When the Winter Music Conference, an annual electronic shindig, took place in Miami a few months ago, Phoenecia (Joshua Kay and Romulo Del Castilla) and Otto Von Schirach performed twice. Once at WMC and once at Infiltrate 3.0, an anti-WMC conference hosted by the guerrilla electronic collective Beta Bodega Coalition. In the world of showcasing and schmoozing, it's virtually unheard of for an act to align itself with both the insiders and the outsiders. But Phoenecia and Von Schirach, who record for the Miami-based imprint Schematic, make music that straddles the line. It's not accessible enough to be considered mainstream; nor is it glitchy enough to be considered completely marginal. On Brownout
, Phoenecia's debut, released earlier this year, the group's quiet, subliminal songs are composed of an array of electronic noises. While the title is a reference to the electrical blackouts that occur due to consumer overuse, the duo has said that it tried to make its music the equivalent of what one might hear on a night in the Everglades. The sludge sounds in tracks such as "Eyebrow" and "Diganesa" sound something like the rumblings of an overactive (and perhaps radioactive) swamp. Von Schirach's debut, 8000 B.C.
, also released earlier this year, is equally challenging. The lurching drum 'n' bass percolating in tracks such as "Insectdezyde Juice" and "C21 H39N7 012" is purposefully disrupted by hisses and scratchy bleeps. Don't let the "Basic Programming" title of this concert fool you; there's nothing "basic" about this show, one of the more esoteric and adventurous bills to swing through town.