Yesterday was the last day of Red Bull Guest House. With daytime takeovers by Hot Creations, OWSLA, and Mad Decent, and performances by Skrillex, Diplo, and many others, it was a crazy four days.
For the Sunday finale, the Los Angeles-based A Club Called Rhonda label was at The Red Bull Guest House, which took over the Gale Hotel in Miami, with performances by Paradise, Goddollars, Rory Phillips, Soul Clap, and Benji B & The Deviation String Quartet. And the headliner? The one, the only, Giorgio Moroder, who gave the week a breath-taking sunset outro.
Paradise and Goddollars got the afternoon off to a superb start by the pool. They woke us up, but gently, and had people dancing in no time. Sometimes Sunday can be tough – these two made it easy. Meanwhile, Traktor Cookery School was filling bellies in The Backyard, where the guest chef was Resident Advisor co-founder Nick Sabine. He cooked Thai salmon with chili broccoli and couscous. Delicious.
Rory Phillips, who's been making moves since the epic Trash nights in London, was up next. He played a deep set of poolside disco vibe music. Very sexy, very smooth. Then came one of the most peculiar sets of the day (the week?): Benji B & The Deviation String Quartet, which made its US premiere yesterday at Red Bull Guest House.
We spoke with the BBC Radio 1 DJ a few months ago about Deviation, the club night he founded in London and brought to New York City last December.
Always full of surprises, Benji B took the pool stage yesterday with a string quartet and a conductor. It was the first time we'd heard acoustic instruments (albeit amplified) at Red Bull Guest House (with the exception of the jazz band that played at Diddy and Guy Gerber's '11 11' listening party), and it was quite refreshing. Sometimes ears need softness, right? It was delicate and flowing, with the strings settling nicely in the spaces Benji B's beats left open. And it was incredibly romantic. Dreamy Miami Sunday comedown music.
In The Backyard, Paradise and Goddollars snagged a second DJ set, this time kicking out jams like Ready For The World's 'Oh Sheila' and Madonna's 'Get Into The Groove.' Once again, the two got everyone in the groove, and they made us stay there.
The special guests for the day were the funky outer space-loving Soul Clap. Slick, cosmic tunes; infinite head-nods. With the exception of the Circ X performers, who were striking curious poses on the bar and squirming atop the ping-pong table to disrupt a heated match, it was a very chill scene.
Then came disco legend Giorgio Moroder, mustache and all. Earlier in the day, Moroder was interviewed on RBMA Radio. Moroder spoke about his recent work with Kelis, and about doing a remix with a big British rock band. Coldplay? The Rolling Stones? He said it's a secret, so we'll have to be patient...
Moroder also had this to say about Miami Music Week and EDM: “I love it. The bigger the audience, the more I like it... When I listen to music on the radio, mostly in the car, I love to hear EDM music. I love to listen to it. I think it's great. It's an absolutely new movement... What Avicii did with that song 'Wake Me Up' was quite interesting.”
Moroder didn't play any Avicii songs. Instead, he gave us a powerful tour through some of his biggest hits. 'From Here To Eternity.' His remixes of Donna Summer's 'Love To Love You Baby,' 'Hot Stuff,' 'On The Radio,' 'Bad Girls,' 'Last Dance,' 'I Feel Love' and 'Heaven Knows.' Blondie's 'Call Me.' 'Flashdance... What A Feeling,' from the movie 'Flashdance.' 'She's On Fire.'
Between songs, he sometimes spoke in a weird robot voice. He talked about “syncing up the humans and the machines.” He mentioned that Brian de Palma's 'Scarface' took place in Miami before he played the music he composed for the film. Then he played 'The NeverEnding Story' theme. He also did 'Georgio For Moroder,' the song he worked on with Daft Punk from 'Random Access Memories,' which earned him his fourth Grammy Award.
There were way too many OMG moments to recount. One of the best: when Moroder mixed his 'Top Gun' theme, 'Take My Breath Away.' He dropped the sound during the choruses, and everyone sang along as the Miami sun was peaking out from behind the clouds one last time before finally setting. Everyone was dancing; everyone was smiling. There couldn't have been a more magical last moment to an already awesome four days.
As the Matias Aguayo quote displayed throughout Red Bull Guest House said: “If you're not dancing, something is wrong.” Nothing was wrong. Everything was perfect.