The night before it was Axwell’s label party, now onto Ingrosso’s. It’s pretty amazing what these guys are able to do in creating a brand, geared upon molding new artists. Refune put out their best with Ingrosso himself, Alesso, Otto Knows and Swanky Tunes. Personal as can be, WALL at the W South Beach boasted some of the most exclusive performances of the weekend. Want to see Ingrosso and Alesso bust tunes all night in your face with only 250 people? We sure do.
(Photo Credit: World Red Eye)
The album art came to life
Alright, so this was a clinic in its rawest form. We thought we would drop by before heading over to see Tïesto at LIV, but that didn't happen. Let's just say we stayed for the whole ball game. Sebastian Ingrosso was like Ken Griffey Jr. at the end of his career, letting the young kid get some shine, in letting his prodigy Alesso steal the show. This guy named Dirty South was the cheerleader, while Otto Knows was the hydrotechnics operator and these Russians who go by the name Swanky Tunes who you may have heard of were the closers. Typical, right?
And so the night began, we made our way from Above & Beyond's Group Therapy event (recap here) in Downtown to the beach. Quite the change of pace; the best in trance to the best progressive house. Our ears weren't ready but they needed to be.
We arrived at the W Hotel to find an array of bystanders trying to get in to WALL, a venue we had never been to nor had expectations for other than knowing it was small and we may not get in ourselves. We were right. No one was being let in unless they had special powers. Luckily, a friend of ours who works for Swedish House Mafia pulled a little trick and maneuvered three of us past checkpoint 1. "We're like great! We've made it" but we were wrong. Then there was another door to get by to get into the venue. Oy! In the end, it all worked out and we were treated to two of the world's most revered progressive house DJs, young and old, under one roof with some special guests at what we would say is one of the best small nightclubs/lounges in the US (and we've been to a lot of them). It screams intimate. So here's what we got:
We arrived ecstatic to see Sebastian Ingrosso behind the decks with Alesso, Dirty South and Otto Knows in the booth. It seemed as if Ingrosso was going at it solo for a bit that we just missed only to see a joint Ingrosso and Alesso set. It was like batman and robin (forgive us for overdoing the metaphors) coordinating their every move, dropping hit after hit, crisp as could be, strategizing into one another's ear what track, remix or treatment they would do next. A true clinic.
This is where we heard arguably our favorite song of the conference, Miike Snow "Devil's Work" (Dirty South Remix), also hailed as Pete Tong's Essential New Tune for Miami on his BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix. I think it is safe to say it is a good one because I just got chills thinking about it! A beautifully crafted progressive house production by master remixer Dirty South with the perfect balance of melody, build up and vocals that gives off that Swedish House Mafia big-room feel. Oh, was it good! The concentration and euphoria in Ingrosso's eyes said it all as he busted this one alongside Alesso. Oh, and did we mention Dirty South was in the booth cheerleading? Have a listen!
L-R: Dirty South, Alesso, Otto Knows, Sebastian Ingrosso
After dropping "Calling" (Lose My Mind) featuring One Republic's Ryan Tedder together, Seb let Alesso go on to do his thing alongside his friends singing along in the booth. It was hit after hit. He played his brilliant remix of Alex Kenji, Starkillers, Nadia Ali "Pressure" that initially garnered him attention before this climb, Steve Angello, Max Vangeli & AN21's remix of Pendulum "The Island", his remix of Coldplay "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall" and Dirty South "Walking Alone" shown in the video above to name a few. Otto Knows, known for his dreamy, safari-esque proggy single "A Million Voices" (Refune) is a apparently skilled with the nitrous, see above!
And then it was Swanky Tunes. The night was winding down, but was it really? It was late into the night, or early into the morning, however you like to put it when Russian super-group Swanky Tunes took over the decks and gave us a mid-night treat. Playing hits like "Sending My Love" (Wall), their collaboration with Dutch DJ of the moment, R3hab, and big-room banger "Quasar" (Axtone) from good friends, fellow Russians and management mates Hard Rock Sofa, the place had no shortage of energy. After reviewing their debut show in Los Angeles, there was no way we would have missed an opportunity to see these guys up close and personal busting their arsenal of tunes at a plush venue like WALL during Miami Music Week. Preview their latest release Swanky Tunes & Hard Rock Sofa "Apogee" and a recap of their US Tour here.