Goldie at the Electric Pickle's Two-Year Anniversary, February 19


Electric Pickle

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Last night, on its two-year anniversary, the Electric Pickle proved it is the club it always promised to be. When the club opened during WMC 2009, there was hope the club might fill the void caused by Circa 28's sudden closure. And with jungle and drum 'n' bass pioneer Goldie headlining, the Pickle surged with high voltage.

The UK DJ's assaulting beats put the crowd at risk of a sensory overdose, booming out of the industrial strength sound system in the classy redesigned upstairs bar. As the bass rumbled, the Pickle's futuristic disco strobe chandelier and blast bursts of air-conditioning made the place feel like a ride in Tomorrowland.

Right from the start of the night, it was evident that the entire Miami Dubstep and drum 'n' bass scene was out in full force. Opening DJ, Dalé, played some in-your-face drum 'n' bass. He brought the room together with his hoover sound. And the gathering was led by MC Jumanji. As the unofficial voice of Miami Dubstep, the towering MC's voice was so direct and tight that it spun the crowd into a frenzy.

Juan Basshead, a DJ who always brings his A-game, brought his A-plus-game last night. The heaviest bass Miami's ever heard was sliding off of his fingertips, out through the sub-woofers, and onto the dance floor. The crowd was huddling together like a prehistoric tribe in awe of the first bonfire in human history.

But this was no passive crowd, it was a massive congregation soaked in ecstasy. Basshead cut up their bliss and served it back to them in highly caffeinated slabs. And when it seemed the crowd couldn't take it any more, he'd pause for a second or two to let some ambient melodies ring through the sweaty air, only to throw crescendo upon crescendo of high-speed, low-frequency oblivion.

And the crowd was so busy getting hyphy that it didn't notice when Juan Basshead ushered Goldie and his entourage into the club. They rolled in like Strom Troopers and made their way to the stage. And with flashlights and focus, they made sure all the sound gear was in tip-top order.

Normally, Basshead would've been a hard act to follow.But let's not forget we're dealing with a maestro of hardcore electronic music. Goldie manned the decks with speed, style, and his signature smile. The crowd was beaming off his grill.

He started light on bass and heavy on high-hats and stabbing textures. And then he slowly slipped in some well placed bass. Just try telling this crowd that drum and bass is dead. Or that dubstep is dying. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't clean. It was raw and dirty and smelled like weed.

There was plenty of room for seating, not a single ass was in a chair. There was a surprising spirit of unity in the raucous crowd. At one point, a young lady passed out onto the floor -- drugs? Alcohol? bass-induced seizure? -- and everyone around made room as a few guys picked her up and gingerly escorted her through the mass of bodies to a couch. She was all right.

Goldie constantly had his eyes on the crowd. He was taking as many cues from the room as he was from his headphones, he and they were reveling in massive joy. He lit up a cigarette, looked cool as hell, and kept this grimy party going all night. The bass and the bodies bouncing made it feel like at any point the floor was going to give in and the party would go crashing down into the basement.

If that had happened, Goldie would've lit up another cigarette and rewound the record and no one would've noticed.

Critic's Notebook

Random Detail: Much of the music sounded like a bubble machine, which was the only thing missing in the club.

Overheard in the Crowd: "My teeth hurt." "From the bass?" "Yeah."

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Jose Flores