This album by DJ Sasha is a bit of a surprise. Sasha has already made a name for himself with his dance cuts and remixes, so you might expect airdrawndagger to be full of high BPM dance and trance cuts. Instead, Sasha delivers a wide-ranging set of electronica cuts that will please all types of electronic music fans.
The album starts with “drempels”, which is an echo-drenched chill-out cut. Much of the album features deeply reverbed sounds, which give an ambient feel to several of the cuts. These muted sounds are also used as background on some of the more upbeat cuts. This ties the cuts together into a coherent whole, and also gives the cuts a mellower feel.
“Magnetic North” is a good example of this. It starts with a chillout feel, and then builds by adding drum machine and sequenced bass. It doesn’t sound like a dance remix, like so many electronica cuts now do. Instead, it has a little of an experimental feel.
“Cloud Cuckoo” sounds like something out of early 70’s Tangerine Dream. It starts with strange electronic wails, and then builds this with drum loops and electric guitar. The guitar is interesting because it sounds like something Fripp might have done in his Frippertronics work.
The first cut that sounds like a true dance cut is “Fundamental”. It’s got heavy beats and a kick that carries through most of the song. It sounds a little bit trance, but also a little like some of the big beat work of the Propellerheads. The next two cuts carry on in a more upbeat tempo, creating a nice middle section to the album that features a trippy dance vibe.
There’s a short cool down with “Requiem”, and then it’s back to uptempo numbers. The last two cuts are aimed for the dance floor. Both tunes are full of interesting sounds, but lack standout melodies.
Throughout airdrawndagger, Sasha aims to be pop electronica, rather than straight-ahead dance electronica. The result is an album full of interesting sounds and beats, with cuts that work together to take you on an electronic trip.