Music
11:00 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Five Local Acts You Need To Watch At The Heineken Transatlantic Festival

Miami act Psychic Mirrors are a must-see this weekend.
Miami act Psychic Mirrors are a must-see this weekend.
Credit Psychic Mirrors on Facebook

This weekend marks the 11th annual edition of the Heineken Transatlantic Festival, a project spearheaded by the Rhythm Foundation in 2003. Like most other musical events mounted by the area nonprofit, the focus here is on a confluence of sounds from across the globe.


This festival is particularly forward-thinking, though. Not only does the bill mix up various styles of world music, it also promotes acts who fuse it all with a contemporary dance beat. That means a series of shows, from this Thursday, April 6 through Sunday, April 7 that equally showcase traditional rhythms and DJ-inspired culture.

Out-of-town headliners, one a night, this year include the Argentine-Uruguayan "electro-tango" outfit Bajofondo, Colombian cumbia-club act Bomba Estereo, and American funk carioca duo Zuzuka Poderosa and Kush Arora. But at least one carefully chosen local act also features prominently on each night's bill. Here are five you need to know.

To get full lineup details and tickets, visit transatlanticfestival.com.

Psychic Mirrors

The line-up of this punk-funk dance act seems to vary with each show, but it's always massive. At its best, complete with horn section and chirping backup singers, the band sounds like a fleshed-out version of downtown '80s New York acts like ESG. Think soul with an especially heavy low end and more than a little edge.
9 p.m. Thursday, April 4 at the festival kick-off party at Blackbird Ordinary, 729 SW 1st Ave., Miami. Admission is free; age 21 and up.



The Hongs

This five-piece cranks out shimmering electro-pop ditties with some festival-size hooks. There are also the occasional touches of Radiohead-style, slower exploration, but the band is at its best when it aims for the disco floor.
Opening for Bajondo, 7 p.m. Friday, April 5 at the North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Admission is $23 for the individual show, or included in the festival's $35 two-day pass.



Krisp

Not totally unlike Psychic Mirrors, Krisp mines a certain vein of '80s-inflected dance rock. This group is a relatively stripped-down quartet, though, and instead of going for all-out funk, they often veer off into a slightly more New Wave-y bent. Devo fans, check for a few strains of that band's influence in some of Krisp's songs.
Opening for Bomba Estereo, 7 p.m. Saturday, April 6 at the North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Admission is $23 for the individual show, or included in the festival's $35 two-day pass.



Beatmachines

Recognize at least half of this group? This is another project by Tony Smurphio, better known as the big-haired beatmaker behind Afrobeta. For Beatmachines, he's teamed up with buddy J.J. Freire for an act that specializes in completely improvised electronic music -- performed entirely with actual instruments like keyboards and drums. Naturally, no two shows are alike.
At the festival closing party, 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, April 7 at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami. Admission is free; age 21 and up.



Mr. Pauer

The alter ego of Toto Gonzalez, Mr. Pauer is part DJ, part improvisational digital visual artist, part live remixer. This one-man party-starter takes songs you might recognize -- '80s jams, Latin classics -- and flips them into something new by mixing and cutting them up on the fly.  
At the festival closing party, 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, April 7 at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami. Admission is free; age 21 and up.