Miami Music Week 2015: Day 4 Recap

Miami from the bay

We hadn’t planned on venturing into Miami during this entire trip, except going to and from the airport, but with a scattered selection of parties in South Beach and then Option B: the Cosmic Gate Sunset Cruise party staring at us and calling our names, we just couldn’t say ‘no’ to Option B.

Meeting at 1:45pm for sign-in, and setting sail at 3:00pm sharp, we gathered with the growing crowd at the launching point with approximately 200 of our closest friends who were obviously ready for a great day of party cruising.

Cosmic Gate party people

Welcomed onboard by a friendly crew and a table of complimentary “greeting cocktails” of punch and vodka, it was six hours of three artists, light fare for purchase, complimentary top shelf open bar (for all six hours) and a cruise into the most magnificent sunset experience of a lifetime.

Cosmic Gate

Asked a month ago by the Cosmic Gate duo to play along side them on their sunset cruise, and with the support of his family, it was an opportunity Washington D.C.’s own Roberto Gonzalez could not pass.

He opened his set with White Apple Tree “Snowflakes” (Ping Pong remix) that established the perfect atmosphere and mood for the adventure to come. Still on that theme he went on to play Jose Gonzalez “Crosses” (Dinnerdate remix) and a magical remix of Wankelmut & Emma Louise “My Head Is A Jungle.” Cue up those three tracks alone, close your eyes, and imagine you’re on a sunset cruise, or on the beach, or in a tropical setting. In your mind they’ll really whisk you away to that place away from your day-to-day and you’ll practically feel and smell that fresh, ocean air. I don’t know how he managed to fashion a perfectly fitting mix, track after magical track, but it was heaven on earth (on the ocean). Continue Reading

Miami Music Week 2015: Day 3 Recap

Miami Music Week poolside fun

Sometimes boosting up and preparing for another day of partying in the sun, into sundown, then into sunrise means eating a leftover sub sandwich in your hotel fridge from the night before while multi-tasking and getting dressed.

It’s the third and final day at the W Hotel housed party of drinks, dancing and networking. This is possibly one of most stellar events during Miami Music Week for its ambiance, quality amenities and that up close experience with today’s hottest featured artists. Day three’s a-list ranged from Paris & Simo and Dannic to W&W and Hardwell.

The finale day went off without a hitch but held a sentimental surrealism to know this was the closing of such a memorable experience. To have met and networked with Internet radio entrepreneurs, artists, liquor distributors, various PR people and those who are launching promotion companies (this list includes our favorite bartender who remembered us from previous years) is a privileged experience. It’s one that inspires to observe these people who do what they love and love what they do….and do it well in the process and who are all a part of this binding community of music entertainment.
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Miami Music Week 2015: Day 2 Recap

NERVO_Miami Music Week

Fueling up for our second day of Miami Music Week (read our day one recap here) at the Sandia Bar and Grill at the Cardozo Hotel, we were treated to the taste of the true Miami flare. It’s a real bonus for restaurants to extend breakfast service to us late nighters (and all-nighters) during Miami Music Week. The outdoor ambiance of people watching, ocean breezes and the swaying palms offer a visual delight in itself. Add friendly salsa-dancing waiters and streaming salsa music that inspires passersby, including a man and his daughter and a skateboarder, to spontaneously break into dance once they hit the music stream completes the picture. Continue Reading

Miami Music Week 2015: Day 1 Recap [Gallery]

Miami Music Week 2015

Miami and South Beach come decorated in EDM, literally, for the annual Winter Music Conference. It’s embedded in everything, from the mobile billboard announcing the Robin Schulz Pool Party at the Delano on Sunday to “Carnage Loves Miami” on another, to the side of your cab brandishing a vinyl banner of Dada Life.

Riding with the cab windows down, in March, ’cause we can, we head to day 1 of the BMF Media hosted SiriusXM 808, Music Lounge three-day party and media gala at the classy and cool W Hotel Miami Beach, with its wealth of today’s hottest featured artists, special guests, and surprise fanboy sightings.

One half of dance music duo DVBBS mingled with the reverent and unmistakable Tommy Sunshine who schmoozed with up-and-comer Sam Feldt while in the background Chris Malinchak kicked off his housy set with “Happy.”

Rodg, Riggi & Piros, Michael Woods, Jochen Miller, Kygo, David Gravell, Heatbeat, MaRLo, Andrew Rayel and Dash Berlin shared the back-to-back six-hour spotlight leading up to the grand finale of Armada artist, Armin van Buuren, who maintained his perpetual and infectious smile to the delight of the moment and the intimate and adoring crowd.

Oscar G from Murk on the decks at Treehouse

With novelties abound in every direction, the poolside featured a popular beads crafting table to make message bracelets and necklaces. And this year’s party’s beverage of choice was Heineken and Jägermeister served with a variety of specially featured complimentary concoctions including a Mast’s Mule of vanilla with a kick from ginger and sliced jalapeño, an ice sculpture embedded with strategically placed Jäger bottles and a Jäger shots dispenser. When the main Jäger promoter, Cliff, comes up and comments at you ooh-ing and ahh-ing over their innovative party appliance and offers to share a round of shots with him, you can’t say ‘no.’

