SOHMI Hosted a Memorable Night of Dance Music at Spybar

Rising house and techno star SOHMI returned to Chicago for an unforgettable night of electronic music at Spybar on November 19th.

When SOHMI opened for Boris Brejcha earlier this year at Radius Chicago, there was a buzz among the Chicago dance music community about how good she had been. I had unfortunately missed that event, so I couldn’t miss her headlining show at Spybar on Saturday, November 19th. A classically trained pianist turned underground dance music rising star, SOHMI continues to prove that her path forward has only just begun. 

Female energy was featured all night with Hummingbird’s opening set achieving a great crowd engagement that had everyone dancing by the conclusion of her time slot. Hummingbird is the female half of Portals & Parachutes, the rising Chicago duo that recently opened for Paul Kalkbrenner.

Spybar continues to maintain the perfect underground setting with an intimacy that’s not always achieved in other Chicago venues. The openers and venues contributed to the overall vibe, and SOHMI, who always had a smile on her face (unless she was concentrating on a transition), brought positive energy and fun to the night. She has an infectious spirit that gets everyone involved and informs the audience that she’s genuinely enjoying herself with everything she’s doing.  

Critics of dance music might mention the repetition of the beats, but it’s the repetition of the beat structure that creates a new jumping point for variations instead of the alternative silence. Habituation, in psychology, refers to your brain getting used to repeating stimuli and prioritizing anything new and unfamiliar. A good minimal techno artist can use a repetitive beat structure to bring the room up to a specific tempo and float there while they add in the nuances and creative layers spaced throughout.

SOHMI captured this perfectly with an exciting range of styles all layered on top of the dream-like bass lines of minimalist techno. She was able to mix in some vocal tracks and her pop-infused tech/house sounds to take us on a true journey of music. Lengthy shows require peaks and valleys to ensure an audience doesn’t feel stuck on a plateau, and this blending of styles and sounds kept the crowd engaged throughout her entire 2+ hour set. You can tell a set was special if a majority of the crowd stays until close, and SOHMI kept us dancing well into the closing hours of the night.

Story: shadedan // Photos: matthew_reeves_photography

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