Today, the club scene is definitely trying to find it's new identity. The blaring sounds of more commercial dance music seem to not be as appealing as it once was and the sounds of the underground are making their way to the ears of those in search of something new. With that being said, diverse crowds are giving way to an atmosphere that might not be as authentic as it used to be. This was especially apparent during Art Basel in Miami.
I was so far beyond stoked for Art Basel this year; going through every party's lineup made me giddier with each flier that caught my gaze. Thanksgiving week had me even more amped. I thought for sure that Skream's open-close at Treehouse and Play/House, the new monthly at Do Not Sit On The Furniture, were signs of what the next week had in store. Skream's set was a once in a lifetime experience that was shared amongst the packed crowd, each and everyone of them witnessing why he's one of the best DJs in the game: he knows how to play a room.
Play/House was a groovy and intimate experience of its own, bringing together several of Miami's top tastemakers to celebrate the debut of this promising party. Be sure to check out their next installment on Dec 17th if you;re in the South Florida area (tickets here).
The Saturday after Thanksgiving at Bardot was probably the most "Art Basel-y" I felt, watching the local group Bedside perform a hybrid Live-DJ set, with Saxophones, Drums, Flutes, and many other acoustic elements played live as the turntables kept the groove going. I loved this event. The sexy, lounge vibes that were set had me periodically lounging and laughing with friends on Bardot's extremely comfortable couches between sessions shuffling about the dance floor.
All the parties leading up to the main events were stellar, but I began to notice something that threw me off for a bit when it probably shouldn't have: for an event that brands itself as extremely fashion forward, there were an awful lot of bro tanks and bottle-service business men. Although, with Nicole Moudaber's sets bumping on FM radio, and other stations with dedicated Deep House/lounge hours, what were once the sounds of the underground during America's "EDM" era are now the club scene's next hot trend.
As the techno scene emerges from the dark and dingy underground and into the strobes of the mainstream, there will surely be some growing pains. For example, Four Tet got the crowd going with his Housey sounds that the crowd expected from him, but abandoned him when he dove into the deep end of roots dub. If anything, this proves that the death of big room left many clubbers looking for something to fill that void, just as long as it was four-on-the-floor rhythms.
Life and Death X PL0T & III Points gave Miami Techno-heads a heaping serving of Richie Hawtin's signature sound when he served as a special guest for the talented Tale of Us and Mind Against. The music at Mana that night was well worth the potential pneumonia attendees faced as they made their way through the torrential rain storm.
With the Techno scene burgeoning here in Miami, it's no surprise that the two best parties of the festival were curated by talents from the contemporary capitol of Techno, Germany. It just so happened that the two artists I speak of not only share the same homeland, but the same label. I suppose you could say that Art Basel:2015 was a Desolat takeover.
tINI took Heart Nightclub way down the rabbit hole on Friday and deep into Saturday, leaving many needing a disco nap and an energy supplement before heading right back out the door for Loco Dice's INCREDIBLE return to Space.
Looking back on it all, it was fun. I'm not the pretentious type to scowl at a shuffling circle -- if everyone involved can actually shuffle -- or at bros treating a lounge like a rave, by all means, turn up! Everything in life runs its course, the music industry is no different. Things that were exclusive would become cool, then they would become too cool, then they would be lame until enough time has passed and they can once again be cool, and the cycle starts all over again. I'm sorry to tell you this, hipsters, but Techno seems to be on the second step.