With the South Beach sundown long behind us the groovy sounds of Dom Donnelly opened Room 2 of Miami Beach’s Treehouse surrounded by its rustic array of fishing nets and dangling sea creatures. For the record, Oscar G from Murk (pictured above) clearly won the first day of Miami Music Week with his Frankie Knuckles heart shirt.

Lane 8 opened Room 1 with its trove of parent’s garage treasures including a hanging house-shaped planter made from a milk carton, an audio cassette recorder and an amber, owl-embossed ashtry. DJ Agoria wound down his electro-house set with the Hot Since 82 remix of “Recluse” before featured duo Dusky took to the decks and blasted their latest “Yoohoo” to an uproarious, packed and steamy crowd.

Not that you need the validation, but you know you’re at a great party when Tony McGuinness of Above & Beyond not only shows up early, but stays for the duration.

Images by Kathy Vitkus (@edmforlife)

Miami’s Remembrance Festival Raising Money for Cancer Research and Paying Tribute to Late Bingo Boys Member Paul Baümer

Remembrance-festival

In December 2013 the dance music world sadly lost Bingo Players’ Paul Baümer to cancer. Three months later Baümer’s legacy is being remembered at Remembrance Festival taking place on March 27 at the Ice Palace in Miami, FL during Miami Music Week. The sold-out celebration features an array of big-name EDM DJs — Dada Life, Tommy Trash, Bassjackers, Carl Tricks, Henry Fong, Chuckie and many more — on the bill. To support the charity Baümer named before he passed, a portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to KWF (Dutch Cancer Society) and the American Cancer Society.

Maarten Hoogstraten, the surviving member of Bingo Players who will also spin, said, “Remembrance is a way for the dance community to celebrate the life of my bandmate and best friend, as well as all those who have or are dealing with cancer. It’s obviously a special and important event for me and I am so touched by how much the dance community has shown their support over the past few months and by how much support this event has received.”

Toby Benson, organizer of the event, added, “Remembrance is, in its meaning, the action of remembering someone. To me, dance music has always symbolized a certain vitality, energy and celebration of life. To combine both the forward-looking celebration and the remembering of things past for a positive purpose makes it all the more powerful.”

Bingo Players’ label has hinted that a new track may be premiered at the event. Given the importance of Miami in the DJ world, you know that Baümer would’ve loved that.

WMC Night Out with A-Trak, Boys Noize, Skrillex, Felix da Housecat

Boys Noize and Felix da Housecat

Wednesday of Miami Music Week launched with what was promoted as a “We’re All Friends! 8 hours and 8 labels Beach Party” featuring A-Trak, Boys Noize, Skrillex, the electro disco-house sounds of Bromance and more. When a promoter and artist manager e-mails you and asks, “Can I really not tempt you to the pool party tomorrow?” and it’s featured poolside at the lovely South Beach Raleigh Hotel, with this lineup, how could you pass. A 45-minute downpour only added to the intensity of the crowd’s passion especially when it was an all-hands-on-deck moment literally as almost all of the featured artists gathered on the stage for a few rounds of tracks.

An impromptu interview with Chicago house great Felix da Housecat gave some insight to his cherished EDM roots and what EDM artist he’s feeling these days as a rising star in the business. Spoiler alert: his response was Boys Noize who minutes later spontaneously appeared at the poolside lounge interview sight where the two proceeded to offer their mutual appreciation for each other’s contribution and influence on the scene.

Skrillex

Concerned about missing the minimal timeslot of the multi-faceted South African duo of Dominic Peters and David Poole (better known as Goldfish), the mad dash across the street to the Gale Hotel rooftop presented a pleasant surprise result. Goldfish’s set was delayed due to the earlier downpour and they were just now setting up for their timeslot. Once settled their creative utilization of an electric up-right bass, saxophone, keyboards, flute, the Roland MC 909 sequencer/synth and vocals created an upbeat, funky, jazz, African-influenced dance music so pleasantly and surprisingly unique. Massive imagery spanning the façade of a nearby midrise projecting the artistic, cult, martial arts film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the multi-colored sky from the post-storm setting sun, and the aroma of the jerk chicken and rice available at the rooftop event offered the perfect elements to the outdoor set.

Goldfish

Midweek Miami nightlife was in true form as always during Miami Music Week presenting an eclectic palette of choices from the drum ‘n’ bass of Andy C, Goldie and Ed Rush & Optical at Therapy to the Kyau & Albert and Dennis Sheperd event at Club Euforia. LA’s DJ Kristina Sky, DJ duo Myon & Shane54 and Anjunadeep’s DJ Jaytech were on hand at Euforia to show support, network and mingle with fans. Jaytech was honored to hear Kyau & Albert play his recent smash hit “Stranger” offering a lip-synch rendition from the VIP. Closing time at 4am at Euforia on this particular night was still not an indication that the Miami nightlife was over and that fans were turning in for the night any time soon.

Images by Kathy Vitkus