Tired, hungover, but so eager to be in Florida, we boarded the flight, and much to our dismay, the four of us were scattered throughout the aircraft. After trying to nap, and having it continuously be disrupted by the excited feeling in my stomach, I met the man sitting next to me who told me his elaborate plans of throwing the Worth Magazine’s party in Wynwood for probably all of the richest people I would never meet. We got along well, and after five miniature Tito’s cocktails and chatting with his co-worker Kelsey, whose energy could excite a group of the most melancholic of humans, we landed at MIA bright (glazed) eyed and bushy tailed.
The Jukely team met up and scurried to find our luggage, get a cab and head to our hotel on South Beach. After the boss tells me ‘see you Saturday night’, I take a quick power nap and awake to the sound of my friend knocking at my hotel door. I wake up, get dressed, and we head straight to Soho House (which coincidently ended up being 3 blocks from my hotel).
The Knocks set had just ended, there was another DJ on who was playing pretty good house music, and we all got some drinks, ate some food, and after meeting up and coming NYC artist Matt Starr and the DJ Kisses from the Deep NYC (who played one of the best sets I’ve heard this year at Kinfolk 94 during BEMF), decided to head to The Young Arts Foundation for James Blake. We packed into a car and drove into Miami, blasting the best house music released this year, which included the Marcus Marr remix for Robyn and Royksopp’s “Monument”.
As we arrived at the venue, Airhead was playing a most incredible DJ set, hyping everyone from all areas of this massive space, readying them for the ethereal performance that James Blake is known to give. After finagling some Artist Passes, we went backstage for some free drinks, ran into old friends from NYC, and ogled James Blake from a distance, keeping quiet, like the Discovery Channel would do a rare wild crocodile. We watched his set from backstage, noticed there wasn’t a dry eye in the audience and decided that when the set ended the next move was to find where Lee Foss was playing.
After Ubering and hailing cabs from wrong bar to wrong bar, we finally ended up at Edition, the hotel where he was supposedly playing a multiple hour set. Getting there was one thing, finding the room he was playing in was another. We finally found our way to the Basement; a dark, illegitimate looking space where Lee Foss was behind the sets sweating onto the turn tables, forcing everyone to dance as hard as they could muster. Drag queens were dancing on table tops, cameras were flashing, crowds of people were entering and exiting, and after a good three hours of being in that room we decided we needed to hit another spot.
Would like to take a moment and thank Red Bull Vodka’s, for which I would not have gotten through 48-hours in Miami without.
We ended our night at Soho House again, but because Questlove was playing, there was no way we were passing another couple hours of dancing. He played a mix of old disco tracks, some 50 cent, to Will Smith’s “Welcome to Miami”, all of which were the perfect sounds to dance on the beach to at 4am. After dancing ourselves into points of exhaustion, we headed back to our respected hotel rooms and called it a night. Four hours of sleep later, I was up and eager to get myself to the beach to check out some of the art.
After spending a significant time on the beach and eating at an authentic Cuban restaurant, we showered and headed to the Mondrian for the Deep End party with Roofeo. After mingling and meeting people in odd circumstances, I somehow ended up at dinner with some guys from Nike and Converse (where the restaurant was playing quintessential Miami music) both of whom were down for Art Basel, and were headed to some super secret mansion party where Drake was supposedly hanging out. After thanking them for the delicious kale salad and pineapple sangria, I made my way to Wynwood to check out some art and browse the different galleries.
So much life in Miami on a festival weekend! I then made my way back to The Young Arts Foundation for the SBTRKT live show and A$AP Ferg’s set, which was the first rap show I had ever been to, aside from seeing Chance the Rapper sometime last year in NYC, and I was utterly confused by the crowd. How did so many parents let their children out to a rap show, I asked myself. No idea, but I kept up. Finally SBTRKT came on, and never in my life did I think that a live show could outshine the times I’ve seen James Blake, but after watching the madman that is SBTRKT up on that stage, in that mask, running from instrument to instrument, I realized I was highly mistaken. “New Dorp, New York” came on and I, and everybody else in the venue, may have lost our shit. It sounded even better live… and then he dropped “Wildfire”.
After his set ended, I booked it to Grand Central to catch the tail end of Kastle’s amazing set, then grabbed him and AMTRAC for a quick (and drunk) interview.
Interview: Kastle & AMTRAC
A: Is it OK if I eat my pizza?
