MSTRKRFT Reminisces About Four Years at Ultra and Talks Miami Food Favorites

​Last night, MSTRKRFT performed for an enthusiastic group of dancing fans at Ultra Music Festival.

It was after ten o'clock and the crowd was in full effect. They played a range of deeply textured electronica and ended with a mix of "It Takes Two" that an older crowd would have gone batshit over.

Before the show, we sat down with MSTRKRFT and talked a little bit about Ultras past and Puerto Sagua. Check out the interview, a few photos and a video after the jump. 

Crossfade: Do you guys still live in Toronto?


And do you guys have a lot of shows there? 

Al-P: No, we usually try to maintain a once-every-six-months timeframe for any given city. Although recently, we haven't been as active as we were in previous years. But generally, like, once every six months is kind of enough.

Even in your hometown? 

Al-P: Yeah

Jesse F. Keeler: According to our Facebook fan page, the biggest city in the world for us is Mexico City and Toronto ranks number 11 in terms of interest. Mexico City is number one, Los Angeles is number two, followed by Sydney. No, we're not very popular at home. Like, all things considered.

Any collaborations coming up?

Al-P: Nope. No, we just released two new productions, two new tracks that we finished. We released one the week before South by Southwest because we had a date there and then we released another one a week before WMC.

Keeler: So, just on Monday.

So, you've played Ultra...

Keeler: This is our fourth Ultra in five years.

Do you find it interesting in any way?

Al-P: It gets better every year.

Keeler: It gets must better every year. The first year we were here. I was reminiscing with one of the organizers...

Al-P: Was that the rain?

Keeler: No, the first year was the one where it was Deadmau5 and then us. The power went off for him and then the three of us were just standing on a dark silent stage looking at each other kind of laughing smoking cigarettes. And he's like, I guess I'll put away my shit. And we're like, Yeah, I guess we should set up, and kind of just standing around until it started. And then...

Al-P: The second year was the rain.

Keeler: Yeah, the second year it was raining.

Al-P: And it was like blowing in sideways.

Keeler: Oh, in the end, the stage manager says, You can keep playing. Digitalism's not playing 'cause their projectors are fucked up. They couldn't get their visuals straight, so they wouldn't play.


Keeler: And he actually told me that they still had to pay him.

Al-P: That's a good little scam.

So, you could totally do that tonight if you were in the mood.

Keeler: I'm pretty sure everything be fine today as it was last time we played here two years ago.

Al-P: Yeah, two years ago was really great, I remember. It was like the stage that was kind of on a hill, like the hill side went up and so you can see the crowd progressively getting higher. You could see everyone. It was like a sea of camera phones.

Keeler: We started in the light. And by the time we were done, it was pitch black. It was beautiful.

Mexico City loves you. But is there a particular place you like to play?

Al-P: One of our favorite spots is Lux in Lisbon. Excellent sound system, excellent layout, excellent DJ booth, and really interested fans.

Keeler: Lisbon should be high on the list.

Where you going next?

Sasquatch [Music Festival].

Where's that?

Al-P: Seattle. We have a restaurant that we like to frequent whenever we're in Seattle, so that's part of the reason we always accept dates in Seattle.

Do you like Miami, anything you like here? You've been here a bunch of times. You're allowed to hate it.

Al-P: I like coming to Miami.

Keeler: I like the stewed beef at Puerto Sagua, which I haven't gotten to go to this year. And we really like the pina coladas at the South Seas, which I also haven't gone to this year. This year I haven't done anything normal.

Al-P: None of the usual things. We went to the beach yesterday, that was nice.

Keeler: Beautiful weather.

What's next?

Al-P: We released those two tracks, we're going to play them throughout these next dates and see what happens.

So we'll hear them tonight?

Keeler: Yes, and making more music.

We'll know when they come on?

Keeler: The kids will know. It'll be the songs that everyone's cheering for that you've never heard.

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Liz Tracy has written for publications such as the New York Times, the Atlantic, Refinery29, W, Glamour, and, of course, Miami New Times. She was New Times Broward-Palm Beach's music editor for three years. Now she plays one mean monster with her 2-year-old son and obsessively watches British mysteries.
Contact: Liz Tracy