Friday, March 25, 2011 at 9 a.m.
Ultra Week, or Miami Music Week, or the Week Formerly Known as Winter Music Conference, is amazing in that on any given night, there are a number of world-class lineups from which to choose. That can be a bad thing too, though, because with so many competing events, some deserving parties never really reach the velocity they deserve.
Sad to say, but that was the case last night at Simian Mobile Disco's Delicatessen party at Eve (formerly White Room). The venue was not yawningly empty, but not exactly packed, either, and the ratio of males to females hovered somewhere around five to one. (The club's "red room" on the side was worse; at one point I wandered in to find exactly six punters in there, all of them dudes.)
None of this was for lack of a winning lineup, which was set to feature techno-ey acts like Radio Slave and Blondes in the main room, and more ragga/garage/grab-bag DJs like Toddla T and Jokers of the Scene in the red room. But with Hard at Grand Central appealing to the younger kiddies who need moar bangerz, Smog vs. Basshead at Mekka drawing in anyone remotely interested in dubstep, and a million techno parties attracting the minimal dudes, the party at Eve got lost in the shuffle.
Too bad, because the tracks were top-notch. Like the original, London version of the party, the musical lineup was varied rather than sticking to the kinds of rigid genre constraints common to most dance music. DJ duo JDH and Dave P -- who host their own Fixed night at the Vagabond tonight -- deserve extra credit for getting everyone dancing as much as possible from about midnight to 2 a.m. The far-reaching set segued from Prince, disco, and funky techno on the earlier side to more thumping, peak-hour tracks later on that created a nice momentum.
When Simian Mobile Disco finally went on afterwards, they started similarly eclectically, with Jas Shaw dropping Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" as a first selection. From there, though, things went techno pretty quickly; an early highlight was Samuel L. Session's underground-lamenting "Do You Relate?"
If you don't know who that is, you wouldn't have liked the set. There were no easily digestible electro bangers here, but, as the duo has repeatedly stressed in interviews, longer tracks that take longer to sonically unpack. Unfortunately, only the most hardcore dancers and trainspotters stuck around much past 2:30 a.m. to do so.
But hey, it's clubland. You win some, you lose some, and anyways, the big highlight of Simian Mobile Disco's weekend in Miami will be the duo's live performance at Ultra Music Festival itself. That takes place Saturday, and promises a new light show, new versions of old favorite tracks, and, likely, minds blown.