Sasha: Nurturing Talent, Unearthing New Music
- Published on Wednesday, 04 June 2014 13:00
A leader in not only the context of UK dance music’s fruitful history but also of the modern day global scene at large, pioneering DJ and producer Sasha has of course been there and done it more so than many producers could achieve in their career. A series of groundbreaking, genre defining albums entitled Involver, a reputation as one of the most skilled, crowd controlling DJs in the world and an equally large stake in many of the world’s hotspots and scenes. So what’s new for Sasha in 2014, and what’s keeping him busy this year? MEOKO took a seat and phoned in for a chat with Sasha from his NYC apartment and found that it’s business as usual for the shape-shifting figurehead.
You’re talking to us from New York… how does it compare for you after spending years in the UK. The city is going through somewhat of a cultural renaissance at the moment…
It was really strong in the late nineties but then Mayor Giuliani came in and shut all the clubs down. It’s all happening in Brooklyn now though, there are lots of new clubs and it’s a very vibrant scene. I don’t play too much over here and I don’t overdo it but I enjoy it when I do play. I’m playing a big party on July 5th.
Last Night on Earth has built up a reputation as an eclectic imprint, as there seems to be a lack of boundaries, with an extremely broad range of sounds encompassed in your remit. You seem to release some almost song-written music too what did you look to achieve when first starting up the project?
I wanted to release something more than just a collection of club bangers and a label concentrating on the dance-floor. I really wanted it to be about nurturing breaking talent, helping people with their careers and unearthing new music and some great treasures.
It’s hard for people to run labels these days, what with unstable markets and financial risks… you have to be in it whole-heartedly and for the right reasons too I guess…
It’s definitely a labour of love. It’s certainly not going to be paying all my bills for me so to speak but I’m really not doing this for monetary or financial reasons it’s lovely to have a stack of exclusive music to play out and help others out. It’s the idea of getting people to do four five track EPs than just releasing tracks it allows them to spread their wings so to speak. The release schedule coming up is looking really strong so I think it’s going to be a really fruitful period for Last Night on Earth.
Speaking of musical formats, you released ‘Involv3r’ which you spent a number of years working on the production for. Have you started laying down any early blueprints for a new album as yet? Your music is always highly technical, how do you approach the LP format?
I continued working on music straight away. I’ve been writing constantly and I’ve got 30 – 40 demos in the pot. I’m not sure what format I’m even going to release on whether its LP, EP or singles… it hasn’t taken shape yet, but we’ve got lots there. I haven’t got to a point with that yet but I know we’ve got so much. I don’t want to count my chickens to early I’ve done that before many times.
It’s summertime, Ibiza season is kicking off you’ve seen the island go through its up and downs and watched as the island has changed both economically and socially…
I think my first gig there was 1990. But every summer is up and down, and this year is hard to predict. I just did the opening party for Ushuaia to 10, 11,000 people which was amazing but the island does seem really quiet this year. But you never know really. It does almost seem recession proof, Ibiza. But I’ve played there when clubs have really struggled to make things meet.
Do you think that Ibiza in more contemporary times has changed for the better? As a regular visitor to the island, what changes can you predict happening in the next couple of years?
The problem in Ibiza though is there is a huge amount of competition, it’s overwhelming I know from previous experience that launching and running a new club in Ibiza even a new night is a mammoth task. There were a good five nights trying to launch last year so maybe this year there will be more collaborations between people and will result in less people treading on toes. I’ve already noticed that people are working with people they’ve done stuff with before again or taking things in a smaller and more interesting way.
Speaking of maintaining long relationships, you’re going to be touching down at Space Ibiza frequently this year for a residency at We Love... Sundays at Space Ibiza… what is it about Space that makes it such a unique and popular venue?
I’m hosting four nights there, two on the terrace and two inside. I’m really looking forward to playing there, and it’s always been my home there. It’s where I started my Ibiza journey in many ways so I always feel I have a big connection to the club. I think the line-ups there are great they’ve been doing it for a long time, they know their stuff. The Sunday there is a legendary night there isn’t it there’s lots of competition on the island but Sundays at Space have always maintained such a strong presence. I remember back in the days when the roof would come off, I would get straight off the plane with my records and head straight there to play to get the terrace set and then just suck it up and go into the big dark room for the rest of the night, haha. Possibly my favourite club on an island that’s famed for it’s unique energy.
Finally, after summer silly season is over, what’s going to take up your time for the rest of the year is there any rest periods or will you go straight into the studio?
After Ibiza, its studio time in October. Going into November ill be hitting Australia and Asia, Then December January and early next year I’m going to really hit the productions hard and try and break the back of whatever this thing is that I’m working on. I’m also looking at a few TV / film score things that I’m looking at so hopefully next time we talk I can speak more about those to you.
Sasha will present 4 very special Last Night On Earth events at We Love Sundays At Space.