Sunday afternoon on the Miami River. Skyscrapers glisten at a near distance, a whispering breeze sweeps in off a randy Biscayne Bay, and pleasure craft bob at arm's length, seemingly to the beat of an electro anthem. The chatter is quick, the chatterers are giddy, and even in their seats, everyone is dancing. Such is the swing at a shindig called Knot 55. Your host: Ultra Music Festival co-kingpin Alex Omes. Your DJ: Claudio Holze. Your daydream: Come true.
Held each and every Sunday at Miami's Big Fish, Knot 55 is just the place to bring a weekend to an excitedly restful close. Because the party is set smack in the center of the Magic City, a decidedly cosmopolitan vibe looms over everything. But because said party is right on the waterfront and soundtracked by a master craftsman, a soothing groove tempers that big-town bustle.
But don't think for a moment that groove is gonna give you any lull — not with Holze on the decks. See, the Argentine turntablist made his name doing 12-hour stints at Nikki Beach's infamous Sunday soirees. So what you get is the deep, blue pulse of a party set interminably on spin.
Claudio Holze: Sundays at the Knot 55 party at Big Fish, Miami; myspace.com/claudioholze
Holze's five-year stand at Nikki Beach came on the heels of a whirlwind that saw him headlining every hot spot in Buenos Aires, not to mention drive-bys from Mexico City to the Dominican Republic. Concurrent action included all the usual South Beach spaces — from Level and Suite to Crobar and Opium Garden — in addition to runups to D.C.'s the Capitol and NYC's Home.
And if that list isn't long enough to convince you, just last year, Holze held court at the King Is Dead here in Miami and then hit the Continent for a tour that went from Sweden to Spain and ended up stopping in every fair-size city in — of all places — Macedonia. That's surely enough data to give you an idea of the lengths to which this man will go to get a party started right.
Counting among his influences the big three in DJdom — Larry Levan, Danny Tenaglia, and Frankie Knuckles — and courting a fan base that starts with the smart set and finishes with royalty, Holze holds a certain sway among those to whom classic is more than a mere buzzword. Just check the way Holze segues from X-Press's electric "Lazy" to, say, the ever-uplifting "Shined on Me" by Praise Cats (featuring Andrea Love), two 21st-century tracks that smack of house classicism.
At Big Fish, Holze is for the first time trading BPMs with his wife, Natalia. The couple has been hitched for 15 years, but it's been only the past two that she started spinning in her own right (she counts Brickell's Novecento among her stands). Together they make a perfect tag team, in love with each other, and with the kind of music that brings love wherever it goes.
Claudio Holze's current top five:
1. "You Have to Dance (Mathias Kaden's Beatpolka Remix)," Noze
2. "We Love," Jürgen Paape and Boy Schaufler
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3. "Say Something," Tovar
4. "Lazy (Mowgli Goes Deep Mix)," X-Press 2 feat. David Byrne
5. "Drunken Gold (Original Mix)," Monobrain