Miami Beach, Fla. – For this year’s Miami Music Week, someone had to take DJ Times’ challenge of experiencing the all-day/all-night events, mostly from the more-underground side of the DJ world, so… knowing the dedication and energy it required, I nonetheless volunteered. (Insert smiley-face emoji…) But seriously, folks… from March 21-25, we rotated through, what we believe, were some of MMW’s best parties. Here we go:
Wednesday: This afternoon was the start of our MMW marathon. Easing into it, we made our first stop at 1 Hotel South Beach for Yotto, Claptone and Thomas Jack. After digging our toes deep into the sand at the open-air stage behind the hotel and getting acquainted with the beginning of our beat-filled week, we decided that we wanted a bit more Yotto, so off we went to Do Not Sit On The Furniture in South Beach for the “Yotto & Friends” party.
Anjunadeep collaborator Yotto was joined by his friends (and openers) Christoph and Clarion. Not to be outdone by the DJs onstage, we made a few new friends ourselves in the motel-esque backyard of the club. A few more drinks and a quick jog later, and we found ourselves Trade Miami. After climbing the stairs up into the jaws of the dark club, we realized that we had made it just in time to see Peggy Gou, a rapidly-rising, Korean-born DJ/producer, who current resides in Berlin. Another good call.
Following Peggy was the venerable Ellen Allien of Berlin’s BPitch Control, who played her signature slammin’, booty-shaking techno until we could pound our feet into the dancefloor no more. Ukrainian DJ and Propaganda Recordings principal Nastia closed out the event to a packed house. Welcome to Miami Music Week!
Thursday: After sleeping in—you’ll notice this is a common theme when you attend MMW—the majority of our day was spent at Rapture Electronic Music Festival, located just a short drive from Downtown Miami in the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park. This was Rapture’s second year and it continued to wow us with wellness-focused events, like yoga and meditation, which they managed to pack in alongside 20 hours of music across three stages. With too many names to count, our favorites DJs of the day included Art Department, Eelke Kleijn (a crowd favorite), M.A.N.F.L.Y (Audiofly & M.A.N.D.Y). Nonetheless, we continue to kick ourselves for missing a rare, very special sunrise set from RPR Soundsystem (Rhadoo + Petre Inspirescu + Raresh).
Friday: During the day we found ourselves at All Day I Dream of Southern Beaches, another open-air event happening in the 1 Hotel South Beach’s backyard. Wearing our coolest sunglasses and feeling the wind-swept air, we floated around the ethereal soirée to the airy sounds of ADID stalwarts Lee Burridge, Yoko, Gorje Hewek, and Izhevski. Newcomers Öona Dahl and Lost Desert also took us for a ride through the clouds.
Friday night we took a cab into Downtown Miami to catch DJ Three’s Hallucienda Miami featuring Daniel Bell, Doc Martin, Öona Dahl, and Clarian. Daniel Bell’s minimal techno set might have been one of the best minimal sets I’ve ever heard, while Doc Martin and Three both ripped up the place with their cutting-edge house and techno sounds. Downstairs were Öona Dahl and Clarian (live), but we had seen them already that day.
Saturday/Sunday: Unlike the seeming majority of Miami visitors that week, we didn’t dabble with Ultra Music Festival. For us on Saturday, there was only one place to be (or not to be): Get Lost. Kingpin Damian Lazarus’s yearly mini-festival—but don’t call it a festival—has become an essential party for house and techno lovers in Miami. This year was unlike any other. With four distinct dancefloor environments, plus special art installations and an after-hours vibe lasting from start to finish, Get Lost was truly a place for one to, well… get lost.
Seth Troxler opened up the 24-hour event at 5 a.m. with a set for Friday night partiers still ready to keep things going. With over 40 DJs on the bill, notable performances came from Ellen Allien, Soul Clap, Kerri Chandler, Guy Gerber, Kölsch and an extended closing from the trio Wizardry (DJ Three, Damian Lazarus and DJ Tennis). My personal favorite sets came from Felix da Housecat, Kenny Glasgow b2b Tiga, Art Department, and special unannounced guest Jackmaster, who closed out the event until Miami’s sheriff had to quite literally shut the party down, around 5:07 a.m. Sunday morning. Whew.
The party never stops in Miami.