Monday Morning Wrap-Up

Magda and Kollektiv Turmstrasse came through at Space this weekend  – first, Magda with her tech-house, dark vibes, followed by Kollektiv who played a weirdly “Arabian nights” kind of after-hours with sitar-sounding beats. He’s a German artist on the last stop of his North American tour. Perhaps he was trying to figure out the crowd, but there was never a consistent rise or sway to his set. It would have been very difficult (nearly impossible) to beat out Capriati’s 12-hour marathon last weekend. (That one will go down in the books as pure joy.)

Centro continues to be the “it” place for Space cadets. It is far better than any other venue offering house music vibes on a Sunday afternoon. Free pizza is also offered if you arrive early enough to grab a slice. And yes, it is better than 1-800-Lucky, which hosted Cocodrills this Sunday. Their sound is the same as ever, but it doesn’t seem to get old. It was the crowd that was lacking, and with that, home was next on the agenda.

 

Dirty South drips “Darko” honey

“Darko” is Dirty South’s fourth album and his second album release this year. After twelve years of following the artist, he remains the man of progressive house. In fact, Dirty South is one of the few progressive house artists from the mid-2000s that continues to develop and push the genre forward.

“Progressive” can leave a bad taste in the mouth for those who remember the dark ages of house (2013-2016). Artists within the genre failed to keep creating and started replicating. The list of sell-outs is far longer than those who have worked hard to develop new tastes and sounds, but there are some steadfast survivors. Dirty South is one of them Read More

Capriati. Wow.

It’s now Tuesday and the vibrations from Sunday are still being felt from Joseph Capriati’s marathon set at Space. No video can expose it. You just had to be there to get it.

This is the Year of Capriati. His sound at Ultra this March left onlookers wide-eyed and wide-mouthed, which is why his visit 7 months later was a must-see.

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Slow Summer: Where has all the music gone?

It’s been a few months since my last post, and for good reason. Slow season is ending and soon we will be hit with an onslaught of tourists from New York, Europe, and the Middle East. What does this mean?

Calendars will soon jam up where locals and tourists alike will be faced with a complicated selection of overlapping events. But this isn’t necessarily true of music. It seems the only clubs in Miami that offer grade A house music nowadays are Story, LIV, and Space. Story and LIV are owned by Dave Grutman, and Space is an Opium group venue as of 2013. That’s all the house music presented by two companies in the entire city. And with venues diminishing over the past 5 years – Grand Central, Will Call, Mecca, Mansion, Amnesia, Arkadia, Bardot, Heart, Trade, and soon to be Electric Pickle – what does this mean for the future landscape of Miami’s house music scene?

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Monday Morning Wrap-Up

We liked the new wave tunes Oliver Heldens put on on Friday at Story. Cocodrills kicked it at Treehouse.

If you didn’t know, Friday nights at Space is still a thing for the 18+ crowd. The downstairs housed Waff, which packed in all the young ones, and the upstairs hosted Trance on the Terrace, headlining Gabriel and Dresden, who were every bit as good as expected. However, the turn-out at 3am was alarmingly disparate. G&D were killing it, and the terrace was almost empty. From a Gen Z perspective, our 20-year old scout, Chronos, says, “the younger generation loves dubstep, riddim, and bass house, and older is more techno, deep house.” G&D have been promoting their new album (“The Only Road”), and in other places, such as Chicago, debut 7-hour sets. Miami is clearly not ready for that kind of trance phenomena outside of MMW.

Flight facilities played an early DJ set Sunday morning, and Victor Calderone brought in the sunrise. Vibrations were high as Victor brought out everyone’s best.

Dirty South also promoted his new album (“XV”), who played Sunday night a pool party at SLS Hyde Beach. Perhaps a pun to line up with his new song, “Night Walks?” The crowd here was also sorely lacking, and everyone seemed way too drunk from partying earlier in the day, but there were some dedicated fans who danced with arms wide open. A great DJ and producer, he chose Temper Trap’s “Sweet Disposition” as the tune to interweave throughout his set. Some versions we hadn’t heard before. He displays an uncanny ability to make old songs sound new. Last night, his set included a nuanced version of “Phazing” and a little bit of “Let it Go.” Twelve years and more we have been hosting this DJ, and we need him around more often. He is one of the ones that is dedicated to moving the genre forward.

Robbie Rivera played at Racket in Wynwood for a late afternoon Sunday party. (This will be interesting to watch. If it develops into something more, we could have a new 1-800-Lucky on our hands.) Speaking of which, Roger Sanchez closed out the weekend at 1-800-Lucky with a special birthday celebration set. He is one of the best deep house/vocalist DJs out there, and his sound fills any space that he plays. It’s almost as if you have to breathe harder because the music is competing with the oxygen. He closed up shop for the summer in Miami and is headed to Ibiza! He’ll be back in October for the next Tribe of Denial event. The past two months, 1-800-Lucky has hosted the best free party on Sunday nights. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you definitely should.

