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By the spring of 2010, parties thrown by local creative collective the Overthrow were already legendary. The now-defunct Black Sundays series at Bella Rose became, possibly, the only weekly party in South Beach to stage faux murders regularly, scoring a few "Best of Miami" nods from New Times. Its one-offs were similarly twisted. In February 2010, while L.A. producer Deathface played a gig at White Room, the crew even staged a full occult ritual, complete with a half-naked sacrificial virgin.
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For real, if anyone was pushing dirty decadence to its limit, it was the Overthrow. But just before last year's edition of Winter Music Conference, the group was still a shadowy, floating bunch without a home. That is, until Overthrow cofounders Alexis Mincolla and Sam Baum had an epiphany.
"We were riding around in the trunk of somebody's car, and we went by an abandoned church that we had wanted to make our headquarters," Baum recalls. "But the church wasn't really what we were looking for. But then we saw this castle! So we said, 'Hey, pull over — we gotta get in here!'"
The castle in question was the inexplicable building near the intersection of NW 20th Street and NW First Avenue, shaped exactly like a medieval fort, right down to drawbridge-style doors and gargoyles guarding the inner courtyard. ("I heard it was a coven or something. But that's just a rumor," Baum says coyly.) As magick would have it, on that fateful day, the building was unoccupied except for its eccentric owners.
"We pretty much started banging on the door, and finally the owners came [out]. They're these out-there kind of people. And literally, the first time they met us, they were like, 'You guys are the right people to move in here. We sense it in you,'" Baum says. "Two weeks later, we were in there."
With a proper headquarters, Overthrow's momentum continued to build with projects in all areas of the arts, from music to fashion to visual art. But the crew's reputation remained legion — especially after the first blowout in the new digs, this past December's Basel Castle. The party featured performances by the likes of Rye Rye and Theophilus London, as well as up-and-coming Miami dubstep outfit Caligula, in a twisted carnival playground fueled by obscenely cheap liquor. And yeah, there were those damn gargoyles watching over everything.
On the heels of that wee-hours bash, the Overthrow's impending teamup with New York crew Trouble & Bass, again at the castle, remains one of Ultra week's most anticipated satellite parties. The two groups collaborated on another packed-to-the-gills, bass-heavy shebang during last year's Winter Music Conference, highlights of which were searing, much-blogged-about late-night sets by Plastician and 12th Planet. Asked about Trouble & Bass, Baum simply says, "I think we're on the same twisted wavelength."
Officially billed as the Black Magick Miami Party, the event promises to tap into darker creative forces. The soundtrack will be multigenre, but again bass-heavy and left-field, spearheaded by Trouble & Bass. The advertised lineup includes some of the label's stars, like the aforementioned Deathface, A.C. Slater, Star Eyes, and the Captain, as well as other like-minded acts such as Bart B More and Caligula. Also promised: some major dubstep guest stars who can't be named because of other contractual obligations. That, and other out-there forms of the darker arts. "You're going to see a lot more esoteric, mystic forms of expression. You're going to see a lot of magick, fortunetellers, and ritual," Baum says. "If Basel Castle was sort of the good side of the force, this one is certainly going to be exploring the dark side."
With Deathface back on the bill, though, does that mean an even more extreme repeat of the stunts pulled during his last Miami show? Some splattered fake blood is almost a definite, given the track record of the producer's own bloodbath parties. "It gets the crowd involved," Deathface says. "I recruit two or three people and tell them to go out in the crowd and rub blood on people's faces, or throw blood on them while I'm playing, and it's interactive."
But there is a less morbid — and less sticky — side to the Overthrow's plans that week. For a dose of high-minded culture, the group is also planning a Wednesday late-afternoon, early-evening event at the 1111 Building, otherwise known as the fancy Herzog & de Meuron-designed parking garage at the intersection of Alton and Lincoln roads in South Beach. With this, the collective hopes to elevate the discourse of the electronic music scene.
"The culture sort of gets overshadowed by the drugs and the crowds and the late-night partying. And the reality is that electronic music is probably the most progressive thing happening in all music today," Baum explains. "But that's really part of a bigger lifestyle of creatives, which extends into fashion and film and all kinds of fine art. So we wanted to do an event that showcases the ways in which all of these overlap."
To that end, this arty party will take over the top level of the garage — lately a home to swanky events such as a private South Beach Wine & Food Festival bash — and present work from across the spectrum of media. That means bikes by Los Angeles fixed-gear company Sole Bikes, a custom mural by the Miami street art guerrillas behind Primary Flight, and the debut of the latest collection by avant-garde accessories designer Kerin Rose, whose creations have adorned a little somebody known as Lady Gaga.
Of course, there will be music too. And following a similarly intelligent bent, the lineup includes Brooklyn DJ Brenmar, electro-techno duo Nadastrom, and London-based producer Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. "With that kind of mixed lineup," Baum says, "it's going to be a really, really unique experience."
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