While working in college radio in 2000, nothing that came across the “for promotion only” desk got me amped like Xpander by Sasha. This track, with all its various versions included on the promo CD, stood out from all the other records, from any genre. I played that song every Friday the whole Spring 2000 semester. I played it so much I was getting prank calls from the music director at the station requesting it (ha ha). I was a freak about it, I’d sometimes open and close with a different version of the song during my 2-hour show. I should have just called myself DJ Xpander. Any ways, this song got me even more excited about electronic music, I started to make my own mixtapes and hand them out to people [now a days no one has a way to play mixtapes on cassette, or even CD, so it’s a culture long gone, with the exception of some music enthusiasts].
I really didn’t know much about Sasha back in the day and was more focused on the sounds than the creators, as he really didn’t come around until after the late-1980s. Influenced by acid house, Sasha, sometimes referred to as DJ Sasha, was born Alexander Paul Coe in Wales, UK, and was a big part of the house music and trance scene in Europe and America. House music uses a lot of heavy bass beats with lots of other sounds going in and out throughout the songs. Like many electronic artists over the past 20 years, Sasha is a DJ, producer, and a host of events. Drawing crowds from all over the world.
This song is a great combination of house and trance with some moments of the bass dropping out to allow for some transitions. The song starts out very melodramatic on some versions and builds up slowly and gradually brings into the trance it is intending you to go in. In the original version, the track has the signature house bass beat tying together all the other elements. Some moments feel a lot like some tracks off the 1970s album The Wall by Pink Floyd, which is another reason I love this track, with the continues high-hat rhythm. Being a drummer, I always listen for new ways to combine beats, sounds, and rhyme combinations that I can translate to my set drum kit. The truth is, I’m a futurist at heart, and love hearing new discoveries in sound design.
I’ve watched electronic music get its start in the late 1970s and evolve from the urban rhythms and European club sounds to wild and magical experiences in sound. I love hearing new ways to manipulate sound waves and computer-generated audio. Africa Bambaataa was one of my first favorite producers that blended danceable beats with rap lyrics in his futuristic. Disco wasn’t my thing, but some great songs came from that genre. I like Techno, Dubstep, and Trance mostly. Some other producers that I love are Paul Hardcastle, Moby, Tiesto and Timbaland. I am excited about the future of electronic music.
Here are a couple versions:
Xpander (Original) – Sasha: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYO8jVDdpns
Full length version of ultimate trance classic “Xpander” from 1999: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3Gu7CXfRdA
PS: I encourage everyone not familiar with electronic music to check out the artists listed in the Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_music