L4LM’s Miami Music Week Diary

first_imgIt’s the craziest week in dance music every single year. At the end of March, music fans and industry workers travel from all across the globe to South Beach, Miami, Florida, for a week of mixers, parties, festivals, and clubs. Every where you look, there’s something going on. If there is a space big enough for some turntables and some speakers, chances are, there will be a party going on. Even in the smallest hotel lobbies, someone will be spinning shitty techno music until 6am.It’s hard work to catch everything you want to see – but I tried my best, and documented the whole thing. Here’s a day by day diary of what went down this past week in Miami.TuesdayThe opening day is still quiet in Miami. The music industry have all arrived, meetings are beind held, but the throngs of kandi wearing tourists have not yet arrived for Ultra Music Festival over the weekend. There’s stuff to do – several small pool parties here and there, but this was a good day to relax and take in the calm before the storm.At night, however, things are completely different, as the Above and Beyond was set to perform at Mansion. As one of the hottest acts in dance music right now, this was one of the few events of the early week to completely sell out – and you could tell. Mansion was packed from wall to wall with eager dance fans looking to take in a helping of Above and Beyond’s heartfeld dance music. While once considered a trance act, I feel like Above and Beyond has carved out their own genre at this point. This set was no different, blending progressive electronic beats with soulful lyrics and never losing the party.WednesdayOne of the new entries to this year’s party scene was also one of the most highly anticipated – Good Times Miami debuted with an entirely new concept, bringing partiers a day full of back to back sets and new collaborations. Curated by Skrillex’s OWSLA records, Weds’ line up included an incredible hip hop based set from Boys Noize and Brodinski, which featured an appearance from Baltimore rapper Spank Rock, the legendary Benny Bennassi going b2b with Congorock, and an incredible display of turntablism with A-Trak spinning next to DJ Craze. Those turntable masters, next to each other, switching off, was one of the crazier thing’s I’d see all week. If you were lucky, you also caught Skrillex messing around with some audio equipment backstage, performing for a crowd of maybe 10 or 15 people.Wednesday night sent me to Story for Laidback Luke’s ‘Super You And Me’ party, which is supposed to have a super hero theme, but saw most party goers all decked out in their fancies. Laidback Luke put out a predictable awesome set, captivating the crowd with an incredible set. Support for the night included DJ Snake, who’se song ‘Turn Down For What’ was arguable to most overplayed song of this year’s Miami Music Week (in a loving way), and The Chainsmokers, who had a camera crew running around taking selfies for a remix video they’re working on.ThursdayI dont know if this was a conscious effort, but Thursday was the most packed day in terms of things going on everywhere. But before anything really started, Armin Van Buuren was hosting a press conference, announcing his brand new Phillips headphones. These things are incredible, folding up tight for travel, completely customizable side pieces, and a bunch of other features that only a true DJ would appreciate. Those of us who stuck around were treated to a brief set from Armin himself, going through some of his bigger hits in an intimate setting.After Armin, it was off to the Dirtybird BBQ, one of the most highly anticipated parties of the year. Claude VonStroke brought the whole crew to the Cafeina Wynwood Lounge, a fantastic outdoor space, and threw down a party that started early and ended late. Unlike last year’s event, this one went wayyy into the early morning – you could have spent the entire day at the BBQ. This year’s special guest was hip hop legend Just Blaze, who went through hip hop history with a slew of his greatest productions. It was a welcome change, but I think everyone was ready to get back to the deep cuts with Claude VonStroke hit the decks, followed by Justin Martin, with the two superstars destroying the dance floor.Another highly anticipated event took place at night not too far away – Mau5trap vs Pryda saw two dance music heavyweights share the same booth for the first time – completely unrehearsed and unplanned. Both labels brought their future stars for support, including Eekoo, Fehrplay, and Jeremy Olander, but the main attraction was the label heads themselves. Deadmau5 manned his laptop and controllers, Prydz took the CDJs, and the two put on an incredible show for the packed floor of mau5heads that danced the night away.FridayThe Red Bull Guest House kicked off Friday with a pool party curated by Skrillex’s OWSLA label. The invite only party saw sets from Kill The Noise, What So Not, Milo and Otis, and of course, Skrillex, in a pretty tiny pool area. Oh, and there was an ice cream man that forced you to dance to earn free ice cream bars, tons of weird performance artists, and a huge floating Red Bull logo in the pool that you couldn’t help but dance on. Skrillex’s set was a huge highlight, as he erred towards newer influences of deep and progressive house, and away from the womps and wobbles that made him famous.After a short break, it was back to the Red Bull Guest House for their late night ‘Breakfast Club’, which turns the inside of the Gale Hotel into, well, a breakfast club. From 2:30-7, DJs transform two rooms into night clubs, and the lobby becomes a breakfast buffet, complete with modern fortune tellers, open bar, and a full food spread. Downstairs saw PMR Records’ showcase acts like Julio Bashmore, Cyril Hahn, and T. Williams, while upstairs saw the LuckyMe Collective show off such up and coming stars as Cashmere Cat and Obey City. Due to the way the club was laid out, few people knew Cashmere Cat was spinning upstairs, and his set was pretty much empty, but hey, I enjoyed standing right next to the booth while I got a private Cashmere Cat show. (Seriously, there were times when I was the only other person in the room). Obey City took the decks after, and they must have shut down the downstairs as the crowd ended up all bouncing to the upstairs midway through the set. The bigger crowd added to the energy and the DJ ended up performing a long, long set.SaturdayThe Red Bull Guest House was in full effect again, this time with a day curated by Mad Decent Records. Sets from Zeds Dead, Djemba Djemba, Grandtheft, among others filled up the day, along with a special surprise b2b set from Diplo and DJ Snake. Hip hop appearances from Riff Raff, Wakka Flocka Flame, and Trinidad James rounded out the day’s festivities. In Downtown Miami, the Anjunadeep pool party was in full swing, along with special guest Dusky who showed up for a surprise set. Saturday night saw Dusky perform a three hour set downstairs at Trade, while upstiars Maceo Plez went back to back with Danny Daze for an incredible set of deeper house music. Earlier in the night, Diddy debuted a new track with Guy Gerber before Gerber took the decks at Red Bull Guest House. SundayThe last day of Miami Music Week also saw one of the more highly anticipated sets of the weekend. While the previous days saw the likes of Skrillex and Diplo manned the Red Bull Guest House in previous days, it was 73 year old Giorgio Moroder who threw down the biggest party of the weekend. The legendary producer took to the booth late in the afternoon in the backyard area, moved from pool side to accomodate a bigger crowd. He then spun for around an hour and half, seemingly not wanting to stop. Every time the music, would cut, he’d come back for one more, eventually reprising songs like ‘Hot Stuff’ and ‘I Feel Love’ once more for encores. Throughout his set, Moroder weaved in and out of his classic productions, including the themes from ‘Flashdance’, ‘Neverending Story’, ‘Top Gun’, and ‘Midnight Express’. Throughout the entire weekend, I dont think there was a greater reaction to any set I saw than Moroders, and I think that’s a fitting end to the week – with the man whose responsible for influencing many of the DJs who headlined the big shows throughout the weekend.last_img

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