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Lost But Not Forgotten, 24 Hours in the Wizard’s Palace

The 12th Edition of Get Lost 24 hour event, produced by Crosstown Rebels occurred Saturday, March 25 to Sunday, March 26 during Miami Music Week 2017 at Little River Studios –

Review by Alex Del Campillo and Photos by Caitlin Electra, Published by Miami Publicist on 4/5/2017.

A whimsical 24 hours was in store, as the bright morning sun first dawned on abstract figures clad in dark and beautiful garments – it was then I knew I was experiencing Miami Music Week at its peak.  The day that followed expanded my mind to new sights, sounds, people, fashion, art and experiences that will remain in my memory forever.

Over the years, Damian Lazarus and team at his London-based label Crosstown Rebels have scoured the Earth for worldly, spiritual, eclectic, and unique sounds, known for regularly releasing the underground’s edgiest and limit pushing music.  Years spent crafting and perfecting parties have resulted in world-wide buzz about their events.  Damian has risen to a new echelon above his Ibiza roots.  If you have ever descended the dark staircase of Detroit’s Leland City Club into a dark techno cave for Rebel Rave, watched the sun rise over the cenotes of Tulum for a Day Zero morning service, or been blessed to travel to the bustling and busy metropolitans of Paris, Los Angeles, Mexico City, or Miami for Get Lost then chances are you have let the rebels transform you and your view of music and parties in some major way.  

Get Lost has become a Miami favorite; an event offering alternatives to the glitz and glam of South Beach and the over population and commercialism of Ultra Music Festival. The environment of Get Lost is an artistic and mystical gathering for the first time or the not-so-novice Miami Music Week attendee. Occurring Saturday to Sunday in the prime time of MMW closing weekend, Get Lost has become the flagship party for Damian and the Crosstown Rebels to unite the forefront of underground electronic dance music of all kinds while never ceasing to pleasantly surprise.  Despite a rich and encompassing lineup, one never knows what will be up the wizard’s sleeve.

A dark and crisp morning overtook Miami on Saturday, March 25th as I excitedly arrived at Little River Studio still feeling hyped after a lovely evening out the night before at DJ Three’s Hallucienda party featuring Doc Martin, Seth Troxler, Maceo Plex, Oona Dahl, and Nico Stojan. I spent the previous week helping and watching during the set up at Get Lost, witnessing multiple inspiring creatives translate their visions into spectacular art installations alongside a tireless team of audio techs, lighting designers, coordinators and otherwise committed team of hands dedicated to making sure a beautiful event was ready.  Heading into Saturday through the dawn of Sunday, I was filled with the excitement of how everything would come together.  This excitement was confirmed when I joined the line of curious individuals ready to partake in what we all had created and entered into the magical play land of Get Lost Miami 2017.

Photo courtesy Andrew Snider

I was most eager to see the completed art installation conceptualized by Miami-bred but nomadic artist Moral Turgeman.  She presented a cube-like room with visually enticing colored, life-sized, beautiful and perfect shapes within it, offering a participatory experience of both perspective and interaction.  Viewers could enter the room and position themselves in regards to the shapes, meeting the objective of bringing out artistic creativity and playfulness found in the artist within each individual.  

Photo courtesy Andrew Snider

The overall vision of the work was met as the artist successfully created a unique experience  while providing a fun platform for enthusiasts to explore and snap limitless selfies in a multitude of angles.  Largely emboldened on the wall, the quote “We Get Lost” could refer to a generation seeking meaning while placing high value on environments of visually and aesthetically appealing perfection, as expressed so often in social media, as well as here through interaction with contemporary art.

 

Nearby hung a marvelous painting by artist Lisa Angel. Similar to The Great Gatsby eyes that were watching over them in the infamous novel, her eye was to me like the eye watching over Get Lost.  In mixed media on wood, the work displayed the artist’s many skills through the incorporation of several techniques, ultimately creating an actual eye that perhaps inspired the musicians of Get Lost to make their best musical selections while also glaring at party goers for maybe not making the best of other kinds of decisions, such as not sleeping for two straight days…

   

I had come on an exhausted mission that morning determined to watch the sunrise over the studio grounds, as it would surely illuminate all the hard work put into this event, and to catch some early morning acts I had been highly anticipating. The first morning session was initiated in the larger of two rooms, The Nest, with a beginning set by Hot Creations powerhouse Lee Foss. Laying down heavy hitting tech-house and ghetto tech that donned the trademark of Hot Creations funk, The Nest showed no signs of slowing down as the sun rose unknowingly to those entranced by the lasers. The smaller of the two room was called The Studio.  Upon walking into this mysterious room, the air inundated with fog, a lost underwater effect became immediately noticeable as visibility was limited to only a couple of feet.  

Kicking off this foggy groove room was New York based Nicolas Matar playing an arrangement of melodic deep house that offered a softer and easier, deeper alternative than the four-to-the-floor sounds coming from The Nest. Following Nicolas Matar into the sunrise was Daví, a personal favorite of mine.  This L.A based producer and Burning Man favorite brought me just the morning vibe I was looking for somehow magically turning the hot Miami wetlands into the cold and dusty mirages of Black Rock City through his music.  The height of my morning was standing under the big disco ball in The Studio, sensing all sorts of night creatures dancing around me at the same time feeling the rare sensation as if I was the only one in the room, dancing, entranced to the melodic sound.  It was surely one of the memories I will remember with every sense of my body.  

Finally, the sun reached a high point in the sky and the entire grounds were illuminated.  More intrigued characters came pouring through the front gate while others took little naps on sofa areas that were expertly placed for those who were in it for the long run –  to rest up and take little naps before continuing out the rest of the day.

