Amtrac Comes to Basement Miami to Play the Music He Wants to Play

Despite what wandering tourists will tell their friends back home, downtown Miami and South Beach are not the same place. As locals, we understand that, and so does Amtrac. He’s not technically a local, but as far as Miami’s nightlife is concerned, he might as well be.

He spends most of his days at his home in Louisville, Kentucky, but he’s spent the past five years being managed by Miami's own Super Music Group. Thanks to them, he’s played many of our most famous clubs and venues, from opening for Kaskade at the American Airlines Arena to getting down and dirty in Grand Central’s upstairs loft, The Garret.

He’s made the rounds enough to know the truth about our scene, and if he’s being honest, he’s pretty much over the whole beach and bottle service shtick. But then he was invited to the Edition hotel's funky hideaway, Basement, to play the venues monthly Discobox party. And he had to re-evaluate his whole SoBe position – and not just because of the rainbow bowling alley and mini ice-skating rink.

“I’m picky about where I play down there,” he says. “I don’t want it to be a crowd that’s more commercial-based where I might get told what to play. I really don’t even enjoy it at all if that happens. But, the fact that this party has been doing really well and has brought DJs that are similar to my sound, I think it should be really good.”

Besides being a welcome chance for a Miami vacation, the night at Basement will double as a celebration of sorts. He’s riding high on his latest release “Hold On,” a super-catchy house jam he’s waited almost a year to let loose. It's a super summer track perfectly appropriate for a city where summer never ends. It’s also his first proper original to be released on Toolroom Records. It’s certainly a moment to relish, but already, he feels himself being pushed to new sonic frontiers.
“I’m being a little more experimental,” he says. “You probably won’t hear any of the big records that are out, even the deep Duke Dumont kind of stuff. A lot of people would probably assume that I’d play that kind of stuff, but I’m getting a little bit weird and dark. [There might even be some] techno in there if I can get away with it.”

While he promises to play “tons of new stuff nobody’s heard,” he’s also going to take an opportunity to drop some knowledge on these young guns. 

“I’m trying to bring a lot of old records too — things that I think people need to hear or tracks that got slept on in the past,” he says. “Music’s a disposable thing now, and people are so A.D.D. There’s nothing tangible. You can’t hold the music. It’s just a digital click. It’s kind of a disconnect with the music so it’s easy to forget about something and just move on to the next thing because there’s new artwork, and new blogs, new vlogs, new people, new faces, always something.”

Some are his own weird edits and unreleased gems that can’t be heard anywhere else and some might be classic dance floor hits that got lost in the collective refresh. Whatever he drops, it almost goes without saying that he'll only bring the best for our ears.

“There’s a little bit of a hometown feeling there,” he says. “There’s definitely a lot of friends and people that always come out that I haven’t seen in a long time.”

Amtrac With Mike Russ. 11 p.m. Friday, August 28, at Basement Miami, 2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-641-7119; Tickets cost $20 plus fees via Ages 21 and up.

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Kat Bein is a freelance writer and has been described as this publication’s "senior millennial correspondent." She has an impressive, if unhealthy, knowledge of all things pop culture.