Mix & Remix

Welcome to Miami Beach's annual Winter Music Conference, where the elite meet to discuss the future of the beat

For his set at this afternoon's Miami Meets Detroit BBQ at the Mission (637 Washington Ave., Miami Beach), expect Chin to spin nothing but straight-up, paint-peeling techno. In fact that's the bulk of what you'll hear there all day; fellow Miamian DJ Nova has corralled some of the form's standard-bearers to wing in from techno's Motor City birthplace. Juan Atkins headlines (that's his seminal 1985 "No UFOs" underpinning the goofy "Ford Focus, Detroit Techno" commercial currently gracing your TV screen). Also featured are DJ T-1000, Terrence Parker, Alton Miller, and Mike Clark. Yes, a full barbecue will be in effect on the Mission's outdoor patio. Just remember to wait fifteen minutes after eating before hitting the dance floor. Music begins at 1:00 and runs until 9:00 p.m.

On the other hand, if trance is your thing, it'll be the dominant sound blasting around downtown Miami's Bayfront Park today from noon until 1:00 a.m. That's the location of Ultrafest -- formerly Ultra Beach Fest, until Miami Beach officials balked at hosting the more than 20,000 kids who were expected to converge on its original sandy South Beach site this year. Sasha and Digweed, Paul Van Dyk, and Paul Oakenfold are just some of the heavy hitters scheduled to man the decks, in addition to a slew of local faves, including George Acosta and the more breaks-oriented Merlyn. Attention, concerned parents: When you discover your fourteen-year-old is not spending the night at her friend's house as she promised, this is where to pilot the minivan.

Beta Bodega Coalition's Rick Garrido and Steven Castro teach the Zapatistas how to dance
Steve Satterwhite
Beta Bodega Coalition's Rick Garrido and Steven Castro teach the Zapatistas how to dance
Don't be scared, it's only Detroit's future funkateer Carl Craig
Don't be scared, it's only Detroit's future funkateer Carl Craig

The more outré flavors of electronica receive the spotlight at Churchill's (5501 NE Second Ave.) tonight beginning at 8:00, as Miami's Beta Bodega Coalition launches its "anti-conferential maneuvers" in the form of Infiltrate 3.0. Nod your head in time as pale twentysomethings madly "play" their laptops before an appreciative audience. The night's highlights include a set from Patcha Kutek (a.k.a. Phoenecia's Romulo Del Castillo); a collaboration between Austrian sample merchant Curd Duca and local funketeer DJ LeSpam; Needle (a.k.a. Ed Bobb) and Sony Mao dueting on a mélange of rhythmic clicks and found sounds; turntablist DJ Infamous; and Atlanta's Prefuse 73.

Sunday, March 25

Long before "ghetto-tech," Detroit's torqued-up answer to Miami bass, became the hipster taste of the moment, it was booty music plain and simple. It was made for strip clubs, and that's precisely where you heard it; there's a practical reason most of the genre's lyrics revolve around somebody screaming, "Shake your ass!" over and over. This afternoon from noon to 6:00 p.m., ghetto-tech comes home, as some of its leading practitioners alight inside Club Madonna (1527 Washington Ave., Miami Beach), a joint where the dancing generally takes place on patrons' laps. The lineup includes DJ Assault, DJ Godfather, Sean Deason, and the Detroit Grand Pubahs -- whose gleefully sleazy "Sandwiches" was one of last year's most memorable tunes. Like the Normal's hallowed "Warm Leatherette," its slinky synthesizer tones are unsettling yet strangely compelling. Which is probably a good way to describe the social milieu of regulars and WMC attendees who'll mix inside Club Madonna today.

The U.K. dance cognoscenti have certified drum and bass as officially dead and buried, transferring their stamp of buzz du jour onto two-step, a style that pitches jungle's hypertempo down a notch and reaches back across the Atlantic to current American R&B for inspiration. While that dismissive attitude doesn't quite jibe with the preponderance of scheduled drum and bass parties at the WMC this year (or the genre's institutionalization among the South Florida high school rave set), it's hard not to share in some of the excitement over one of two-step's leading producers MJ Cole, and his Sincere album. It's an infectious record, managing to sound both daring in its grafting of sweeping strings and acoustic guitar flutters to driving beats, and yet utterly familiar when its bold soul sisters grab the microphone and start wailing away.

Cole's set at Club Space (142 NE Eleventh St.) will be just one of many new genres wafting out of the speakers there. The Nortec Collective will be on hand, fusing the rootsical accordions, trumpets, and rollicking snare drums of their native Tijuana's norteño with trip-hop; Venezuelan alternative darlings Los Amigos Invisibles offer up some south-of-the-border funk; Vienna's Compost crew also is on the bill, with Rainer Trüby and Jazzanova delving into their label's trademark digitized take on Mongo Santamaria's brand of Latin jazz. Lastly the dubbed-out techno of Windsor, Canada's Richie Hawtin isn't new per se, but its hypnotic, enveloping feel is all too rare in Miami. Music begins at 10:00 p.m. and runs until 10:00 the next morning.

If there's one thing South Beach isn't lacking, it's drag queens. No self-respecting club promoter opens shop without a stable of carefully tucked-in ladies on the payroll, all providing just enough of a transgressive tinge to keep the frat boys entertained. At 4:00 a.m. a troupe of the drag faithful descend on Denny's -- yes, the restaurant (2947 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) -- to celebrate the release of Nervous Records' dance compilation honoring NYC's annual drag fiesta, Wigstock. Although the promised DJs are, unfortunately, of the oh-so-tired circuit-house variety, there's still plenty of potential for comic mischief: Putting this many queens north of Lincoln Road under Denny's harsh lighting is just asking for trouble. Expect cavorting in the aisles and quite a few confused tourists.

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