I finally landed in Miami on Monday March 20 after a 10 hours flight which seemed like a never ending thing. I met a guy called Peter on the way who, like myself, lucked out in getting a seat at the emergency exit which made the trip much more comfortable than it would normally be in economy class. At the airport, I then met my old friend KidCat. Together we took a ride to Miami Beach in Peter's rental car. And, as it was a cabriolet, we could fully enjoy the sights of the city while the sun was going down and everything was illuminated.
I decided to take some time at the beach the following day while enjoying the nice warm weather. Later on, I picked up the M3 Masterlist which no longer is a handy brochure but a full sized magazine, the festivities also being a part of local media. For example in The Miami Herald (miamiherald.com) via a half page article mentioning that there will be 327 events at 88 venues in seven days. And this, only in Miami Beach!!! Saturday being the peak of the whole with no less than 70 events taking place. Meanwhile, the Miami New Times have an x-tra 48 pages in their March 16-22 edition (miaminewtimes.com / Volume 20, Number 50).
This March 22 sees the official start of the M3 Summit - and it also features the 16th edition of the legendary Magic Sessions featuring Tony Humphries and 'Little' Louie Vega, with Jazzanova playing in the upper room. I’ll definitely pay them a visit…
Hey folks, here after a quick snap from last night’s Magic Sessions with a couple of pics pics of Tony Humphries and Louie Vega (was hard to get a good shot at them as so many people were in the booth dancing!!!)
The M3 Summit officially kicked off on March 22 as the badges could be picked up at Surfcomber Hotel and the Remix Hotel opened it doors as well, showcasing the latest in music technologies. Remix Hotel was already crowded, demonstrating how producers, artists and DJ’s are into the latest development as far as technologies are concerned with the whole amount of new opportunities they give. This March 22 also saw the official opening of this year’s festivites with the Magic Sessions that took place for the 16th time featuring the legendary DJs 'Little' Louie Vega and Tony Humphries in the main room, while Jazzanova were playing upstairs. As usual, Tony kicked off around 10 PM and got the crowd jumping with his unique style that combines various flavors of dance music, even including classics (for instance, "Go Bang" by Dinosaur L). Around 1:30 AM, 'Little' Louie Vega took over to get the crowd to the next level. Gladly, the Magic Sessions has not been as extremly over-crowded as in previous years, but still it was a melting pot of the who-is-who in today’s house music industry - some of the notables present include Big Moses, Groove Junkies, Jamie Lewis, GoGo Music posse (Ralf Gum, Benny Pecoraio, Roberto DeCarlo), UDM Show, David Harness, Haldo, Mark Mendoza & Sweet Sarah and many, many more... just too many to list here. Unfortunately, Jazzanova did not get the support they deserve – the upstairs room war more or less empty (at least at the times I was checking it out). The weather forecast indicates cooler weather for the coming days here in Miami, but for us - the party people - things will heat up with the massive amount of parties taking place over the next few days. Speak soon.
March 23 - Rain, business and politics
The weather forecast had a 40% chance of rain, but who did think that it would turn out in such heavy rainfalls??? This is exactly what happened with the Defected Party after it was runnning for about an hour, but this did not stop the whole nor the people getting excited inside @ Nikki Beach...
The Defected Party has always been a great place for networking - and so it was this year as well. Wether they are from the USA, UK, France, Italy, Switzerland, Japan - they were all there. While on the way inside, I bumped into Soul Creation (Jose Burgos and Deuce Martinez), Jose Gonzales (freshsolus.com) and David Corales (Marketing & Public Relations Consultant). We had some interesting talks and I gotta tell you be on the lookout for the forthcoming Soul Creation material picked up by a famous producer/DJ for his label!!! This party was a great proof that the business is changing drastically with digital taking more and more over - only a very few vinyls were handed out as CD’s are the choice now for many producers and artists to showcase their new material. This also has an impact on the importance of Miami and promotion in general - but this is another story (watch out for an upcoming article on this matter).
