Born Alexander Coe, Sasha (below) has earned a glowing reputation as a spinner and mixologist via a series of influential collaborations with John Digweed; the impressive Northern Exposure series went a long way toward defining the template of late-'90s dance music. But like many a superstar DJ before him, this native of Northern Wales aches to show that his skills go beyond mere turntable mastery. On Involver, just issued by the Global Underground imprint, he employs a range of techniques -- remixing, rewriting, re-editing and so on -- in an effort to put his personal stamp on tracks that originated with others, and for the most part, he succeeds. He loves to layer trancey drones, washes and melodic swatches over subtly insistent rhythms, and by keeping these stylistic touches consistent, he's able to make disparate offerings from the likes of Shpongle ("Dorset Perception"), UNKLE ("What Are You to Me?") and Spooky ("Belong") seem as if they're cut from the same cloth. The disc builds momentum as it goes along, and its final cuts, Felix Da Housecat's riffy, deadpan "Watching Cars Go By" and Ulrich Schnauss's big-beat "On My Own" bring the proceedings to an appropriately sweaty conclusion. Consider Sasha's glowing reputation enhanced.
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