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Airdrawndagger

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Piotr Orlov
After nearly two full decades behind the two-turntables pulpit, one of club culture's foremost minister DJs seems to have gone and found peace in a more mellow musical parish. Years in the making, Airdrawndagger is Alexander "Sasha" Coe's first album of original tracks, and those expecting the anthemic Mt. Trance declarations he and John Digweed perfected during the boom years of Twilo gigs and Northern Expeditions mixes will find themselves learning a new set of commandments. Just as Come with Us pointed out the Chemical Brothers' momentary desire to be the hardest, block-rocking Global Underground fiends around, Dagger reciprocates the affection, adopting Tom and Ed's ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Piotr Orlov
After nearly two full decades behind the two-turntables pulpit, one of club culture's foremost minister DJs seems to have gone and found peace in a more mellow musical parish. Years in the making, Airdrawndagger is Alexander "Sasha" Coe's first album of original tracks, and those expecting the anthemic Mt. Trance declarations he and John Digweed perfected during the boom years of Twilo gigs and Northern Expeditions mixes will find themselves learning a new set of commandments. Just as Come with Us pointed out the Chemical Brothers' momentary desire to be the hardest, block-rocking Global Underground fiends around, Dagger reciprocates the affection, adopting Tom and Ed's still-life-with-psilocybin tendencies. It's stocked with percussive, psychedelic U.K. techno, looking to up the IQ and settle if not lower the BPMs. Playful, ambient-dub aspects resonate throughout tracks like "Mr. Tiddles," the opening "Dremples," and the gray, echo-drenched "Cloud Cuckoo," as though one of Trance's messiahs decided that God resided in Warp grooves and chill-out rooms. Of course, a true minister won't completely abandon his gyrating flock, but even Dagger's dance-floor gems -- the Planet Dust-like, snare-drum punch of "Fundamental" and the infinite 4/4 loop of "Bloodlock" that sounds like old Orb on steroids -- escape the Bedrock dogma. On Airdrawndagger, Sasha seems less driven and more Zen.
All Music Guide - Glenn Swan
After a dozen or so years as a high-profile remixer and DJ, Sasha's premiere full-length album has an almost unfair amount of anticipation to live up to. After Sasha assembled a couple solid Global Underground mix CDs plus jaw-dropping remixes for the likes of Madonna, GusGus, and several others, Airdrawndagger sounds a bit anticlimactic by comparison. All his past work earned him the spotlight, but now that he has it he's not sure what to say. It suggests he's better stretching and dissecting other people's material than he is at writing his own. This being said, Sasha and co-composer Charlie May have an exceptional ear for the tension-and-release formula of trance music. Their crispness stays intact here, along with gorgeous production value, but there's a price to pay for all the digital exactness: sterility. Track for track, the CD strains for the visceral excitement that has come so easily elsewhere. As subdued as it is, "Mr. Tiddles" is a warm depth charge to start the disc. It at least succeeds in delivering an anthem, rather than going right for the rave-house glowsticks and 190 beats per minute. It takes the album some time to summon a consistent attention-grabber like "Immortal," which growls through the streets like Orbital in a hovercraft. Immediately following, listeners can finally feel the hairs on the back of their necks start to stiffen as the nine-minute centerpiece, "Fundamental," marries cinderblock beats, acid-soaked squelches, and an opulent synth-bell refrain that digs hard into the trenches of dance club aesthetics. This, and the two subsequent tracks of "Boileroom" and "Bloodlock," is the reason to -- yes -- buy the album. "Requiem" is a lush cloud of sequencers that reaches the twilight of the disc, owing its sound to mid-'80s Tangerine Dream as much as anything in the past couple decades. The two pieces that follow are not especially groundbreaking, but there's enough variety to prove that this is in fact a legitimate album instead of an overstuffed EP like his polished Xpander from 1999. Airdrawndagger has a sharp blade, and hovers with threat, but it takes almost half the album before it draws blood. For Sasha, it's the shape of things to come rather than a triumphant arrival.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/2/2002
  • Label: Sony/Bmg Int'l
  • UPC: 743219478627
  • Catalog Number: 194786

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Drempels (1:23)
  2. 2 Mr. Tiddles (4:53)
  3. 3 Magnetic North (5:17)
  4. 4 Cloud Cuckoo (8:26)
  5. 5 Immortal (4:54)
  6. 6 Fundamental (9:13)
  7. 7 Boileroom (7:04)
  8. 8 Bloodlock (7:53)
  9. 9 Requiem (6:08)
  10. 10 Golden Arm (5:45)
  11. 11 Wavy Gravy (7:29)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sasha Primary Artist
Greg Knowles Dulcimer, Cymbalom
Steve Lewinson Bass Guitar
Louis Jardine Percussion
Dave Arch Celeste, Harpsichord
Technical Credits
Geoff Pesche Mastering
Junkie XL Producer, Engineer
Sasha Producer
Iain Roberton Engineer
James Holden Producer
Simon Wright Programming, Sound Design
Charlie May Producer
Tom Holkenborg Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    airdrawndagger...

    After years of waiting, it is finally 8/06/02. Having spent the morning preparing myself physically, mentally, and spiritually, I slipped airdrawndagger into my player this afternoon and forgot all else. My first impression was that this album is different, but it is what I had expected to hear from Sasha. After listening to it, airdrawndagger can be summed up in one word - perfection. Perfection comes with strong connotation so let me explain. Some might not like this album... it is a lot more spacier and subtle than anything else Sasha has done. It isn't like the second CD of Ibiza, where every other song was an obvious high bpm hit. airdrawndagger is a lot more like the first CD of Ibiza, where the entire CD should be seen as one song. The first three songs set the mood. ''dremples'' and ''magnetic north'' set the atmosphere, while ''mr tiddles'' attempts to set a groove, but it is not until the wonderful ''cloud cuckoo'' that you really get into the album. ''immortal'' and ''fundamental'' are deeper, more sinister songs that transition into what are in my opinion the best two songs on the album, ''boileroom'' and ''bloodlock.'' They sound very much like ''xpander,'' only done with more precision and subtlety. ''requiem'' and ''golden arm'' carry on the climactic high, leading into the hit finale ''wavy gravy,'' where Sasha's perfectionism really shines. Perfection? I see this album as having no flaws. There are no songs that sound out of place; everything fits. You wont find a bunch of songs like ''xpander'' and ''rabbitweed'' compiled together, but you will find a seamless and subtle mix with two or three climax moments slipped in. You need patience to appreciate the man, but you already knew that. Enjoy.

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