Fest Nest

WMC 2013: OVUM & Friends, An Underground Treat

WMC 2013: OVUM & Friends, An Underground Treat

Everyone was stoked to see that OVUM Recordings was hosing its WMC showcase this year at Treehouse on Miami Beach, because the venue was a perfect fit for Josh Wink and his label. Both entities exuded the vibe, feel and idea of the ‘underground’ on Saturday, March 16. The high-performance soundsystem featured in both rooms of the venue was well suited for the quality EDM that OVUM is known for producing.

Everyone was stoked to see that OVUM Recordings was hosing its WMC showcase this year at Treehouse on Miami Beach, because the venue was a perfect fit for Josh Wink and his label. Both entities exuded the vibe, feel and idea of the ‘underground’ on Saturday, March 16. The high-performance soundsystem featured in both rooms of the venue was well suited for the quality EDM that OVUM is known for producing.

Many first-time attendees from out of town mentioned they loved the décor and style of the intimate space, with its antique, retro and mountain lodge feel, outfitted in wood paneling and unique art, while knickknacks hung from the ceiling. The subtle lighting set the tone of the rooms, sans blinding strobelights, distracting lasers and pesky fog machines. The focus was solely on the music. And, let’s face it; anywhere would be better than where OVUM threw its party last year (Shine at The Shelborne), which was shut down by the fire marshal at 1:30 a.m., leaving party-goers frustrated. But, OVUM draws a big crowd. So, was Treehouse able to handle it?

At 11:30 p.m., the line outside Treehouse was relatively quiet. New York City-based producers occupied both rooms’ DJ booths: M A N I K and Chris Malinchak. If you arrived early enough, there was plenty of space to shuffle your feet to the sexy and deep beats. Malinchak was using an AKAI APC40 Ableton controller to play live in the front room, while M A N I K laid down some deep nu-discoish tunes in the back room on four Pioneer CDJ2000’s and a Traktor Pro. Memorable was the moment when his sample and remix of the Pharcyde’s “Passin’ Me By.” The keyboard riff from the original track was the perfect complement to M A N I K’s sound. And, the crowd nodded in recognition. 

Next up in the front room was AZARI from the two-piece Canadian band AZARI & 111. Many hoped for a live show, but got a DJ set from half the group. That said, he made up for his bandmate not being there by serving up some gems, including an old disco track, “I’m Caught Up,” by Jocelyn Brown.  

DJ Sneak took command of the back room at 12:30 a.m., and prepared us for a Chicago takeover as Cajmere (AKA Green Velvet), another Chicago native, was set to play in the front room next (both Chicago house icons are even listed as early influences of Wink). DJ Sneak brought the jacking Chicago house style he is known for and had some great energy on the decks. His facial expression was intense, as the big man bounced to the beats. Side note: When a DJ physically puts their body in to their music, people respond in a big way. Needless to say, the room bounced right back at him to the groovy house music basslines. 

Then, the line outside grew thick. The stream of people coming in, mostly dudes, was apparent. It was hard to find a decent space on the dance floor that had room to move your feet. The middle, where the best sound was directed, was full. There were some open spots on the sides of the DJ booths directly in front of the stacks of subwoofers. Earplugs in! Although the ratio was not good for guys looking for single girls, most were not there for that. The focus was definitely on the tunes, so everyone was as courteous as possible while settling into open areas. For a few moments there, it seemed as if the fire marshal could show up again. But, things calmed down as some navigated to the back and discovered the Astroturfed al fresco area to grab a beverage. The always-approachable Josh Wink was also out there mingling with fans, taking pictures and shaking hands before he prepared for his upcoming set.

Cajmere came on at 2 a.m. in the front room and stole the show. He opened with a hot, new unreleased track by Hot Natured featuring Anabel Englund called “Reverse Skydiving.” Cajmere built up the vibe by adding some acid house-style tracks into his mix. The dance floor was rocking when he dropped a remix of his own alter ego, Green Velvet’s, “Percolator.” The vocals, “It’s time for the Percolator,” filtered in and out of a bubbly, deep and funky bassline. This progressed into some intelligent tech-house with soulful vocals, while always keeping that jacking Chicago house mood.

Simultaneously, the man of the night took over the back room. Josh Wink changed the vibe to a slow, low and darker tone many are familiar with from his Profound Sounds mixes and radio show. Wink brought some minimal techno and acid house with haunting, driving basslines. The DJ booth was equipped with his Pioneer effects processor and mixer, typical equipment for Wink’s expert manipulation, where he tweaked, morphed and deconstructed the sound at will. His breakdowns and buildups on these effects processors make his DJ sets very spontaneous, while producing a sound unique to him. By 4 a.m., the dance floor finally began to thin out. The music changed to a more funky, hip-hop-infused tech house. A deconstructed tech-house version of “It Takes Two” by Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock was the high point.

Wink had a ball posing and making funny faces the entire time. Everyone, including the talent, seemed to have a blast. It’s safe to say that Treehouse did OVUM & Friends justice Saturday night, hosting a classy crowd and a drama-free vibe. And, we can’t wait to bookmark this annual rendezvous for 2014.

Photos by Melodysiac © 2013

{fcomments}

victor

March 20th, 2013

No comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *