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)

Monday Morning Wrap-Up

Queens of the Stone Age proved that rock and roll is not dead. Lead singer Josh Homme cursed fluidly, confused Tuesday for Monday, and drank tequila to combat a cold. He called out Miami for its “untz untz” music, but in the end, agreed that “Miami, you are a rock and roll town.” Live music has certainly tapered down since electronica took off, and performances like these are few and far between.

Steve Angello spiked adrenaline and accelerated heart-rates in the heart of Miami Friday night at Story. We jumped up and down, waved our arms in the air, and desperately tried to get a good picture or video. With nearly sold out general admission, the dance floor was a pit of anarchy. Steve dished out slam after slam  – songs like “Antidote”, Supermode’s “Tell me why,” and Florence and the Machine’s, “Say my Name.” Although he barely filled his two-hour slot, it was jam-packed with great tunes, and even left some breathing room with a minimal house segment to give those footsies a break.

We were more than ok heading home at 3:30a. Steve Angello closed out his set with a special dedication to Miami –  a fantastic, new remix of “You got the love” by Florence and the Machine. Do you know how one song can summarize an entire morning/event? Well, this song summarizes a rager on the terrace of Club Space in 2013. It was Labor Day weekend, and Space was due to close for renovation. Steve Angello was playing the closing party. Mark Knight released the remix of “You got the Love” just two months prior to that party, and we were overly consumed on dance floor. We are thrilled Steve remembers, because I think he disappeared at some point off the stage never to return – a little too much tequila if memory serves correctly.

Cinco de Mayo was celebrated with a Tribe of Denial event, hosting major DJs Roger Sanchez and Oscar G. The tribal dancers are something you might see at a club, but what made this party unique was the addition of two drummers, one on bongos and one on snare. They played all throughout the night to the DJs playing our favorite songs. It was a classic Miami party – hot, sweaty, and impossible to stand still. The tributes to Avicii continue, but Oscar G played a particularity nice one with “Wake me Up” in sync with the drums. The S-man shut it down, taking it from the drums and beats to some beautiful melodies, as he is known to do. It was a well-put-on performance for this sold out show.

If you were able to carry on through to seis de Mayo, Pan-pot treated the terrace from 6-9a. They are a bit dark with their bass-bumping, sound-grinding style (particularly when compared to Danny Daze’s funk-set-list last week). But the crowd was drawn in.

Last, but not least, the S-man surprised us Sunday night with another DJ set at 1-800-Lucky, which is becoming our new favorite venue. If only some of us didn’t have to work on Monday!

Steve Angello resuscitates Miami after MMW

For those who have seen Swedish House Mafia since they first played at Ultra 2009, it might come naturally to say, “Been there done that.” However, nearly ten years later, Steve Angello is still ripping the dancefloor to shreds. It’s amazing. A madman on the decks, he comes through with club banging busters that are a shock to the system.

He had half the dancefloor jumping up and down in unison at Story last night, where there wasn’t a dull moment…and this made up for the fact that he barely filled his 2-hour retainer. The dancers were on-point, the crowd was on fire. There were less tables filled than Kaskade last week, but still plenty filled, and the dancefloor was sheer mayhem. Perhaps Miami likes it better that way.

When we can’t get enough, we leave the tables to be closer to the DJ. That’s what happened in the closing song, which Steve dedicated to Miami. Like flies to the light, members left VIP to join the crazed mob for Florence and the Machine’s “You got the love,” a beautiful remix that we haven’t heard before. It highly resembled Mark Knight’s remix, which was the featured song of Labor Day weekend 2013 when Steve Angello made us rip up the terrace of Space with our dance shoes. That was a closing party (closing for renovation) that we’ll never forget. It was a fantastic moment last night, and for those who have been on the dance scene long enough, we appreciate the DJs that remember the fans who have experienced these wonderful things alongside with them – a long time now. It’s clear that Miami loved Steve and Steve loved us back. We hope to see him back soon.

Monday Morning Wrap-Up

Kaskade brought some uplifting tunes this weekend. Story provided the perfect venue, and is every bit as intriguing as when it opened late 2012.

It’s a special thing when the venue fills up (due to its size), and Kaskade was able to attract the numbers. There was saturation from the front of the dance floor to the very back VIP tables upstairs.

The first two hours were for show and littered with club favorites. He dropped some tribal beats (notably not his thing) and some 80’s tunes including Livin’ on a Prayer and a tribute mashup of Avicii’s levels and Don’t Stop Believing (which the crowd of course loved).
A beautiful remix of Mr. Brightside led way to the funkier, groovier part of the evening, and that’s when you could really see Kaskade work. The furrowed eyebrows, uncertainty in his body language – that’s when you know a DJ’s not working on repetition, but experimenting. This led to the best sounds of the evening.
Verdict: Worth seeing for the upbeat atmosphere- still unsure if he can break out of the mainstream mold.
Local favorite Danny Daze put on a 12-hour spectacle at Space. The buzz gave way to a solid turn-out. On his IG live feed, @dannydaze wrote, “I wanna send a big thank you to everyone who came out to Space for this 12 hour set. One of my initial dreams when I first started DJing was to be able to rock the terrace in a marathon set. I never get to play tracks like Depeche Mode remix which reminds me of the good old days…” He weaved in some funky disco for this sunrise session, and for that, we salute.