Gabriel & Dresden: A long-time love

These two have produced stellar hits without reaching today’s hallmark fame, as is the case with Tiesto or Above and Beyond. But do not be fooled. Their lack fame does not indicate a lack of success. In fact, I would hail they have been wildly successful in carrying on an identity that is truly their own since 2001. Whether it’s their first released remix “Travelling On”, the timeless tune “Tracking Treasure Down”, the journey of “Arcadia”, or newer tracks such as “Waiting for Winter,” it’s been a pleasure to know and hear the production of Gabriel & Dresden.

My first live exposure to this duo was in 2014. They played at Kingdom in Austin during SXSW, and they played not for a packed crowd, but the set was so lovable. I think I smiled the whole time. I thought 2014 was late, but here we are in 2018, and some house heads still haven’t heard the beauty of a G&D song.

Gabriel & Dresden, whether people know it or not, are legends. They have advanced the trance genre, where even Above and Beyond praise them for their uniqueness. “We need Gabriel & Dresden in our life. It’s always been like that. Their remixes changed our map. Their first album was a masterpiece of bleeding heart indie electro that pulsed with the rarest thing in our scene: a clear and compelling personality. They were the black light. They were the only competition we had. They sounded like nobody else but we all played the hell out of their tracks anyway. Then they just stopped. Time slowed down.”

They are referencing the weird period of EDM (2013-2016) when Gabriel & Dresden felt the inertia in the musical space, too. At the end of 2016, in an interview, they stated, “The trance scene has changed significantly over the years…for a while (the last 3-4 years) it’s felt like music has had to subscribe to 1 or 2 formulas to succeed. When we got into that trance scene, music was always about melody. It didn’t matter if it was an instrumental or a vocal, it had to be musical to work on the dance floor. And we feel that’s coming back. In a big way. (and if it doesn’t, we’re gonna make it) ;)”

Thank God for their tenacity because their vision is coming to fruition.

For Ultra’s 20th anniversary, they played at 1pm Sunday, which is a sore understatement of their influence the past 17 years. In the eight Ultras I’ve been to since 2008, it was the earliest I had ever shown up – and it was to see them. Granted, not too many people were in the mega-structure that housed Carl Cox both nights before, but it was nice to be alongside dedicated fans who know the sound of G&D too.

Rarely do Gabriel & Dresden come to Miami outside of MMW, and this weekend, we are blessed to hear them spin at Trance on the Terrace at Club Space. This is the second rendition of the party which was first held in January. Now, whether or not you are in Miami, if you haven’t heard of Gabriel & Dresden, I urge you to listen to this playlist. Their songs have been a part of my life, hallmarking different periods of my own journey. I’m so looking forward to a reunion with them, and grooving in harmony with the trance family there tonight!

Set time list:

10-11p: Veniice

11-12a: Kristina Skyy

12-1:30a: Mark Sixma

1:30-1:50a: Haliene

1:50-3:45a: Gabriel & Dresden

3:45-5a: Jochen Miller

See you out there.

Monday Morning Wrap-up

Odesza was the best show of the weekend, kicking us off Friday night. The heavens seemed to agree as the rain stayed away. Their music brought out the soul of Miami at this all-ages dance party. The venue was packed, and attendees were more likely to rave than shuffle. The duo played their hits, some of which were slightly nuanced to make the performance feel special. A colorful, neon stage paired beautifully to the music, and the finale ceased with unexpected confetti and an overwhelming, dreamlike feeling that the show never even happened.

Three blocks north, Justin Timberlake performed at AAA. It seems the future for him lies in guitar-playing melodies that seem to rightly fit his maturing journey. The Michael Jackson dance moves feel old and repeated.

Later on in the evening, Afrojack played at Story. He delivered the same drops and beats we’ve been hearing the past five years. The DJ looked like he was having a good time, and the crowd was sentimental after hearing a tribute of Avicii’s “Hey Brother”. But what about the music? “Take Over Control” was released almost eight years ago, and Afrojack is still playing it. Also, there are good, grinding sounds, but his sounds are a screeching, makes-us-want-to-cover-our-ears type. (See his new release “My City”.) Here has to be the worst performance of the weekend.

Saturday and Sunday mesh together. If you were in it for the long haul, Saturday started with an uplifting set by Galantis at LIV. Their set sent some good vibes throughout the place. No one wanted to go home at 5am, unless you had tickets to Loco Dice at Space. Then, the trip over the bridge brought upon hours and hours of loony-bin activity. Loco Dice wore a long-sleeved shirt for this marathon set, with “HELAL MONEY” on the sleeve, which is “Hello Money” in German. And yes, the set was certainly money. It was hard to break a dance move at sunrise due to capacity. He along with the crowd were having a great time. And we knew eventually that long-sleeved shirt would have to come off.

