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How much sun did you see in Miami?

 

That depends on whether it was the daytime activities at WMC central and the delights of people watching on the streets and sands that most interested you, or the all-night every night musical bounty that drew you to Miami's South Beach....

 


Here's that fresh report from this year's Winter Music Conference you've been promised.  For a look back at previous years' parties, you'll need to go to the archive.... 

 2008 ... seems like a long time ... and yet South Beach stays the same, and does not disappoint.

The first day, March 26th, was all about arriving and meeting Omlette Brothers (Ed) who, it turned out, had been fighting a cold the previous week, flew to to the US anyway and (probably on the flight with dozens of other sniffling people) caught a whole brand new cold … to say that he was feeling a little off on arrival would substantially understate the case, and by 8 am Thursday morning he had booked his flight for an immediate return home … I was very sorry to lose him as the fourth member of our party, not least because he'd expressed a desire to do the DT thing and have a chilled-out time ….  However, we all had a chance for a dinner together before he headed back home, as Twisted Rook (Rob) and MixMeister Aaron arrived by about 8 pm.

 


 

On Thursday afternoon, we 3 remaining party people went first to see DJ Kares, who was to be spending some time demo'ing the new Numark/MixMeister controller for Numark …
 

 

At the first event we attended, though, she was using CD decks and spinning a mostly electro set to a crowd that included some very scantily clad women … in fact, there was evidence of more cosmetic surgery at that venue than I've ever seen in one place in my life, including L.A.   Despite what you might think, I'm not complaining....  However, I'm not the only one to notice this phenomenon -- the fellas from German internet site PLAY.FM  who also attended WMC and blogged it up, had this observation to make, as part of their list of Miami Prejudices which tackled questions such as whether or not Miami is expensive, whether all the DJs were playing CDs, whether smoking was permitted in clubs and of course, this:

There are beautiful girls all around

False. Or, let’s put it that way: Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. If you’re into lifted faces, silicone boobs, miniskirts and high heels, then be sure to go for Miami Beach! However, that’s just not my style at all…

 

From the Keri's party, we went on to the Delano courtyard for the first day of the Giant Step 3-day freebie I signed us up for … gorgeous venue and good music although announcing of the DJs was hard to catch… I believe Roland Appel was playing when we arrived, and then we heard a fantastic set by (possibly) Gamall or (alternatively) Demon Days (Gamall and Carl Craig) ... I'm thinking Gamall, who I've never heard of but who turned in a totally hypnotic rocking set.  Of course, we had a meal at our fabulous marble table in the garden, and generally lounged around happily …

 

 

We agreed we'd be glad to go back for parts 2 and 3 …

 

Finally, we came back to the hotel showered and changed and went to a venue TRR suggested, since none of us had the stamina for a trip into Miami ...  The headliner was to be Jellybean Benitez … I heard one very good track in the mix (Rook told me it was remix of "Love Dancing") but the sound system was FU … the high end was overdriven or just simply too loud … it was ear-bleeding painful … Aaron and I bailed out at midnight … Rob stayed on.  And that's what separates the true music warriors from the weekenders....

 


 

Friday was Miambient, where I met Emch (who posted about the event to the downtempo list) as well as Jim who dropped a Link Wray track!!  Talk about your original dub sounds -- Wh00t! 

 

  Amon on drums (Rhiannon, vocalizing, is off-camera) and Jim dropping the tracks.

 

 

We talked and found out we were all headed to day 2 of Giant Step, so I saw them later as well, along with Jesse from Modus Vivendi, fresh from nailing a deal for Sam Sparro with Island UK … he tells me they have at top 5 UK hit on their hands right now and he's mad busy….

 

  Jesse, with the gleam of success in his eye (Oh, OK, that's actually the flash....)

 

 

We stuck around to the end because we were there for Erykah Badu, who performed last (11 pm) … waiting on a better pic from one of the guys, at which point I'll update this page ... in the meantime, here's Badu as she appeared recently in The New Yorker magazine:

 

 

We went to Lincoln Rd. for food afterwards and then, once again, bailed out on the prospect of the 9 pm to 5 am Miami Gets Deep show … I started to feel like I was missing the good ones, despite having now turned my clock around so that I'm still up at 1:30 … up, maybe -- not ready to boogie all night though….

 


 

Saturday and AH, OK, this time I made the cut …. We had a slow take-off in the morning, but our main concern was BasicNYC's do at the Beach Plaza Hotel … First we went to The National which was the Remix Hotel site for WMC … each day, there had been a line down to the street, which we all agreed was not something we wanted to endure … however, Aaron needed to catch up with Kares and the Numark people in order to see the prototype MixMeister Controller ….  After assiduously phoning/texting, Kares alerted him she could get us all-access tags and so that was our first stop … here's Aaron, holding the gear.

 

 

 

From there, we went to the BasicNYC party (4-8 pm), which turned out to be the hottest party of the trip … my profound appreciation to DJ Boo and Sleepy for the chance to hear the likes of Groove Junkies, Jask, Andy Caldwell, Jamie Lewis and Brian Tappert. 

 


Groove Junkies


Jask


Andy Caldwell

 

I can tell you I danced for about 4 hours straight … the nicest part was feeling all the love from the people dancing around me who twigged that I was the oldest person there (I should say, oldest female, cause there were the usual assortment of grey-headed guys … of course, we still STILL live in a world where they can go anywhere / do anything and it doesn't excite comment) … but I have to say, when there's music that good, I'm non-stop and that's worth a big-up anytime.  I got some pics of these beautiful people …

 

James was a wicked good dancer

The Crush!

Everybody dancing, all night long ....
Twisted Rook found his sweet spot at the Beach Plaza party

 

 

I probably did not catch all of them, but plenty of them caught me.  In particular, one woman from Columbia (you know who you are, in your chocolate-straw cowboy hat) who I gave my cards to, and hope she will email me with a pic.

 

We finally left there, figuring we wanted to eat before "way late" and then try to catch a nighttime show … By 9 we were freshly showered, dressed to impress in our own modest ways, and back out on the street for dinner and then off to the Opium Garden to see the night version of the Andy Caldwell set, along with whatever else we could stand up for (in this case: more Jask and Fred Everything in addition to Andy; by the time Miguel Migs was preparing to hit the stage, we were prepared to hit the road and so missed him and Marques Wyatt.)  In the main room, a couple of DJs were spinning a semi-DT / World Groove set which I found pretty blissful and when I went back later, taking a break from Jask, it had ramped up to Tech House and was really sweet … but the smaller room demanded attention … it was the smoke that finally made me want to hit the road at 2:30 … by then Twisted Rook was sitting down nodding and Aaron was laughing …

 


  

Asleep by 3:30 am Sunday, and up by 8:30 … the guys had planes to catch between 9 and 9:30, and so had to be up and out by about 6:30 … But what a fine, fine time -- well worth the pain of travel.  And one more Thank you!! to Aaron for helping to make the whole thing possible.

 


Check out the slideshow for a more complete sense of all the venues we visited and the performers we enjoyed ... there are 50+ photos, so there may be a little download time involved ... the page is set up to open in a new browser window and I'd suggest you just let it do its thing until the pics start appearing.  My thanks to Twisted Rook for generously sharing so many of his photos with me....