Sasha was born Alexander Coe in Wales in September 1969. He first became aware of the house music scene in the late 1980s during visits to the legendary Hacienda club in Manchester. He became hooked immediately – “The smoke machine, the strobe lights, everyone trance dancing, wearing bandanas and smiley T-shirts," he recalls. "It definitely had a fuck-you attitude compared to the rest of pop music.” He moved to Manchester to become more involved in the scene just as house music exploded into the nations consciousness, and began to DJ in a local club under the name of Sasha. His first big break came when he was offered a residency at Shelly’s in Stoke in 1991, and his unique style of playing acapellas over instrumental Italian piano house tracks won him many fans and plaudits.
Later that year, he became the first DJ to feature on the cover of Mixmag. His first production was under the name BM:Ex – “Appolonia” on VC Recordings, an epic track with several remixes that would begin to define the Sasha style – long, fluid, hypnotic tracks, with gated vocals and synths swirling in and out of the mix. His Qatmix also came with a healthy dose of piano to keep the italo-house heads happy. Sasha was invited to take a residency at Renaissance in 1993 where he went on to meet John Digweed. The pair produced the first ever DJ mix CD – “Renaissance – The Mix Collection”, a 3 CD epic that contained many of the big tracks they were spinning at the time as well as some of their own productions and remixes.
The pair went on to create the Northern Exposure brand – a club night that they would go on to take on several tours around the country, and also a set of mix CDs that were made using production software rather than decks – a trend that caught on quickly. In 1994 Sasha released two singles on Deconstruction Records – ”Magic” and ”High Ground”. These tracks showcased his progressive house sound – long intros and outros, pianos, 303s, and emotional vocals. Sasha formed a friendship with producer BT in 1995 that led to him remixing BT’s seminal ”Embracing The Sunshine” and the two co-producing the B-Side of Sasha’s biggest hit to date – the epic ”Be As One”. In the same year they also worked together on perhaps one of the greatest remixes ever– the majestic Atraxion Future Mix of Seal’s ”I’m Alive”. This mix contains everything in its 13 or so minutes – massive builds, huge drops, pianos, guitars and a singalong chorus. It’s a big favourite here at Second Hand Vinyl. Sasha’s production work took a less commercial slant between 1996 and 1998, until in 1999 he release the four-track ”Xpander EP”, the title track of which contained hugely uplifting and melodic synth parts that brought him a whole new set of fans. In 2000 he teamed up with Underworld supremo Darren Emerson to record ”Scorchio”, another uplifting synth track that charted in the UK. Sasha is still producing and DJing today, and is still as popular as ever.
Father Bob Articles
Father Bob Books