Like heirlooms and hand-me-downs, dance music is passed from one generation to the next. Miami native and Club Space resident, Alex “ALX” Sanchez was introduced to the genre by his big brother. At an early age, he was taught that good times happen in dark rooms with loud music and bright lights.
“My brother was a big trance fan and got me into the scene at an early age. I was going to clubs when I was 13 or 14, but Miami’s changed a lot. Miami is stricter and there aren’t as many all ages club nights anymore. We couldn’t wait to get to the Blue Room at Space to see Oscar G, Roland, Cedric Gervais and other Space residents at the time. The first time I went to Space, Edgar V was playing. It was incredible. It was a golden era of DJs at Space,” Sanchez says.
ALX has been watching the sunrise at Space for more than a decade, but now he’s manning the controls. In early September he played at Electric Festival in Aruba before jetting over to Ibiza. While on the Balearic Island, he watched other DJs drop his recent release, “Don’t." The song peaked at #21 on Beatport’s techno chart. He also enjoyed a legendary Carl Cox set from the DJ booth at Space Ibiza, a good seat if you can get it. This made in Dade local boy done good.
Once a lost soul in the world of open format DJs, it was Omar Rosario and friends that introduced him to the storytelling approach of techno. A spiritual gathering happens every Saturday at Space. The congregation assembles to hear a genre that calls for patience. Subtle jumps of energy charge the dance floor. The unmistakable techno sound with its reverb, kick drum, clap and hi-hat is essential Miami afterhours music. A track can cruise for 10-minutes, but when it jumps, the payoff is so much greater, and at 7 a.m. in Space, it’s divine.
The Space regulars see the resident DJs as something more than musicians. They look at them with reverence.
“Too many artists forget they were a fan," Sanchez says. "They forget about all the time they spent on the dance floor. I never will. When people ask me to take a photo or want to show me love, I appreciate it. That was me for years. I used to party, but not as much anymore. Our industry is like any other — you have to show up on time and you need to be lucid and ready to work.”
ALX has fond memories of going to Miami spots Club Honey, 609, and Oxygen back in the day. He loves the city that showed him the ropes and says Club Space is still far and away his favorite club to play. “I’ve never seen Space management tell a DJ what to play," Sanchez says. "They respect the artist and let them do their thing. Space opens a lot of doors for a lot of artists. So many clubs have come and gone, but Space has been there the longest and they bring in the least amount of headliners. Every other club pays a lot for DJs. Space has always been more about the music, vibe, and the dance floor,” he added.
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ALX opened for Deadmau5 at Joel’s free show for the “real fans” at Ice Palace on February 15, 2014. The Deadmau5 camp asked him to play techno. Not a problem, he obliged. Run-ins with dance music’s legends are happening a lot lately. It started in backyards all over West Miami with Splack Pack, Rozay, and Pitbull jump-offs. It’s a bit more sophisticated now.
“I knew my music was getting better once I was able to play my own productions in a set with the world’s best producers and the energy would sustain. That was a good feeling.”