Sunday afternoon on the Miami River. Skyscrapers glisten at a near distance, a whispering breeze sweeps in off a randy Biscayne Bay, and pleasure craft bob at arm's length, seemingly to the beat of an electro anthem. The chatter is quick, the chatterers are giddy, and even in their seats, the whole crowd is dancing. Such is the swing at a shindig called Knot 55. Your host: Ultra co-kingpin Alex Omes. Your DJ: Claudio Holze. Your daydream: Come true.
Held every Sunday at Miami's Big Fish, Knot 55 is just the place to put a weekend to an excitedly restful close. Since it's set smack in the center of the Magic City, a decidedly cosmopolitan vibe looms over everything. But because it's right on the waterfront and soundtracked by a master craftsman, that big-town bustle gets tempered by a soothing groove.
But don't think for a moment that groove's gonna give you any lull — not with Holze on the decks. See, the Argentine turntablist made his name doing 12-hour stints at Nikki Beach's infamous Sunday soirées. So what you get is the deep blue pulse of a party set interminably on spin.
Holze's five-year stand at Nikki Beach came on the heels of a whirlwind that saw him headlining every hot spot in Buenos Aires, not to mention drive-bys from Mexico City to the D.R. Concurrent action included all the usual South Beach spaces — from Level and Suite to Crobar and Opium Garden — in addition to run-ups to D.C. (the Capitol) and NYC (home).
And if that's not a list long enough to convince you, just last year Holze held court at the King is Dead here in Miami and then hit the Continent for a tour that went from Sweden to Spain and ended up stopping in every fair-sized city in — of all places — Macedonia. That's surely enough data to give you an idea of the lengths this man will go to get a party started right.
Counting among his influences the big three in DJ-dom — Larry Levan, Danny Tenaglia, and Frankie Knuckles — and courting a fan base that starts with the smart set and finishes with royalty, Holze holds a certain sway among those to whom "classic" is more than a mere buzzword. Just check the way Holze segues from X-Press' electric "Lazy" to, say, the ever-uplifting "Shined on Me" by Praise Cats (featuring Andrea Love), two 21st-century tracks that smack of house classicism.
At Big Fish, Holze is for the first time trading BPMs with his wife, Natalia. The couple has been hitched for 15 years, but it's only been in the last two that she started spinning in her own right (she counts Brickell's Novecento among her stands). Together they make for a perfect tag team, in love with each other, and with the kind of music that brings love wherever it goes.
Claudio Holze's Current Top Five:
1. "You Have to Dance (Mathias Kaden's Beatpolka Remix)," Noze
2. "We Love," Jurgen Paape and Boy Schaufler
3. "Say Something," Tovar
4. "Lazy (Mowgli Goes Deep Mix)," X-Press 2 feat. David Byrne
5. "Drunken Gold (Original Mix)," Monobrain