Maceo Plex is pretty much the biggest thing in underground dance music right now.
You'll get to catch him at several parties, not the least of which are his Ellum label showcase alongside Matt Tolfrey's Leftroom label at the Electric Pickle on March 20 and his Ultra Music Festival debut.
But you don't even have to wait until then to see him, because Maceo is jumping ahead of the madness to play a headlining gig at Mansion this Thursday.
And if you're lucky, he'll drop some of the jams off his new debut EP as Jupiter Jazz, a new collaboration project with Miami's Danny Daze.
The Booty Jazz EP was released this week after months of growing anticipation from fans, and it's poised to be among the big hits of WMC and MMW 2013.
Crossfade: Last time we spoke with you, you were about to release your LP on Crosstown Rebels and blow up big-time internationally. Two years later, there's no denying you are the "it" boy of the global electronic dance music scene. How does it feel to attain such massive success and recognition after the two decades you toiled away in obscurity? How has your life and work ethic been impacted because of it?
Maceo Plex: Of course it feels amazing, but at the same time, it brings a new set of challenges. Life is a bit more complicated these days due to a busy gig schedule and ever-growing expectations from fans. It was my dream, and I'm happy I'm living it. Now it's all a matter of finding that balance of career and personal life.
Ellum is a young label but already boasts some remarkably strong releases. What is the musical ethos behind the label? What sort of sound or aesthetic are you looking for to define Ellum?
The musical idea behind the label is bringing together the deep house sexy vibe that people are always searching for with the dark futuristic production and sound design I like to hear in productions. It's definitely hard to find, but it's out there, and we're looking to release it.
Your Jupiter Jazz collaboration with Danny Daze had the whole scene tingling with excitement for today's debut release. How did this project come about? What binds you and Danny creatively and what's the chemistry like in the studio?
Well, first off, we're both from Miami and share an extremely similar upbringing. We both have Cuban families and grew up listening to electro and Miami house. When we started hanging out together, we realized we were really digging the same records and feel the music the same way. So we got into the studio together as soon as Danny moved to Barcelona.
Is the name "Jupiter Jazz" a nod to Underground Resistance? What sort of influences play into the music you and Danny are writing together?
Yes, it's a very obvious tribute to that amazing UR record released 20 years ago. It's deep, futuristic, and pumping all in one. UR have always known how to give us a galactic look at futuristic techno/house music. So the name fits well with what we're working on and planning to release.
Your DJ-Kicks mix album is out on April 30. It's quite an honor to be invited to mix iK7's prestigious compilation series. How did you approach the mix and track selections? Were you aiming for the quintessential Maceo Plex club set, or more of a home-listening album?
Yeah, it's a huge honor, and was super important to me to select plenty of music that could represent what I personally like to hear in a DJ set. I didn't want to be too much of a poser and try to play super crazy and leftfield music. I'll leave that to the connoisseurs of those genres. I'm a dance music producer and DJ. So I stayed in the dance realm, but tried to select music that had that beautiful yet futuristic vibe to it. I think it worked out well.
What else can fans expect from Maceo Plex in 2013?
Plenty of Ellum parties with myself and Danny Daze playing as Jupiter Jazz, as well as a slew of amazing artists joining us at every event. We're planning an Ellum tour in September/October and should be a milestone for us. Also, of course, there's the DJ kicks and all new music by my alter ego Maetrik. Plus, I'm an even bigger part of the Circo Loco family this year, not only at DC10 but also in the Circo Loco events around the world. So I can't wait to see how 2013 turns out.
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Maceo Plex. With Baez. Thursday, March 14. Mansion, 1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. The party starts at 11 p.m. and tickets via theopiumgroup.com/mmw2013. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-695-8411 or visit mansionmiami.com.
Ultra Music Festival 2013. With Deadmau5, Swedish House Mafia, Tiesto, Avicii, and others. Friday, March 16, to Sunday, March 17, and Friday, March 22, to Sunday, March 24.. Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Visit ultramusicfestival.com.
Maceo Plex. As part of Ellum and Leftroom Present Another Reckless Night. With Matt Tolfrey, Danny Daze, DJ Tennis, Doc Martin, Ellen Allien, and others. Wednesday, March 20. Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The party starts at 3 p.m. and tickets cost $25 and up. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-456-5613 or visit electricpicklemiami.com.