As it is well known, the wild and crazy time in March that is Winter Music Conference has now since come and gone. This year Miami had a different feel to it; as usual, there were gorgeous bikini-clad women, lavish luxurious parties, and dance music coming at from every direction imaginable, but the conference has changed forms for me now. As it has always been see and be seen, what party am I on the list for and what other people are on the list with me. It has transformed into supporting dance music more thoroughly without the need for status. My coverage of the WMC this year is more objective than year's past, but there is passion in what I saw.
Day one, Wednesday: I find myself arriving in town quite late, after midnight, so technically it would be Thursday, but for the sake of journalistic integrity we will call it Wednesday. The only party I attended was the extraordinary Lot 49 Party at the Laundry Bar. Our host, Scully, is one of the nicest guys and the best promoters that lives in the city year round. The venue was quite unique; a mixture of Laundromat and drinking establishment along with loud music and punishing breakbeat all rolled up into one nice, neat package. This night was all about the four on the floor breaks, with a dedication to tech step. Every imaginable breaks artist that was in town that evening was there. Meat Katie threw down some of the hardest, tweakiest, tech step I have ever heard, his sets rivaled fellow DJs Dylan Rhymes, General Midi, and some of the best new talent the UK had to offer. In attendance were not only some of my best mates, but Jen Lasher, Baby Anne, Jez of the Autobots, 30Hz, Delirium & Faze, Afterdark Mark, among others. As if this was not one of the best tributes to tech step you have ever heard, was the fact it was absolutely free to get in.
Day two, Thursday: Essential Breaks. Rising early in the day was easy, knowing I was headed to one of the coolest day parties WMC had to offer at the Catalina hotel. The roster of talent was amazing and included Deekline with MC Ivory, General Midi, The Autobots, Jen Lasher, Reid Speed, Annalyze, Keith MacKenzie, Ctrl-Z, 30Hz, Hostage, Specimen A, DJ Fixx vs McNasty, Cereal Killaz, Devine & Emily Play, RTHM, Theory in Motion, and an exclusive performance by The Rogue Element. Every DJ played impeccably, even BT stopped in to check out the action. Once Essential Breaks wrapped up, it was off to The Pawn Shop for the Made Event M_NUS vs Clonk Showcase. Upon arrival, I was treated with the utmost service by the door staff that I have become accustomed to when Plexi PR is on the case. Gaiser performed an awesome live set even enduring the antics of Richie Hawtin blowing the tractor-trailer horn in the to scale semi-truck DJ booth. The sound was buttoned up tight by Integral Sound who makes an appearance more than once at my WMC. After leaving the Pawn Shop, I made my way to Area 51 for a party of a different sort. World of Drum and Bass was in full effect. Blasting speakers, sweaty patrons, and all the drum and bass you could ask for. The highlight for me was the live performance by Kila Kela, whose beatboxing stirred the floor into a frenzy. After DiscoBnny danced until she could barely stand and my ears were ringing, I decided to head back to South Beach and call it a night.
Day three, Friday: After another early morning, I ate breakfast and headed to the Miami Beach Marina to the Scion Sunset Yacht Soiree. After standing outside for 45 minutes in the blazing heat, to the invite only party with 1200 people, staring at a yacht designed to hold only 300 people, I decided to not waste anymore of my time on the dock and tossed this party in the water. Note to self: make sure party is truly invite only, and is not just clever marketing. Discobnny and I headed back on to Collins to catch Auralusion on the Chesterfield hotel rooftop displaying some of the finest house DJs Tampa has to offer. A couple drinks later, I found myself back at The Pawn Shop to see Armin Van Buuren playing a special outdoor sunset DJ set, courtesy of Made Events and Plexi PR. Discobnny headed to The Clinton Hotel to see John B and hang by the pool jamming to 80s house with Simon from XM Radio Redux. Once Armin wrapped up, we headed to Club Blue to catch the Photorecords Photo Sessions 07, which was easily the best house music party on the beach that week. Thanks to Mindub and Spoon for having such a wonderful party. We headed down the beach to B.E.D. where Made was hosting Loco Dice, Steve Bug, and Marin Buttrich performing live. We were pleasantly greeted at the door by Betty Kang of Plexi PR and were inside within minutes. Integral Sound ramped it up once again, as we chilled on the clubs actual beds lining the walls of the venue. Loco Dice and Steve Bug dropped the minimal funk that had the whole club grooving. Once we left B.E.D., we headed downtown to see Tiga, DJ Hell, and Tiefschawrz at Y Ultra Lounge, the nicest club I have ever been to in my entire life. Not only was the music on point, the club was absolutely amazing. Traveling through a waterfall lined entrance viewing a side room that contained a DJ Booth literally on an island; we made our way into the main room that had a multi-color rotating laser, plenty of bar space, gracious staff, and an additional patio fully stocked with a made to order chef, manning a grill.