Are you tuned in to the constant hum of these streets? It's steady bass pounding into the night. It's a tinny hi-hat on repeat. It's the indefinite groove of Miami.
But who's supplying the rhythm that our city dances to? Who's carving a giant 305 into the side of the Earth's face? Whose non-stop hustle makes our metropolis one of the BPM scene's greatest destinations?
These five Miami-based record labels are kicking out the jams. We'd even call them the best.
See also: Downtown Miami's Five Best Dance Clubs
This label had a quiet year in 2013, but boss Juan Basshead and crew remain heavy hitters, still repping the grimy underbelly of the Miami scene. Over the past five years, Basshead has hosted releases from 12th Planet, Datsik, Bassnectar, Zeds Dead, and local fave Otto Von Schirach. The crew regularly lures big bass acts to town. And recently, Juan and his Basshead bros (not to mention special guests 69 Boyz and Trick Daddy) took home the crown at Grand Central's Red Bull Culture Clash. We're giving props where props are due and we hope to see Basshead release more music in 2014.
Drink enough Cuban coffee and you just might start your own kick-ass record label. That's how it happened for Jay-You and Lazaro Casanova, the two MIA natives behind this house-music hustle. Since 2008, PetFood has been serving up deep dishes suitable for all nocturnal breeds. And last year, the label stayed busy with EPs from Raffa FL, Pete Oak, and Steve Huerta, as well as a full-length album from Peter Corvaia. The vibe shows no sign of letting up in 2014, and we sincerely hope not, because this funky, sexy shit sounds like the future.
You know what else sounds like the future? Everything on Loveless Records. If you're into Flume, Shlohmo, and all those next-level chill-hype grooves, you should definitely turn your attention to this local label. Just a week ago, Loveless dropped a killer EP from Principal Dean hit the market. And with a Soundcloud roster that boasts 28 artists, it's a constant stream of perfect beats for sitting back and lighting one up. And dancing, of course. It's good for dancing too.
See also: South Beach's Ten Best Dance Clubs
2. Slow Roast
Headed by Craze and Kill the Noise, this Fool's Gold imprint broke out in 2013 with big hits like Brillz' Twonk and Retwonked mixes, as well as Craze's own Selekta EP. And it's all set up for a giant 2014 with slated releases from both label masters, as well as new shit by Klever, Codes, the rest of the gang, and even recent signees like Ape Drums. We also absolutely refuse to miss the free Slow Roast monthly party at the Garret with Craze and Louie Arson. If you haven't been yet, correct yourself.
1. Mr. Nice Guy
Let's give a round of applause to New Times' Best of Miami 2013 pick for the city's most exciting label across any genre. Fronted by the ever-hustlin' Jesse Perez, if the Mr. Nice Guy people want to work with an artist, they'll let that artist know, because they are "not accepting demos." You've got to come original to catch their attention, and in the next year, they plan to push their carefully curated roster into the stratosphere. Check out Mr. Nice Guy's monthly podcasts and keep a close eye on Perez and peeps as they continue to back deserving up-and-comers. It's kind of a need-to-know situation.
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Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.