Unconventional and unique, this producer & DJ is recognized amongst all kinds of crowds. We sit down backstage at the Expand Warehouse to talk about Sacha’s travels, Kraftwerk, monikers, and Dirtybird.
Any cool places you’ve traveled, events you’ve played, or projects you’ve been working on recently?
I've been to tons of new cities. Every weekend is often the first time I’ve been to a city. For instance, Atlanta today, or Charlotte tomorrow. Other cities include Phoenix, Dayton, Calgary, Vancouver, and festivals like Lightning In A Bottle in California. The Ardalan's THUNDER TOUR is basically going to be all over Canada and the States.
Talk a bit about how you got to know Claude and became a part of the team with Dirtybird.
I somehow listened to one of the first releases of Dirtybird in 2006. I think it was Justin Martin’s “Swamp Thang." Since then, I’ve just been a fan. I started sending them demos, and they didn't like any of them for like five years. Then I was in Miami for WMC, and I met Claude von Stroke. I was in Berlin for four years, and they would be a rare thing to see over there. It’s just not a popular sound in that area. Once we met we really just hit it off, and the rest is history.
How did you get to know Karl Bartos of Kraftwerk and what was learning and working together like?
I did this master at the University of the Arts called Acoustic Communication in Berlin. Which was a mix of sound design, physics of sound, writing about sound, and things like that. It was a pretty interesting collaboration between all kinds of people. I was actually studying architecture at the time, and I wasn't really feeling it. Then I saw this course taught by Karl, and thought to myself, “I really need to jump on this.” Learning from him was a really awesome experience.
One of my favorite remixes is the one you did under Robosonic for Louie Austen. How did this duo project come about, and do you have plans to continue working on it?
It was 2005 I think, and we got introduced to each other. I was like, “Oh, you make music?” Then he said, “You make music? You’re a cool guy. We should make music together.” It was pretty clear that this was going to be a professional thing that we wanted to try. We actually had a release come out today on Get Physical called “Drowning."
You have releases on a vast range of record labels, from Jesse Perez’s Mr. Nice Guy to Andre Crom’s Off Recordings. How do you approach working with these different teams and maintaining your personal artistic vision?
I think the label usually just takes the tracks that they are feeling passionate about, and that's how the label’s sound is so specific. I don’t make a track with a label in mind and then just start sending them (the tracks) out. I’m planning on doing my own label at some point. Maybe that will happen someday soon.
Tell us what your favorite cuisine is and a notable restaurant that you like.
I love food of all types. I like Italian cuisine a lot. I grew up eating a lot of Italian food that my parents were cooking. But I like Asian too, like Thai and Japanese. There’s a spot that I frequent in Los Angeles called Jinya. I’ll go twice a week, get spicy ramen, and sweat out all the garbage.
What does the rest of the year look like for you personally and artistically?
I’m going to be here (the States) touring until June 20, then I’m going back to Berlin for a month or so. I’m playing EDC, Burning Man, Campout, and some other stuff along the way. That’s my dream and my goal for the year. Travel the world, make some music, play out as much as possible and just be happy.
I show Sacha to the booth, introduce him to Luis, and let him get set up. Making my way to the dance floor, which was still growing and social, I notice that I didn’t see many familiar faces here. It was really nice to see some festival travelers, first timers, a younger crowd, and a bit of a different vibe overall than usual.
Sasha plays bass heavy, as most of the Dirtybird members do. Lots of grooving, uplifting, almost jacking styles, being the main thread of his set. He molds, shapes, and shakes the room. Driving the crowd through the steadily growing event. He plays for quite sometime which created a special and almost intimate experience with the Dirtybird fans.
Later in the evening, I meet Ardalan backstage right before his set. He is sporting a cowboy hat which reminds me of Woody's hat from Toy Story. He makes his way to the stage as the crowded dance floor starts to cheer for his entrance. He plays a more pop culture infused house set. Samples from varied genres over that standout Dirtybird sound. The crowd is loving it and the night is exactly just what it should be.