I’m not all that into party reviews anymore, pics, vids and music usually tell the story better than I. But since rapping on the keyboard is what we do here, I’d be amiss not to mention some of the highlights of what may have been our favourite Winter Music Conference ever. And of course there are pics, vids and music to pass along as well. So indulge me in a party by party trip down memory lane now that the cobwebs have finally cleared from this wild and wonderful week.
Tuesday March 23
After a virtual full body cavity search from the American Airlines staff, we had a fairly low key, stress free flight to Miami. We arrived at our spectacular hotel sorted by organizational ace Jason Warth and then immediately hit up Five Guys Burger and Fries for a quick bite. We actually made a list of places to eat this year and this was one of the most highly recommended burger joints on South Beach. And for good reason, the food was fantastic.
Soon after we were off to part-eh #1… SOS at BED. It was amazing to see everyone after a year away from conference, but the smoke inside BED is almost unbearable and SOS was good but not great. These guys are over the top talented and have incredible charisma, but I just can’t get into the flow of the trio spinning in unison. There are far too few tempo changes and for some reason they choose to really bang it out when playing together. It’s a bit much for me.
Wednesday March 24
The DJ Mag at The Shelborne poolside party was definitely not for us. It sounds like Way Out West were great in the early hours and we did catch the end of Dennis Ferrer’s set, which was pretty excellent, but from then on, it was kind of crap. SOS played some cool tunes, but it was impossible to enjoy them on the dance floor with the cast of Jersey Shore mauling the ladies at every turn. You can see for yourself in this video, which on a more positive tip highlights Omid 16B in full effect.
The day was saved by Danny Funk, the cooler, groovier side of Danny Howells. With two Lee Burridge and Danny sets planned for later in the week, we knew Danny was going to play house at the Dig Deeper event at BED and we were definitely not disappointed. All around this was an awesome party with great tunes, fantastic people on the dance floor and much better sound than the night before. Even the smoke didn’t seem quite as intense. It was our first time hearing Danny in the city of his GU and man was it ever a killer time.
Thursday March 25
We had this day circled on our calendar for months. The Sasha & Digweed cruise is a party we never want to miss, but unfortunately this year we were literally left on the dock. It was an empty feeling not being able to get every one of our crew on the boat, but that’s how it goes sometimes. In the end we had some good hanging out time with just the tight knit group, which is a rarity during conference. But as you can see on ChinaShopMag.com, it looks and sounds like we missed another incredible cruise put on by the masters of the music we love. Hopefully we’ll get on that ship one more time before we shut it down… it really is the party of all parties.
The evening brought us to the basement of Shine for the very first time, where Desyn Masiello hosted the Alternative Route label party with many of our favs in the booth. Des and Dory played the early portion of the night, Tom Morgan and balErik took over in the twilight hours. And as you can hear below, Add2Basket destroyed the peak time hours with a killer progressive roll. The space was a little dark for Miami, but it was a definitely a nice little jam with great people and our kind of music all night long.
Download (left-click and unzip):
Add2Basket – Live @ Shine, WMC – March 25, 2010
Friday March 26
This was the first day where the weather didn’t cooperate, but with Luke Fair having his flight canceled, it didn’t matter the festivities were delayed for the Balance party. With Luke off the bill nobody’s slot was cut short and the party ended up going off incredibly well. Will Saul played a perfectly suited set for poolside sunshine and Joris Voorn displayed his incredible versatility with groovy, bumpy tunes that had the entire rooftop shaking their booty under the South Beach sunset. We missed Agoria in lieu of a spectacular performance from our #1 gal Dory, and thanks to the Listed crew, we have proof we didn’t miss a beat on the other side of the headliner… Dory blazed the poolside proper.
Download (left-click and unzip):
Dory – Live @ Listed pres Balance, WMC – March 26, 2010
Saturday March 27
I can’t think of a better day at conference than this one… ever.
The Discoteca boat cruise was absolutely perfect for us. We couldn’t have hand picked a better dance floor and the music from Tom, balErik and Luke was absolutely magical. Being on that boat reminded me why we’ve been in this scene for as long as we have. The love, joy and pure bliss that were shared were everything we could ask for and more. As you can hear below, Tom started the cruise off with some deep, soulful progressive and from there we literally and figuratively rode the sweet waves into the sunset. And as you can see in the video below, the ride was equally amazing when the sun went down.
Download (left-click and unzip):
Tom Morgan – Discoteca Boat Cruise, WMC – March 27, 2010
The night time shenanigans took place inside the Shine main room with what was billed as a solo performance from Sasha alongside opener Charlie May of Spooky. To our dismay we walked into the room after Charlie finished as the owner of the club felt obliged to give himself a peak time hour in between two legends of the progressive house genre. I’ll say no more.
When finally in control, Sasha started kind of slow; but once he found his groove, it was all hardcore dance moves for the next two hours… that was until Lee Burridge and DJ Three stormed the booth. As these two found their bearings it became a bit stagnant again, but soon after he disappeared, Sasha reappeared and revived us all, including Lee and Three. The trio proceeded to lay down the most spectacular back to back to back set I’ve ever heard. It was music that could only be played for an â€˜up for it’ conference crowd. It was so deep and so sexy, but still dance floor driving. By far the most amazing music I’ve ever heard in Miami and an experience that will go down as one of the most moving in my clubbing career.
