III Points 2013: Ambitious…And 100% Totally Worth It
So, III Points was the dopest shit I’ve experienced since Winter Music Conference in March, no lie.
The festivals inaugural event took place over several venues in Wynwood showcasing music, art and technology.
The first stop for me was the Young Turks BBQ friday evening, where we walked into none other than Brodinski throwing it down as the surprise guest. As Diplo describes him, Brodinski is a “rap DJ disguised as a techno DJ,” and he lived up to that by dropping jams like N.O.R.E.’s “Nothin’,” Fat Joe’s “Lean Back,” and even Ginuwine’s “Pony.” Throwbacks up the ass the whole time I was there. Hell, I’m sure even the FIU Greek Alumni reunion that was being held in the other rented-out part of the venue was trying to get in on this.
The whole festival wasn’t without some minor hiccups though: The “All Events” pass didn’t grant admission to all the events on the III Points site, only the Point Bass/Blank shows and BBQs, and the BBQ’s food weren’t free.
The Point Bass event featuring DJ Shadow, XXYYXX and more took place across the street at the SoundStage inside of the Mana Production Village. This place is essentially what big movie studios use to film big budget blockbusters, and it’s soundproof.
In case you were wondering where the main “festival” aspect of III Points was, this was it. Aside from a stage with professional production, lighting and sound, you had separate areas on either side of the stage sectioned off to showcase art and (really delicious) food.
On the east end, you had art displays including paintings, a lighting rig with a dancer in front, a boxed out living room showing scary movies, Slurpy cups all over the floor (organized), and even a van that was playing porn inside. Art is anything you make it to be, yo.
On the opposite side was the food, and holy shit was it good. With catering by the likes of Gigi’s and Mikabites (I dropped at least $15 alone on the latter that night), your stomach’s cravings were covered. But don’t worry alcoholics/party animals, there were plenty of bars in the remaining areas to quench your thirst.
Music-wise, the event was fantastic. DJ Shadow got on at the start of his set and told the crowd how he couldn’t have picked a better city to play his last US show for the year, especially since he was kicked off the decks for being “too future” at Mansion last year. But this crowd was all about what was about to happen.
Right from the start of his set I could tell we were in for a dark, bass-driven ride. He played all sorts of crazy tunes: from his “favorite tunes from January to today” to tunes he had “just been working on in the hotel.” Possibly the most memorable part for most people was him dropping into Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” and slamming it into the chorus of “Bugatti,” the one tune bass DJs can’t seem to not get enough of. It was definitely one of the coolest, funnest sets I’ve ever experienced.
After his set was done he thanked the crowd and we went into an intermission before Florida young-gun XXYYXX took the stage.
“I tried to pair the young prodigy with the OG legendary guy,” III Points godfather David Sinopoli told the Miami New Times. “It just seems like the fitting combos.” And witnessing the contrast in age between their presence on stage was quite comedic as well as interesting: while Shadow was definitely behaving all the wise and deep, XXYYXX took to the stage in a young, playful give-no-fucks attitude and proceeded to play.
Using his MIDI controller and laptop, he took off where the energy of Shadow left off and blasted the crowd with heavy, crazy sounds. He played plenty of his originals as the worked-up crowd tried to keep up to the energy, but it was clear that Shadow had already worked much of the crowd out.
He ended his set and told the crowd to “do what you want to do, because you’re going to die.” A very deep message from a quirky young man. And with that, I went home to sleep for the next day.
Saturday was another story altogether. Unfortunately I missed out on many of the events during the afternoon, but did make it to my favorite event of the day: Couch Sessions with James Murphy at Bardot.
Though it started an hour after it was scheduled to start, it was an amazing conversation between him and Sinopoli. Sinopoli picked the DJ-turned-band-member-turned-DJ’s mind on many topics. Though many things were discussed, I really liked his comedic stance on the state of dance music:
“Being a little boring is important to me. [The fans giggle.]
“No, in the beginning [of a set], I think it’s important. Because we’re in a time now, with dance music especially, people are being treated as if they’re really dumb and have incredibly gnat-like attention spans and need to just be tickled all the time.
“The music’s just like, ‘It’s exciting! It’s exciting! It’s exciting! It’s exciting! It’s exciting! Oh, it stopped! It stopped! It stopped!What’s going to happen?! What’s going to happen?! What’s going to happen?! Oh, it’s really quiet! It’s really quiet! It’s really quiet! It’s exciting! It’s exciting! It’s exciting again!
“They’re jumping up and down. And I’m watching. And it looks like there’s a lot of energy in the room. And then I’ll see a guy be like, ‘Yeeeaaahhh!’ [Murphy does some half-hearted fistpumping] And then he’ll go, ‘I’m gonna get a beer. You wanna get a beer?’
“He’s not invested in the slightest in the moment. [Laughs] Or he’s just filming it and he’s like, ‘This is fucking great! Uh, would that other guy put his fucking phone down? It’s in my shot!’
“I just realized that [it's good] to be boring for 15 minutes.”
-Via Miami New times.
Once that was over I headed out and about Wynwood, checking out some of the venues, acts and some amazing food trucks (you can never have enough food trucks!). Yacht performed at the DFA BBQ at Cafeina and it was a most fun time.
My main event for saturday night was the Bromance Records showcase with Brodinski and Louisahhh at Grand Central (which I have been looking forward to for weeks!).
We arrived to Louisahhh playing smooth and steady jams, most notably her track “Your Everything,” which she made with Miami’s own Danny Daze. The crowd was a little light, mainly due to the fact that many people were coming solely for Gesaffelstein, who eventually dropped out of the whole tour after it was announced. However, the crowd that was there was in for a treat.
Once Brodinski came onto the decks he exemplified why I tell so many people he is one of the best electronic music DJs out there right now. See, as I said at the start, Diplo calls him “rap DJ disguised as a techno DJ,” and both sides collided head on during his set. While he is known for his techno, he manages to blend in rap and hip hop elements flawlessly. Two completely different styles, being juggled like nothing back and forth several times in the same set, is seriously something else to experience.
He played Gesaffelstein’s “Control Movement” since his fellow Frenchman could not be there that night, as well as his well-known “Let The Beat Control Your Body.” Of course, it wouldn’t be a Brodinski set without some Kendrick Lamar, dropping “Backstreet Freestyle” on a pile of sweaty fans going way too hard.
As fun as that party was, I had to leave a bit before his set ended to attend something I thought I’d never experience in real life: a Boiler Room broadcast.
Not only was I in attendance, but this was basically a low-key after party for III points, with Jaime XX, Ben Ruttner from The Knocks, and many more amongst the crowd.
Once I got there I realized why they called it boiler room, IT WAS HUMID. Like, the humidity had humidity. Though I’m sure its just an unintended set back, the party was awesome.
The DJs for this awesome event? Chalk (whose loft was where the event was being held), Will Buck, Austin Paul, Dude Skywalker, Pirate Stereo, JBZ and Oscar G. Definite highlights include hearing Boston Bun’s “Housecall” and hearing Chalk play Technotronic’s “Pump Up The Jam” during his all wax set. Seriously, all the DJs threw down.
How hard did that party go? So hard that Chalk and his roomies were given an eviction notice the following day. Talk about ending your stay on the highest of notes.
To say that III Points wended up completely exceeding my expectations would be an understatement. I can’t wait for next year.