Italian DJ, producer and Phobiq label boss, Sasha Carassi’s eclectic sets continue ignite dance floors across the world. We grab 5 minutes with him whilst he begins preparations for this week’s set at Egg.
Sasha it’s a real honour for you to join us. It’s fair to say things are blowing up for you at the moment. What has been a standout moment in your career of late and why?
Hi guys, it’s a big pleasure to talk with you and I can say the things are going very well… Certainly I’m very ambitious and I always try to do things better to grow as an artist. Of course one of the standout moments in my career was my first release on Drumcode, that together with other releases on important labels were all defining. Now travelling more, I’ve had to skip a bit studio work of late, sacrificing my creativity a little, but now I’m back on the wave. I hope you can listen to my new tracks very soon.
Who were your main influences when you first started your career and who do you still follow to this day?
My main influence was a good friend, Danny Tenaglia, a DJ who has inspired me over the years. Other influences came from artists like Daft Punk who I follow still today. They are responsible for my personal musical change from classic house to a 360° turn in electronic music.
One of your biggest recent tracks tracks is ‘Echoes’ on your own imprint, Phobiq, which is an absolute bomb. Were you always a fan of the Sting classic, and how did the idea come about to bring his timeless vocal?
Yes, for sure… I’m a big fan of Sting and The Police since I was a teenager. I play the Acappella of “Voices Inside My Head” since the 90’s and I usually love putting some classic samples in my music. That’s something to remember my old school roots.
We remember Marco Carola being one of the first big Italian techno DJ’s to start dropping house in his sets way way back at a time when there many purists around. We know you like to play some variation in your sets to inject some funk and groove. Can you tell us what other styles and genre interest you? Can you also share what’s the most random tune you’ve ever dropped in a set and what was the outcome?
In my sets I like mixing sometimes different styles as I’m very eclectic. Usually I introduce everything I like (rock, funk, electronica, break beat and so on) and the crowd reaction is different from place to place. Of course, I can note a big amazement and the “surprise effect” is always huge: it’s one of my favourite parts of each set.
Would you describe yourself as serious or do you like the crowd to have fun when you play?
I love having fun with crowd … I like feeling the vibe as old clubber and I like looking at dancefloor, trying to understand what people feel…
Italian techno for me has always been great since the 90’s and there are many many legends. Do you Italy is finally getting the recognition it deserves on the global techno scene? Which other Italian producers, in your opinion, deserve to go higher?
Italy is one of the strongest nation for techno DJs and producers especially Napoli. I’m proud to be part of this scene. We have big talents who deserve to go higher and higher such as my friend Sam Paganini and Enrico Sangiuliano, to name a few.
How did your involvement with Sam Paganini first come about and what’s it like being a part of the Blakksheep crew?
We are very good friends of course and we have a huge respect each other. Blakksheep is a real family and friendship for us comes before work. I’ve been in Blakksheep for many years and I was very happy when Sam joined us, I hope to work together for long, long time.
You’re returning to Egg London on 8th April having played the venue twice last year, including a Blakksheep showcase event. This will also be your second Familia party and you’ll be sharing the decks with The Advent, and you’ve worked with The Advent before – having released some of his tracks on your Phobiq label, plus you’ve remixed him too. Are you looking forward to sharing the decks with Cisco?
Cisco is a legend and an example for all of us – an example of humility and professionalism. I’m very happy to share the stage at Egg London with him and I’m looking forward to playing again in one of the clubs where I have fun until late morning… There I feel at home also because there is a big Italian crowd 😉
What’s your opinion on the sound system and setup at Egg?
It is great, always love playing there. Can’t wait!
Our site is all about helping up and coming talent. Which up and coming producers do you have your eye on?
There are a lot of great new talents but my favourite at moment are : the Ukrainian Skober and the Parisian Thomas Evans, who will make noise, in my opinion.
Can you tell us what’s forthcoming on Phobiq?
We have many things coming up with the most important project, a full artist album from Thomas Evans titled “Glassy Session”. We will follow with an album remixes release with many good names involved.
On April 28th we’re releasing a great EP from the American, Barbuto with a brilliant Spektre Remix and then an EP from myself.
Finally, give you give us your current top 5.
Thomas Evans – Backdoor
Matt Sassari _ Relax
Dense & Pika – Who Cares Who Wins (Danny Daze Remix)
Balthazar & JackRock – Liquify
Ben Long – Fire In The Hole
Sasha Carassi joins The Advent and Paride Saraceni for Familia on Saturday April 8th at Egg London with support from the residents Fabio Ferro, Ben Gunnellin, Miky J and all info at www.egglondon.co.uk