More than ever the Miami music scene is saturated with commercial sounds, and when all the major nightclubs in Miami Beach are bringing the most popular DJs to their venue it is difficult to stand out. With such a renewed focus on electronic dance music (EDM), Opium Group partner, Eric Milon, realized there was a need for something fresh and that the underground sound was rapidly taking over. “We started to notice the rest of the world was evolving and going into this more house music based, dance oriented direction while the bigger clubs in Miami were tailoring to the masses,” says Milon.
Milon brought in Richard Barrenchea, creator and developer of Minimax events, and Najib, the Opium Group’s director of booking, to discuss the concept of an underground night. “We realized that there was not much to do on Thursdays in the EDM scene that was fun, interesting and unique,” Barrenchea says. “Everything seemed to be the same old thing, so we jokingly said we need to take control of where the music scene was headed.” The word control stuck, and as a result, “Kontrol” Thursdays at Mansion were born. “The “C” was changed to a “K” to give some edge,” says Barrenchea.
Led by Barrenchea and his partner, Matt Ohashi, Minimax developed the Kontrol brand and overall direction of the night. The duo established partnerships with promoters that had a similar vision of providing club-goers with underground music in a bigger environment. With many connections to underground artists, agencies and labels, Minimax is able to bring interesting, forward-thinking acts to Mansion.
Ranging from legends like Dubfire and Sasha to a new breed of DJs like Visionquest and Fur Coat, the goal is to provide the Miami Beach club scene with a fresh sound. “We book musically inclined acts and create interesting pairings that will not only make for a strong promotion but most importantly, will have the dance floor going off,” says Ohashi.
On Thursday, June 14, Mansion welcomes renowned DJ and producer, Sasha. Upcoming acts include No Regular Play, who will be doing a live performance and DJ set towards the end of June, Jamie Jones and Lee Burridge in August. Other notable acts include the return of Art Department, who kicked off Kontrol Thursdays back in March. “Till this day, people have been talking about that night,” says Barrenchea. “We are excited to have them return and cannot wait to see what the future has in store.” As underground music gains momentum, Mansion will maintain “Kontrol” of the Miami club scene every Thursday night.