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Knives Out – Sugarcoat (Bedrock)


In this day and age of fast turnaround music and PR stuntery it’s not often you get news that blows your socks off. When I received the press release for ‘Sugarcoat’ I took a sharp intake of breath because two things happened in quick succession. Firstly, the mystery of a track that Sasha had been playing for some months was solved. Secondly, and certainly most importantly, something just happened that we never thought would – Sasha just released on John Digweed‘s Bedrock label.

Why is this big news? Sasha and John Digweed have one of the strongest relationships in electronic music history dating back to well before their seminal mix compilation ‘Renaissance Volume 1′ set the blueprint for the medium 25 years ago with an offering some consider to be the best ever recorded.

It’s somewhat of a mystery as to why they have never released music on each other’s labels but it was amazing to see them DJ’ing together again and clearly having fun at the same time.

Despite the enigmatic Knives Out ‘Sugarcoat‘ being a strong offering with its key changing melodies, undulating arpeggios and dirty progressive groove, it is the Sasha remix that has set floors alight and tongues wagging since Sasha himself started playing it in his sets. Early reports came from far afield about a tune with a big breakdown that was tearing the place apart. Then on the Australian tour on the Melbourne and Sydney legs, footage appeared of the same tune, setting blogs alight with rumours and music fans guessing what this mystery tune was.

Whispers have turned to who Knives Out might be. Established producers, probably. Is it John & Sasha themselves? Maybe we’ll never know but one thing we do know is the Sasha remix of ‘Sugarcoat’ is worthy of the hype, and that’s an unusual phenomenon.

The overarching comments seem to be that Sasha has once again reached for the kind of form that unleashed ‘Xpander’, ‘Belfunk’ and ‘Rabbitweed’ from his own syncopated deep mind. For me that form was always there, it just would not have been interesting to hear a constant stream of 90’s style floor destroyers. Maybe that time has come again. All we know for sure is the Sasha remix of Knives Out ‘Sugarcoat’ is as much of a modern classic, in this genre, as the digital age will allow.

Score: 9.5/10

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