Soulfuric presented Friends of Ours 2006 that featured Ron Carroll among many other DJ’s like Jask, Brian Tappert and Jamie Lewis to name just a few. Ron Carroll delivered a hot set as DJ while singing live on some of his productions with the crowd going wild. That night also saw the Underground Collective party taking place, but for whatever reason the door people could not find my name on the guestlist... Meanwhile, others simply called their buddies that were already inside and could just step in. The venue for this party was a smaller spot that was packed and heated up (I wonder if they ever heard of air condition), with the DJ’s creating an intense vibe.
At the end of the day, yours truly once more got the impression that Miami is lacking support for journalists as many DJ’s and producers keep their new material between themselves and don't care about those that put all their passion into supoorting the industry (this is yet another story to be covered in an upcoming article).
March 24 - The day we felt like being home...
This Friday saw the Soul On The Beach party taking place by the likes of hosts Bobby & Steve alongside Jose Burgos (Soul Creation), James Ratcliff, Lou Gorbea, Jamie Lewis, David Harness, Groove Junkies, Brian Tappert and many more. As usual, the place was packed - no surprise as the Clevelander is one of the beautifulest spots to throw down a party.
That same day saw the amount of parties rising, so it had to be carefully chosen where to go. Next on my list was the MAW party which fatured a live performance by Luis Quintero. Located directly at the beach, this even topped the Soul On The Beach party for the location!!!
Later on I checked out the Deepa Grooves party where the label presented their first ever video: "Sueno en ti" by Soul Creation featuring Misou. Misou performed the song live, delivering a sexy performance. Yet again, this party was close to the beach, being a beautiful spot to relax and enjoy the music…
It then started 'feeling like behing home' – I mean Switzerland of course!!! - as it cooled down dramatically, so I was glad the GotSoul party was an indoor event. The closure for the night was the Stalwart party that took place beachside at the Delano Hotel. With the cold breeze directly from the sea coming in, there was no other chance than to dance in order not to freeze, whis is something you would very, very rarely see from me!
Let's see what the weather forecast brings us for the weekend...
March 25 - Slow down, babe
After hitting (too) many parties the day before - gotta say that this added to the weather conditions’d been for much with the probs I’ve encountered with the battery of my camera - I decided it was time to step down a bit and go to a fewer places. The chosen ones were King Street that turned out to be a great event with lots of producers, DJ’s and artists around - this was another great networking event at the nice outdoor Opium Garden. Lots of great music made it to my bag, so be on the watchout for the "Mami Conference Mixes" coming in the first week of April !!!
For the night, May the music be with you in... Seventh Heaven presented by ASHE NYC was THE pick as I wanted to see fresh faces spinning: Sammy Rock (Cyberjamz), Franke Estevez (Fuzion Records) and Louie 'Lou' Gorbea, with a special appearance by Jellybean Benitez. This was a musical bliss, and it is simply great to see that yound and talented producers and artists are around as addiction to the established ones. A highlight of the night were the live performances by Arnold Jarvis and Keith Thompson who performed their current singles as well as the classics "Inspiration" and "Break For love". There would have been many other interesting parties around, but honestly who needs to see the same people spinning every night? As DJ’s tend to play shorter sets and play out every night, there are far too many parties... Let’s hope one day this will change back to the better as it was in the early days of the WMC.
March 26 - the day I needed some rest
After the previous days have been pretty hectic with meeting lots of people and checking out various parties, I decided to take a rest and relax on Sunday. This was definitely necessary as my body was hardly paying the price for lots of walking, sun and drinks - but there was not enough sleep to compensate all of that anyway !.
The first thing I checked out was the Sunday Soulful Soiree where I knocked my knee on a table as it was almost dark in the club. Later on, I went to the Deep Gets Salted party which took place at the outdoor "Opium Garden". As it was a sunny day, it was a real delight hanging out there and enjoy the music. Later in the evening, that party got packed and people got excited about the music.
The night started with a visit at The 3 Chairs party starring Theo Parrish & Moodymann where deep Detroit sounds were naturally displayed, this being a welcome difference as compared to the sounds I checked out in the days and nights before. The Ain't Nothin' But A House Party closed down the night with two rooms that saw people dancing to the grooves of the DJs.
This Monday will kick off slowly but hit hard in the evening and night with many parties taking place... with my body still suffering from the previous days. It firmly looks like Tuesday will be another day to just hang around and enjoy Miami (remember there is something going on called "Spring Break"...).
March 27 - the drama came to Miami
Before we talk about Monday night, we gotta take a look at some actions that occured at The 3 Chairs party the night before. I had left the place before Hanna Haïs’s live performance. Various sources reported that after her PA, a well known DJ from Chicago took the microphone and made some comments stating that this wasn’t Black music, and that this kills Black music, which brought a bad mood to the party. Gladly, the situation could be de-escalated and the good mood came back. However this left some bad feelings among many as these statements were taken by some as racism.
Back to Monday night, the City Deep party could not start on time as there was a tree falling down that could have caused a risk to the public and needed to be removed first. As this took some time, I decided to go and take a look at the Shelter party which was taking place in two rooms at Shine (part of the "Shelbourne Ressort" hotel). While the small room was opened early, people were waiting for the opening of the big room where Timmy Regisford would play. A lot of others were also waiting outside the hotel for the party to start. That day also had the Jamie Lewis presents Miami All Stars party taking place in the evening at the Delano Hotel, but I did leave early as the temperature went down fast and I started to freeze. After getting something to eat, I went to the Cha Cha Project party and later to the Phuture Sole & Slaag party which both suffered from the fact that there were too many events going on at the same time, including three big ones: Shelter, OM Records and Cielo.This led to a situation that these two smaller parties had not much attendance although people definitely missed the fantastic one hour long live performances by Remedy, John Pierce, Diamond Temple and Dawn Tallmann at the Phuture Sole & Slaag party which can ony be described as being off the hook and will remain among my favorite moments of this year’s Miami conference.
Back at the Miami gathering on its whole (although there are still some parties on tonight and tomorrow), the whole situation as far as all these events are concerned needs definitely a change. I mean, many DJ’s played almost every day, and their sets were mostly only one or two hours long, so what the interest??? But also I wonder about the need of regular parties being taken down to Miami such as Roots, Cielo and Shelter out of NYC. This no doubt added to the fact that there were far too many parties, meanwhile the big ones kept people from checking out things held by smaller labels and DJs and, as a result, this led to a situation where we haven’t had a single event where everybody would come as one. Let’s hope once again that next year will bring a change for the better
March 28 - the day after
I guess that like many of those who’ve attended the Miami festivities, I’m glad in a sense the whole thing’s over. More and more stuff goin’ havin’ us goin’ from one place to another in Miami Beach had to come to an end with the absolute necessity to get some recovery which hopefully I did with my first 9 hours sleep in 10 days! This explaining why I'm sendin' you this ultimate daily mail so lately!!!
As I said, there was so much (too much) going on the past few days to keep track of everything. Musicwise, this seems to be a good year for Miami asthere are many hot tunes around, some of them you only will be getting as bootlegs. For instance, take "Mary Don't You Weep" by Craig Loftis that samples the same titled Aretha Franklin classic and for legal reasons cannot get a proper release , although some labels were interested in licensing it. As for the legal releases concern, there is a phat new Pirahnahead which I think you've already got infos about recently on InDaMix Worldwide. King Street have some hot tunes on their Miami samplers, Tony Humphries has finally kicked off his Tony Records imprint, Bobby & Steve have a great soulful tune, Defected are ready to drop some bombs as well, so to be prepared for a bunch of great releases over the coming weeks and months.
Partywise, one could feel the slowdown as many peeps had already left Miami, with much fewer parties taking place and the ones I checked out not being that crowded. During daytime, I had lunch with some close friends of mine, after that I enjoyed the nice weather and had some drinks. The night started with the One Love (The Music) LA/Detroit/Chicago meet in Miami party that features an awesome live performance by Malik Alston. The next stop was the Symple Sounds meets Soul Simple party, but unfortunately there were some problems, so it never got underway as planned. Therefore, I decided to leave and went over to the United Dance Society party which featured live performances by Temple Dynasty who presented his upcoming release "Loose control" (to be released on Fuzion Records) as well as KT Brooks, also presenting his ucpoming release. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the song for the moment, but you should know what I'm talkin' about while havin' a look at Franke Estevez and George Mena's interview on InDaMix Worldwide. So what to expect then? As I'm gonna be in Toronto next weekend, you gotta wait a few more days for my "Miami 2006 Mixshows" which will feature lots of fresh music, including some exclusives you won't hear anywhere else.