6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Invol2ver (Limited Edition) (Audio CD)
I've been waiting for this release with anticipation, wondering what Sasha could possibly follow Involver with, which direction the music would flow and if the atmospherics would still be prevalent throughout. There was never any doubt in my mind that however Sasha decided to orchestrate it, there would be a journey here worth revisiting.
The opener on CD1 rumbles in with Badger clocking in at just under two minutes providing the intro to Telefon Tel Aviv's 'You Are The Worst Thing In The World' (Invol2ver Remix), a gorgeous slice of laid back electronica insterspersed with breathy vocals which sets the pace of the album perfectly before seamlessly flowing into Rone's 'Flesh - another chilled soundscape that drifts smoothly forward with a soft chugging bassline. The percussion begins to build nicely on next track 'Eclipse' where Sasha and Ray LaMontage tweak twisted minimal vocals against a more familiar progressive build up with borderline tribal elements. Next up is Sasha and Adam Parker's 'Lowlife', a steady killer with full on hypnotic, gripping drive which you both expect and want to last for about 9 minutes. Not this version; after almost 4 minutes, he craftily drops Adam Parker's vocal sample mix of Charlie May's 'Midnight' in, bringing the tempo right back down before sneaking back up and slamming in Apparat 'Arcadia' (Who Killed Sparky? indeed).
Home Video continue the pace with 'That You Might' - deep, moody with some great bleeps flitting off around the treated vocals that creep in and out throughout.
Next up, Ladytron's 'Destroy Everything You Touch' gets a massive reworking by Sasha which flies off into mindbending territory with heavily treated vocal samples being squeezed to excess over a crunching bassline. It's one of those you will either love or despise. M83's 'Couleurs' brings the mix back in with some lush string laden keyboards and heavy drum roll samples which lead perfectly into Sashas own remix of Thom Yorke's 'The Eraser' which works beautifully here.
Sasha then gives us one of his own quirky little numbers in the shape of '3 Little Piggys' which rolls steadily away on a bassline occasionally washed over by a repetitive keyboard hitch before flowing into the closing number - Engineers' 'Sometimes I Realise'. This is probably the closest the album gets to having a vocal track on it, which in itself is a catchy number yet not something I personally would probably buy as an individual track on it's own merit (sorry Engineers).
CD2 (if you're lucky enough to get a limited edition copy with this included) is very different to CD1. At the moment, on second listen, I'm prefering this. It's shorter (only six tracks) and is a more downtempo affair. It contains three tracks from CD1 (albeit it different versions) and three other tracks. If you can find the double pack CD edition, PLEASE purchase this, otherwise you will miss out on something very special indeed.
Thom York's 'The Eraser' (Sasha Coma Mix) starts it off with a nice kick drum over a sparse background with a nice reworking on the vocals. The keyboads are minimal but used to good effect which flow perfectly into Girls In Hawaii's dubby 'Flavor' (Sashas Invol2ver Mix). Which brings us to my absolute favourite track on the entire double CD release. Lostep's 'Burma' (Sasha's Invol2ver Dub Mix). This is 9 minutes and 26 seconds of sheer bliss. There's no rushing to get anywhere with this piece. To say this is chilled heaven would be an understatement. Mainly instrumental with heavily reverbed voice and keyboards awash with echo, it sweeps along in a dreamlike state with an occasional upfront keyboard blowing deep hissing stabs that punctuate the motion. It really doesn't get much better than this.
Home Video's 'Gas Tank' (Sashas Invol2ver Mix) is next, which leans heavily towards the Radiohead/Thom Yorke domain and works well with yearning vocals against mechanical percussion, ending with distorted voices before taking us into an extended version of Charlie May's 'Midnight'. More layered, swirling keyboards which biuld up into an atmospheric crescendo before leading into the final track - Sasha Vs RayLaMontage's 'Eclipse' (CM Dub Mix).The heavy use of bass complements a steady beat and dubbed up noise which at just under 10 minutes long, gives the CD a perfect ending.
All in all, for me, Invol2ver works very well as a Sasha release and to be fair, I've only listened to it twice as of yet.
For those of you that like Involver, I don't think you will be disappointed in this release. For many fans of Sasha's earlier workings that veer to the more 'progressive' side, give this a listen and don't dismiss it without hearing it first.
In a recent interview Sasha himself spoke about the Invol2ver album and about him being tagged as a 'progressive' DJ. This is what he had to say:
"...It's not been about sticking to a certain genre...I mean, it's become a genre and I think a lot of people involved in that progressive genre get upset when I start to throw in breakbeats and guitars and this and that....I've never really been a 'purist', I'm not a purist. Having said all that, it's actually quite a pure record, an electronic record with 808's, 909's and it's a very pure electronic sounding record, so I think it might appease some of those people that were upset about all the guitars on the last record [laughs].."
Overall, this CD took me to places that were sometimes familiar, and other places not too familiar but more importantly, yes, places I shall revisit again and again. It's a winner!.