, which runs at a blissful 12 minute duration - and mind you, with a proper soundsystem, because the deep, droning bass is incredible. That still applies for the track in this Involver-album context.

The juxtaposition of that deep, droning bass with the light and ethereal vocals is essentially what makes 'Belong' so wonderful. I wouldn't mind if the same riff repeated for the full duration, but the track is essentially split into 3 movements (or 4, if you were to listen to the single version), and each one takes its time introducing and exploring little details and timbres. It sort of personifies Sasha's sound at his best: wistful and longing, but very heartfelt and moving in both a literal and figurative sense. Unsurprisingly, the following two tracks follow suite, resulting in Sasha's best Involver/post-90's release.

Some criticisms remain. 'Smile' is probably the weakest track in the mix. While not nearly a bad track, it simply overstays its welcome and begins to become mind-numbing. Near the tail-end of the album, Sasha does what he almost always does; he performs an abrupt switch-up of genre and mood, which is heard transitioning from 'Burma' into 'Watching Cars Go By'. Is it successful? To this day, I'm still not sure. In actuality, I think this is one of his more successful executions of this trope in his mixes; I'm not so turned-off by it as I am in his other mixes, e.g. GU Ibiza or Northern Exposure. Ultimately, because it happens so close to the end rather than mid-way through, and these final two tracks are actually quite enjoyable, I don't mind - but it is nevertheless a funny feeling moving out of the high of 'Burma' into the street corner of the subsequent track.

In short, give this album a listen - it deserves it.

4.1/5 Stars
oakantheath1

oakantheath1

June 7, 2017
referencing Involver, 2x12", GUSA001VIN
Still the Best in the involver series so far. Sasha and his production team at their absolute best