Throughout its twenty-year history, WMC has been about dance music: specifically, house and its many variants. But stylistic diversity is central for any good multiday festival, which makes much of this year's events superfluous. After all, who needs to see Mark Farina five times in one week?
To encourage a more balanced party diet, we have cherry-picked some of the more unique events taking place this year, compiling a list that incorporates all of the major genres, from electro and breakbeat to house, techno, and hip-hop. And yes, we included Farina too.
Originating in a tabula rasa before microgenres such as ghetto tech, booty bass, and industrial IDM blipped out of an MPC, Dynamix II is one of Florida's first and most influential electronic acts. David Noller and Scott Weiser came together in 1986, right after Noller had released the seminal "Just Give the DJ a Break" on Miami's Bass Station Records. These days, as electro seeps back into hip-hop and rock-and-roll, their sound is more vital than ever. During this daylong bacchanal, the duo will give a live PA performance alongside other breakbeat luminaries such as the Autobots, the Breakfastaz, Aquasky, and dozens more. -- Jonathan Zwickel
Break Fest II
Nocturnal on Thursday, March 24.
See listings for more info.
If you can't get your fix of breakbeat and electro sounds after Future Sound of Breaks v. 3.0, a massive downtown jam that is supposed to last for twelve hours, you're a junkie who's way too far gone for this kind of foolproof therapy. More than 40 DJs and performers are scheduled, including well-known Floridians Craze, Jackal, Monk, and Icey; national favorites Simply Jeff and Donald Glaude (who's normally known for house); and international top dogs Freq Nasty and Deekline & Wizard. -- Tamara Palmer
All club DJs have a pet peeve for requests. No one wants to feel like a breathing jukebox, certainly not the folks behind No Fucking Requests Ever!, a joint production between postdisco labels Grayhound Recordings and Rong Music and San Francisco-based collective Green Gorilla Lounge. Three-quarters of Green Gorilla -- M3, Antonio, and Sharon Buck, plus honorary Gorilla Q-Burns Abstract Message of Orlando -- and SF heroes Garth and Spun are bringing nearly a century of collective experience among them, eliminating any need for requests. -- Tamara Palmer
San Francisco independent label OM Records turns ten this year and celebrates with a blowout at Mansion that truly reps Wrigley Field more than the Golden Gate. There will be special emphasis on those with new and upcoming albums such as Mark Farina, Colette, and Greenskeepers -- all of whom hail from or grew up in the Windy City. They collectively represent a nice cross-section of OM's depth, which traverses from hip-hop and abstract jazz to soulful and quirky house music. And let's not forget other Chicago-reared talent such as DJ Sneak, Johnny Fiasco, and the tag team of Iz & Diz. -- Tamara Palmer
On Thursday, the People's Block Party will take the District's brand of indie-dance magic to the streets -- the Design District, that is. Some will venture to 40th Street to see major-label prospects the Fever and Elkland. But most will be happy to dance along as sundry Poplife and Revolver DJs spin the hits under the stars during one of the coolest weeks Miami experiences all year. -- Mosi Reeves
Fresh El Camino Deux will be a choice alternative to the overdose of house and mainstream club sounds, a party where experimental techno and eccentric hip-hop do the nasty. The latter genre will be largely represented by Kool Keith & Kutmasta Kurt (the longtime collaborating duo currently known as the Diesel Truckers); Mr. Len (formerly of Company Flow); Fatlip (ex-Pharcyde); and Gainesville quartet Cyne. Meanwhile the former will have strong ambassadors in Otto Von Schirach and Creepy Autograph (a.k.a. Warp wunderkind Jimmy Edgar). Protective headgear is recommended for Kool Keith's performance, though: He sometimes hurls fried chicken into the crowd. -- Tamara Palmer
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Last December Ghostly International was named Label of the Year by XLR8R magazine. But conference attendees have known about this Ann Arbor, Michigan imprint much longer, thanks to its stellar showings at the annual Miami Meets Detroit BBQ. This year, America's answer to Warp Records is finally throwing a party of its own, featuring live performances from techno innovator Matthew Dear, local Schematic heroes Phoenecia, industrialists Kill Memory Crash, and others. -- Mosi Reeves
Every WMC brings out all the local DJs and labels Miami kids rarely see all year (no need for names -- you know who you are). But why not support the Electro-Dziska crew, who actually throws events year-round, not just when the industry's in town? They're assembling a conference party, too, in Electrocity, a throwdown headlined by the little-seen (at least since the Nineties) Detroit god Aux 88. Backing him up will be Exzakt, the former South Florida producer who recently moved to Berlin, Germany; New York minimalist Satamile; and a live PA set from the crackling Alpha 606. -- Mosi Reeves
Think Philadelphia stopped being a center of soul music after disco died? Check out The Future '05 and prepare to be astounded. Philadelphia is now a teeming metropolis of funk thanks in large part to the Dream Team that comprises this party's lineup. Five of the most popular DJs/producers from the City of Brotherly Love will converge on Privé, including Questlove (of the Roots) and Jazzy Jeff (a DJ prodigy who came to fame two decades ago with a young Fresh Prince). Friends and colleagues King Britt, Vikter Duplaix, and Rich Medina also bring their record bags and infectious energy. -- Tamara Palmer
Less than a decade ago, Digable Planets quietly disbanded, leaving a trail of teary-eyed bohos and coffee-shop chicks behind. Now the group is back -- but why? To finally claim some respect from a hip-hop scene that only grudgingly accepted it? Or perhaps cash in on the incipient revival of all things Nineties? Let's hope there's more to Butterfly, Doodlebug, and Ladybug this time around than "Cool Like Dat." Tonight's opening acts include soul improviser Big Brooklyn Red and the hip-hop group Fantab. -- Mosi Reeves