Meoko Gets Lost in Miami

 I distinctly remember watching the 6th Rebel Rave ‘Get Lost’ video from Miami’s 2011 Winter Music Conference. Beautifully shot, edited and sound tracked by Jocie Cox and David Terranova, it visually wriggled itself through dark techno tunnels onto sun drenched disco terraces whilst capturing the plotted madness of a beautiful, blue sky punching crowd. The video’s recap made the hair on the back of my neck prickle to the sounds of Maceo Plex, (who at the time had just exploded under that moniker, was making some serious waves and whose unreleased ‘Her Security’ track had me weak at the knees that entire March) Deniz Kurtel, Dyed Soundorom and a colossal 18 other acts who schmoozily pounded their way through 17 hours of the tracks of 2011 that one simply couldn’t escape – no matter how hard you tried. Topped off with guest vox from Trox at the end of the night it was only natural that upon my first trip to Miami WMC this year, there was one party I wasn’t going to miss...the 7th edition of ‘Get Lost’.

meoko in miami

Craig Richards – Photographed by Amin KO Beydoun


Whichever side you sit on in regards to the brand that is Crosstown Rebels, there is no denying that to have reached the type of success that dominates house charts and event listings across the world, they’re doing something damn right. Headed up by Damian Lazarus, the Rebels have become a seemingly unstoppable force within dance music; spread generously across parties and festivals, EP’s and LP’s, podcasts and press...and to boot, their own notorious Rebel Rave’s. Getting deep in the rave worldwide, Miami’s Rebel Rave edition ‘Get Lost’ counts as one of their most sought after. Held at Miami’s most reputed electronic venue the Electric Pickle, step inside and there are two rooms to choose where to get lost in first. The pitch black option on the lower floor or the light and lazer adorned option up above. The all day event in a sun drenched city, of course, needs another option which is where the Pickle’s huge cement back yard becomes a playground of netted army covering, shimmering disco balls, barbecue, picnic tables and luscious trees for shade.

 Arriving in time to catch the later part of Damian Lazarus’s early morning set, the rebels boss walloped his way through dark, stodgy tech house in the fittingly heavy weighted room laden with shoulder rubbing bodies and artists alike. Followed by Art Department, the atmosphere lifted slightly with vocal laced jams and rubbery bass lines which Kenny threw himself around to in the red lit booth in his typical performance manner.  Squeezing down the packed staircase the rebels newest recruit, Italian Francesca Lombardo was certainly holding her own as she spun confidently through a set which included tracks such as Giom’s remix of Zeitgest’s ‘I Dance For No Reason’ and her own unreleased material which stirred the floor nicely. Heading out of the darkness and into the light, Craig Richards opened the terrace which expectedly, was where it was at, and remained at, for the duration of the day. Having seen Craig play so many times over the years, in so many contrasting scenarios he never fails to outstand me. Do I ever recognize a single track he’s playing? No. Have I ever heard him play the same record twice? I don’t think so. Do I dance my ass off to his mish mass of bass lead constructions that snarl with sexual energy every time I hear him? Yes. Enough said. Craig Richards is a God.

Nipping back inside to catch jozif, the London dj and producer is another artist that rarely disappoints. Sliding between emotionally charged divinity such as Steffi’s ‘Sadness’ and into James Silk’s disco infused ‘Juicebox‘, jozif’s eclectic range was sumptuously deviant, mixed on point and as always with him, presented with a bucket load of infectious enthusiasm.  Well over the darkness of the inside rooms I headed back to the terrace where Leftroom boss Matt Tolfrey was going back to back with Culprit boss Andrei Osyka from Droog. Still high of the success of their collaborative Leftroom vs Culprit party earlier in the week, they tag teamed a chunky and classic cross continental set, leaving me with a memorable Get Lost highlight.

