Atlanta based DJ Mike Pope attended Winter Music Conference for the first time. Following is his blog where covered all of the decadence that is South Beach during WMC.
The following blog is long but I hope to capture the emotion that was Winter Music Conference 2009 as a first time participant. What a ride!
Wednesday, March 25th - Day 1
Attended a Producer’s Panel and listened to Sasha, BT, Fedde Le Grand, Sharam as they fielded questions and offered up advice on finding your own unique sound in a mix and getting it out there into the hands of DJ’s, label execs, promoters, etc.
Wednesday, March 25th - Night 1
After a brief stop at Twist for a drink, it was on to Lounge Presents “Pure House”. I’ve been excited about getting into this club ever since I heard the buzz that this club was opening on South Beach. And it did not disappoint! From the moment you walk into this pink-neon flavored ultra swank joint, I felt that I was invited to a VIP-only record producer’s private party. Thousand dollar bottles of champagne and Grey Goose Vodka chilled and served in ice buckets with fire sparklers attached to the tops of the bottles. So I wasn’t all surprised when I turned around and saw 2 real live dancers on poles that lit up and pulsed to the beats. Now the real treat for the evening wasn’t the dancers but the DJ talent that blew me away: Yves Larock and David Vendetta. Both were amazing electro house powerhouse producer/DJ’s but when Micah The Violinist stepped up on stage right in front of the DJ booth when David Vendetta went on…it was pure ear Kandi. Vendetta’s own productions with his vocals are very electro euro house sound that is pretty popular in French clubs. Think David Guetta (also French international superstar DJ) but with bouncy electro riffs. When Vendetta remixes for other artists his range is wide and experimental. So I’m dancing and taking in his set when all of a sudden he drops in his own sizzling mix of Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown” and starts twisting the hell out of the mix with loops, cuts, flanges, delays, back spins, tapping out kick drums on the CDJ’s…you name it. He’s literally shredding this song into pieces that he served up for the crowd. You could tell he was having as much fun performing it that night than Kanye did making it. Wow! Having stood next to him when much of his set, I felt like I was enrolled in an advanced mixing workshop that night. He saw how into it I was and eventually smiled so I walked up to him and introduced myself. Nice guy and seemed to really be enjoying himself and having a great time.
Thursday, March 26th - Day 2
The Architecture of the DJ Set Panel
Panelists Cevin Fisher, Markus Schulz and Felix Sama discussed topics like what not to do as an opening DJ (especially if you get the chance to open for a big DJ). Never, ever play a record by an artist that is performing later at the club! It’s okay later in the night but not before they’ve gone on. Also, don’t play a signature mix by the headlining DJ before he goes on. This is not cool. Build the room, yes, but don’t pop the cherry if you want to open for that DJ again. Also discussed was if you are headlining a gig at a venue, the focus shouldn’t be on picking the exactly right first song of the night or worrying about when the right time to drop your big records—let the crowd speak to you (and they don’t mean requests when they said that). Know your record – and know how and when to play them.