Art Basel Miami Beach

MOCA L.A.'s Basel Beach Party: Lykke Li, Miike Snow, Peter Bjorn and John

MOCA L.A. Beach Party

With Lykke Li, Miike Snow, and Peter Björn and John

Raleigh Hotel, Miami Beach

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Better Than: A trip to Ikea.

There is something to be said about MOCA Los Angeles' annual Basel bash. Once again, it seemed like everyone in town for the art fairs wanted to go. Hoards of people made the line to check in, some of which didn't score an invite but were hoping to beg their way in.

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We didn't have to sweat it, though, because we did our begging via email a few days earlier. And we'll admit, the lineup of Lykke Li, Miike Snow, and Peter Björn and John didn't exactly get us excited like LCD Soundsystem in 2010 or Soulwax last year. But that all changed once the Swedes hit the stage.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Like every year, the party took place in a sandy area behind the Raleigh. But for 2012, it was given a boost thanks to sponsorships by Starz and Samsung Galaxy. That meant you could play around with a Samsung tablet or phone as your sipped on drinks provided by Russian Standard vodka.

However, we weren't there to play with tech gadgets. We were there for the music ... And free drinks.

After an hour or so of waiting, the Swedish pop mafia took the stage. With Lykke Li, Andrew and Pontus of Miike Snow, and Björn of Peter Björn and John on the stage, what the audience got was a mix of the best of Scandinavian indie dance-rock.

See this wasn't just a Lykke Li show or a Miike Snow show or a Peter Björn and John show. Lykke Li and Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow took care of the vocal duties, while Björn Yttling and Pontus Winnberg handled most of the instrumentation. The Swedish/American conglomerate performs under the Ingrid moniker -- and ultimately, it turned out to be a great reason to play a few hits from each act.

Midway through the short set, the Swede all-stars launched into "Animal," Miike Snow's monstrous hit that took Bloodshy & Avant from Grammy-award winning producers to pop stars in their own right. That was followed by Lykke Li's dance hit "I Follow Rivers," which became a nightclub staple after the Magician remixed it. And finally, they bid farewell to the crowd with a version of "Young Folks" that featured Andrew and Lykke Li on vocals and whistles.

All we were left wondering is: Why are Swedish musicians so awesome at making pop music?

Critic's Notebook:

Personal Bias: It could only have gotten better if an Ace of Base cover was thrown into the mix.

The Crowd: A tad younger this year when compared to previous editions of MOCA's Basel party.

By the Way: Too many Russian Standard cocktails didn't help with the writing of this recap.


- "Get Some" (Lykke Li)

- "Black Tin Box" (Miike Snow featuring Lykke Li)

- "Harlem Boyz"

- "Animal" (Miike Snow)

- "I Follow Rivers" (Lykke Li)

- "Falling Down"

- "Du Är Den Ende" (cover)

- "Young Folks" (Peter Björn and John)

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Jose D. Duran is the associate editor of Miami New Times. He's the strategist behind the publication's eyebrow-raising Facebook and Twitter feeds. He has also been reporting on Miami's cultural scene since 2006. He has a BS in journalism and will live in Miami as long as climate change permits.
Contact: Jose D. Duran