For over three months, hopeful DJs from across the planet have been duelling online for the chance to represent their country at the Miller SoundClash live final at Marquee Las Vegas. And after the long months of promotion, practise and preparation, the day has finally arrived. Ten DJs have travelled to Vegas and despite a rather heavy warm up night with Tiesto at Hakkasan the night before the show, the crew are fresh faced and ready to do battle.
First up on the decks, representing Dominican Republic, is the glamorously attired Miss Gem, from Dominican Republic. After a briefing from the judging team - including reps from DJ Mag, DJ Mag Latin America, Miller Genuine Draft, Marquee Las Vegas and DJ Ashley Walbridge - Miss Gem starts proceedings in style with a set of big room house cuts in the blazing Vegas sunshine.
Up Next came DJ MBO from Swaziland, who entertains the poolside crew with an uptempo selection of EDM basslines and drops, and some nice mic work as the dancers wave giant Swaziland flags above the crowd below.
MBO leaves the decks to deafening cheers and makes way for Baq on Decks - a DJ duo from Bogota in Colombia who are resident DJs at the iconic Baranquilla club. They bring all of their experience to the party with a considered selection of piano-led, progressive beats as the crowd let loose on the floor.
In an attempt to stand out from the crowd, Zimbabwe’s Ray Dizz dons a Stormtrooper mask and opens his set with a Star Wars mash-up, before bringing firing through a big-room EDM. The showmanship is appreciated and he leaves the decks to rapturous applause.
Also keen to make a big statement from off, South Korea’s Bagagee Viphex 13 approaches the decks in a gold boxing gown with the hood covering his face. He drops the opening notes of ‘Eye of the Tiger’ before suddenly shedding the gown as the beat kicks in. He then powers through an incredible 16 tracks in 20 minutes, tweaking the FX and working the mixer throughout.
Panama’s Michael Scheffler - already an established DJ in his home country - demonstrates his experience next with a refined set of emotive and deep progressive house music before making way for Panama’s Guille Preda.
Preda is a showman through and through, working the mic, engaging with the crowd, standing on the booth and jumping wildly up and down, as the crowd mirror his enthusiasm. Heeven negotiates a sit-down, jump up at the climax of his set.
Up next, wildcard winners Tom & Collins from Mexico demonstrate the skills that helped them beat opposition from around the world to reach this stage in the competition. The engaging duo wow the crowds with an upfront selection including a number of their own productions.
They are followed by another duo, Come & C, representing Argentina. Dressed in matching customised Miller denim shirts, they work the mixer to the maximum and whip the now-packed Dayclub crowd into a frenzy.
The final DJ to compete is Russia’s DJ Mos. The battle DJ - who is a big hitter in his home city of Moscow - shows off his turntable trickery as the crowd whoop and cheer in front of him; marking a fitting climax to an incredible day of competition.
With the Miller SoundClash sets complete, the judges go off to deliberate behind closed doors, and UK trance don Ashley Walbridge takes to the booth. Water sprays out of the pool as the packed dayclub crowd notch their enthusiasm to eleven and the intensity is hotter than the desert sunshine.
Before the headline set from Cedric Gervais, the Miller SoundClash judges return from their summit and the results are announced. Third place goes to South Korea’s Bagagee Viphex13, second place to Argentina’s Come & C and Mexican duo Tom & Collins take the Miller SoundClash crown - and begin their reign being mobbed by new fans (or groupies) from the crowd!
GRAMMY winning producer Gervais opens his set with a club-wide sing-song of ‘Summertime Sadness’ before flying into a slick selection of sun-drenched progressive with plentiful vocals and hooks, perfect for the jammed poolside party.
Miller SoundClash champions Tom & Collins then close out the pool, winning new fans by the second! They will need to maintain their energy levels though, as the big test comes this evening as they will be playing at the Top 100 DJs Party at Marquee Las Vegas alonngside Dash Berlin! We will let you know how that goes tomorrow.
You can follow the Miller SoundClash finalists at mixcloud.com/miller.
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