For wealthy locals and jetsetters, it's a chance to shop for additions to their already extravagant art collections and attend velvet-rope receptions in chic new getups.
But for us uhntz-uhntz heads, it's just another excuse to put on our tattered dancing shoes.
In fact electronic dance music parties during Art Basel week seem to have grown exponentially over the years, becoming almost as highly anticipated as Winter Music Conference. And this year is certainly no exception, with a slew of world-class DJ lineups and label showcases slated at the usual hotspots.
Check the cut for Crossfade's top ten EDM parties during Art Basel Miami Beach 2012.
Choice Meeting with Matt Tolfrey, Simon Baker, and Lazaro Casanova. Presented by Leftroom and Air London. Thursday, December 6, 10 p.m., Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Call 305-456-5613 or visit electricpicklemiami.com. The Air London collective has become synonymous with the finest transatlantic tech-house, as evidenced by its star-studded roster of DJ-producers like the Leftroom label's Matt Tolfrey, Simon Baker, and Miami's own Lazaro Casanova.
Nicolas Jaar. Presented by MOCA. Friday, December 7, 10 p.m., Mondrian South Beach Hotel. 1100 West Avenue, Miami Beach. Call 305-514-1941 or visit mondrian-miami.com. Ostensibly, this production wunderkind is a dance music artist. But his critically acclaimed 2011 debut album, Space Is Only Noise, is more akin to experimental downtempo electronica. Thanks to Young Hearts, you'll get a chance to see Jaar's version of uhntz-uhntz when he drops a DJ set at Bardot on December 6. Then get a more Basel-appropriate taste of his artsier live sound at the Mondrian South Beach on December 7.
Life and Death. With Tale of Us, DJ Tennis and Thugfucker. Presented by PL0T. Friday, December 7, 10 p.m., Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Call 305-456-5613 or visit electricpicklemiami.com. Few underground labels enjoyed as much hype in 2012 as Life and Death. Blame that deep psychedelic spin on house and techno. Just perfect for losing your mind on the dance floor.
Get Physical vs. My Favorite Robot. With M.A.N.D.Y., Lee Curtiss, Blond:ish, Jared Simms, and Voytek Korrab. Presented by Link and Miami Rebels. Friday, December 7, 11 p.m., Treehouse, 323 23rd St., Miami Beach. Call 305-674-4478 or visit treehousemiami.com. By now, M.A.N.D.Y.'s Get Physical label showcases are Miami mainstays during Art Basel. This year, though, they're upping the ante by pairing with Toronto's My Favorite Robot, a production outfit and eponymous label with a uniquely deep vocal techno style and rapidly growing fanbase.
Livio & Roby Presented by Un_Mute. Saturday, December 8, 10 p.m., Villa 221, 221 NE 17th St., Miami. Call 305-416-5280 or visit villa221.com. The artist collective surrounding Loco Dice's Desolat label has a hard-earned reputation for funk-driven big room techno. And this beloved Romanian duo is no exception.
Joy Orbison and Ben UFO. Presented by SAFE. Saturday, December 8, 10 p.m., Cafeina, 297 NW 23rd St., Miami. Call 305-438-0792 or visit cafeinamiami.com. Leave it to SAFE to serve up debut Miami performances by two of the most cutting-edge artists of UK techno and future bass in one night. Mark our words, this one is going to get deep.
French Express with Perseus, Chris Malinchak, Moon Boots, and Jonas Rathsman. Presented by Nightdrive Miami. Saturday, December 8, 10 p.m., The Vagabond, 30 NE 14th St., Miami. Call 305-379-0508 or visit thevagabondmiami.com. Lush tropical nu-disco grooves are the specialty of Dallas blog-turned-label French Express, which makes them right at home in MIA. And the label's all-star Basel lineup is sure to be one of the groovier affairs The Vagabond's dance floor has seen this year.
Fuck Art, Lets Dance. With DJ Harvey, PillowTalk and Eats Everything. Saturday, December 8, 10 p.m., Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Call 305-456-5613 or visit electricpicklemiami.com. This is Art Basel Miami Beach's foremost dance party. And cosmic disco don Harvey, a regular over the years, always draws his legion of heads. But hotly-tipped newcomers PillowTalk and Eats Everything will no doubt pull their own weight with bass-heavy house and boogie.
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Supplement Facts & Friends. With Guy Gerber, Dyed Soundorom, Clarian, Mao Fonnegra, and Vlada. Presented by Link and Miami Rebels. Saturday, December 8, 11 p.m., Treehouse, 323 23rd St., Miami Beach. Call 305-674-4478 or visit treehousemiami.com. If deep hypnotic tech-house beats is what you crave, look no further than Guy Gerber's Supplement Facts label showcase.
Pete Tong, Damian Lazarus, and Seth Troxler. Presented by Kontrol. Sunday, December 9, 11 p.m., Mansion, 1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-531-5535 or visit mansionmiami.com. Kontrol Miami's been pushing underground EDM at the otherwise commercial South Beach megaclub since this past summer. So it's no surprise they would do Basel in style with three of the biggest underground DJ tastemakers in the world.