A warehouse in Miami thumped with bass this past Friday night. Art Basel, the art event that draws everyone from world renowned artists to random celebrities, was at its peak in Miami, and many people chose to attend a major event occurring in one of Miami’s art hubs. In the heart of Wynwood, the Mana Wynwood venue drew hoards of people excited to see two major headliners, both of whom had not played Miami in quite some time: Jamie xx and Four Tet.
Organized by III Points and record label Young Turks, this concert marked one of the three Art Basel events put on at Mana during Art Basel. This particular show caught lightning in a bottle, booking one of dance music’s artists of the moment, the newly Grammy-nominated Jamie xx, and one of EDM’s longest-running, consistent producers and DJs, Four Tet. Both producers are friends, often going back-to-back on tours and even on an Essential Mix, but this show neatly divided their sets into distinct hour and thirty minute increments.
Before the two hit the stage, a surprise guest in the form of fellow Young Turks artist Sampha played a rare DJ set. Sampha, a frequent collaborator of artists like SBTRKT and Drake, mixed everything from future garage to American top 40 hip-hop, but unfortunately his set lacked the cohesion and flow of his peers. Moments would shine, only to devolve in poorly mixed segments that failed to match up to the mixing abilities of Jamie xx and Four Tet. A live set would have likely benefitted the artist much more, and prevented members of the crowd from growing restless.
At the peak of the night, Jamie xx hit the stage in golden lights. As opposed to jumping right into playing one of the tracks from his hit 2015 album In Colour, the British DJ spent the first bit of his set playing straight-up disco tracks. It wasn’t until about fifteen minutes into his set until he dropped “Sleep Sound,” but the flow of the tracks sent chills down many a spine. Among playing the majority of In Colour and select singles like “Under One Roof Raving,” Jamie included offbeat tracks that worked well in keeping the energy levels high. A ten-minute drum and whistle jam reminded everyone about the roots of dance music, and his playing of tracks like “Everything in its Right Place” by Radiohead hearkened back to his background as a producer for indie band The xx. With minutes to spare, Jamie played out “Loud Places” and “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times),” a fitting hurrah before Four Tet graced the stage.
Four Tet is one of the most unique DJs around, and naturally his DJ set would start off with an unexpected twist. Opening with Pusha T’s “Numbers on the Board” signaled an incoming barrage of unforeseen twists, and the next hour and following hour and half brought twists, turns and tranquility. The first half of Four Tet’s set found the British DJ dropping favorites like “Digital Arpeggios” from his production alias Percussions, an ID edit of Bobby McFerrin’s “Thinkin’ About Your Body” (which many speculate is a Four Tet edit) and more. While Four Tet’s rave roots were kept intact for the first bit of his set, the second half of his set turned in an interesting direction. Four Tet played an assortment of downtempo, Caribbean-styled tracks to finish off his set, a risky move to follow the high energy of Jamie xx, but a fitting turn given the late-night setting of his set (the tropical flavor of Miami likely providing inspiration).
Jamie xx and Four Tet, both previous III Points Festival artists, represented a knock-out booking for Art Basel weekend, even among the heaps of competition flooding the city in both the art and music outlets. It felt much like a mini festival, and if III Points keeps it up, the company will have some of the best, in-demand bookings during the most exciting weekends of the year. We look forward to attending more III Points, not just for the quality of artists booked, but also for the professionalism, great organization, and attention to detail the company gives to each of their events.