Dream Hotel’s Red Bull Guest House plays host to Miami’s greatest intimate events of 2013
For those in the know, the Red Bull Guest House (aka the Dream South Beach Hotel on every other week of the year) was a WMC hot spot this year for catching marquee talents in an intimate setting populated by sunbathing models and A-list onlookers. With eye-opening lineups featuring the likes and labels of Skrillex, A-Trak, and Boys Noize, the poolside performance spot mostly catered to more new-school genres like electro, dubstep and trap over the course of the past week.
Carl Craig teaches old school techno to a brave new Miami at Boiler Room WMC
The Boiler Room party that kicked off the Guest House festivities on Thursday brought a refreshingly unlikely talent to Dream’s sun-shaded decks. Detroit techno legend Carl Craig comes from a far grittier world than the hedonistic pomp of South Beach, and his leather-clad arrival in spite of the sweltering heat was a visual testament to the dichotomy between the artist and his present surroundings. Passing a bevy of buoyant models serving Häagen-Dazs in barber shop stripes, the techno veteran took over from opening act Bicep playing to a laid-back afternoon crowd that included Baauer, George Fitzgerald, and Louisahhh.
Craig’s set began spaced-out and rhythmic, prioritizing percussion and ambience over a driving low end. Craig soon settled into a series of classic house tunes, bobbing his head along to the timeless hi-hats of Frankie Knuckles’ “Tears.” Every so often, he would take to the mic to give a bit of background about the songs he was dropping, As the sun passed its apex above the partygoers, Craig’s sound became funkier before shifting into a harder brand of techno with Technasia’s “Bastille Days.” “Let’s get together like the family we are,” he said with a smile.
Skrillex and Alvin Risk go back to back, strip off main stage personas
Thursday’s overcast skies and dreary weather did well to set the stage for the heaviest day atop the roof of the Dream Hotel, where Skrillex and Alvin Risk performed back to back for a small, but energetic crowd of Red Bull Guest house attendees. The scaled-back setting aided in creating a delightfully laid-back vibe, one that was both embraced and jilted by Sonny and Alvin’s 2-hour set. Seemingly bipolar song selection framed the day with poolside vibes, brooding techno and heavy dubstep. With every successive pass of the headphones, the OWSLA labelhead and his most prized protege displayed more than their own styles and productions, but rather a profound appreciation for electronic music and a passion for putting on one hell of a party.
Perhaps it was the casual setting that freed Sonny up from the forced predictability of his mainstage persona, but as he and Alvin worked their way through tracks from Disclosure, Willie Williams, Beni, Brodinski and more it could not have been more apparent – the duo were spinning for themselves and spinning for fun. With dance music so recently marred by the awkward concept of “EDM concerts” it was refreshing to see two of the industry’s leading producers DJing the way that a DJ should – with an eclectic track selection, a profound sense of style, and a super-sized helping of frantic fun.
Brodinski, The Alchemist, A-Trak, and Craze throw a mad cool hip hop house party
Beneath a blazing Saturday sun, the much-anticipated Fool’s Gold party ushered in the arrival of hip-hop sensibilities at the Red Bull Guest House. The rooftop quickly filled as a slew of openers that included Nick Catchdubs and Thee Mike B warmed up the lively crowd in anticipation of the marquee acts to come. Practically glowing with charisma, Brodinski effectively sealed his status as the flyest techno DJ in the game with a bumping hip-hop and trap-inspired set that featured plenty of his trademark turntable work on obscure cuts and crowd-pleasers by Drake and Kendrick Lamar. After the Bromance boss relinquished the decks, surprise guest The Alchemist transformed the poolside into a full-fledged California hip-hop house party, providing the bass-heavy soundtrack to the cannonball splashes of no shortage of liquored-up attendees.
The crowd burst into cheers as Fool’s Gold label-head and undisputed turntable maestro A-Trak appeared behind the DJ booth wearing his usual black short-brim hat and a bandana-patterned shirt. The acclaimed turntablist exhibited his surplus of skills on the decks in immersing the rooftop in a funky sunset set that was a marked and welcome departure from the rap standards that had dominated the preceding afternoon. As three-time DMC World Champion DJ Craze closed out the evening with trap and scratchwork, one felt perched upon a front-line in the continuing intersection of hip-hop and dance music.