Cocodrills wrapped up the weekend at 1-800-Lucky for a chill, warm, tech-house kind of evening. I think Miami was all tapped out by weekend’s end. Luckily, we have a little hiatus with Memorial Day weekend! Where is everyone flying? 🙂

Loco Dice Fever is Unavoidable

It spreads like wildfire with just days to go – a rampant, energetic force that zips through the Miami dance scene, similar to MMW. It’s the lighting bolt that tells you the storm is coming, and it won’t be quick. You also don’t want to miss it.

“Take next Monday off, LOCO DICE is on the Space Miami Terrace Saturday May 19th.”

That’s the meme promoting the event, and it sums up the surge that is underway at this very moment. It also makes a valid point. This DJ is known for his marathon sessions. It won’t be two hours, or four hours. We really don’t know how long it will be.

One of the best two parties of my life was headlined by Loco Dice during MMW 2014 at the Surfcomber’s Used and Abused pool party. The sold out party was filled with ridiculously good music. It started with Oliver $ who premiered his “Pushing On” song, followed by Hector, Robert Dietz, Guti, and tiNi. Loco Dice wrapped up the festivities with a three-hour set, which be-it long for a pool party, was barely long enough for him.

The first hour was just foreplay, and by the end, the crowd was holding on to every song with their sweaty, slippery bodies because each song might be the last. The cosmic powers from the speakers that were penetrating our bodies, we didn’t want to stop. He left everyone with a stupid smile that lasted hours afterwards. You could say we orgasm-ed to him. (I was sober, BTW.)

That being said, you need at minimum three hours to hear this German DJ. I’ve seen him in London SW4 2015 in a two-hour slot, and it was just bad. A lost set without anything to grab hold of. But that won’t be our concern this Sunday. We get hours and hours of Loco Dice, which Miami can’t help but be partially thrilled, and partially sentenced to a hypnotic state of lunacy. Space rarely allots “Anytime arrival” tickets, but here they’ve made an exception. So go early without sleeping, or take a cue from me, and sleep before hitting the dance floor. Sunglasses required! Even if it does rain, which right now, looks like it will.

Although “playlist” isn’t what you think of when it comes to Loco Dice, my favorite song to display his work is “Go” by Moby. Listen to the original, then listen to his remix. From that comparison, you can note his unique style, and how he can make music his own, into a different kind of great. Two of his top ten tracks on Beatport right now have been released this year – “Positive Vibin'” and “Roots.” Here’s the playlist I’ve gathered (click here), but most of us already know who’s IN and who’s OUT. Catch you out there!

Monday Morning Wrap-Up

The past couple of weeks, Oscar G has been spinning the back room of Coyo Taco for MURK Mondays. This has been the best Monday night party we’ve seen in a while.

Saturday, Hot since 82 took to the terrace and delivered what we expected – some eerie tech house that can still seem euphoric. The turn-out was surprising. Mother’s Day didn’t keep the night crawlers from showing up. Otherwise, a tame week on the dance front.

Another reason to love the UK: Hot since 82

He first headlined solo at Club Space April 12, 2014. The morning was delightful. The vibe, a little eerie, but cool. We pumped. We talked. The groove, the energy was unforced. I remember walking around that place having the time of my life. The song he was known for at the time was Green Velvet – Bigger than Prince (Hot since 82 remix).

Daley Padley has been on the decks since the turn of the millennia at seventeen years of age. The Brit began playing 12-13 hours sets at a club in his hometown, and from there, word spread. He landed a residency at Cream Ibiza in Amnesia in 2006, and six years later, the Hot since 82 identity was born. The very next year, he was performing here during MMW.

Then early 2014 happened on the terrace. Little did I know, the impact of first seeing him that fateful morning would hamper my later experiences. Just four months later, I saw him Labor Day weekend at Story with Pete Tong, and the performance by both of them was lackluster. Ever since then, I haven’t been able to shake why was that morning so special? Why did it sound so good? I knew it would be good. But, it was surprisingly wonderful.

I’ve decided two things. One: his sound was different, especially for the year 2014 when everything was progressive (think Duke Dumont) and Two: he’s a Brit who started playing in a Space environment at a young age. He’s been conditioned to play at an afterhours venue where the beat goes on and on. And this is where he shines. He’s not the kind of talent you put into a 2-hour set time and say, “Go!”

That being said, if it weren’t for Mother’s Day, I would love to catch him on the terrace again. Although he hasn’t released anything yet for 2018, I do believe it will be another great morning, one that sticks maybe forever if you haven’t seen him before. Here’s my playlist if you’re on the fence about going! click here (embedded playlists coming soon)