Swampspace is a multidisciplinary haven for non traditional arts, teetering on the edge of the Design District. Founded by artist Oliver Sanchez over a decade ago, he curates unique programming like Swampstock where a bill of unlikely artists join forces for the kind variety show you won’t find at any other gallery in Miami.
We entered the gallery where four sets of musical equipment were arranged in a different corner of the room, ready to be played. As we walked back to get a drink we circled the space admiring the freshly decorated walls. Our initial intent was to catch our friend perform with his super-group for the first time, which seemed to work out perfectly.
“Swampstock is our version of Woodstock” the master of ceremonies seemed to mumble while introducing the first act sans microphone. “… and now the Worm, the Serpent, & the Dragon.” After what appeared to be a ceremonial blessing, Handelsman sat and began tickling the harmonium. He joined a masked Ahol Sniffs Glue who sat before a foreign contraption generating blips and beeps while Rat Bastard picked accents of feedback and trills from a tiny guitar amp all blending into a meditative hum.
The night was full of artists that were new to us, so instead of leaving after our friends’ performance we decided to stick around to catch the remaining acts. Rocky & Rambo were a guitar and drum combo with loud distortion and heavy beats who nearly melted faces with their aggressive styling.
Haute Tension are a fairly new band, having risen from the ashes of the Mo’ Booty Band, while maintaining a similar vibe. They have embarked on a relentless journey to play at least one gig for every day in the month of August, leading up to the release of their self titled release at Sweat Records on the 31st.
The Black Queen utilized a variety of equipment including laptops, a bullhorn, and modified didgeridoos. For the finale they paraded among the spectators while chanting, eventually settling where they began and wrapped a member in some fabric.
Pocket of Lolipops was the last performance we were able to experience. A punchy drum and bass duet adding samples and at times call and response vocals. The pair exuded a carefree energy that matched their fun tunes, a great way to end the night.