There is a point in time when it is considered a sacrilege to ignore a fundamental moment in the dance music community. Held annually during the middle of March, in the madness of Miami Beach, Fla., the Winter Music Conference (WMC) and M3 Summit (pictured) are two music conferences which house a gathering of over 10,000 people, from industry professionals, press, producers, artists, labels executives and last but not least, international DJs. Besides the actual conferences – WMC at the Wydham Hotel and M3 Summit claiming the Raleigh Hotel as base – there are the illustrious pool parties and label showcases held at various hotels and nightclubs throughout the region. SLUG Magazine had a chance to check it out … see why you’re going next year.
WMC: In its 20th year, the conference has attracted music commerce experts from 60 countries and holds the American torch as the chief for DJ networking. Featuring workshops and seminars in technology, radio exposure, legal issues, market trends and DJ contests – for the eager entrepreneur seeking to advance in the music industry, WMC is the way to go. As far as music is concerned, two components to the conference are IDMA (International Dance Music Awards) and Ultra Music Festival. Both trendy in style and music, the size artists featured are similar to those performing at Coachella but more DJ-based. This year’s Ultra Music Festival featured over 40 artists, including Moby, Tiesto, Paul Oakenfold and Goldie. www.wintermusicconference.com
M3: Being more underground but equally hip, this modern affair is less pretentious and more playful. Merging modern music, fashion and multimedia art – think any urban stylized forum, where any person with a heart can check out cool trends and fresh ideas on our present state of living. Aside from daytime discussions with keynote speakers regarding innovative media, presenting live music, Internet trends and the latest in technology (not just for DJs), this New York-based entity presents the Sunset Sessions.
Highly cool and taking place every night for five days, the M3 Summit is held poolside at the Raleigh Hotel and includes artists such as Ben Watt, King Britt, Tortured Soul and Louie Vega – what a way to get exposed to some cool cats. www.m3summit.com
Frequency: Danny Marquez @ Defected
Now up to 100 releases in the catalogue, UK-based label Defected showcases quality.
Presenting two events this year (daytime @ National Hotel and nighttime @ Amika), if you don’t know or blow someone, essentially you ain’t getting in either Defected showcase. Home to a roster of DJs from Sandy Rivera, Copyright, Joey Negro, Dimitri from Paris and more recently, Danny Marquez, the monarch of house music features defined styles in an array of musicians and producers. Closing the party for Defected @ Amika, Danny Marquez is an exquisite example of success in the DJ/producer discipline. Danny Marquez said about the Defected event: “It was the most outstanding party in all of the WMC. I had the pleasure of playing there at closing time and the reaction of the club was excellent … different styles of great house music were played and it kept the attention of the entire crowd during the night.”
Danny Marquez: Launching a career in DJing in the mid 90s to his first production in 2001 with Daily Special EP and later with Dancing for Spanish labels, KidSol and Vale Music, Marquez represents the true sounds of Spain. Establishing Bubble Soul Music in 2003 and producing with acclaimed internationals from Jay-J and DJ Pippi, this brand new heavy produces house music through conscious methods, highly regarding dance floor pleasure and musical precision. In 2004, Marquez, along with colleague Ferry B, produced Afro Catalans. Now signed to Defected and having being remixed by Hardsoul, Marquez’s signature release has propelled Bubble Soul and Marquez into new markets. Reflecting the passion and love the people of Barcelona embrace, Bubble Soul Music and her children have genuinely made an impression during this year’s conference. www.bubblesoulmusic.com
Danny’s Latest DJ Charts:
01. Michelle Weeks “Be Thankful” (Purple Music)
02. S.U.M.O. / Kiko Navarro / Natasha Mc Beam “Bubble Soul Goodies” (Bubble Soul)
03. DJ Technic “Gabryelle” (Defected)
04. Various “Miami 2005 (VIP CD)” (Soulfuric)
05. Copyright ft. Imaani “Time” (Defected)
06. Faze Action “Kariba 2005” (Copyright Records)
07. Soul Central “I Need You” (Clean Cut Records)
08. Hanna Hais “De Toi A Moi (Scientific Soul)” (Atal)
09. Red “Release The Pressure (Rask & Salling Mix) (DM & FB ReEdit)” (Lifted House)
10. Roachford “River Of Love” (Peppermint Jam)
Flummox: MN2S (Milk ‘N’ 2 Sugars)
Every year record labels rush to promote their parties in the thick competition of Miami weather and other label events during conference time. Each showcase features labels’ hottest DJ/producers, mixing a fusion of house music for a funky fusion of people. This year’s best party: MN2S @ Amika, featuring DJs from Blaze, Jon Cutler (pictured), Hardsoul, Groove Junkies and John “Julius” Knight, to name a few of the many greats that performed. Following up the label’s 10th anniversary celebration in March held at The End in London, these coffee drinkers without delay proudly waltzed into Miami to show they don’t drink it strictly black. If one were to ask the nice people (and they’re really nice) of MN2S what the last 10 years have been about – they will speak of success.
MN2S: The founders of MN2S, Sharron and Dave Elakbas and Tim Burnett, also mention how fast the last 10 years has gone by. Hectic yet worth it, these masterminds have created one of the most renowned club nights in house music at The End, operated a booking company with over 350 DJs on board, started two record labels (MN2S and 1Trax) and claimed a outstanding reputation for quality in house music. Besides the more recent club hit, “Runnin’,” by Jon Cutler, the label is known for classics such as “Feel Alive” by Demetrious Project, “Through Changes” by Cricco Castelli and “Come On” by DJ Dove. Now with their latest project, “Ten Years of Our House,” mixed by Jon Cutler and Hardsoul, MN2S is surely to have another year of club hits and triumph.
Now for the flummox: During his closing set, DJ John “Julius” Knight had his record broken in two by a bouncer from Club Amika during the MN2S club event. If you have a full crowd howling for more and are in the middle of a satisfying DJ mixed set … well, come on, that’s what we live for. I hope things got worked out later? But I thought that was pretty funny … it’s what everyone was talking about the next day. www.mn2s.com
Further: Cirque du Soleil
The surprise came this year when M3 Summit hosted Cirque du Soleil on the closing night of their Sunset Sessions. Celebrating their latest release, Solarium/Delerium, Cirque du Soleil put on an unforgettable performance alongside guest DJ Alain Vinet, who, by the way, played some superior world-house music. Performances that I haven’t experienced before (followed up by Louie Vega), the players of the sun circus whirled and twirled in modern dance and classic styles. What began as a band of colorful characters roaming the streets of Bale-Saint-Pale (a small city outside of Quebec, Canada), has become one of the most celebrated theatrical acts around the globe. Starting in the early 80s and growing into 3,000 employees worldwide, Cirque du Soleil has been seen in over 100 cities and has been enjoyed by 50 million spectators. Having resident shows from O, Mystere, and La Nouba to touring shows like Varekai and Alegria, this enchanted community continues to impress through unique music and dancing, bringing to life a magical sensation. Looking for good tunes? Check out Solarium/Delerium.