But don't blame Street Miami for asserting what was then true. Clubgoers are a fickle lot, nowhere more so than in the Magic City, where a nightclub's fortunes can rise and fall rapidly. Since 1988 the Kitchen Club has logged time at the old Grove Art Cinema space in Coconut Grove and the Mission in South Beach, among many other venues. Aquabooty, for its part, has spent four years in a variety of locations, including Rain and Maze. Each new move, it seems, is calibrated to capture lightning in a bottle, the hearts and souls of Miami's night freaks.
Slak Lounge, for its part, is a great, soulful building. The downstairs is funky and dank, small enough to comfortably hold over 100 people, and has the personality of your favorite basement. The upstairs room holds several small brown leather couches and a smattering of red lamps, with a vibrant and sensual ambiance akin to a New York martini lounge.
Last Friday found a sizable gathering of people filing into Slak Lounge for the last Aquabooty party, some making their way upstairs to listen to DJ Induce spin hip-hop chestnuts like Organized Konfusion's "Releasing Hypnotical Gases." By 2:00 a.m., however, most everyone had headed downstairs to dance to the DHM trio's soulful collection of house and broken beat joints, so the owners inexplicably closed the upstairs lounge.
Some minutes later, a group of men came in and started chanting loudly. Whatever it was they were saying, it sure seemed to energize everybody, and the party began to take on this crazy, unpredictable vibe, as if anything could happen. At 3:00 a.m., water overflowing from the bathroom toilets had run out onto the dance floor, chasing away half of the crowd. (Aquabooty's Tomas Ceddia complained that he had warned the owners about the toilets hours earlier.) So DHM decided to move the party back upstairs, where they continued to spin records for the next hour and a half. As great as Friday night was, it's obvious that Slak Lounge needs to get its shit together.
DJs Aura and Polaris, who once manned the Protokol room during Poplife's brief stint at the Soho Lounge, are now doing their thing over at Automatic Slim's with the rest of the Los Four Amigos crew (Karakter and Bobby D). They are doing very well, thank you: When Basshead checked in with them last Sunday they were rocking out for a lively, brewski-clutching room full of beautiful people, many of whom would periodically wander over to the DJ booth to watch Los Four Amigos mix, scratch, and cut while simultaneously guzzling down barrels of free booze, which didn't affect their performance one bit. It's probably the first time in ages that this sort of techno, glitch, and underground hip-hop championed by URB and XLR8R (and, lest we forget, New Times) is getting played on the Beach.
Unfortunately, one of the Amigos confides, none of the crew believes the Automatic Slim's crowd -- including a disproportionate number of busty and tanned ladies accompanied by trophy boyfriends -- is actually there to see them. So if you happen to go hear one of the best DJ crews in town, please take the time to talk to them. Show them that you care.