Output presents Sasha, DJ Three, with Nicolas Matar, Willie Graff in The Panther Room
74 Wythe Avenue
New York, NY, 11211
This event is 21 and over
There are DJs who turn up, play records and make people dance. And there are producers who make the dancefloor-igniting records those DJs will kill for. There are very few people in dance music that can do both and Sasha is the leader of the pack. Ever since he stepped behind the decks at the legendary Shelley's in Stoke back in the late 80′s, that magic touch has made Alexander Coe one of the most famous, most revered DJs on the planet.
It's because of what he can do with music – the way he can make good records sound better, great records sound awesome, and everything he plays into his own. The way his mixes take elements from across the spectrum of electronic dance, from trance, breaks, progressive and deep house, and create a languidly hypnotic liquid groove. The way his understanding of both melody and momentum can tease, taunt, and en-trance a dancefloor before unleashing a record that will have people not just leaping up and down but bursting with emotion. The best DJs know that Djing is first about being able to read people and then about being able to tap into that human experience and take it on a journey. Sasha has always been noted for being a master at this and it is this universal appeal that he has tapped into that has established his strong fanbase around the globe.
Do not be mistaken, this kind of recognition does not happen overnight. Born and raised in a small town in Wales, Sasha was exposed to Motown records when he was just a baby and it was in the home that his talent for playing the piano was developed. His stepmother forced him to take lessons. At the time, he hated them, but after his first studio session – and this is typical Sasha – he phoned her to say thank you. His first exposure to house music was at Manchester's Hacienda, just as dance music exploded into the summer of love. One visit and the young pony-tailed Sasha was hooked. "The smoke machine, the strobe lights, everyone trance dancing, wearing bandannas and smiley T-shirts," he smiles now. "It definitely had a fuck-you attitude compared to the rest of pop music." This impact encouraged his move from Wales to Manchester. His first exploration into Djing was when a DJ in a local pub announced he was looking for people to play club dates. Sasha volunteered and now says that he "had about 30 records and basically just blagged it".
After honing his deck technique, Sasha's first big break came when he was offered a residency at Stokes legendary club Shelly's. When all the other DJ's were playing US House, Sasha's style was much more uplifting, and he encapsulated clubbers with his mixture of piano led Italian House whilst playing acapella tracks over the top. This combination alongside a wide variety of anthems kept dancefloors full and elevated Sasha to hero status. And, lets not forget, in a world where the DJ had too often been bespectacled nerds, here the headline DJ had the looks and charm to match his growing following. In classic rock n' roll style, here was a star that boys wanted to hang out with and girls wanted to get just that little bit more close to.
Shelly's was the launch pad for the residency at Renaissance, where Sasha created his niche and helped forge a new style in UK house music. At Renaissance two major things happened; Sasha mixed the first ever UK DJ mix album and he met John Digweed which cemented the partnership known as "Northern Exposure". Sasha and John have played together on five continents, have mixed 3 "Northern Exposure" albums which have sold to over 1 million people worldwide. This special brother like relationship that Sasha and Digweed have on the decks, is what landed them the monthly residency at New York's "Twilo", following in the footsteps of Vasquez and Tenaglia.
The first DJ cover star – on Mixmag in early 1991 – the still shy DJ was freaked. "I was so used to going to places and just hanging out. Suddenly there was a stream of people coming up," he recalls. "Of course it's bound to happen. You go to Liverpool and you're the first 'pin-up' DJ and you're going to get shit. Frankly, It still weirds me out." Today he still remains shy at heart. "I'm not very good in social situations where I'm put on the spot," he says. "Like meeting new people, small talk. Just never been good with that." It's this contradiction – the coyness that Alexander Coe has when it comes to being Sasha that's at the core of the Sasha myth.
