Sasha conjures an enchanting ambient soundscape on ‘Scene Delete’ [Album Review]
Sasha has delivered a new downtempo album for Late Night Tales. Alexander Coe, as his real name goes, may be one of the long-standing veterans of progressive house, but his inclination toward ambient sounds has been clear since his first original LP, Airdrawndagger. Yet, as his career progressed, he began finding difficulty in combining his dual sonic personalities into a cohesive record until he stumbled upon indie platform Late Night Tales. Sasha’s new album Scene Delete emerged after spending weeks in the studio perfecting older productions while composing new ones for his second entirely-original album.
Producing ambient can be quite intimidating for many dance producers. Without the crutch of a rhythmic kick and bass tying songs together, creating textured and aurally enticing music becomes a more arduous task. Sasha dives into this effort with ease, however, stitching together 21 fluid tracks into a story that speaks volumes without saying much at all (lyrically speaking, that is).
He achieves this feat by way of tapping deep into human emotion, constructing melodies and piling on layers of sound that work in tandem to strike a deep chord in the psyche. This allows Scene Delete to mercilessly ensnare listeners into its subtle progression within the first five minutes of continuous play.
While Sasha expertly weaves his essence into all of his music, this feature is even more prominent when executed on an ambient canvas. Whereas each progressive piece offers a glimpse into his soul, the entirety seems visible in Scene Delete. A wide spectrum of feelings are present throughout as Coe takes us through nostalgia and yearning, euphoria, and even a hint of sensuality as heard in “Linepulse.”
Pain plays a dominant role, however; loss and yearning tinge the majority of the compositions. “Shelter” is especially poignant, employing heart-wrenching piano and string melodies that evoking feelings of anguish. “Cassette Sessions D” adopts an ominous aura with dramatic violin sections akin to those in “Adagio For Strings.” This dark space that Sasha shares through the album is perhaps its most profound aspect, and, ultimately, one that is easy to empathize with.
Scene Delete also reinforces the Welsh veteran’s prowess in recognizing the renaissance of sounds as they begin to rise again in popularity. Breakbeat makes several appearances throughout the stream, such as “Detour” and “Scarpa Falls.” It’s a sound has been making its rounds around progressive and trance as of late as well.
Orchestral instruments play a crucial role in the body of work, reminding us of their importance as a means of composition and the effect they can have on a song. In employing them throughout the album, Sasha aligns himself with other producers who are accurately predicting the resurgence of live instruments in electronic music as the overly-digital big room trends begin to fade.
Stepping outside of one’s usual production territory can be a daunting gamble for many musicians, but a vastly-experienced Sasha took the change in stride, fully embracing his appreciation of the ambient sound and channeling encouragement from his new partners in Late Night Tales to create an expressive and refined album. Where Scene Delete lacked in dance-friendly rhythm, it made up for in unique textures that conveyed emotion in the deepest sense, ultimately allowing Coe to communicate his inner mentality in a forward-thinking, and timeless, manner.
01. Channel deq
05. Time After Time
08. Cassette Sessions D
09. Cassette Sessions E
12. Scarpa Falls
14. Bring on the Night-time
17. Untitled 3
21. Vapour Trails