Promise of Masterful Set by Sasha & John Digweed at Ultra 2024

Long ago, during an unforgettable night at Hastings Pier on the southern shores of England, John Digweed shared his DJ platform with a rising British star named Sasha. An immediate bond formed between them, creating a thriving dance music duo. Sasha, whose legal name is Alexander Paul Coe, communicates from his home in Ibiza that the moment was magical.

When fans of dance music reflect on their favorite performers, they often default to their bass-dropping skills and the vibe they provide–a description fitting Sasha and John Digweed perfectly. Their mesmerizing, rhythmically engaging music provides an adrenaline rush. However, witnessing a performance by the duo offers so much more; it’s a chance to revisit their residency at New York’s Twilo nightclub and their noteworthy 1994 debut mix, Renaissance: The Mix Collection.

Sasha explains that they never prepare their performances in advance. Their sets are spontaneous, they like to keep things fresh and surprise each other. This has been a hidden jewel in their partnership. Despite their remarkable contributions, Sasha disagrees with the notion that they pioneered the Progressive House genre.

When the term was first used for the genre, Sasha claims a journalist used it in a derogatory context, drawing a connection to progressive rock and referencing Spinal Tap. The music Sasha and Digweed create straddles the line between techno and house with a melodic twist, but conventional chart-toppers don’t resonate with him. To Sasha, electronic music is an evolving art form that doesn’t need to stick to any specific sound but draws its longevity from its ability to blend various genres.

Their skillful control over rhythm and beat doesn’t matter as much as their connection behind the decks. Their debut mix catapulted them into the spotlight, symbolizing a new era of electronic music ladened with future-forward sounds.

Sasha expresses gratitude to America for its role in their success, stating that sticking together through the ’90s and playing long sets made them stronger. They later produced a notable 1996 mix album called Northern Exposure, which Sasha categorizes as “after-the-after-party” music.

Around 2010, the Sasha and Digweed duo took a spur to focus on their individual careers. After a few years of break, they reunited in 2016 after a dinner in Tokyo; they decided to team up and make music together once again. Though their sets are remarkable and technically sound, the magic lies in the distinct sounds each brings to the table.

Catch them at the Ultra Music Festival 2024 from Friday, March 22, through Sunday, March 24, at Bayfront Park, Miami. Tickets ranges from $349.95 to $1,499.95, available on the event’s official website. Don’t forget to check out Miami Music Week 2024 events on the New Times’ website.