Although Sasha has clearly reached a celebrity status, it's his generous personality, his love for his peers and of course his completely candid humour that has enabled him to maintain such a likeable high profile in the often-fickle world of club culture. Sasha has gone from DJ to superstar status in America, where "Sarsha" is a household name for many teenagers – a gruelling three month tour took their sound further out into deepest America, preaching a gospel of repetitive beats and imaginative mixing from coast to coast, and right through the mid western heartland of the States. A punishing gig-a-night schedule that must make nights like the opening of Space in Ibiza in June seem like a holiday by comparison.
There followed a move back into releasing his own music, collaborating with the former Underworld mainstay, DJ Darren Emerson on 'Scorchio'. For Sasha, music is his first love, and what gives him a buzz is being able to share his music with others. Soon after 'Scorchio' came the first concrete proof of the long-awaited, debut Sasha longplayer.
'Airdrawndagger' took his nose for the dancefloor's g-spot and combined it with the ears for a heartstring strumming melody, a smile inducing hook and dirty great b-line to create a 69 minute symphony that sounds as wistfully enchanting doing the hoovering at home as it does reaching for the lasers on Saturday night. Like the best Sasha DJ set you ever heard, it has melancholy mixed with euphoria, downtempo introspection mixed with jump n' shout excitement.
Across the 11 tracks, there's the time and space to reflect his love for music that rarely gets the chance to shine in clubs, whether that's punishingly gnarly breakbeats or glittering modern classical film scores. It's a symphony for all ravers that grew up but never grew out of chasing that buzz. A record of a journey that began, as so many did, in the smoke and strobes of Manchester's Hacienda nightclub and has now taken him to midwestern stadia and around the globe.
And that's an award-winning journey. The Delta Heavy Tour that consisted of Sasha, John Digweed and Jimmy Van M and took in 35 gigs between March and May in 2002 and was awarded Best Dance Event at the Dancestar Awards 2003. It was a series of gigs that took DJing into unprecedented waters – two mammoth tour buses, visuals by the company behind hit movie 7even's intense opening credit sequence, and crowds of up to 15,000 clubbers crammed into arenas, warehouses and theatres across the United States.
In early 2005 Sasha started to perform his trademark power-packed, emotional sets on his one-of-a-kind, custom-made MAVEN controller crafted specifically for his Apple computer/ Ableton Live Software set-up. Creating a live 100% digital experience, he left turntables behind. First tested and honed at Sasha's monthly Fundacion residencies in New York and Los Angeles in '05, the controller allowed Sasha to not only exhibit his stellar track selection and mixing skills, but to literally redevelop music live. With the ability to sample, loop, and fuse elements from multiple songs at once through digital technology, Sasha truly revolutionized his live DJ performance.
The 2005 residency nights in America served as the testing ground for the Maven controller. Its success took Sasha on a world wide seven-month tour with sell-outs in major destinations like London, Tokyo, Beijing, Sydney, and Buenos Aires as well as such out-of-the-way locales as Mumbai, Marrakech, and Istanbul. Today, Sasha still uses the Maven but alongside the Pioneer CDJ 2000 giving him complete freedom and choice with what and how he plays.
Starting out in the late '80s as a club DJ, Sasha got his first big break when he was hired by the noted UK dance club Shelly's as a resident. It was there that the young DJ found fame with the dance and house crowd, but it wasn't until he started laying down his grooves at the Hacienda, and most notably, Renaissance that he become known nationally in Britain and, eventually, internationally.
The inception of his sometimes partnership with fellow DJ John Digweed 1994 further catapulted Sasha into international superstar status. The two became a DJ/remixing team and soon released their first mixed compilation Renaissance: The Mix Collection (1994) – the first mix CD to achieve "Gold" status in the UK. Touring the globe relentlessly, Sasha and Digweed, collectively and separately, seized the international spotlight, and established a well-deserved status at the fore-front of dance music history and culture.