Matt Tolfrey Miami

Matt Tolfrey & Droog – Photographed by Elena Gorelik

An afternoon of scorching heat passed, broken with interludes of drink runs in the dark hole of the lower floor and followed by shaded breaks under the trees for momentary crowd throbbing relief. Sets from Infinity Ink and Fur Coat came and went and whilst they kept me dancing, they didn’t blow me away by any stretch of the imagination. Next up to take to the stage (unlike last year’s ground level booth, this year’s addition of a stage detracted slightly from the friendly back yard vibe I was expecting) was a young man whose name has been doing the rounds as of late, Amirali.  Snapped up by Damian Lazarus who was in search of something “different” a couple of years ago, the saying fresh blood has never rung more true when it comes to the young Iranian producer. Up until his single teaser ‘Beautiful World’ dropped just weeks ago and his imminent ‘In Time’ album comes out in May, (both on Crosstown) Amirali has never put his name to a release and only performed his debut live show on NYE 2011.  Seeing and hearing the 100% solo performed show, the reasons Amirali has been crowned the ‘next big thing’ by just about every dance music publication out there were revealed. Intricate percussion coupled with fat, flubbering bass lines and strong kicks were underpinned by his own deep and smooth vocals and melodic synth patterns.  Amirali held my ears attention and kept me moving for the duration, something that can’t be said for many of the younger acts that day. The world’s unanimously voted no.1 DJ Jamie Jones was up next and made his way through his set with an expression less face for the most part. Putting forth a selection of fantastic tracks that were either less than perfectly mixed or hindered with technical difficulties, Jamie Jones’s expression changed to fury and eventually resulted in him throwing his hands in the air whilst signalling to the equipment as a reason and apology for the far from silky smooth set you’d expect from “No.1”.

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Amirali Live – Photographed by Amin KO Beydoun

Leaving the now dipping sunshine in need of a Mr.C fix, the epic veteran DJ held the upstairs room captivated with a velvet smooth set of furious tech house with generous lashings of acid to boot; dressed in flowing white layers and effortlessly stealing Damian Lazarus’s 2011 cape clad crown for ‘best dressed’.

As the night wore on final sets came from Maceo Plex and The Rebel Team (Lazarus, Jones & Troxler), both played out to a highly strung, exhausted but very happy crowd. Showcasing old and new, established next to upcoming and with such an extensive amount of artists spread over three different areas; you’ve either got to have superhuman powers or the stamina of a twenty year old (I have neither) to catch everything that the Crosstown Rebels ‘Get Lost’ marathon has to offer. There were acts whose every last beat had me hooked, there were acts I wish I’d caught but didn’t, they were acts that I wasted my time on but hey,  I was supposed to get lost right?

Hannah Briley

Damian lazarus Miami

Damian Lazarus – Photographed by Elena Gorelik

MEOKO asks the Get Lost artists and their guests...

"Where would you like to get lost, who with and what would you take with you?"

 

Matt Tolfrey – “In fabric Room 1, with my brother and an old Sasha mix tape”

jozif – “At Twilo, with John Digweed and a pocket full of dreams”

Droog – “In Tokyo in the middle of the night, with my girlfriend and a joint”

Inxec – “At home, with Tolfrey and a lot of good humour”

Ryan Crosson – “In Yellow Stone National Park, with my girlfriend and a swiss army knife”

Francesca Lombardo – “On the moon, with ET and loads of Bob Marley records”

Richy Ahmed – “In Space, with my wife and a video camera”

Rob James – “In a police station, with Worzel Gummidge and something you probably shouldn’t publish on the internet”

Nittin – “In Miami, with jozif and loads of naughtiness”

Subb-an – “On the moon, with all my friends and loads of sick tunes”

Kate Simko – “In The Villa, with my friends and family and my entire studio”

Bloody Mary – “Everywhere with everyone and hmmm....I’d take my CD’s & I-pod”

James What – “In cosmic paradise with Juno (don’t ask) and coconut water”

Geddes – “The Philippines, with my girlfriend and a blanket”

Damian Lazarus – “Here at Get Lost Miami 2012, with everyone that’s here today and all the music that’s being played right now!”

Craig Richards – “Oh...uhm, I don’t know – can you email me?”