Miami Diary, Pt. 3: Boats, Gerber/Diddy Collab & The Festival Flu
Miami Beach, Fla. – Flying in from New Orleans, following Buku Music + Arts Project (keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming web coverage), I hope can bring a different perspective to Miami Music Week than my DJ Times compatriots Natalie Raben and Chris Caruso, so here goes:
Sunday, March 23: I landed with just enough time to make the first of my five—that’s right—five trips to all-night, Collins-Avenue eatery Sultan for some of the best Greek food that South Beach has to offer.
Next on the docket? Downing a few beers at Free Spirits, DJ Times’ unofficial favorite South Beach dive bar, and then doing a bit of ghostly guest DJing from my nearby hotel, using the nifty TouchTunes iPhone app. It’s $5 for six chances to delight, confuse or abuse nearby bar patrons without even being in the room? Priceless!
That night, DJ Times editor Jim Tremayne and I stopped by the Lola Ed Takeover and Fathers & Sons Showcase at Treehouse Miami to catch Djebali b2b John Dimas, as well as Jovonn playing some deep, funky house with a tinge of garage flavor. Good stuff, but luckily, we didn’t push it too late.
Tuesday, March 25: This was more of the same at the WMC exhibit hall, though I did have the opportunity to catch Kaskade’s featured Q&A with Arjan Writes, where the Chicago-born DJ spoke about passion, authenticity and his personal path to the top of the dance-music charts.
Wednesday, March 26: What’s the No. 1 thing to do when you’re in Miami and it’s a balmy 70 degrees outside? Party on a boat!
Captains Joris Voorn, Joseph Capriati and Danny Tenaglia helmed today’s seven-hour “Found at Sea” water-borne dance-a-thon. With the free drinks (and complimentary sea-scarves) flowing, opener Voorn took it upon himself to play a steady set of rolling, summery techno basslines as we cut across the glassy Biscayne Bay.
Thursday, March 27: It was time for a much-needed energy boost, so I popped over to the Red Bull Guest House to explore the Hot Creations takeover from 2 to 8 p.m., featuring Greg Pidcock, Mark Jenkyns, Jamie Jones, Lee Foss, Anabel Englund and special guests Art Department.
With Lee Foss DJing, sex-kitten Anabel Englund kept things rowdy, belting out her boiling vocals atop her collaborations with MK and Lee Foss (as Pleasure State) and, of course, her work with Lee Foss, Jamie Jones and Ali Love (as Hot Natured).
Next up came Art Department, playing a deeper, bassier set than any who had come before. As I waited to see if they would mix in the massive “Love Your Illusion” by Eric Volta—a staple track I’ve heard Art Department play every time I’ve seen them—it struck me that my NOLA and Miami shenanigans were finally catching up with me in the form of the Miami flu. As a preemptive strike, I crashed at my hotel immediately.
Friday, March 28: After a day at the beach to dry out the cold bugs still on the offensive, I showered and then headed to the SeaFair Mega Yacht docked behind Ultra Music Festival to conduct a video interview with Art Department.
Unsurprisingly, techno-turned-house legend Paul van Dyk pummeled us into submission, never relenting during his 2-to-5-a.m. set as he dropped thumper after thumper—with never more than two to four measures of breakdown to rest, if we were that lucky! Unfortunately, deep-house maven and Diynamic label-boss Solomun wasn’t slated to go until 8 a.m., so we had to take a pass on his set.
Saturday, March 29: Still weary from my travels, Saturday was another beach retreat until around 10 p.m., when I made my way to the Red Bull Breakfast Club Venue on South Beach for a mysterious Guy Gerber x Diddy “11-11” album listening party. Diddy was fashionably late, of course, as the tunes fittingly slated to kick off at 11:11 didn’t actually commence until 11:46.
If you’re intrigued, watch Diddy’s recap video he posted to Instagram below, and then listen to two of the stellar deep-house/techno tracks that have already made their way onto the Internet:
Sunday, March 30: My final day of recovery consisted of sitting poolside on Collins Avenue and shoveling ample DayQuil and Venezuelan food into my mouth. Relative bliss.
Sunburned, sick and with a suitcase full of dirty clothes, nonetheless, I knew that I’d do it all over again the exact same way. See you next year, Miami.