Refusing to limit himself to DJ work, Sasha has continually explored his various interests as an adept remixer, songwriter, producer and label owner. He established himself as a formidable, in-demand remixer by reconstructing tracks from an incredible array of artists such as Madonna, Seal, Depeche Mode, UNKLE, The Chemical Brothers, BT and Orbital. Sasha's remix of Felix Da Housecat's "Watching Cars Go By", from his album Involver, was nominated for a Grammy in 2005.
Since then Sasha launched his label – emFIRE with production buddies Charlie May, Duncan Forbes and Barry Jamieson. He also returned to the critically acclaimed Involver series. With Invol2ver on Global Underground reaching further critical acclaim, and announced as the best British compilation album by DJ Magazine, a fine return to the studio once more for Sasha and the boys. Sasha spent 2009 and 2010 on a remix mission, creating prolific reworkings for Kasabian, Doves, Little Boots and Damian Lazarus in addition to playing 200 shows across 30 countries proving he is staying as busy as ever on the road. He also released remix packages and singles through his label imprint, emFire including The Midnight Eclipse EP, which features remixes of two tracks, 'Eclipse' (Sasha vs. Ray LaMontagne) and 'Midnight' (Charlie May) from the critically acclaimed Invol2ver album.
2010 proved to be a great year for Sasha when he kicked it off with creating a new visual opus for his shows titled The V_rtek Show. The V_rtek show was meticulously produced by Sasha and visual artists, Picnic Electronic (Alexis, Baillat & Fils] and Immersive (formerly the Pixel Addicts), which consists of a huge LED masterpiece that syncs with every intricate sound in Sasha's set. He wanted to create a unique and totally spellbinding visual and sonic assault on the senses and has been developing this show over the last year. The first of these shows was unveiled at Big Day Out in Australia last January and can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/djsasha#p/a/u/0/sfvHjHEbjKY. The show then developed at various festivals including Glastonbury, and an amazing show at London's Matter.
In April 2010 BBC Radio 1′s world renowned Essential Mix broadcast its 500th mix live from the mighty Circus at Masque in Liverpool where Sasha was invited to play in recognition of one of their most respected and most requested contributors over the years.
The hot summer of 2010 saw Sasha play a series of under-the-radar parties at Ibiza's newest beach venue Ushuaia, starting at sunset and taking the beach party into the dark on many balmy summer Ibiza nights.
To end the year on a high Sasha was voted at no.8 in Mixmag's Greatest DJ of all time poll. Quite a testament to how his popularity is still up there with the great luminaries of our time.
Now, in the dawn of a new decade, Sasha is staying busy as ever on the road and has been beavering away in the studio, pushing new boundaries, and with new magic up his sleeves.
Currently residing in New York City, Three has been tirelessly holding the flag for underground electronic music in the US since his rise out of the sunny state of Florida in the early 90's. In that time, he's emerged as one of the brightest DJ talents in the US and continues to be a true inspiration for many of us. Three's tour dates show both diversity in audience and a genre-bending passion for good music; he's held residencies at NYC's Twilo, Cielo (Robots), Love and Blk Market Membership, as well as Florida's legendary Simon's while playing lauded guest spots at San Francisco's Wicked party, Fabric (UK), Panorama Bar (Berlin), Blk Market Membership (NYC) and forward thinking events like Japan's Labyrinth Festival and Australia's Rainbow Serpent.
Three's label Hallucination Limited was started in 2003 by Three as an off-shoot of the seminal US 90's label Hallucination Recordings which was founded by dance music legends Rabbit In The Moon. Hallucination Recordings was responsible for some of the freshest techno (licensing the Hazed - Bells EP to Richie Hawtin's Plus 8 label in '94), proper electro (miami bass legends Dynamix 2 and Jackal & Hyde) and benchmark releases like Second Hand Satellites - Multiple Mirrors EP (produced by Three and Sean Q6). Armed with a sound that borrows equally from vintage acid-house, techno and underground electronica Hallucination Limited is held in the highest regard getting attention from a wider audience than most most reach. One of the ethos of Hallucination has always been to release music that years later that is still relevant and feels timeless. A perfect example of this is Cassy's Circo Loco mix CD for the July 2011 issue of Mixmag... which contains no less than five tracks from the label catalog! Three's eclectic taste as a DJ and producer shine through just as brightly in his choices for the label.
