With Circo Loco hosting the official WMC Pool Party on Friday, we arrive at Eden Rock’s huge multi-levelled pool area to catch a huge line-up from the worlds of house and techno that includes Timo Mass, Jamie Jones, DJ Sneak and Lee Buridge.
With large sunglasses in full effect everywhere, and plenty of Brits and Europeans amongst the crowd, we’re underwhelmed at first by the kind of droning minimal grooves that were popular a few years ago, a fact not helped by the soundsystem’s asthmatic output.
So when Francois K arrives and drops KiNK’s ‘Rachel’ it raises both the energy and the volume, shaking off the zombie dance stupor and causing a mischievous explosion that sees people diving fully clothed into the pool and kicks off an afternoon of energetic house tracks like Joris Voorn’s ‘Sweep the Floor’.
Watch our footage of Circo Loco.
Back down on Collins, it’s the first day of Beatport’s three days of parties at the private beach of The Gansevoort Hotel. With a high octane, Spring Break friendly line-up that includes AC Slater, Bart B More, The Bingo Players and Fedde Le Grand, this is music to get all up in your face and there’s no problem with the face-melting volume here as New York’s Bad Boy Bill closes the event.
Dropping his track ‘Fast Life’ to an on-stage crew of silicone enhanced bikini-clad babes, this is house music American style; loud and brash, Bill’s ‘Pelvic Thrust Uppercut’ t-shirt, available to buy from a Beatport stand, casting the DJ as hard-living rock star and showing how America's reluctance to accept house music has well and truely been cast aside.
Wolf + Lamb later that night provides the perfect riposte. Held at the Electric Pickle, a tiny dive of a club downtown, this is Miami at its most niche, unpredictable and - despite the lack of bare flesh - sexy.
Upstairs Trus’Me’s set of afro and funk infused house and techno cuts a swath through the dancefloor, dothing it’s cap to the many forms of dance music that helped form house, while Wolf and Lamb’s Gadi takes it deep by dropping Soulclap’s old school electro remix of Axel Bartsch, a reminder of Miami’s past musical invention and originality.
The next day we're at Ultra for the second day of the huge mini-festival event that includes the biggest names that Miami has to offer. Sitting on the grass watching Groove Armada, we could be at Lovebox except instead of headlining, this is 4pm in the afternoon and they're digging out their very biggest records to move the growing throng in front of the massive main stage adorned with every kind of light and video screen.
Gareth Emery’s set in the Green Valley tent has a packed crowd hanging on every drop, hands held aloft at each euphoric breakdown, a smiled fixed on his face. After last night it feels a little formulaic, big tunes designed to stimulate the serotonin receptors and move the masses, but the thousands of people moving all around makes for an irresitable atmosphere and we almost unconsciously join them dancing.
Crookers might have also developed their own predictable blend of beat beats and big bass, but as they drop the wobble of ‘Knobbers’ it’s impossible not to dance around like a loon and do the traditional festival beer spill, the pair leaping around behind the decks while taking it in turns to mix tracks.
Most heartening, however, is the arrival of Skream. We may have heard his remix of La Roux (adopt Doctor Evil voice) one billion times before but never in Miami at sunset.
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