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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My life definer for the last 10 years, 11 Mar. 2006
I told myself at the outset of writing this review; 'Gaz, don't go all gushy and nostalgic on this one, that approach has been done time after time.'
But I just can't help it.

When these mixes first appeared back in the August of '96, a lot was written about the musicality and approach from the mighty Lord Sasha and Sir John Digweed. Negative, I hasten to add.
Up until this point, both of them had been steadily building flourishing careers from pioneering Progressive House (and the fact that they share the same musical structures in their mixing, they really are quite separate from each other. John being the darker of the two.) But the Northern Exposure approach got quite a few people jittery with regards to where Sasha and Diggers were heading musically.
'It's too slow' said one, 'What's happened to Sasha and Digweed? Said another.
All I know is, from the day I bought it (28-8-96. Yes, I remember the date!) to right now. It has basically defined my life. That may sound a bit wet but, really, I don't care.
From the opening of mix 1, to the closing of mix 2, (I have to say, I am referring to both mixes, and not just 'North', which is offered here.) You honestly are sent on a journey. Something which D.Js time after time have strived to achieve since when releasing mix albums, but have NEVER quite succeded.
It took years for many into this type of music and these D.Js to fully appreciate what Sasha and Diggers were trying to do with this album. Create something timeless within these genres. I think both of them knew exactly what they were doing with these mixes and were fully expectant and prepared for the criticism they received.

It's now without a shadow of a doubt safe to say that all the sceptisism aimed at these mixes has been well and truly blown out of the water.
Absolutely beautiful is the best adjective for North
Pushing boundaries is the best adjective for South.
Setting benchmarks is the best adjecthve for both.

Lets be honest here, from the opening from Lord David Attenborough to the closing from Underworld it's like listening to beauty. Strong, I know. But true. The famale vocal on Fuzzy Logic's Obsession really hasn't been bettered to this day, and the mix into Orbits Water from a Vine Leaf is just lovely. Typical Sasha.(Sasha taking charge of North, Digweed taking charge of South.) I could go on and on about the mixing quality and track selection throughout but you will be reading this for a very long time. But take my generalisation as gospel.
So, the synopsis. North, (Sasha) is more visual than any other mix I have ever heard. It really does make you think. Sheer beauty. (there's that word again!) Lush landscapes combined with 4/4s and breaks to create a lovely piece of music. And it's got Sasha written all over it.

South (Digweed) is slightly deeper. A touch more menacing, but never losing sight of Sasha's mix, and in perfect keeping with the John Digweed we all know and love. The ending starting from Banco De Gaia's Heliopolis through to Underworld's Dark and Long really is the best ending to any mix. Anywhere. Together, these mixes produce House Music Magic.
To sum up, simple. If you are into Progressive House then this is the pinnacle. Some people call it trance. It isn't.

So that's it. I know I haven't exactly reviewed the mixes in the traditional sense, but I feel that those who visit these pages already know...
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mix to wax lyrical about!!, 22 Aug. 2002
By 
Dan Carver (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Northern Exposure: Mixed By Sasha & John Digweed (UK 2 Disc Edition) (Audio CD)
The title "Northern Exposure" perfectly encapsulates the voyage that this mix takes you on. From the opening sample of David Attenborough on "Satellite Serenade" you are transported to a beautiful, icy wilderness. The extremely rare opening record sets the mood for the rest of the mix, with its meandering introduction and crisp strings and it is then perfectly complemented by the (seamless) mix into "Cascade" by Future Sound of London".
And so it goes on. Each evocative record is complemented by the next and the set weaves and deviates, breaks and builds as a result of Sasha & John Digweed's thoughtful, effortless mixing.
The beauty of this compilation is that it stands alone from the other anthem upon anthem sets that flood the market. Sasha and Digweed have carefully selected lesser known progressive classics from as early as 1992 from thoroughbred stables such as "Guerilla" and "Fluid" and blended them to create a timeless classic.
The records that particularly stand out are "Obsession" by Fuzzy Logic, "Phoenix" by Evolution, "Liquid Cool" by Appollo 440 "Heliopolis" by Banco De Gaia and "These Waves" by Young American Primitive. However, all of the records featured, slot neatly into the theme of the mix, bar "Dark & Long" by Underworld. Although it's a fantastic tune, it doesn't sit well with the rest the of the mix and the compilation could have ended on the crescendo of "East". However, this is a minor observation and overall this compilation is without doubt the most polished, most evocative and most original mix that I have ever bought. It has to be heard to be believed and should be in the collection of anyone who appreciates early progressive house and breaks.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timeless Classic. THE best dance mix record ever., 14 Aug. 2007
By 
This review is from: Northern Exposure: Mixed By Sasha & John Digweed (UK 2 Disc Edition) (Audio CD)
Just managed to get hold of a copy of this, (my original got stolen along with another 300+ CDs (ouch) about 5 years ago and I've never been willing to pay silly money to replace it until now.