How did you two link up for this tour? And did “Hyperspace” come before the tour, or after you decided to play together?
A: So wait are we recording right now?
K: Oh we are live. Oh yes, that’s actually something I picked up from Caleb [AMTRAC] on the tour. “Oh yesssss”. So it just kinda came about because we have the same management, same circle, same group of friends, and they linked us together and then the song actually came from the tour idea. So we were like well let’s make something cool – started sending stems back and forth between each other, it went pretty quick, we did it in like a week. I think we had to though, well cause I had just gotten back from tour with Bonobo and we just had a week.
A: It went well though, I’m really happy with “Hyperspace”.
So talk to me a bit about how this tour has been.
A: Everyone is super cool, we hit it off really well since the beginning, we’ve been eating nice, Barrett’s a BIG Yelp person, always giving reviews on Yelp, he gets really into it. He points me in the right direction when we’re in new cities. The music selection is cool too – it’s not like I’m on tour with someone who sounds like me or vise versa, we just compliment each other really well and the nights always go really well.
When you’re on tour, are you able to work on new material, or how do you keep yourselves from stifling each others creative process?
K: Man, I was writing a beat today and he -points to Caleb- was like MAN that sucks. Just kidding.
This guys is actually a work-a-holic, I could definitely learn a thing or two from him – I was just working on a thing on a plane, but the other plane I was too hungover.
A: I do a lot of work on the plane – because Kastle does most of his work in the studio with everything –
K: yeah I do, but when I’m on the road I make structures and beats and rhythms, and then I take it home and something will come out of it. I mean this guy is writing four remixes on the plane, it’s crazy!
Is this your first Art Basel, have you been exploring Miami this weekend?
K: My first, but I’m only here for 12 hours.
A: This is my third or fourth, and I used to be based in Miami so I have a lot of friends here, it’s kind of like a second home I guess you could say.
K: Caleb played Basel Castle, so we saw Heroes and Villains but then came straight here.
A: I plan on doing some art exploring tomorrow- sad but Barrett (Kastle) has to go. He has to fly back for a couple days.
K: I miss my girl.
A: But then we’re meeting back up cause we still have half the tour to do.
What are some points you would give to a newly touring duo?
K: It’s just really important to connect on a real level. I think a lot of people do tours and they don’t really connect with the person. But I think the shows will go better if you have good chemistry. We had met briefly before but when we started the tour it was kind of an instantaneous connection.
Are you guys best friends now?
A: Yep. Best friends.
K: Best friends for life.
A: I think just make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. We come from similar backgrounds of music, but both have respect for the same artists and things like that, a lot of the same sounds, which is important.
I think a lot of people will go on tour with people cause they think like “oh this is going to help my career and sales” or something, but I just wanna go on tour with cool people.
So with a night like tonight, with a night playing before SBTRKT, do you cater your sets to his sound?
K: I mean, I don’t, no. But I think my sound works well for his types of sets. It fits that vibe, because I’ve always been largely been inspired by the UK, my sets are always all over the place. And Caleb’s sets are – our dynamic, between my grime and bass and his house stuff its just a great dynamic.
A: I don’t cater to anyone. Unless I was opening for a band I guess it would be a little different. But, with DJs its kinda like if you don’t do your own thing it kinda feels, I don’t know – there could be one person in the crowd who’s a super fan and they’ll know. They’ll know. They’ll be like why is this guy playing this set and it would hit me harder than anything else. Having one person be like “ I saw you sell out, you went EDM on me.” Not for me.
What is one memory from this tour that’s going to stick with you for the long haul?
K: Conrad is a fictitious character that Caleb made up. We went for drinks at this place called Cannons, and when we were looking for it we were like wait what’s this place, Conrads? Then other “C” named places…then we went to Carsons in Milwaukee.
The Conrad tour.
K: Can I talk about the flyer?
A: Oh god.
K: So he’s doing this show and they send over this flyer and its an old picture he had and it just says “Yes He Did”
Did you have them change it?
A: “Oh yes. I told them I was going to do it.”
After the interview, we all went in and danced to SBTRKT’s set, which didn’t let a single person in that room down.
The night was a complete and utter success, we were thrilled with the turnout and the energy of the crowd. Everywhere we looked there was laughter, dancing, and pure joy. This is the purpose of bringing the world music, isn’t it?
We are bummed we couldn’t be in Miami any longer, but we’ll be back for WMC where 48-hours in Miami might turn into A Week in Miami.