Pérez Art Museum Miami
Thursday, June 19, 2014
It was a grey, rainy Thursday evening, and garbage bags dangled precariously from the keyboards, mixers, and samplers of avant-pop duo Teengirl Fantasy. Setting up under a small alcove where rain and wind threatened to destroy the equipment entirely, TGF's Nick Weiss and Logan Takahashi readied their setup and braced for the storm.
Though the rain fell in an uninterrupted sheet for upward of two hours, it did little to dampen the spirits of the performers or the crowd that had amassed, both for the show and for a museum mixer.
Teengirl Fantasy soundchecked with a set of upbeat drum 'n' bass tracks before segueing into some signature, bouncy, abstracted R&B instrumentals. The rubbery bass bellowed over the din of the monsoon, drinks were poured, mingling was had, and mother nature was seemingly sent packing by the cheery local gathering. Toward the end of the energetic set, the deluge evaporated as a rainbow appeared on the horizon.
The show was part of PAMM's ongoing Third Thursdays concert series, an innovative approach to Miami's typically club-friendly DJ scene. The museum has been building a great track record, with previous sets from Oneohtrix Point Never, Gatekeeper, and Laurel Halo, to name a few.
The vibe for these outdoor shows is decidedly mellow, with artists providing a sort of soiree soundtrack. The view from the patio is expansive and uplifting, and the series has succeeded in simply providing a relaxing alternative for artists to perform beyond the bounds of stereotypical South Beach clubs.
Weiss and Takahashi seemed very much in their element as they beckoned the audience to dance with head-nodding beats and sultry vocal samples. At one point, Aphex Twin's famous "Windowlicker" riff was mixed in and out of the set, possibly a nod to the recently rediscovered "lost" Richard D. James album, Caustic Window.
A true pop moment came when vocalist/producer Hoody, a native of Seoul, South Korea, jumped on the mic for a performance of the forthcoming joint single, "U Touch Me." Her voice, hushed yet emotive, provided the perfect pillowy counterbalance to the duo's jutting rhythms and electronic squawks.
The collaboration makes sense, as TGF are known Korean pop (K-pop) fans constantly seeking to expand their soundscapes beyond wordless electronics by curating distinct styles and genres into a melange of globally-tinged futurism.
While the two-hour-plus set lacked the momentum that we'd previously encountered when seeing Teengirl Fantasy play tight sets in intimate spaces like Bardot Miami or the H&H building in Baltimore, this could be attributed to the DJ set stipulation of the performance and the more casual attitude of the crowd.
On nights for which TGF's Weiss and Takahashi are billed to perform live sets, they typically pull out all stops, mashing on samplers and whacking drum pads with abandon.
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For a rain-soaked after hours shindig, though, the relaxed tone was just right.
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