Last year, the invitation-only, joint Art Basel Miami Beach kickoff party thrown by MOCA LA and Deitch Projects was possibly the most buzzed-about party for the Venn diagram overlap of cool kids from the art and music worlds. The occasion, then, was a private set by LCD Soundsystem, then already rumored to be on its way out as a regularly touring band. Though the Raleigh’s sandy back pool area was set with round banquet-style tables, soon the crowd crammed between them and resourceful crashers snuck in from the beach by the dozen.
Last night’s edition of the same fete, again at the Raleigh, was nowhere near as frantic. The messier door situations were next door at the Shelborne, where a sceney Susanne Bartsch-produced party for local photographer Seth Browarnik blared high-NRG from the pool. This time around, revelers could enter the Raleigh with little-to-no wait, with plenty of elbow room inside — but still enough of a crowd to keep the atmosphere warmed up. (The free Grey Goose helped on that front, too.)
Of course, it’s almost impossible not to dance to Soulwax, who performed last night, along with 2ManyDJs. They’re pretty much the same act, with both helmed by the Belgian brothers Dewaele. They headlined the evening as the latter outfit, with a DJ set amped up by animations on two huge hanging screens, and powered by pumped-up house and techno mash-ups of recognizable songs by acts like Talking Heads and MGMT.
That was fun stuff — but it was as Soulwax that the real treat came. For Soulwax, the Dewaeles are joined by three other friends for a live version of electronic music from across the four-four subgenre spectrum. This was done almost completely analog, too, with a funky rhythm section and a bank of vintage synthesizers from a Korg collector’s wildest dreams. Sounds went from early tinkling electro, to vocoded space-out jams, to straight up vintage ravey acid house. All of that blended together into an almost seamless set, complete with moments of almost complete darkness — and then bursts of colored, stadium-style lights — to add to the drama. Here’s a quick video of the band performing.