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by Don Crispy
Alexander Coe aka Sasha makes up one half of DJ team Sasha and Digweed

Sasha

The prog-house legend spins at Womb while Peaches works her magic at Vanity

A prince of progressive house,
new album in hand, drops in to headline Womb next Friday. Tonight, meanwhile, sees an electro-punk goddess make her Japan debut with a cameo DJ set at La Fabrique.

As one half of the Sasha and Digweed DJ/production team, Sasha (b. Alexander Coe) came to be synonymous with the progressive house movement of the ’90s. Through their Northern Exposure mix compilation series, and their packed residency at New York’s Twilo in the late ’90s, the pair brought the sweeping, symphonic, and psychedelic elements of trance to house music, in the process helping to forge the progressive house sound.

But Sasha’s story goes back even further—like many DJs, to the days of the legendary Hacienda in Manchester, where he had moved in the late ’80s. Transformed by the acid house movement, Sasha launched his DJ career, soon establishing a residency at the influential Renaissance parties of the early ’90s.

By 2001, Sasha and Digweed’s Twilo residency had become so successful, with lines around 27th street, that the pair embarked on an extensive large venue tour, dubbed Delta Heavy. The first shows to put DJs on an equal footing with rock and pop acts, the tour remains the high-water mark of dance music in America.

Sasha has also proven a huge draw in Japan, performing before 10,000-plus at the 2002 Electraglide party. For his upcoming Womb appearance he commands the highest ticket price for a DJ this year—even higher than Junior Vasquez—although Fatboy Slim should give him a run for his money next month.

While Sasha’s Electraglide set coincided with the release of his last artist album, Airdrawndagger , the current appearance for Womb’s Womb presents W event sees him just having released a new DJ mix compilation, Involver, for BMG.

Airdrawndagger was a typically expansive set of prog-house, but for the new disc, Sasha worked with tracks from varying stylists including Felix Da Housecat, DJ Spooky and the Chemical Brothers. Not a mix album in the pure sense of the word, Sasha remixed the tracks with his own material, blending it all together with vocal tracks, guitars and samples.

In an interview about the album with DJ Times, Sasha said his future lies in production. “I want to use this project as a calling card for production work, because in another ten years, I can’t see myself on tour nine months out of the year...”

Tonight, meanwhile, sees another special edition of Tokyo’s leading electroclash party, Vanity. Launched last year by Canadian Paul James, the event has been going from strength to strength, with hundreds turned away from a recent installment featuring the Nag Nag Nag crew from London.

James’s own electroclash band, Stockholm Filmgroup, recently returned from a tour of China, which he says is currently in take-off mode, just in time to begin preparations to host electro-punk goddess Peaches for a special installment of Vanity.

A celebrity DJ, rapper, producer, actress and pop icon, Peaches debuted with Teaches of Peaches in 2000, and was then catapulted from cult icon to global fame with the success of her work on Felix Da Housecat’s 2002 opus, Kittenz and Thee Glitz. More recently, she appeared in John Malkovich’s short film, Hideous Man, alongside Iggy Pop, and she has also taken her act on the road with The Strokes and The White Stripes.

Peaches’ second album, Fatherfucker, featuring new remixes by Tiga and a duet with Iggy Pop, seems to have guaranteed her position as rebel queen of the dance floor.

Womb presents W@Womb, Aug 13, 10pm, ¥8,000 (¥7,000 until midnight).
Tel: 03-5459-3939. Vanity@La Fabrique, Aug 6, 11pm, ¥3,000. Tel: 03-5428-5100.

Credit: Womb