Sunday March 28
We ended our conference on the rooftop of the Bentley Hotel for the Add2Basket / Witty Tunes soiree. This was exactly what the groove doctor ordered for winding down a mad week on South Beach. Deep house from Roberto Rodriguez, Mike Haddad & Royce Haven, Luke, Add2Basket and Coyu had us all floating on the clouds… the $35 mojitos helped with that quite well. This party was really something special in my eyes. While many were sketching it out at Sunday school, we were all styles hanging with an incredible crew. It was absolutely the perfect party to end this phenomenal week; a week that was supposed to be our last at the WMC, but we honestly can’t say that anymore.
Sometimes a party is just too good to let go. Sometimes they’re not-so great and the memories need a little boost. Sometimes we have nothing better to do. Whatever the reason we got it started on the kitchen table, one thing’s always guaranteed; great times ensue.
Desyn said it best; “…those moments of partying are a form of development in your mind, cos you communicate with other souls on a really deep level. It’s not all about just being spunout and out of your face…” The closeness felt in amongst the madness of hours, maybe days, voluntarily trapped within the confines of Club 1000 has definitely been much of the driving force behind the btb movement.
The after party allows us to filter out all of the frustrations encountered while trying to make it happen in the underground. We play the music we love, from the DJs we unequivocally support, with the people we appreciate the most and make the quest worth enduring.
The crazy and ridiculous become normal. The train wrecks are a reminder that everyone is just part of the crew. It’s a time were we all can truly let our guard down, be who we want to be and enjoy everything we are.
Over the years, throughout our travels and our time spent chatting on the web, you’re introduced to those who must be a part of the experience. That the legend wouldn`t be complete unless it was shared with the ones you have that special connection with.
The session we have here, the first ever released from the Club 1000 vault, was a mandatory endeavour. When you think back, it might have been the real reason why we put the whole weekend together in the first place.
Dory and Naveen brought something new, something cool to the Club 1000 vibe. We checked two more off the list and wrote a new musical chapter for the story. It`s Club 1000 like never before, a perfect opportunity to open the door.
Well I guess you win some, and you win and lose some. We only book people we respect and connect with, so never will a btb booking be a total bust. But this one was definitely not our best, filled with a lot of lessons learned and make-up moments galore.
Straight up, Dory is amazing! She met the lukewarm Toika dance floor head on with some dope tech house and had all the hardcores hot steppin’ and super impressed. The btb crew wasn’t in full effect, but those who were in support had a great time for sure.
However, for reasons that continue to plague our truly underground events, Dory never really had a chance. Every time we book someone that isn’t established in this market, and we feel that we might need the support of a local, it comes back to bite us in the butt.
Jade is seemingly a nice person, and she played some pretty cool tunes, but unfortunately she was virtually stranded by her No.19 crew, a group we were really counting on to show some love for Dory and the tech house sound. We had this gig planned for nearly four months in advance, but even that couldn’t ensure Jade’s fans wouldn’t be spread out across the city, all weekend, as they always are.
To make matters worse, our crowd isn’t interested in hearing a DJ that plays multiple times in the city week in and week out; and our gigs just aren’t intriguing enough for the regular club circuit without a big “name” on the bill. You gotta spend big, and in my opinion book boring, to be able to draw a crowd in this city.
In retrospect we should have asked Dory to go open to close and went for it on our own. At least that way people show more patience during the early hours of the party, knowing that the headliner is already in control. With Jade opening, people walked in and saw the cold, barren dance floor and decided to bail out to another club while they could still make list and avoid the peak time lines.
If you’re going local, you must go all local and if you’re bringing in a guest, you have to give them the utmost respect by handing them entire night to do whatever they please. Through our experience, for our parties, this is what works best. A lesson learned.
The weekend wasn’t a total disappointment. We created some amazing musical memories with Dory and special guest Naveen G. Club 1000 was in the fullest of effects, and for the first time ever, we’re releasing some beats from a btb after party. Check them out here.
This one really has been a long time in the making. Dory and I have been trying to work something out since the WMC ’07, but without any real tech-house roots for bringthebeats, it’s been difficult trying to sort out the proper party for Dory’s Canadian debut. That was until we met Jade this past December.
We’ve seen Frances Zibulski out and about in the Toronto scene for some time now. It’s tough not to notice her and her super slick friends ripping it up on the dance floor. But when I realized she DJed and noticed her starting to get gigs with the No.19 crew (Kenny Glasgow, Jonny White, etc.), I became extremely intrigued by the prospect of Jade spinning alongside Dory at Toika for our first ever tech-styled INTIMATE & UNDERGROUND.
Frances stopped by our Boxing Day after party and after sitting on the sidelines for a bit, she decided to head to her car and slip her promo into rotation for the Club 1000 crazies. Admittedly we were all a bit sceptical about what we were to hear; as everyone knows we’re a pretty “jaded” collective when it comes to techno talent. But we were all pleasantly surprised to hear a deep, groovy promo that was most certainly techno, but definitely not soulless like we had feared and have heard way too much of over the past couple years.
It took a lot of guts to throw in those beats for group of hardcore progressive house heads that had just ingested a half a day’s worth of Luke Fair. For me it sealed the deal on the Dory gig as we finally had someone within the genre to spin alongside; do it well and with incredible enthusiasm. Dory and Jade is a match made in tech-house heaven.