A new chapter

by Dan Prince July 2017 MUSIC Read in PDF format N14/2017

An amazing set from you at the IUMAG Launch Experience last month on the Hard Rock rooftop, it was a great way to start the Ibiza summer…

Yeah I just made it! I literally came straight from the airport with my bags but it was well worth it…what a venue you have there.

I am constantly amazed at the challenges you set yourself. Just how difficult was taking on the Barbican with your re-Fracted live shows in May?

Even by my standards it was pretty epic. I took the decision pretty early on that if I was going to do this I wasn’t going to hide behind a laptop on stage. I wanted to actually play live on the piano and electronics alongside guest vocalists, orchestral percussionists and an eight piece string section. But it wasn’t just the amount of work that went into the actual live shows, it was also the complexity of building the set beforehand. It was a hell of a lot of work.

No big meltdowns then?

Just the one. I was playing a gig in London a couple of months before the event and I spotted a beautiful Grand Piano in the hotel where I was staying, what a perfect place to see how my playing was coming along I thought. As I sat down though I was suddenly aware that all the people in the lounge had stopped talking and had turned their attention to me. Well I completely froze, very quietly closed the piano lid and shuffled back to my room where I lay awake all night thinking over and over ‘Sash, you’ve just lost it in front of a handful of people, how the fuck are you going to manage it in front of 2000 at the Barbican? I proper lost it for a while.

You wouldn’t have guessed, you looked completely at ease on stage…

It was the most stressfully exciting project I have ever done. But it’s funny, two days before the event a sudden feeling of calmness came over me as I realised that all the rehearsals and work had all fallen into place. And I was going to be alright. I will never forget that moment of walking on stage on Saturday knowing it was going to be a very special evening in my life.

So what’s next for you and the re-Fracted team?

We have to tour! When we came off stage we were absolutely buzzing and all agreed that we would take the event on tour. I think we are going to get a few dates in the diary for the later part of 2017, who knows where this will lead?

I am glad you mentioned your anxiety before the event. In this month’s ÏU MAG the techno producer ANNA tells us about her problems dealing with mental issues on tour, this is something you went through a few years ago with your own panic attacks…

I wouldn’t wish them on anybody and thankfully I haven’t had one in a long time. I didn’t know what was going on at the time as I hadn’t seeked help and it was before the internet became really clued up. My problem was that certain music or lighting could trigger them off, so whilst the thousands of clubbers in front of me would be going crazy, I’d be trying to hold it together in the DJ booth having an attack. I thought I was going mad.

You surprised the world by announcing your Ibiza residency with John Digweed this summer. I don’t know what was more surprising, hooking up b2b with John again or taking on the sleeping giant Privilege! What the fuck?

Haha another challenge! Mine and John’s hiatus from playing with each other was only meant to be one year, it kinda lasted a little longer. But magic always happens when me and John and I play together so it was only a matter of time before the ball started rolling again. The vibe’s good and we’re so excited about the residency.

And your guests are out of this world…

Working with Ultra who have such a special relationship with artists all around the world has been amazing. They don’t mess around with their bookings put it that way.

So why Privilige? It has been the big elephant in the room for so long, was it the fact that Carl Cox and Tale of Us were taking it on or was it because you have Ultra behind the Resistance brand?

All of the above. I played the Resistance stage at Miami so I know its perfect for Privilege, it’s perfect for that big room. I know Ibiza is a crowded market and it will be a battle but we the venue is made for the big sound that myself and John like to play when we get together. I am so looking forward to having a big night on the island again. Without getting all emotional with you, I have to admit this is the happiest I have ever seen you. You seem settled in Ibiza, I see you running down the beach most mornings – and you seem SO excited about your work again? I am in a really good place at the moment. What has really made a huge difference is the whole Barbican experience. It has opened my eyes to how I am going to make music in the future and started a whole new trajectory. Working with vocalists and musicians is a wonderful new experience for me, when we get together we go into a normal rehearsal space, jam and see what comes out. I don’t think I will ever go back to the way I used to work. I wasn’t confident enough to play live before and now my personal musicianship has gone sky high. It’s the best thing that could have happened to me. 

SASHA stars at Resistance every Tuesday at Privilege from July 25th. His new single ‘Trigonometry’ will be out on Watergate soon…





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