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Sasha & Digweed - 6.11.2006

Author: Persia Hill
Friday, 24 November 2006
Sasha and Digweed, otherwise fondly known as S&D, are the infamous duo in the dance music scene, it's widely known that when party man Sasha and the laidback Digweed come together they create magic. Their performance on Cup Eve revealed the immense inspiration they continue to draw from each other, where the magic continued throughout a 6 hour epic journey where a capacity crowd were lead into a thunderous, momentous ride into the musical future.

Reminiscing about their set I think about one of my favourite quotes coined by author Victor Hugo, "music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent." There are two reasons why I think of this - one is that Sasha and Digweed managed to capture the needs and emotions of the crowd and put it into music, it carried emotion and intensity like words never could. Also, trying to summarise the night, the sounds and the atmosphere they created through their music in mere words is a pretty hefty task and hard to do without sounding like a psychedelic hippy, which I am far from being!

Cup Eve was a long time coming and it gave me plenty of time to ponder what the night would be like, but my imagination was no match for the experience I had. Sasha and Digweed are individually my two favourite DJs and both for different reasons. Sasha's CDs take pride of place in my collection, they tend to dredge up all types of emotions. I find them awe-inspiring, so carefully crafted, so many sounds are twisted and they always are so haunting and inspirational. In contrast I find Digweed's sets are ground breaking, more addictive and better crafted. His distinctive style is not replayed as well through CDs, possibly because you just have to be there in the flesh to experience the nuances in his sound.

To be honest I was not as captivated by their collaborative set five years ago at the Dockland's compared to their individual performances as I found a lack of cohesion in their sounds. I expected to find this again but fortunately their set on Cup Eve fell into place seamlessly.

I arrived early to hear Gavin Keitel playing the warm up set, the crowd seemed to be holding out for Sasha and Digweed, milling around the dance floor with only a few attempting some 'warm-up' moves. Keitel played his predictable sounds, faultless mixing as always but a bit too dark and general progressive which was a real contrast to the sound that emerged once the duo entered the stage. I was a bit worried at the sound which seemed quite muffled but as soon as S&D emerged together on the stage the sound was immediately raised.

The new layout of the Queensbridge is a vast improvement with a lot more open floor space. Lasers and complex images projected on the huge screens and gave the place the big party vibe. Still there was a major problem with the line-up for the cloak room. This extended throughout half the club and up the stairs towards the second floor. It was really difficult trying to navigate through this line of people.

Instead of playing in a 'versus' manner S&D shared the time, each playing for an hour off and on. Everyone was made very aware of the changeover as they would introduce a track with a monster build up that got everyone's attention and made every person scream and cheer for the next set to commence.

They were unrelenting throughout the whole six hours, giving their fans just what they were screaming for. Digweed commenced with slow, driving, deep beats slightly increasing in intensity with each track. His track selection is always extremely purposeful and he ensured that each track complemented every other by retaining the same underlying beat. The sounds moved in a crescendo, gradually building up to reach a plateau and then all of a sudden everything exploded in a huge intense build up.

I didn't have to look at the stage know who was playing, even if I
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