By: Andrew Bruss
Sasha and Digweed :: 04.02.08 :: The Estate :: Boston, MA
In the world of techno, it's all about the climax, and in that field, Sasha and Digweed are king. They've been collaborating since the rise of the rave scene, and between now and then they've developed a reputation as two of the most innovative DJs to get the party started, not with vinyl, but with sample-sequencing software. After a critically acclaimed world tour in 2002, it seemed as though neither of them was interested in keeping the ball rolling so they went their separate ways. However, the two gradually started playing one-off festival dates together, and eventually kicked off a North American tour that's giving fans what they've been longing for. When they came back through Boston for the first time in a half-decade, they performed in front of a crowd ready to pick up where the duo had left off.
The vibe in the room felt like Sasha and Digweed were the monarchs of the house scene, ready to reclaim their crown. Their formula for success was simple in nature, but incredibly intricate by any musical or technological criteria. Digweed started by developing a heavy electronic drum beat that Sasha layered with synthed-out samples he'd been tweaking. After they'd successfully developed a groove, they began working it towards a gradual build. Things then broke down during a powerful climax in a way that allowed them to start things from the top.
In the middle of the show, they each took a turn doing their own thing while their counterpart took a breather. It was during this chunk of the set that their stylistic individualities truly shone. Both guys get you off but Digweed tends to offer instant gratification, working with shorter but more frequent builds that provided plenty of climax, whereas Sasha's methods are slow and heat up gradually. Before Sasha brings you to climax, he has you feeling like you can't take it any more. But, when he gets you off, you understand how necessary that extra build was.
Sasha and Digweed :: 04.02 :: Boston
When they both joined each other on stage again, their similarities became even more obvious than their differences. Both DJs utilized similar, synthesized drumbeats and they both seemed to sample from the same catalog of '90s Euro pop. When they took turns pulling solo duty, the beats sounded very similar to when they were collaborating, but with a lot less going on.
Both Sasha and Digweed sounded better when they were on stage with their other half. They each did their own thing, and did it well, but when Sasha came back to the stage after Digweed's mini-set, it was clear what was missing. As talented as they both are, the power of their collaboration was responsible for the better moments of the night. In fact, their performance in Boston was a perfect example of why two minds are better than one.
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