Miami Madness – Tales from Miami Music Week


I’m sat in Key West recovering after a crazy four days at Miami music week (usually known as the winter music conference, but this year the WMC happened earlier in the month with most parties still happening during the music week).  Here is my brief low down on what happened over those days…

Firstly, partying in Miami is expensive – prices rival and exceed those of Ibiza superclubs.  Four shots of tequila set me back $86, and a bottle of water was $5-$15 so even if you want to stay sober you’ll need a fistful of dollars.  Still, someone at the notoriously exclusive Nikki Beach fired off a $2000 Jeroboam of Veuve over the crowd, so maybe $86 aint no thing.   Incidentally, the only reason I got in Nikki Beach to see Armand Van Helden was because I was with Avicii’s US promotions manager – I’m definitely not pretty enough or rich enough to be let in the front door.

The Beatport Beach Parties were daily events all week with rather good lineups.  I got to catch quite a few DJs there on the first day but Dada Life and Mark Knight stand out for getting the crowd going.   The Funktion One setup and light rigging were pretty damn good here too, definitely one to check out if you get chance next year.

I finally got to see one of my favourite DJs, Hernan Cattaneo, at the Bedrock party at the Cameo.  I wasnt disappointed and Digweed was stellar too.  Funkagenda came along to see his idol at work too – I’d been in the booth with him and Michael Woods at his own Funk Farm party the night before that had the Arkadia rocking.  His DJ set up has evolved since I last saw him at Beta in Denver – I’ll do a post on that soon for you gear and tech sluts.

After the Bedrock party a few of us went back to an Iranian anaethatist’s hotel to party.  But then we realised they were into a different kind of partying when what we had previously thought was a woman in the bed turned out to be a strange gimp-like man dressed in women’s lingerie.  When the porn went on and miscellaneous tablets came out it was time to leg it.  The take home message – never trust someone that drugs people for a living.

The next 72 hours are a bit of a blur of parties.  Seth Troxler and Footprintz at the Visionquest pool party, then some great stuff from Matt Tolfrey,  Shonky, and Craig Richards at the Listed pool party.  A quick jaunt to Nikki Beach for Armand, back to Listed  for Radio Slave, Boris Werner, and some quality banter with Jozif, then home to sleep.  Up at 6am and off to the Get Lost party at the Electric Pickle – which was probably the highlight for me.  Both Jozif and Solomun played awesome grooving house sets downstairs, Damian Lazarus and Mr C throbbing beats upstairs, and then the outside party began.  Again some top notch performances.  Soul Clap showed why they are so in demand with their killer disco cuts,  Matt Tolfrey and Jamie Jones both delivering solid tech house.  And I was very impressed with Maceo Plex’s live set incorporating a mic and vocoders to great effect.  Such an exciting tech/deep/disco house scene at the moment, and  great crowd.

I headed back to the Beatport Party with some new friends to catch Richie Hawtin’s set.  The queue was huge – I’m sure most of the must have got turned away.  Thankfully we walked straight in and got treated to a great show, although the posse of 20+ people crowded in the DJ booth seemed a bit unnecessary!  Ears ringing, it was time for some sushi and drinks at Townhouse, followed by drinks on the rooftop where we were the only white people (we later found out that it was an AIDS awareness party on the roof that night).  Eventually I passed out on a bookcase than dropped down to reveal a bed (know as a Murphy Bed I was told) in an apartment down on Venetian Island.

View from Venetian Island

Finally, we were off to Sunday School.  We had missed Mathais Kaden (who was playing at 8.30am) but I was happy to find Martin Buttrich, Matthais Tanzmann, and Squillace playing together as ‘Better Lost Than Stupid’ at lunchtime, followed by a tough techno set by Cassy.  After that, I said goodbye  and headed back to the villa to pack.

A three hour drive later, with a much needed stop off at the Island Grill for some Ahi tuna and deep fried ‘gator bites (the place I had deep fried cheesecake on my last visit to the Keys), and we were back to base camp.  This will be my home for the next two weeks where Scott and I will talk business and hammer together some new tracks for Vertical Lift – once my brain has unpickled.

Big thanks to all those that made Miami great: Tom Havens, Jozif, Malik, Jon, Luca, Deuce, Karin, Izabella,  of course my buddies Scott of VLR and Pete of Ugroove.tv, and any one else I forgot to mention!

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