Well known the world over for his DJing and remix artistry, Sasha performs exclusively with Ableton Live--a move that has cemented the idea of DJing, remixing and "editing on the fly" with Live for many of the world's leading house, breaks and trance DJs. Recently, John Digweed, Rennie Pilgrem, Junkie XL, Armin Van Buuren and many others have caught the bug and begun using Live for Internet broadcasts, mix CDs, live performances and studio sessions.
Speaking to Remix Magazine: in 2004, Sasha discussed the creation of his new mix CD and his use of Live both onstage and in the studio. "It's the first time I've found a piece of software I feel I can work on, and it flows instinctively," Sasha said. "The biggest thing about this album (Involver) for me is discovering an interface that allows me to get stuck in."
Explaining the benefits of using one interface for both studio and stage, Sasha says, "It basically means that every time you play a record, you're going to be editing it on the fly. When you want the bassline to drop, it drops. Realizing I could DJ with this and what I could actually do to records, it was the most mind-blowing thing I've ever discovered as a DJ. It's a new way of looking at playing music to people. It changes everything as far as I'm concerned. I'm totally seeing the way forward."
Taking it further, Sasha recently completed work on a custom Ableton Live controller, which he's dubbed "the Maven," for controlling Live during his sets. In late 2004, he released Involver, a mix CD full of original remixes sequenced entirely in Ableton Live. Sasha's tour and subsequent monthly New York and LA residencies, called Fundacion, were also mixed from his new wheels of steel--Ableton Live running on an iMac G5 and the Maven controller.
"If I'm going to start DJing with this piece of software, as well as use it in the studio, suddenly, everything is tied together, and I'm always going to be looking at the same piece of software and in the same head space, doing the same thing, whether it be DJing or working in the studio, and that's what excites me the most. I found something that's a bridge between the two [sides] of my careers."
"Even though DJs are playing other people's records, it's the way you play it, the records you choose, the way you drop records, the way you program it, and your style. That's what it's about. This piece of software is allowing me to evolve that whole thing, push it forward into directions that I never thought would be possible."
Ableton would like to thank Remix Magazine: for permission to reprint the Sasha interview sections.