Kaskade: Blasé?

He lit a fire in our new shoes. We smiled and looked surprised.

And after dancing the night away, Moshi Moshi (our fave late-night sushi spot) greeted us with his melodic tunes, which seemed to magically follow us.

There wasn’t a DJ who could top the soul-diving exploits of his rhythm and rhyme.The harmonic singers that he collaborated with fueled the succession of hit after hit.

Phrases like “Look into my eyes.” “Will you turn it down?” “Move for me.” “I remember.” “Don’t stop dancing, girl.” “Step one two.”

They take on a whole new meaning, thanks to his contribution in house music.

Although what lies behind us is gold, and can’t be tainted or touched, the question remains: Will the artist remain relevant in the years of house music to come?

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Letter from Louis Puig

Greetings Fellow Electronic Dance Music Fans and Welcome to MMC 2013.

Every year at this time, I write my tell it like it is letter regarding MMC and EDM. Basically it is my reflection of what to expect from MMC and the current and future state of EDM. I also try to add some inspiration, humor and constructive criticism. If there is any content here that you find personal or offensive just think of it as that ringing left in your ears after being at Space all night. Eventually you will either ignore it, get used to it or it will go away.

This year instead of writing just a letter, I broke things down into sections as a producer would tracks on an LP. That way you can pick and choose the ones you favor and ignore the rest. That being said let me push play and start the first track on this LP.

WMC, MMC, MMW, UMW. After 10 years of pushing and trying, I finally got my wish. As you all know, I have spearheaded the effort to unify Winter Music Conference / Miami Music Conference /Miami Music Week / Ultra Music Week… and to extend conference to more than just 1 day, 1 weekend for 1 week. I am thankful to the Ultra boys for finally coming to their senses and doing 2 weekends. Now they can make even more money. All I have left to do is convince them to lift all the “Ultra Artist Exclusives” so that adults can also enjoy Carl Cox and other “exclusive” artists at our favorite adult events, pool parties, clubs and afterhours. Artists should be free to perform or create what they like, when they like and where they like and, anything which prohibits or limits artist’s freedom is anti-art and is the complete opposite of what EDM stands for. These exclusives are hurting our local venues and employees and are keeping the over 21 crowd visitors from enjoying their fav DJs. As I said before, I LOVE ULTRA and even saved its ass and kept it alive one year when the organizers were broke but I will not stand for monopolization in our industry or of our artists and especially when it creates an unfair competition towards our local business and venue owners. Greed and the monopolization of artists to the extent where you hurt our local businesses are NOT the ingredients of the EDM formula. These Ultra imposed exclusives are not just for MMC week as they also prohibit the artists from performing locally or in South Florida up to 90 days before or after MMC, which is our high tourist season. Establishments such as the giant Ice Palace Studios are going dark with no events or DJ’s during these 2 weeks of Music Conference because they “cannot get DJs.” The same is happening to many Miami and South Beach venues that own or rent property and pay mortgages, rent, taxes and employees not just one weekend at the park but 365 days a year. The irony of this is that Ultra is renting our public parks (Bayfront Park) to do so, which btw is completely illegal according to the Bert J Harris Act. In fact, the City of Miami could be liable for allowing this unfair competition by renting its land to Ultra who continuously ignores the local business owner’s and City’s requests to lift the DJ exclusivities. It took some work for us to get 2 weeks of music conference and now we are all the better for it. We have more days to enjoy music and Miami and, Ultra has more days to make more millions. It is time that they stop being so greedy and selfish and give back to the local business owners and community that hosts and supports them. Give the artists their artistic freedom and lift the Ultra exclusives that are hurting our community and local business owners or give us back our park.

FUTURE OF EDM. I am hoping that the future of Electronic Dance Music will be the complete opposite of the commercial Mash Up sound you hear at VIP clubs today. This sound is monotonous, tiring and not even the DJs that play it like it. In fact, they actually hate it but they sold out to it and are now stuck playing it. The sound reminds me of the Walt Disney Electric Parade. Some people call it Swedish House Music but I call it VIP Confetti Music but no matter what you call it, it is complete rubbish and what is worse is that it generates the complete opposite energy and effect of what dance music was designed to do, which is for people to dance. Believe it or not, the plan was never for you to show up, stand on a dance floor ignoring your date our friends and look at some clown jumping up and down waving his finger in the air while playing prerecorded laptop sets. Fortunately EDM fans are very intelligent and educated and they are finally catching on to these theatrics. These DJ finger waving performing clowns have numbered days. Techno, Tech, Deep House and other underground EDM genres will prevail. In case you do not understand what I mean by VIP Confetti Music, just visit the top 100 in the “progressive” category on my fav music dance music website and Robert Sillerman’s latest acquisition, Beatport.com. I remember when the Beatport progressive dance music chart was actually progressive.

