Involver 2 is, as you might guess, a sequel to Sasha‘s mega hit Involver album.
The last Sasha album we reviewed, Airdrawndagger, was an artist album, rather than a DJ mix. It got a lukewarm reception with some, despite being an interesting artist album. Involver 2, though, is a return trip to a world of carefully blended tracks that stretch the idea of a DJ mix.
On Involver 2, Sasha thinks well beyond the idea of mixing tracks together – towards crafting a music mix with an arch. Sasha draws on the artist chops he honed with Airdrawndagger, while also skillfully blending a variety of tracks by artists ranging from Ladytron to Thom York.
Sasha kicks things off nicely, blending Badger’s environmental/ambient track Intro smoothly into Telefon Tel Aviv’s You Are The Worst Thing In The World. While You Are The Worst Thing is a vocal track, Sasha stretches out the instrumental beginning, creating an long slow build to the first peak of the mix.
Next up is a trio of trance tracks, Flesh, Eclipse and Lowlife. This section is one of the highlights of the album, combining the three tracks together in a creamy hypnotic blend. Sasha then slows things down for a breather with Charlie May’s Midnight, but cranks things right back up with Apparat’s wonderfully Arcadia. Listen to the bassline on Arcadia closely and enjoy the rhythmic weirdness.
The next section of the album focuses on vocal tracks. Sasha makes some interesting choices, throwing together the likes of M83, Ladytron and Thom Yorke. Yorke’s track is the standout of this section, with its combination of ambient vocals and driving rhythms.
Sasha’s track 3 Little Piggies takes things back to Airdrawndagger territory. It’s a trance track that recalls the 80’s synth music of groups like Tangerine Dream – just with more driving beats.
The last track on Involver 2, Engineer’s Sometimes I Realise, is solid track – but doesn’t cap off the album as well as I would have liked. As a result, the album feels like it peaks early and has an overly extended dénouement.
On Involver 2, Sasha offers up a polished mix and takes fans back to proven territory. While I would really like to hear more of Sasha’s artist tracks, Involver 2 delivers the goods for fans of the original Involver.
Note to Sasha: Global Underground sends out their review disks with the spoken phrase “Global Underground Promotional Copy” mixed randomly and loudly over your mixes. It really detracts from the blending of tracks and the shape of the release. This may be a way of fighting piracy, but it’s like protecting a painting by rubber-stamping your name all over it.
- Intro Badger
- You Are The Worst Thing In The World – Telefon Tel Aviv
- Flesh Rone
- Eclipse – Sasha vs Ray LaMontagne
- Lowlife – Sasha vs Adam Parker
- Midnight – Charlie May
- Arcadia Apparat
- That You Might – Home Video
- Destroy Everything You Touch Ladytron
- Couleurs – M83
- The Eraser – Thom Yorke
- 3 Little Piggys Sasha
- Sometimes I Realise – Engineers