Open main menu

Airdrawndagger is the second studio album by Welsh DJ Sasha. It was released on 5 August 2002 through Kinetic Records and BMG, with a digital download release issued by Deconstruction Records. The album features co-production from Charlie May, Junkie XL and James Holden. It was released with one single, "Wavy Gravy", on 19 August 2002, which had an amateur remix contest held in 2003. Despite the release of The Qat Collection in 1994, Airdrawndagger was advertised as Sasha's "debut artist album".[1] Upon release, the album charted on the UK and US Albums Charts, peaking at number 18 and 157 respectively.

Studio album by
Released5 August 2002
Sasha chronology
Sasha studio album chronology
The Qat Collection
Scene Delete
Singles from Airdrawndagger
  1. "Wavy Gravy"
    Released: 19 August 2002


The album is named after the term "air-drawn dagger", which was used in William Shakespeare's Macbeth to characterize an emotional outburst.[2] The album is entirely instrumental, and has a different sound from Sasha's other work, such as the Xpander EP.[3] Its tone is more atmospheric and relaxed compared to his mix albums.[4][5] In a 2013 interview with Dupspot, Sasha stated that the production of this album had relied heavily on use of the Roland JD-800 and the Waldorf WAVE synthesizers, describing them as "the sound of Airdrawndagger".[6] In press releases and marketing, the album was advertised as Sasha's "debut artist album", despite The Qat Collection's release in 1994.[1] Sources reviewing the album largely acknowledged this and described Airdrawndagger as his debut, with notable exceptions including The Guardian, who wrote that "he released [his debut album] in 1994, the underwhelming Qat Collection, but that has been erased, Stalin-style, from his history".[7]


The album was announced in July 2002 with live performances of it scheduled for 24 and 31 August 2002.[1] The album was first released on 5 August 2002. It was released in the UK and Europe through Arista Records, a former subsidiary of BMG. The album was distributed in the US by Kinetic Records on 6 August 2002. The vinyl release of the album was given a variant album cover, with the full spike ball shown.[8] A digital download version of the album was issued on 17 May 2010 by Deconstruction Records. The album's single, "Wavy Gravy" was released on 19 August 2002 through BMG and Kinetic, and promoted by a remix contest held in 2003. The single charted on the UK Singles Chart at position 64,[9] and on the UK Dance Singles Chart at position 4.[10]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [12]
Alternative Press      [13]
Mixer     [14]
Music Emissions     [15]
Resident Advisor     [18]
URB     [19]

Airdrawndagger received generally positive reviews from critics. AllMusic reviever Glenn Swan gave it four stars out of five, summarising his review with "Airdrawndagger has a sharp blade, and hovers with threat, but it takes almost half the album before it draws blood" although stated that "[when given his mix albums and remixes], Airdrawndagger sounds a bit anticlimactic by comparison".[12] BBC Music reviewer Christian Hopwood noted that "[the] album might come as a disappointment to anyone expecting something akin to a DJ mix CD" but praised the album, describing it as a "glittering, euphoric masterpiece".[20] Robbie Y from Resident Advisor wrote a very positive review, rating the album 5.0 out of 5, describing it as "mixed and produced to perfection, not one stone in the making of this album has been left unturned".[18] However, Pitchfork gave the album a negative review, rating it 2.5 out of 10.[16]

Track listingEdit

2."Mr. Tiddles"
  • Coe
  • May
3."Magnetic North"
  • Coe
  • May
4."Cloud Cuckoo"8:27
  • Coe
  • May
  • Coe
  • May
  • Holkenborg
10."Golden Arm"
  • Coe
  • May
  • Holkenborg
11."Wavy Gravy"
  • Coe
  • May
Total length:68:25


Adapted from liner notes.[21]

  • Alexander Coe (Sasha) – writing, production (all tracks)
  • Charlie May – writing, production (all tracks except "Immortal", "Fundamental" and "Bloodlock"), piano, organ
  • Tom Holkenborg (Junkie XL) – writing, production ("Cloud Cuckoo", "Requiem" and "Golden Arm"), mixer (all tracks)
  • James Holden – writing, production ("Bloodlock")
  • Geoff Pesche – mastering (all tracks)
  • Iain Roberton – recording
  • Simon Wright – additional programming
  • Luis Jardim – percussion
  • Greg Knowles – instruments
  • Steve Lewinson – bass guitar
  • Dave Arch – celestia, harpsichord


Release historyEdit

Region Date Format Label Ref.
UK and Europe 5 August 2002 CD [24]
Vinyl [25]
Russia Cassette BMG Russia [26]
United States 6 August 2002 CD Kinetic Records [27]
Vinyl [28]
UK and Europe 17 May 2010 Digital download Deconstruction Records [29]


  1. ^ a b c "Sasha Pulls Out 'Airdrawndagger'". Billboard. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Sasha - emFire Collection Review". The Clash. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  3. ^ Hopwood, Christian (2002-11-20). "Sasha - Airdrawndagger". Retrieved 2008-08-07.
  4. ^ Jones, Simon (2002-07-03). "Sasha "Airdrawndagger"". Progressive-Sounds. Archived from the original on 2006-06-04. Retrieved 2008-08-07.
  5. ^ Battaglia, Andy (2002-09-23). "Airdrawndagger". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2008-08-07.
  6. ^ "Sasha @ Dubspot - Full Live Streaming Workshop Rebroadcast! 'Involver 3′ w/ Ableton Live". 6 March 2013.
  7. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (2002). "Sasha: Airdrawndagger | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Sasha - Airdrawndagger (Vinyl)". Discogs. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b Allmusic review
  13. ^ Its sweeping cinematic scope and all-instrumental tracks recall the lushness of Orbital in their prime. [Oct 2002, p.86]
  14. ^ The album will wear thin on short-attention-spanned listeners who need their dance albums dosed with a bit more variety. [Aug 2002, p.79]
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b Pitchfork Media review
  17. ^ Progressive-Sounds review Archived 2006-06-04 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ a b Y, Robbie. "RA Reviews: Sasha - Airdrawndagger". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  19. ^ An impressive artistic debut. [Oct 2002, p.96]
  20. ^ Hopwood, Christian (2002). "BBC Music - Review of Sasha - Airdrawndagger". BBC Music. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  21. ^ Airdrawndagger (Liner Notes). Sasha. BMG. 2002.CS1 maint: others (link)
  22. ^ "Sasha - Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  23. ^ a b c "Sasha Chart History |". Billboard. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  24. ^ "Sasha - Airdrawndagger (CD) [UK & Europe]". Discogs. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  25. ^ "Sasha - Airdrawndagger (Vinyl) [UK & Europe]". Discogs. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  26. ^ "Sasha - Airdrawndagger (Cassette)". Discogs. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  27. ^ "Sasha - Airdrawndagger (CD) [US]". Discogs. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  28. ^ "Sasha - Airdrawndagger (Vinyl) [US]". Discogs. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  29. ^ "Sasha - Airdrawndagger (File, MP3)". Discogs. Retrieved 5 August 2018.