A lot of dance music becomes dated and cheesy relatively quickly. I listen to a lot of different styles of music from Cannibal Corpse to Force and Styles and anything in between. I think this has one thing lacking from a lot of dance music. Class. It just oozes subtlety and is complex and layered enough to be able actively sit and listen to (a feat which i find few dance records ever manage). Seamlessly mixed, it takes you on a journey through many different states of mind from blissfully chilled to big grinningly euphoric. Sit down and chill or get up and dance. My favourite dance album and i expect one of the only ones which will remain in regular rotation on my playlist forever.
My favourite dance record of all time.
Great Stuff
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime, to say the least, 29 April 2008
By 
Picard (USS Enterprise) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Northern Exposure: Mixed By Sasha & John Digweed (UK 2 Disc Edition) (Audio CD)
Is their any way to add more to what the other 27 reviewers have already stated? 'Northern Exposure' was, looking back, most likely the first taste of dance music that tapped into human emotions. To even suggest this album is one in which would suit an average club situation is utterly degrading, for this is the only DJ mixed album to date which can be enjoyed for dream-like pleasure. Believe me, it would take a special club to be able to pull these mixes of in euphoric-enough style...

Many of you are probably dazed as to how this album even sounds, judged by the varied descriptions from fellow Amazon reviewers. It's fair to say it has no true genre. This was mixed at the end of an era for music; 1996. Commercialism came in to play by the end of the 90's due to the circle-movement of the dance genre, and so such beautiful pieces of work contained on this album are not just impossible to find in record shops today. They were hard to find originally! And so such albums were the DJ would search high and low for the appropriate song are no longer existence.

Perhaps this is what's so clever deep down. Sasha and Digger's picked tracks that weren't just white labels in '96. They range from 1990 up until then, which shows you how broad the two young men were thinking. Ranging from subliminal accapella's, to cool break-beats, to the eventual full 4 x 4 beats, this album contains 2 mixes that, although contrast by energy, are together in their seamless mixing.

Sasha starts this experience in a totally unique fashion, beginning with the 10 minute 'Satellite Serenade'; a composition of blissful notes and synth chords accompanied with, the Lord of Nature himself, David Attenbourgh giving a commentary. The first time I listened to it I found it pretty funny, but you soon learn it's all part of this wonderful experience.

Chugging along for many more long and wonderful tracks, his Sasha's mix continues in it's break-beat and dream like vein, with rhyth breaks seemingly all placed in their natural positions. 'Rain Cry' peaks this moment with its beautiful vocals and slow tribal sound that gives visions of places far away, somewhere beautiful.

By the time 'Ultraviolet' comes into light (excuse the pun, if you noticed it...) were now well into the trance beat-pattern which accompanies this phenomenal song. Beautiful female vocals and an utterly emotional rhythm makes this a high point of the album, and leads into other hair-raising sounds we may have forgotten, if we only heard them for brief times, in the nineties. 'Obsession' follows with its terrific synthier sound, followed by 'Water from a vine Leaf', which sounded quite ahead of it's time, considering trance wasn't in full force for another year at least.

Completing this mix are the wonderful 'Liquid Cool' and 'Last Train To Lhasa', which are respectively, both orchestral and percussion based pieces of work, rounding up this CD in a much psychedelic style.

Digger's, in his typical fashion, produces a darker piece of work that hold more maturity than that of the first disc. It's fair to say it falls short of that euphoric feeling the first holds, but Nether the less, it's still a beautiful piece of work that entails some more complete tracks that the first doesn't have... 'Wave Dub' starts the journey in quicker fashion than Sasha's opening track, with a solitary beat pattern being housed around an open and cool synth solo.

It is indeed a big grower - more listening is required to take in what is happening as, unlike the first disc, this is faster mix and more suitable for dancing. Perhaps this change in pace is off-putting for those that aren't open minded, but if you broaden your horizons, you'll hear a beautiful trance CD that, to me, is one of Digger's best pieces of work.

'Phonenix', 'Plan 94', and 'I can't stop' all fill the peak time of this mix perfectly with driving rhythms from so many different styles of percussion and instrumentation. It's fair to say, apart from 'Renaissance', that this is Digger's brightest work! And although I'm a fan of his normal material, I wish he'd mix material more like this. 'Plan 94' is the highlight of the CD; a now rare vinyl that is one of the classics of a golden era were trance was an experimental form of music, and sound. But perhaps the most recognisable song to any dance fan out there is the final track, 'Dark and Long' by Underworld, which is a real progressive builder. The soft vocals and atmospheric sounds set the tone of a chugging journey coming to an end in quite appropriate fashion.

So while the North Disc is a truly special day-dream experience that will never be battered, the South Disc will get you up on your feet and make you start skanking around the house to Digweeds amazing atmospheric sounds and beats. As a DJ myself, it's hard to listen to such an album and not be jealous of what these guys have achieved. But what amazes me even more is how such albums can be forgotten when people rank 'The Best Album Ever'. If people down-grade such genre's by suggesting it's a compilation and therefore not created by the DJ himself, then who managed to choose those tracks? Without albums like this, "all" the tracks on this album (expect for Dark and Long) would never have been known about. Never. So who's to thank for that? Certainly not the original artist.

The only negative I have with this album is that the card-Digi Pack doesn't stand well to age. Again, just like Renaissance (though that was even fancier!) is the folds are prone to damage, as are the corners. Crazily as it sounds, I actually bought another copy of the album off ebay as I couldn't stand looking at the battered packaging! Set me back 30 quid, but believe me, this is one album in you'll buy in your lifetime that's actually worth it for that price.

I think i've said enough. I actually set out to make this a short review... but I should have known better, just look at my one for Renaissance! I'm going to drag myself away from the keyboard now and leave you with some important words. This is, undeniably, the best mix-album ever created. You may pay alot of money for it, but just remember... you'll never have to pay it again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Northern Exposure Vol 1, 27 Oct. 2004
This review is from: Northern Exposure: Mixed By Sasha & John Digweed (UK 2 Disc Edition) (Audio CD)
what can you say about this album. The daddy of all mixes, from when you first put on the south cd on you cant help but wonder where one track finishes and the other begins. You are truely lost with tracks such as Castle Trancelott "the gloom", Evolution - Pheonix, X-Trax(plan 94) the voyage, and most of all Underworlds best piece "Dark and Long". Now the North cd is a different ball game altogether, This cd is a more chilled, relaxing mix, with tracks such as These waves - Young American Primitive, Rain Cry - God Within and Kite Ultraviolet. This Album will be very hard to beat, The only album that nearly comes close would be, Renaissance the Mix collection, By Sasha and John Digweed, and Northern Exposure Expeditions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, 13 Aug. 2003
At a time when Mix CDs were flooding the market claiming to be "Digitally Mixed by...," Sasha and John Digweed come along, grab the industry by the scruff of the neck and say "Look people, if you want to use computers to mix music, well here is how you do it..."
Beautifully arranged, this album was made with the knowledge that it's listeners' wiil probably be sat at home or in the car rather than pretending to be in a club. With sublime mood swings throughout disc one and subtle progressive sound construction on disc two, this cd tells the greatest story ever told.
If you like to think about what you spend money to listen to, then try this If you like banging hard house anthems, educate yourself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Northern Exposure 4 x 12", 26 April 2004
By A Customer
WOW. This is without doubt the finest peice of vinyl I have ever heard. To fans this will need no introduction but otherwise you might wonder whythis is worth so much. It is simply heaven to listen to.
If you have the Cd you can just put it on, sit back, and chill to thefirst cd. Thats not to say its another "chill out" cd but it is sublime,the best thing at 6 o'clock Sunday morning. The second is more clubby butflows perfectly from the first.
The vinyl though, well. It has most of the best tunes off the cd and isworth a listen in it's own right. Put it on and listen to the flow ofeach side of vinyl. Some of the rarest tunes ever on this vinyl pack,making it worth every penny. Every tune from Raincry to I'm Free, TheGloom to Dark & Long, Sound System and Wave Dub (porbably the rarest, mostexpensive track on the pack at £200 if you can find it), Last train toLhasa (epic) and Liquid Cool (my favourite, listen closely you'll loveit). With this vinyl / cd you dont need drugs to trip...
If you are lucky enough to have this then you are truly lucky. If not,scrimp, save, and sell your granny because you NEED this...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 19/19, 6 Jun. 2005
if someone would ask me: you go to an inhabited island and you can have and listen to only one CD, this would be it
look at all the comments here, you see all of them are 5star ratings, with excellent comments, not by chance all 19 as of 2005
best CD of ever in electronica for 10 years
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic, 8 May 2003
Well, where do I start? Before I was introduced to dance/trance by Northern Exposure all I listened to was rock and "indie", you know, albums like The Stone Roses, Second Coming, Definately Maybe, Revolver, Led Zeppelin II, London Calling, Never Mind The Bollocks... I could go on. I listened to it, I didn't expect much to be honest. Eighty minutes later I couldn't believe it. I almost lost eighty minutes of my life! It just flows so seemlessly. JD's mixing is amazing. I've heard a fair amount of other dance/trance stuff since, by no means all, but a bit. Only Sasha who worked with JD on this CD comes close. Simply put, they've taken eleven stunning tracks, and mixed them so well you don't know it's been mixed, it is just an eighty minutes piece of music. It really does take you away. I can't tell you how good it is!!! I honestly rate it as the best CD ever now. Well, along with The Stone Roses. You can't really listen to just one track of NE. YOu need the whole atmosphere, but it is truly amazing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still stunning, 17 April 2010
This review is from: Northern Exposure: Mixed By Sasha & John Digweed (UK 2 Disc Edition) (Audio CD)
I bought this when it first came out and loved it. I've listened to it on and off ever since and it's never lost its magic. But recently we were driving through the Alps and I put North on, and listening to that fantastic mix while looking at the Alps was so beautiful I almost cried. One of the best CDs I've ever purchased, and from now till the day I die I will always remember driving through the mountains for the first time to the sounds of Northern Exposure. Can't recommend it highly enough.
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