Robert Sillerman / SFX. If you have not heard by now Robert Sillerman AKA SFX is spending a billion dollars to buy and control the EDM Industry. Some people are labeling Sillerman “Big Brother” and think he will be the end of EDM as we know and love it. I have been around long enough to know better. I lived the end of Disco, Rap, Hip Hop, Mash Up and hopefully soon Confetti Music. EDM is not going anywhere.

I respect and admire Sillerman but sometimes he gets himself into businesses that he has no business being in such as the real estate deal he did in Anguilla. I have no idea who is advising him on EDM but they are completely steering him the wrong way. You don’t buy the milk, then the cow, and then the ranch, you buy the ranch with the cows first. He should have spent his money in buying the biggest DJ agency first and not the trendy clubs and festivals that DJs play at. Or at least started his own DJ booking and management agency by stealing the top agents from the existent agencies. They would have brought their DJ clients with them and signed them on to multiyear contracts. This would have been a fraction of the cost and a lot more manageable. As is, he is the owner of a bunch of clubs and festivals that are going or will be going out of style before his EDM Company goes public. What is worse is that he has no one to control or oversee all the club and festival owners and operators he left in charge. Think of it as being the owner of a fleet of pirate ships and thinking that all your ship pirate captains will stay honest and true. How many club or festival owners or operators would you trust with the keys to your house and the combination to your safe? Robert, do yourself a favor and find someone who understands EDM and what is at stake, clubs and festivals are not radio or TV stations. As they say, “hire the best to watch the rest.”

But, the biggest thing that Sillerman seems to be missing is the spirit of EDM and House music. Sure, it’s easy to look at the scene now and see it as being ripe for commercial takeover but the truth is that this scene has always resisted and rejected that path and will again unless they see it as authentic. I know that, once EDM fans get a whiff of the corporate control, they will rebel and run back to the sounds, artists and venues that they see as authentic. Unfortunately, the SFX pirate captain brigade doesn’t get this. They’ll learn, as many before them have, that this is a different scene and that our fans are not so easily fooled.

SALE OF SPACE. It is true; I sold Club Space and this will be my last Space MMC. I’m very proud of what we created in Downtown Miami and have been privileged to work with some amazing and talented people. 13 years is a very long time for any club to be around and I couldn’t have done it without all the people who supported Space in so many ways. Its 130 years if you want to compare it to human years. It was time for me to move on and let someone else carry the Space torch.

Space was ahead of its time; it was the antiestablishment to the South Beach commercial VIP clubs with the French velvet-rope attitude that unfortunately still prevails today. Space was underground and so separated from the norm that few gave it or me a chance of success. The only person who actually saw my vision and believed in me was Ricardo, the owner of Pacha Ibiza. We were at a dinner party in Ibiza back in 1999 and I pulled out a set of Space blue prints and showed them to Roberto. He looked at the plans and looked into my eyes and said, “esto va tio.” If I had to pick a club mentor, he would be the one. The rest is club history. Now it is time for history to repeat itself. It is time for a new space which will set the bar for the next decade.

Space was a vision I carried with me for almost 20 years since my first visit to Ibiza in 1981. The concept that I am working on now is a product of a vision I have been formulating in my head since Space opened with Danny Tenaglia in 2000. This new space will hopefully have the same effect on our industry as the first Space. It will be bigger and better since I now possess a more thorough and extensive knowledge of the qualities and details that make a club a legend. In other words, I know now what I wish I had known then and plan to use that knowledge to create something truly unique. This space will be the antiestablishment of this new era and once again the antithesis of the South Beach / Las Vegas commercial VIP confetti clubs.

HIERBAS IBICENCAS. Aaah Hierbas! Why can’t all alcoholic beverages and spirits taste like this? I fell in love with this heavenly nectar the first time I went to Ibiza back in 1981. It is the favorite drink of Ibiza and my DJ friends and it is finally available in the States. In fact, it will be making its debut at this year’s Music Conference so ask for “Hierbas” at your favorite club, restaurant or pool party. Shots or “chupitos” as they call them in Spain or on the rocks, Hierbas is delicious any way you drink it. Go towww.hierbasusa.comfor the complete Hierbas story and enjoy the sights and sounds of Miami Music Conference with Hierbas Ibicencas by Mari Mayans. It is 100% Ibiza.

Enjoy the conference, drink responsively and don’t forget to tip,