The morning was a teaser for the rest of the day as both outdoor stages; the larger The Keys and smaller Santorini were to be unveiled at noon.  I was really craving a nap but it was important for me to catch Soul Clap – the funkiest cats from Brooklyn who always bring soul and positivity to the dance floor.  Every Crew Love opportunity I have ever had has never disappointed and this time it was the same.  The boys bounced from deep house to disco, all the way down the the roots of house, combining old school classics with tracks from some of their own including Wolf + Lamb, Nick Monaco, and Navid Izadi.

The day continued on the outdoor stage with the always innovative, best groovy sets of Behrouz, Dance Spirit, Kevin Knapp, Nico Stojan, and an absolute brilliant back-to-back by DJ Sneak and Doc Martin.  The Stockholm treasure Be Svendsen in The Keys room was transformational.  I had not previously gotten the chance to see him and today was my day!  He blended track into track as if he was taking the audience on a musical journey around the world and for me it was a truly engaging experience.  

Fittingly following the Be Svendsen set was that of also storytellers-through-music Bedouin from Brooklyn.  Staged outside for a beautiful afternoon the sky foretold the coming of the notoriously unpredictable and often rainy afternoons of Miami but this could not stop the duo from elating the crowd in dance as if the first light drizzle did not even exist.  

Eventually though, not even Bedouin could deter the dancers from fleeing the sideways rain that came.  The set had to take a very brief pause to let the showers pass through.

During this time many were given the option to enjoy hard hitting techno by Pan-Pot in The Nest, Thugfucker in The Studio, or share a little birthday cake helping Bill Patrick ring in his 40th birthday among the fashion forward and large number of notable fellow musicians and industry players in attendance.  

The rain cleared after a while and Bedouin returned to finish their phenomenal set as preparation began beside them for what would be a truly unforgettable live set by Satori.  

Equipped with a guitar, microphone, keyboard, and a multitude of machines and instrumentation, the downtempo genius had the bodies of the masses finding deeper, slower, body grooves.  Not even the rain or puddles could deter the celestial atmosphere he created.  Meanwhile the dedicated team of technicians quickly created makeshift covers for the stage and the musician so that no one would have to go without the sweet sounds.

As day evaporated into night, the team, the crowd, and I were ready for the final stretch of acts that would lead us into the next sunrise. Another heavy rain impeded outdoor activities leading the crowd indoors where they were treated to either a heavy house set by Dennis Ferrer or a trip into the mind with Thugfucker followed by  Deniz Kurtel in The Studio.  

 

I was looking forward to listening to Deniz all day and she swayed us through a selection of her unreleased music to connect with the crowd on a deep and intimate level.  The rain cleared up right on time from to catch the final minutes of Ellen Allien’s energetic and bouncy set in the alleyway.  

Immediately following her was live duo Ali Love and Luca Cazal.  Ali brought his sultry and sensual vocals to the mixer and Luca kept the groove alive on live drums.  This shaped out to be one of my favorite sets of the evening.  

Back in The Studio the air was dreamy as Atish spun contemplative and thought provoking deep and tech house and transformed the small, smoky room into the sands of a different dimension followed by an hour long Martin Buttrich experience.

Outside, in his first appearance of the evening – unless you were one of the lucky ones to see the wizard himself strolling and perusing the premises – Damian Lazarus was ready to close out The Keys stage as a large crowd of eager fans gathered to witness the Crosstown Rebels boss expose his soul through music.

The evening further climaxed with sets by Crosstown Rebels favorite and Echolette mastermind Francesca Lombardo, Rumors magician Guy Gerber, Turbo Recordings titan Tiga, Jonny White of Art Department while at the same time Kenny Glasgow, the former half of the duo played solo in Santorini.  Following Atish’s excellent groove The Studio was again transformed into a circus as Flying Circus visionaries Audiofly took to the decks to deliver a beautiful and masterfully crafted set.

Closing out The Nest for the evening was a tribal and organic set from the jewel of South Africa Black Coffee, followed by a fun, playful and groovy set by Glasgow favorite Jackmaster.  

On that final leg of Get Lost, who should close out the festivities better than DJ Three Damian’s long time friend and ⅓ of the DJ trio The Wizardry [Damian Lazarus, DJ Tennis and DJ Three].  Of course saving the best for last, the Hallucienda shaman preceded to lead and conduct a 5 hour set unlike anything I had personally experienced in my life. The time table had him listed as “DJ Three + Special Guests” and special could only partially describe the amazement that occurred during those wee hours of the night and into the morning.

DJ Three played through while the other stages were closing and the backstage area began flooding with artists who had concluding their sets and were ready to let their hair down by partaking in what was about to ensue.  Much to my and the crowd’s surprise the first special guest to join Three was an encore by Damian Lazarus himself and already I knew that something special was shaping up to be.  Banger after banger filled up the room while non-stop dancing and laughter was felt by all in the room. Joining these two wizards at work was Art Department’s Jonny White himself along with Milo.  Thus a duo became a trio and more, as the music was enhanced with shades of darkness and harder energy.  This trio brought the party past it’s alleged 5 am closing time in to about 7am leading everyone right into the sunrise once more in a sense that what we were witnessing was truly a privilege. 

The words of this article cannot describe the level of effort and talent that I witnessed that was needed to execute yet another successful installation of Get Lost. Damian Lazarus and his team continue to bring to Miami and the world’s stage an event of such caliber and experience that people hold on to for a lifetime. It goes beyond what one hopes to experience in any club, lounge or rooftop, for it is a journey and adventure that evokes emotion and inspiration, journeys, new relationships, and memories that endure. If you have not yet experienced Get Lost or a Crosstown Rebels event, I highly urge you to make it something that you do in the near future no matter where you may be in the world; you may otherwise never know what you could discover while exploring within.

See you next year and thank you for the magic!

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