Sasha @ SpyBar, Chicago

Despite a horrible snowstorm that dumped on Chicago all day long, and cancelling 280 flights out of O'Hare, and despite having a horrible sore throat for the past week and a half, Five and I traveled to Chicago (very slowly) and made it to SpyBar to see my absolute favorite DJ, Sasha.

Never say Never

The last 2 years in Ibiza, Sasha has been doing something different. He has had a residency at Ushuaia Beach Hotel, and hosting an event called "Never say Never." As he puts it, this is chance for him to play any music he wants. No expectations, no reservations. Just spin all the tracks that give him inspiration from artists he loves and admires.

As such, the style of music is a bit different than his semi-typical Progressive House tone. It's more light, semi-upbeat and rich Tech House. But the feel is still Sasha. The first time I heard a Never say Never, it was really odd. The mixing and atmosphere was absolutely Sasha, but the music was all different.

Sasha MixMag CD

You can take a listen for yourself. :)

For the November Issue of MixMag magazine, Sasha had the honor of developing and releasing a mix for their monthly guest CD. Leading up to the actual release of the issue, Sasha mentioned heading back to the studio after a summer of traveling and playing various gigs. And out of that came a few new tracks, along with some edits, and wonderful arrangement.

1. Sasha - Ushuaia Flight Path
2. Todd Terje - Snooze 4 Love
3. Maceo Plex - Can't Leave You
4. Smash TV - Steroids to Heaven
5. Tahloula - We Play House (M.A.N.D.Y.'s Sweatbox Remix)
6. Mario & Vidis - Changed (Soul Clap Remix)
7. Todd Terje - Ragysh
8. Scuba - Adrenalin
9. Rik Wolding - Disco Pussy (Tale of Us Remix)
10. Paul Kalkbrenner - Gutes Nitzwerk
11. Rone - So So So
12. Scuba - Never
13. Sasha - Nightpath

Listen (or download) the whole thing from soundcloud: here

Also, many of Sasha's Never say Never sets were livestreamed from Ushuaia's website. You can look all those up, and listen to them too :)

Sasha @ SpyBar

As he spun his set at SpyBar, the music was absolutely drenched in Never say Never. Out of all the times I've Sasha over the last 10 years, i have NEVER seen his as energetic, on having as much fun, or generally happy to spin his tracks. He was moving around in the booth all night, shaking hands with the happy people up front, and even gave out his headphones at the end of the night. (He got them back, though, after he went up for 2 encores.)

Every other time I've seen him spin, he seems so into the vibe, and stoic that it's hard to tell if he's actually having fun. Digweed is somewhat similar too. They stand there the whole night, and build and build, layer and layer. Perhaps they're too much into the technical aspects of mixing and set building to actually have fun? Or maybe Sasha feels like he's being pigeon holed into a specific genre, and mixing in other stuff won't work with what he's already built.

But he was having the time of his life in the booth this night, and it completely fed the crowd. For being as crowded as it was, everyone had a smile across their face. Lots of hand shaking, high fives, and hugs. Sasha's good vibes energized everyone there.

It was very different than the (semi) normal douchebaggery crowd that tends to show up to a Chicago club. Maybe the horrible weather scarred them away. Or maybe because the crowd was 80% dude, there weren't any chicks around to bring out the douchebag clubber within. Or it could be a combination that resulted in actual Sasha fans braving the weather, and filling the majority of the club.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and was holding my camera in the air the whole time to capture the audio. All the video is up on youtube right now, with a bit of a tracklist.

Playlist //

Chris Walsh
0. Andhim - Aleefee

1. Intro (w/ Scuba - The Hope)

6. Art Department - Tell Me Why (Brennan Green Mix)
7. Planningtorock - Living it Right (Billy Lock Remix)
8. Maceo Plex - Stay High Baby
9. Mario Basanov & Vidis feat. Ernesto - Changed (Soul Clap Remix)
10. Foster the People - Pumped Up Kicks ?? Remix
11. Micha Klang & Kuroneko - Anytime you Please (Shonky Remix)
12. Scuba - Adrenalin

15. Maceo Plex - Under the Sheets
16. XX - Crystallised (Sasha Remix)
17. LCD Soundsystem - You wanted a hit
18. Luke Abbott - Brazil

19. Solomun & DJ Phono - Ice Cream & Bonus Miles
20. Felix Da Housecat - What Does It Feel Like? (Röyksopp Return To The Sun Remix)

Encore 2
21. Todd Terje - Ragysh

I have to say, a couple times the Never say Never vibe falls flat for me, but hearing and experiencing it in person is very special. Perhaps instead of taking my annual vacation to Japan, i'll head to Ibiza this year and stay at Ushuaia :)