Winter Music Conference Refuels a Love for Music

Photos and words by Jen Diaz

The energy was undeniable at this year’s Winter Music Conference (WMC) as the streets of Miami flooded with tourists, fans and music lovers alike. You can feel the baselines thump and the loud cheers from Wynwood to Ocean Drive.

Once you get settled and decide on all of the events you want to attend, you begin to realize the choices are infinite and the excitement starts to kick in. At every corner you can immediately tell things are about to get live!

Leaving the cold wintry mix in New York is the best decision you can make, especially when you land to an announcement of clear skies at about 82 degrees. Once the thought of sunshine settles, the chaos of pool parties, day events and beach days comes next. My week was spent alongside two genuine and talented one-of-a-kind music appreciators Miami native, DJ Wasabi and Brooklyn native, DJ Spinna. Passionate discussions on vinyl, house music and the classics were in full swing.

Read the rest after the jump

Winter Music Conference: A Mecca for New EDM Sounds

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Words by Chelsea Whitaker

Winter Music Conference (WMC) has become the official Spring Break of the EDM community, bringing together DJ’s, artists, and music industry professionals together in sunny South Beach, Florida. Workshops, album premieres, and of course parties, were all on the agenda. There was not a quiet spot in Miami all week, and various EDM beats constantly filled the air along Ocean Drive.

One of the highlights was an exclusive listening party for Afrojack‘s anticipated new album, “Forget the World”. This will be the first full length studio album for the Dutch DJ, who has made his mark by remixing the likes of Madonna and Beyonce while also co-producing and writing hits such as “Titanium”. The album is a musical journey across genres, touching on deep house and even trap with a song featuring Snoop Dogg. The album will no doubt connect to core EDM fans, as well as gain radio traction across the country.

Along with listening events, club takeovers acted as live showcases for top label talent. The Brooklyn based Fool’s Gold – headed by DJ A-Trak, threw some of the wildest and most talent-packed events. Top DJs including Loudpvck, Gladiator, High Klassified and Nick Catchdubs, hit various stages over 2 nights of parties, all hosted by A-Trak. The label set itself a part from the EDM madness with a Rap Party featuring Just Blaze. The packed event mixed songs by A$AP Ferg with classic Duck Sauce tracks, blending two worlds which are destined to collide in a big way this year.

Smaller parties acted as showcases for upcoming talent. Fresh from his Ultra set, DJ Max Gold, set himself apart from the mix by not only being the youngest guy at the Shore Club Red Room (he’s 16), but by bringing a unique sound of tribal-meets-trap to the turntables.

Overall, WMC is a talent showcase and a networking party, rolled into one. Every mic, and every party was a chance to become the next club star. A random rapper hopped on the mic, spitting over EDM beats on the top of the Cleavelander at 2am while the ocean wind blew the entire crowd into frenzy. This epitomized WMC 2014 in one moment – genres mixing, random talent and, of course, Miami.

Throwback Thursday: Nuyorican Soul Fiesta (Winter Music Conference) @ the Shore Club, Miami – March 24, 1997

 

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For this week’s Throwback Thursday, Giant Step President/CEO Maurice Bernstein takes us back to the legendary 1997 Winter Music Conference party for Nuyorican Soul at the Shore Club! What do you remember about the epic daytime party? For those that missed it, catch a video clip as well as the backside of the invite flyer after the jump.

Back in the 90s, the Winter Music Conference (WMC) was a global affair where house DJs from all around the world would come and invade Miami for a week. Back then it was purely an industry event, which inevitably also brought out only the most serious of dance music lovers.

For this year particular year, we decided to throw a big daylong event as a teaser for the forthcoming Nuyorican Soul album that we were releasing – the album was of course produced by none other than Kenny and Louie aka Masters at Work.

We held the party at the Shore Club – the “old” Shore Club with the huge outdoor space and pool. It was a largely coveted event. We had a great live set from Luis Quinteros who brought along some local Miami musicians to play with him. Special guests included Roy Ayers, India Arie and of course Louie Vega, and Kenny Dope, amongst many, many others.

Read more + catch the flyer & video after the jump

Thoughts On Alphonso “Fonce” Mizell


Photoset (c) Phillip Angert begins with Fonce Mizell and King Britt at Giant Step’s “Dinner With Mizell’s” in 2007.

“We were all very sad to learn about the passing of the legendary Fonce Mizell of Mizell Brothers fame and Sky High Productions. It seems fitting to dig into our archives and have another look at one of my favorite Giant Step events, ‘Dinner With Mizell’s,’ an intimate sit down in Miami back in March 2007 during WMC, with Fonce and Larry plus a who’s who of DJs to raise a glass in their honor. To see grown men (including myself) act like giddy school boys in their presence is a true testament to their legacy and music” – Maurice Bernstein, CEO & President at Giant Step.

Only some in attendance were: Jazzy Jeff (BBE), Tracey Thorn, Jason Bentley (KCRW), Tom Silverman (Tommy Boy), Ben Watt (Buzzin’ Fly), Benji B (BBC 1xtra), Madlib (Stones Throw), Danny Krivit (Body & Soul), Gilles Peterson (BBC Radio 1), Peter Kruder (G-Stone), Richard Dorfmeister (G-Stone), and Kenny Dope (MAW).

A full list of attendees from “Dinner With Mizell’s” can be found on the feature page.

More after the jump

NeuWave Renegades, Giant Step & Aquabooty present Dennis Ferrer, Kerri Chandler, The Martinez Brothers and more – March 25

On Friday, March 25th, Grammy nominated house music impresario Dennis Ferrer brings his annual Objektivity event back to Miami for Ultra Week. With an all-star cast and a new project – under the moniker NeuWave Renegades – Ferrer alongside a rotation of friends who represent something of the spirit of US house music take over Miami’s Grand Central with a two room extravaganza like no other, with Kerri Chandler, The Martinez Brothers, Karizma, Kyle Hall, DJ Qu and so many others. As a special offer to our community, Giant Step is offering advance tickets at an exclusive discount rate, so make sure you get your ticket today because you know this event is going to sell out.

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