Have you ever looked at a lineup so good it made you mad? You’re not even excited about it, you’re pissed. You’re not anticipating it, you’re dreading the moment you step inside the doors because you know you’re going to want to bang your head against a wall instead of choosing between two amazing artists.
For those of you who aren’t well versed in (read: a total nerd like me for) Greek mythology, Scylla & Charybdis is where the phrase “stuck between a rock and a hard place” comes from. People who attended Miami Music Week this year know it as the Area 10 & Black Butter Records party at Treehouse last Friday night. Really, both of these record labels could have thrown parties that stood on their own, as each has a five-star lineup of some of the best house DJs around. Even after an a day of hellish rain that flooded every pool party, fans lined up under the row of tents bright and early to experience this wonderful event.
Though I’ve been to Treehouse many times before, this had to have been the rowdiest crowd yet. In one room, Area 10 showcased Kevin Saunderson, Amine Edge & DANCE, and Dantiez Saunderson. In the other room, Black Butter had My Nu Leng, Kidnap Kid, and Wayward. It was an interesting dynamic as you travelled from room to room. Every once in a while the sound from each room mixed, as the bass from Kidnap Kid’s ambient hit “Stronger” fought against Amine Edge & DANCE’s pulsating G-House groove.
The headliners can only be compared to Mayweather – Pacquiao, as it was revealed upon arrival that Lee Foss would be going back to back with none other than MK, the same time Gorgon City took the decks. It was a clash of the Titans, four house heavyweights battling for the filthiest vibes of the night. Though it seemed like for most people, their minds were made up, as few dared to venture between the rooms, for fear of missing their favorite tunes. I couldn’t tell if Gorgon City was playing a set or throwing a house party in someone’s basement: as a vocalist occasionally took the mic and revved up the crowd as she sang from the edge of the booth, Kidnap Kid posted up at the bar to mingle with fans. Meanwhile, Lee & MK brought much more hip hop into the fray during their 2.5 hour set, drawing the attention of people who appreciated classic 90s vocals and probably had some version of these records on vinyl. They also gave fans what they wanted with tunes like the crazy popular “My Head is a Jungle.”
It’s hard to believe that both of these parties existed under the same roof without burning Treehouse to the ground. But it’s also a testament to the rebirth of house music. A year ago, a party of this magnitude might not have had the same success in a place like Miami, but this year it was the highlight of my time there.
Miami is just one stop on Black Butter Records’ North American tour. Tonight they’re in NYC, before heading to Boston and Rhode Island. As for MK, he’ll back in LA in two weeks for Used & Abused with Loco Dice and tINI.