Nightlife Review: Lee Foss and Ryan Elliott at Electric Pickle, May 21

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Lee Foss and Ryan Elliott

Electric Pickle, Miami
Friday, May 21, 2010

Better Than: The increasingly boring-ass state of dance music at the rest of downtown's venues on Friday nights.

The Review:

While the buzz surrounding Lee Foss and Ryan Elliott's dual booking at the Pickle on Friday was big, the turnout didn't end up being too spectacular. The Pickle seems to score its heaviest Friday turnouts when the LINK crew hosts its bi-monthly techno sessions upstairs, whose attendance is bolstered by an influx of their Space Techno Loft regulars. This usually also equals an increase in that douchebag element particular to Space, and frankly, we can do without them. Miami's underground EDM community is a small one and the true die-hard PL0T regulars were all there on Friday to support these two outstanding contemporary stars, who didn't fail to deliver the goods. 

 The action started in the downstairs lounge, as usual, where resident Aquabooty DJ Tomas Ceddia held court most of the night, banging out his signature smooth blend of rare groove, deep house, and disco-house. Pickle owner and resident DJ Will Renuart would later take his spot on the decks and kick up the tempo a couple notches with his own hard-hitting, melodic tech-house selections. Meanwhile, the upstairs room belonged to PL0T residents Alejandro Sab and Michael Chistopher, who were in fine form warming up the crowd with their slick and deep tech-house grooves. 

Lee Foss came on around 1 a.m. upstairs and delivered a fine set. Selections cruised the gamut between the signature disco and electro-funk re-edits he's spawned as Hot Nature (with Jamie Jones), and the edgier, more atmospheric tech-house that comprises his solo work. 

Ryan Elliott, who I'd had the pleasure of hearing perform at White Room last May, impressed again. Changing the stylistic tone from Foss's peppier sounds to suit his 3 to 5 a.m. slot, he put on a darker and more abstract techno and tech-house set. It kept many a late-night trooper, myself included, glued to the dancefloor until last call.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: Like many other EDM snobs, I am completely enamored by the kind of refreshingly funky and fun-loving sound Lee Foss and like-minded consorts Jamie Jones, Wolf + Lamb, and Soul Clap are bringing to the scene right now. As for Ryan Elliott, I had already been blown away by the quality of his live sets in the past, and expected nothing less from him on Friday.

Random Detail: Crate-digging fiend that I am, I have been searching nonstop and to no avail for a banging tech-house remix of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill" that Ryan Elliott dropped during his White Room gig last year. On Friday I was ecstatic to hear him play it once more, and didn't pass up the opportunity to ask him directly whose it was -- only to learn it's his own unreleased edit.

By the way: Lee Foss played an encore on Sunday afternoon alongside special guests Soul Clap in the Pickle's patio, and by all accounts rocked it once more.

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Sean Levisman

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