Live Review: Sasha – The Button Factory, Dublin 5.8.14

Sandwiched between 2 of the biggest draws on the Irish festival circuit (see Longitude and Electric Picnic) and arriving on what traditionally spells the summer’s biggest weekend exodus, the luring of punters out to play on an August bank holiday Sunday is no easy feat. Fiscal and self-preservation rank too highly on the few-remaining, would-be reveler’s agendas to bother much with recreational jaunting . . . . . Unless of course one of the dance music fraternity’s foremost dignitaries just so happens to be in the neighbourhood. Enter Sasha (real name Alexander Coe), rocking the decks at one of Dublin’s tightest sounding venues and suddenly it’s “to hell with self-preservation and to hedonism with our squirreled away stash-o-cash. PARTY’S ON!”

While the draw of Sasha alone would have been enough to entice most folks out to play, completing the night’s line up at The Button Factory were two of the local DJ scene’s most promising exponents. Dublin duo Mulljoy got proceedings underway with a chunky set comprising sulky, Sasha-esque vocals and lush ambient sweeps, winding up a partisan crowd and setting the tone for what was still to come. With the bar set and the energy levels rising DJ Dave Morrissey entered the foray. Emerging from a recent hiatus, Morrissey wasted no time in ratcheting up the feel-good. A delectable mix of deep and tech house gave way to a more back-to-basics final 15 minutes, providing the perfect platform  for the evening’s headline act.

On a balmy night in the nation’s capitol, a capacity crowd ensured the kind of hot and sweaty conditions this type of gig thrives on. Comprising euphoric, trance-lead stylings and harder hitting elements of house, tech house and techno, Sasha’s opening salvo was equal to the heat. Dispensing with his more usual approach of  a sure and steady build, instead he took the gig directly to a crowd high on anticipation . . .  and whatever else they could lay hands on. With decibels on the rise, Sasha worked decks and controllers as original cuts and reedits of exclusives and classics were lavished upon Dublin’s party people. A stomping, 3 hour roller-coaster set climaxed with a play-out of his brilliant remix of London Grammer’s “Hey Now,” leaving a gluttonous crowd baying for “one more tune!” He duly obliged.

If Sasha’s performance at The Button Factory is indicative of anything, it’s that he remains one of dance music’s top-tier attractions. The success of latest album release Involv3r only serves to reinforce the point, speaking volumes of the focus of a DJ/Producer whose portfolio now also includes his own imprint, Last Night On Earth. With a philosophy of finding, and more importantly nurturing new talent, the future looks very bright for Sasha and those in his stead.
 Nicky Dempsey
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