Nina Kraviz Returns to Chicago Smart Bar Review

Nina Kraviz Returns to Chicago Smart Bar Review

Dressed in a white long sleeve fishnet top and black leather overalls, Nina Kraviz played at Smart Bar located in Chicago’s neighborhood of Wrigleyville. The underground venue is home to a more underground scene of dance music like house (acid, tech) and techno. Originally supposed to have played this past March, the crowd eagerly awaited the Siberian retired dentist turned DJ/producer to take over the night.

It’s no wonder why Mix Mag recently named Nina Kraviz their top DJ of the year describing her with a sense of musical fearlessness, she gave a solid two-hour set to help the venue round out yet another year in music with only a couple of weeks left in 2017. What started off as a neatly kept short bob ended up in a wild, sweaty hairstyle (brief video at the end for your viewing and listening pleasure).

photo via Paola Kudacki

What I found interesting was her respect and admiration for Eris Drew, a resident DJ at Smart Bar who played support for her that night. Stepping in the DJ booth at around 1:30 a.m. she  stood with a soft smile several feet away simply looking at Eris reign over the DJ decks.

When Nina finally took her place, not before hugging her support goodbye, she become immersed in her own world. Her set opened with ‘Cookie and Sexy‘ (Bjarki and Nina Kraviz) and would eventually take you throughout several genres that she’s known to explore. She may have only been on for a few minutes, but I could already tell she had a reserved yet charismatic presence.

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Every now and then she would steal a glance toward the crowd, but even then her eyes would be more so in the direction of the ceiling. Nina Kraviz‘s work behind the decks kept many looking and admiring her. As the night went on, I noticed that her set was not only building up, but she was creating a black hole slowing down time. The time loss simply working to invite you to groove in her atmosphere’s deep musical pulses.

I call it reaching a state of flow. Once it happens, everything connects into a perfect voodoo sequence. The DJ, the people, and the room become one. –Nina Kraviz, XLR8R, 2015

While her dances moves may have been limited throughout the night, later fans would find out via her social media that she wasn’t feeling her best, her eyes were as expressive as ever. They welcomed you to step in and get lost in her world of frequencies and vibrations creating a continuum of electronic music.

As her time in Chicago came toward an end she closed out her set and gave her crowd a warm goodbye saying a few words before disappearing to the side.

Nina Kraviz has had one stellar year and with not one but two labels (трип and GALAXIID) to her name, we can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for this techno goddess.




Comically Unique, Rambunctiously Colorful, Musically Crazed [ My Life is a Never Ending Concert ] – Reporting from the Windy City.