When we last checked in with Dharma, the single-monikered head of the local live electronic band OrganicArma, his biggest project was still more or less a dream. He and the rest of his band had purchased a sprawling warehouse space in Wynwood, planning to turn it into a creative funhouse called the Awarehouse.
The Awarehouse, as Dharma (real name: Juan Carlos) laid out in a series of slick presentations, would be the home base for OrganicArma's high-concept artistic projects. The band would rehearse and record there, create its unique, connected visuals there, and perform there in a sort of residency. But the band hoped for community participation in the space as well -- a family friend would run the Luis Perez Galeria, curating a rotating selection of fine art for sale inside, and the place would be open for public events and workshops.
This was back in November, and at the time, these dreams seemed a long way off. Thanks to stalling and confusion from the city, the overhaul of the space had yet to start, and the Awarehouse was mostly raw, empty space.
But impressively, the OrganicArma folks stuck at it, and the Awarehouse finally opens this Saturday -- timed with the second-Saturday Wynwood gallery night. The coming-out fete will feature an art show, of course, and a performance by OrganicArma and special guests Redux, a side project by Didi and Aaron of Brazilian Girls.
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Here's how Dharma described what guests can expect of the Awarehouse:
We have the main stage, and the production studio where we record, and then on top of that you have a mezzanine for the VIP people -- they can see the show from the top there, like a theater, but more contemporary. Then you have another little stage for the engineer and all the people who create the show.
We put a very good sound system, a combination between Nexo and some acoustic stuff, like the subwoofers, to give clarity. We like minimal techno and those sounds, and for that you have to have the right speakers and pre-amps. We want the experience to be very physical, with the frequencies of the music we play.
We also have visuals, which is a big part of our show, some strobes and things like that. Like at my drum station, I have light that goes towards the public, handled by our light engineer.
And then on top of that you have the sculptures all over the place by Edgar Negret, and the gallery manages a painter called Mauro Mejias from Venezuela -- he's a surrealist, and there are going to be paintings from him around. And outside, you have the garden with more sculptures, like six more.
Overall it's going to be a venue that will hold about 500 people, about the size of the old Studio A. Actually, the sound engineer from Studio A is going to work here, Joe Williams.
We have a strategy for the Awarehouse, because we know the city doesn't have Studio A or places like that any more. Because of the lack of venues for the music we like, we would like to do a partnership with some agencies, like the Windish Agency -- we are inviting Tom Windish to come here with some other people during WMC -- trying to get good music into the city. Like when you saw Imogen Heap and Battles and stuff at Studio A, now we have no place like that. This place, we are going do so many things here, but that's good for electronic sound too, not with sound that works only for rock.
Most excitingly for partiers in the coming weeks, the Awarehouse is also set to host the official afterparties for the Beatport pool parties at WMC. That should prove a much-needed refreshing change from slick South Beach clubs. Stay tuned to Crossfade for full lineup and admission details.
The Awarehouse opening party takes place Saturday, March 14, at 550 NW 29th Street, Miami. Doors open at 9 p.m., and admission is free. Visit acustronic.com