Bjork's Magical and Diverse DJ Set draw devoted fans to Mana Wynwood Hosted by III Points
The influential Icelandic pop artist Björk alas made her Florida debut, performing a DJ set as part of an Art Basel event at Mana Wynwood. Organized by iii Points, the show also featured acclaimed experimental electronic DJ/producer Oneohtrix Point Never as the closing act. These two names were sure to draw in a diverse audience, and, on that promise, they delivered.
The crowd that began assembling hours early outside of Mana’s doors was a motley assortment of all ages; some dressed in extravagant costumes or hairstyles that recalled classic fashion moments from Björk’s career. Having made music professionally for nearly four decades, it reflected the artistic impact Björk has carried over several generations.
The doors opened just after 9 pm and the ecstatic crowd was greeted by a meticulously-decorated space that included hanging vines from the ceilings and palm trees that nearly engulfed the front of the stage, a tribute to the rainforest imagery associated with Björk’s latest album “Utopia.” Through a small space between the leaves, you could just barely spot local up-and-coming DJ/Producer Nicholas G. Padilla warming up the decks with a hazy blend of ambient electronic, future bass and trap music. The audience loved it and the energy and excitement began to rise as Padilla closed his set.
Just shortly after 10 pm, Björk emerged dressed as a surreal brightly-colored woodland fairy, all pink and shiny silver. Without ever speaking to the audience, she raised a glass of champagne as a toast and pulled up an ambient mix of flute and bird sounds that recalled her work on “Utopia.”
As the set progressed, a blend of angelic choirs, pulsating bass music and sounds of the Middle East unfurled in often jarring transitions, but watching Björk giddily bounce around was a spectacle in itself; a reminder that this artist has never lost her playfulness.
She even surprisingly dropped a few recent hip-hop gems, particularly by female artists. The clip of her nodding along to “Cartoons” by Cupcakke quickly made the rounds on social media after the show and the rapper happily tweeted in response.
After about an hour, however, Björk walked off the stage without explanation, leaving many in the audience to wonder if she was dealing with a technical difficulty. The set was taken over by Rabit, a Texas-based producer and Björk collaborator, who transitioned into a mix dominated by trap influences. At this point, the audience began to disperse. Björk would re-emerge nearly twenty minutes later to dance along on the sidelines.
Watching Björk make her Miami debut felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one can only wonder and hope that she does return for a live performance (a full tour in support of “Utopia” has yet to be announced.)
Coverage by Veronica of SoundBite Magazine and Chris Williams of SoundBite Magazine
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