Sasha’s progressive anthem “Xpander” turns 17 today
If we look back over the history of dance music, there are certain tpoints in time that stand out as crucial to the development of the genre. From Frankie Knuckles legendary sets at the Warehouse as the foundations of house music were being laid back in the 80s to the release of seminal tracks such as “Faxing Berlin” by deadmau5. However there is one track which carved a niche in dance music and laid down the footwork for the creation of a certain little genre known by the name of progressive house. That track is the ethereal “Xpander” by legendary Welsh DJ/Producer Sasha.
The 11 minute long odyssey was like nothing else released at the time. A mind bending mix of trancey elements but with a more house music based rhythm, this was just something else entirely which still sounds incredible even today. Featuring a dreamy, emotional synth riff which would easily send shivers down your spine, “Xpander” is one of those tracks that needs to be fully heard to be understood. The slow progressive build became a landmark of the genre, and of course paved the way for this type of sound to gain relevance. While Sasha’s unforgettable compilations with long time collaborator John Digweed will forever be remembered, it could well be argued that “Xpander” is the Welshman’s greatest piece of work.
A symphony of sound that takes the listener on an emotional roller-coaster ride of a journey traversing time and space, there are not many tracks even to this day which evoke this type of feeling upon the listener. “Xpander” is a production so incredible and timeless, that it was recently voted the 9th greatest dance track of all time by listeners of Mixmag a couple of years back. If that doesn’t say enough about just how good this tune is, then we don’t know what will. So on its 17th birthday, let’s look back at one of the greatest dance tracks ever made: