The madness is a little more than a week away: The annual Winter Music Conference will officially begin next Tuesday. As a result, we couldn't help but plot one potential course for the curious raver in Miami. Our non-stop guide to the WMC is a baker's dozen of parties that could potentially see you through the entire week without a moment of shut eye. Not that we'd ever recommend such a thing...
While things officially begin on Tuesday, we like to ease in slowly. So we begin, as we often do, at Nikki Beach. It's the perfect way to see the full spectrum of people that come to Miami for WMC. Indoors, you have the more underground Flying Circus crew with Audiofly, Steve Lawler, Davide Squillace and Matthias Tanzmann headlining. Outdoors, it's commercial house all day long with Tocadisco, ATFC, Tapesh and more for the tanned and fabulous.
Some of the best moments at WMC are among the most unexpected. But accidents don't just happen. While house and techno are the styles du jour in Miami this year, there are stellar genre-centric parties that you'd be a fool to miss. ViRAM looks to be one of them, boasting the likes of Andy C, Ed Rush, Noisia and Skream as part of an extensive line-up that will bring the best and brightest of drum & bass and dubstep to South Beach's Heathrow Lounge.
Miami Tip #1
It seems like a silly thing to say, but some people go into the WMC marathon with stars in their eyes and crash right around the third day. Take the first 24 hours easy. Maybe even go to sleep a bit earlier than normal. You're going to need the energy for what lies ahead.
It was one of the best parties of last year, so they've chosen to do it all over again. And can you blame Luciano and Loco Dice for wanting to repeat the madness? Their back-to-back set at Shine was helped along last year by Dennis Ferrer, but in 2010 they've brought some of their labelmates along instead. Martin Buttrich will no doubt be playing a song or two from his new album. Expect the same from Reboot when he DJs.
Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, Carl Craig, Moodymann, Theo Parrish, Kenny Larkin (live), Stacey Pullen, Monty Luke, Kyle Hall. Is there any possible way that you can miss this party and still call yourself a dance music fan when you wake up in the morning? We're guessing not, but in case you're still on the fence, let's remind you that it's only $10 with a WMC badge. Absolutely essential.
How do parties distinguish themselves in Miami? Get plenty of artists to play exclusively, or pair up artists to play back-to-back that rarely do so. Resolute knows this well, and have enlisted Tobias Freund and Mathias Kaden to present live sets that you'll only be able to catch at the Grass Lounge on Thursday. The same goes for the Simon Baker vs. Vincenzo and Robert Dietz vs. Mirko Loko sets. You'll find this stuff happening nowhere else.
Miami Tip #2
Take a break from the partying for a moment. Deep breath. OK. Now do some sightseeing. Miami has a beautiful Design District
full of top-notch galleries; sports-wise, the Sony Ericsson Open
takes place during WMC and Little Havana
is always a must.
While we hesitate to suggest getting on a boat during our non-stop plan WMC marathon, lest you find yourself trapped on the seas at a dull party, listed's Tikki cruises always seem to be a good bet. The secret likely has something to do with the open bar, but this sunrise shindig also sees Mobilee's Sebo K make his WMC return, which can only add to the atmosphere. Panorama Bar resident Cassy and listed's Hoj will also perform.
There's no party like a Circo Loco party. The hedonism of Ibiza will make a lengthy appearance throughout Friday with one of DC-10's most famous residents, Tania Vulcano, leading the charge. Timo Maas, Francois K, DJ Sneak, Petre Inspirescu, Andrew Grant and more are all set to make appearances. But with more than 250 RA readers already saying they're going to show up at some point for this, you probably already knew that.
Best party of the conference? Of course! OK, we may be overstating things, but we are immensely proud to be able to bring you a WMC exclusive or two. Miami vets Lee Burridge and Danny Howells going back-to-back, Cassy's sole nighttime performance of the week and the South Beach debut of deep house's brightest new star, Mr. Fred P of Black Jazz Consortium fame. (Oh. And try to keep it quiet, but don't be shocked if there's a surprise or two.)
Miami Tip #3
There are plenty of food options in Miami, but few trumpet "Open Daily 8 AM – 5 AM" on their website. For hungry ravers, those words should be welcome news. What's even better is the food at La Sandwicherie
. Perfectly sized sandwiches, perfectly priced.
The perfect bridge: After RA's epic shindig, find your way down to the Electric Pickle for Crosstown Rebels' equally-as-ridiculous party before the daytime fun starts all over again. The alcohol may not be flowing at the beginning of this event, but the music will no doubt get you through: Konrad Black, Jamie Jones, Soul Clap, Lee Foss and seemingly just about anyone and everyone ever associated with Damian Lazarus' imprint will be on hand to celebrate the party's 5th birthday.
As much as we dig Crosstown, no one wants to spend the afternoon indoors while in Miami. Your best bet? Head down to the Victor Hotel for listed's Varsity All Stars. Nick Curly will be bringing his Mannheim-centric record bag to the proceedings, while Sety will no doubt liven things up with a dose of Circus Company exclusives. Anja Schneider and Dan Ghenacia are among the other label bosses set to get behind the decks, so expect plenty of exclusive material all day long.
It's been a long slog. And there's been plenty of house and techno along the way. That's why we recommend a bit of a detox before the final push. Find your way down to Shore Club for a healthy dose of disco from Tim Sweeney and Beats In Space-affiliated jocks such as DJ Harvey, The Revenge, Darshan Jesrani, Alex From Tokyo and other record nerds. If live is more your thing, they'll also have two soundsystems on offer: Dubtribe and Crazy P.
There are few surprises at WMC, to be honest. Most people know what tracks are going to become big, most live sets are merely the latest in a long line of them. Not so for Miller Genuine Draft and Get Physical's team-up, though: M.A.N.D.Y. will be playing back-to-back with Damian Lazarus...and Matthew Dear. This team-up last happened in LA for Lazarus' over-the-top album launch
, so expect the same sort of theatrics and plenty of beer. Tiefschwarz will be the special guest.
Miami Tip #4
You're in Miami, and the only places that you've been are darkened nightclubs and pool parties at upscale hotels. Which is why we need to take a moment to remind you that there's a beach quite close to all of this. Don't forget to spend some time there—with plenty of sunscreen.
Where else but here? Sunday School For Degenerates has become the premiere Sunday event, the one that seemingly everyone
attends. This year, Function and dOP play live, while DJ T., Steve Bug, Paco Osuna, Victor Calderone, Tom Middleton and many more will get behind the decks. But our pick is Ida Engberg. Her set last year was something of a revelation; expect her to try to relive the magic. (Hopefully this time without all the rain that went with it.)
Already made up your mind how you're spending the WMC?
If not, we highly recommend checking out RA's Miami WMC Guide for full listings and lineups.