As a way to transition into the weekend, Russia’s finest and Trip Records founder, Nina Kraviz, graced Miami with an unprecedented show. It was an overcast Thursday evening which fit the eldritch, ominous vibes perfectly.
The open air event, at venue The Bar at 1306, started at 11 by Nikita Zabelin. There was no resident DJ; it was Trip from night to dawn and that was more than okay. Nikita played a diverse library of music in his short set, including everything from techno, acid-house, rave, and even a few minutes of something that I would call “beat-box rhythm infused with techno bass”–quite the achievement from the deadpan DJ.
Iceland’s Bjarki took over the decks around 12:30 for the eery, costumed crowd (Halloween was right around the corner after all). The cryptic DJ’s four-on-four, bass-filled track “I Want to Go To Bang” was the track of the 2015 summer season. It played all throughout techno clubs and festivals, and is still quite the banger to this day. Bjarki did not hold back, delivering a paroxysm of bass, hi-hats that hissed like king cobras, and sheer wanton techno. The cozy Bar at 1306 was vibrating from energy, but also overzealous bass.
Around 3, the tsarina of techno, Nina Kraviz, came on to drive it all home. A Nina Kraviz appearance in Miami is quite the rarity, but she made up for lost time and pleased the bereaved crowd who were brave enough to come out on a Thursday. She delivered a smorgasbord of electronic delights; a borscht of cold, dark, and enlightening music. She started with club-styled techno, but transitioned to more old school sounding techno, acid-house, and maybe, even more importantly, trance. Old-school trance is making a comeback in the clubs these days, to which I believe is refreshing. Why can’t we relive the warehouse raves of the late ’90s and early 2000s? Or for some, experience it for the first time. Moreover, there were even a few minutes of drum and bass! The crowd was picking up everything Nina was laying down.
The show ended at 5 in the morning when Nina closed with an etherial almost dream-trance track. You may go in expecting one style but that is simply not the case when it comes to a Trip takeover.
Nina has an ability to play the dark techno we all crave, but in a lighthearted manner and with a twist. She is one that will interact with the crowd and play not with them, but for them. And all while being able to switch from track to track with 100 percent precision.
Nina and her entire Trip label is able to provide ambiguously styled sounds while being able to captivate the audience. Russia and the Scandinavian countries have always been able to turn any style of music into something distinctive and mellifluous. Whatever their magical touch might be, one can only hope the dogged Nina Kraviz and her minions of DJs play in the United States more often.