Following the path of his appeal as a DJ, his rare forays into producing have become staples for DJs of all styles. Three's remix of Mish Mash feat. Lois - 'Speechless' (Lost in Translation mix) for heavyweight UK label Crosstown Rebels received praise across the board including "pick of the month" in the 15 year anniversary issue of DJ Magazine while other productions such as the underground staple that is Second-Hand Satellites and remixes as Three A.M. (with David Christophere of Rabbit In The Moon) like U.N.K.L.E. feat. Ian Brown - 'Reign' continue to be played on dance floors around the world from DJs as diverse as Harvey, Ricardo Villalobos and Lee Burridge.
Coming from the school of American DJs like Josh Wink and Doc Martin, Three has a wide ranging musical palate akin to Andrew Weatherall or Laurent Garnier, and was recently featured as part of DJ Times Magazine's DJX20 Anniversary profile series as one of twenty DJs who embody the spirit of the American underground along such contemporaries as Josh Wink and Claude Von Stroke.
Aside from his natural ability on the decks, Three sets himself apart from the rest of the pack by presenting eclectic sounds with an open-minded attitude towards everything he does. From DJ sets to musical output, Three is a "DJ's DJ" who has always leaned toward the cutting edge without losing touch with the roots of house and techno.
If it takes fifteen years to make an overnight hit, then Nicolas Matar has truly come of age. The story of house music has run from the New York underground via Ibiza to London and back around again many times over the past fifteen years – and as the chapters have unfolded, our man has been there to turn the page.
Nicolas has been DJing since the tender age of 15. He got an early head-start from his father, an original member of Studio 54 and a denizen of the 70′s New York club scene. “Dad was a hobbyist DJ and had an incredible collection of Disco, Funk and Soul records,” says Nicolas. “I grew up with a mini club in my basement. My parents used it to entertain their friends with my Dad behind the decks.
Nicolas’ musical style is very diverse, encompassing everything from Deep House, Soulful House, Nu-Jazz, Techno to Disco Classics. Like most globetrotting DJs, Nicolas spins regularly in the US, UK, Spain, Brazil, France, Mexico, Peru, Netherlands, Italy, Estonia, Greece, Finland, Canada, Singapore, Belgium, Korea, Hong Kong, Turkey, Japan, Indonesia and Switzerland. It is perhaps his greatest accolade that from 1993-2001, Nicolas was the resident DJ of the world-renowned Pacha in Ibiza. Nicolas credits those years during the golden era of House Music at Pacha as the inspiration for his eventual return to New York to build Cielo.
Nicolas opened Cielo in New York eight years ago. It was awarded an unparalleled 10 awards in its first five years and has become a reputable brand worldwide. In addition to being the co-owner/resident DJ, Nicolas handles all music programming and marketing at Cielo. Roger Sanchez, Francois K., Carl Cox, Louie Vega, Tedd Patterson, Richie Hawtin, Dubfire, Danny Tenaglia, and Frankie Knuckles are just a few of the Djs who play alongside Nicolas at Cielo on a regular basis.
Cielo just released its much-anticipated seventh compilation, Paradizo 2 to much acclaim mixed by Nicolas and fellow Cielo resident, Willie Graff. Cielo’s first compilation, Cloud 9, and its following compilations were a great success worldwide and amongst the best selling CDs in Ibiza during the summer. Nicolas has also mixed three other highly acclaimed DJ compilations: “Latitude 40″, and “Sundance” for the Journeys By DJ Label in the UK, and “Tropicalism”, for Razor and Tie in the US. Please go to www.djnicolasmatar.com for more info.
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