By Jacob Katel
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By Nate "Igor" Smith
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He may be from Manhattan's Upper West Side, but few DJs have become more synonymous with Miami than David Padilla. His seasoned sound has been the driving force behind not only his lengthy South Beach residency runs but also the ReMix Party, a roving bash now in its fourth month that regularly attracts more than 2000 hard-core clubbers for one of Miami's best local nights.
Having weathered a shaky opening night at Salvation, the ReMix Party that lit up Level, Shadow Lounge, and Space will now bring Padilla and fellow spinner DJ Eddie S. to Rio this Friday evening, where the two-fisted power may find a permanent home.
"It's a spinoff from the Mix Afterhours [the South Beach late-night party that closed a year ago]," Padilla says. "We try to bring the notoriety and excitement of that night to this party."
Having just gotten off the phone with the Rio management, Padilla is looking forward to an extended run at the downtown club, another outpost following Space in shifting attention from the exhausted Beach to the up-and-coming mainland scene.
With the help of copromoter Fernando Banderas, the ReMix party has evolved into a necessary countermeasure to the trends and tourists that tend to typify Miami nightlife. Eschewing any attempt to label the ReMix style or sound, Padilla and friends strive to create an atmosphere that will help the transient electronic music scene set down roots.
"Eddie usually opens with progressive house, but the emphasis is on electronic music, whatever it may be," Padilla offers. "I have no interest in categorizing my style. If you do, you can't explore other areas. This night proves that the electronic music scene in Miami is still alive and kicking."
Not that it was ever dead, but what Padilla hopes to do is focus on the local resources rather than the fly-by-night super DJs who migrate back and forth like snowbirds. He sees the current economic climate as a good opportunity to promote such parties.
"Well, it stands to reason that when you're in a recession, people like to party harder," the DJ speculates, "to maybe forget their problems."
Playing gigs that have spanned the globe and touched down in nearly every club in Miami and New York (from the Warsaw Ballroom to Studio 54), Padilla is familiar with the vast expanse of clubland. But his heart is in the tropics, which explains why Ultra records picked him to represent Miami for the 2000 release The South Beach Experience.
"I've been doing this for over twenty years now, and one thing I've learned is that if you want to survive you have to open up to that whole spectrum of music," relays Padilla. "I think the popularity of electronic music may have peaked in South Beach, but I still see the music growing."
He's not the only one. Especially after Space rescued the aborted Mekka Tour for Miami alone, many in the electronic music industry see the city as being integral to the success of club culture in the United States.
Although the nation may not be ready for cross-country tours, plans are being made by the U.K. superclub Cream to bring its Euro vibe to those U.S. cities with enough club power to support a launch, including New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.
Promoters and DJs both agree that if the Land of the Free is to match the success of the European scenes in London and Ibiza, the grassroots movement must grow. And though many also agree that we need to find our own brand names, it doesn't hurt to have a few lessons from the experts. Shadow Lounge (rumored to be reopening soon in the space formerly known as Liquid) already got the ball rolling when it introduced Gods Kitchen back in June. And while Shadow regroups, look for former resident DJ George Acosta to continue his mercenary moonlighting at Level, where he has been approached to procure sound at the Pimps and Ho's party on September 29. No official booking has been made, but sources say the deal is as good as done.
In the meantime Level will continue its successful hip-hop courtship, hosting the Mix Show Power Summit, which runs September 19 through 21. The event will see the best of the labels Bad Boy (P. Diddy's label) and Interscope (Eminem's home) take to the stage for yet more boasting and posing.