Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Sash! - It's My Life (Special Edition)

Scandinavian Records: 1997

I got this for a dime. That alone is worth the price of admission for Ecuador, one of my all-time guilty pleasure anthems. And surely there’s something else across two CDs of Sash! music that will make my commitment of 0.10 Canadian dollars practical. Surely a better investment than getting the single, which features all the same remixes found in this special edition of It’s My Life. Two extra tracks of decent euro dance fluff, and I’ll have gotten plenty return on my 1.40 peso expense.

Eh, who exactly is Sash!, you ask? Oh come on, you know who these guys are. Even if you somehow missed the late ‘90s club boom, you’ve heard their tracks, or similar knockoffs of their sound. Really, Sash! was something of a knockoff themselves, aping the pluck-heavy riffs Rollo perfected with Faithless for their own use, as did many producers at the time. It was Sash!, however, that had the most commercial success with them, in large part thanks to aggressive marketing and licensing of their big hits off here (Ecuador, Encore Une Fois, Stay, and all those Future Breeze remixes), such to the point they’re the default association with plucking synth club anthems. And while the group has carried on in the commercial world to this day, nothing has replicated the undeniable impact Sash! generated prior to the turn of the millennium. Soccer highlight reels would never be the same.

But it all started somewhere, and that somewhere is their debut album It’s My Life, of which I spent six pence upon (and dropping!). A few versions with different track arrangements are floating about, but mine doesn’t waste your time, dropping the three main anthems in your lap right out the gate. The titular opener features the sounds you’d expect of Sash! (synth plucks, mild acid, standard euro club beat, looping vocal), but subdued compared to their heavy hitters. Encore Une Fois did much better, especially the trancy Future Breeze rub, but I’ve long been ambivalent to this hit – 2 Lips’ Je T’Aime did the same thing better anyway. Following that is Ecuador, and good luck getting that killer piano earworm and Sabine Ohmes’ glorious shouting out of your head for the rest of the day! (“Eh-QUAY-DORa!”)

As for the rest, you get a few club track retreads (MightyBreak, Cheating Twister, Sweat), a euro pop cut that I don’t remember but had a ton of remixes (Stay), and The Final Pizzi, another big epic pluck-anthem I thought was made by someone else. Hell, maybe it is, but I’m too stupid to recall who (they all kinda’ sound the same anyway). There’s also Hoopstar, a collaboration with d’n’b act Nonex, and sounding completely daft on an album like this as a result. Haha, now that’s worth the 0.51 Chinese yen spent.

Not that bonus remix CD though. A couple agreeable trance and house rubs of Stay aside, this one’s complete rubbish. It’s got Armand Van Helden doing speed garage, for God’s sake! Ugh…


ACE TRACKS:
Ecuador
Hoopstar
Stay (The Lisa Marie Vocal Experience)

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