"I thought it was only appropriate to do a showcase relaunching our upcoming projects and get back in the swing of things and highlight key people who are moving the ball here culturally and sonically," Sister System (AKA Alexis Sosa-Toro) tells New Times.
Sosa-Toro's party series spurred five years ago with Droogfest, a gathering in the middle of the Everglades. Since then, she created over a dozen parties, including the Boiler-Room-sponsored Black Friday Rave, One Final Rave 229, and the late ODD series. The parties are homages to old-school rave days: bare-bones atheistic, sonically speedy, and temporal.
No party is boilerplate; instead, each brings a je ne sais quoi that is challenging to replicate.
"I don't operate under a party name because I want each party to represent something different and really highlight the artists," Sosa-Toro explains.
During the two-year hiatus, Sosa-Toro continued her behind-the-scenes work for Club Space and III Points. Newer endeavors came, like a partnership in DJ/producer Danny Daze's label Omnidisc as well as a residency at Club Space — which helped earn her the title of "Best DJ" in New Times' Best of Miami 2021.
Superlatives aside, the two-year lapse reflected on what may be the biggest party yet. Attendees will have access to three different stages spotlighting three distinct labels, two of which have a deep Miami lineage. One is the Omnidisc stage, spearheaded by Miami's DJ/producer turned global headliner Danny Daze. There are also stages for the pioneering old-school label Schematic and New York City-based label Allergy Season.
So where is this party happening? Unsure. The warehouse location will be announced sometime this week. What is known is the 16-artist lineup will offer a bazaar of techno, electro, jungle, dub, IDM, and ambient. The vibe promises to send attendees back in time while culturally treading forward.
"I think about how people are going to move around the space and be at different places in different times," Sosa-Toro says. "I start with the music, then the artists, then the set times, and then where people will land throughout the night. I think we have been successful."
The top of the bill includes Danny Daze, Physical Therapy, CCL, and Pilo, who will all transcend and captivate during the nine-hour-long event.
"What I've really connected with is a sense of community and belonging, creating a safe space with friends and artists you connect with," Pilo said of the event in a statement.
Coffintexts, Daisy Cutter, Goiz, Jonny From Space, Nick León, Pressure Point, Romulo, Souls Departed, Viscrit, and Sister System herself.
"I also pick people by the story they're telling, people who put in 365 days of producing music," Sosa-Toro adds. "I don't really have a lot of interest in booking international talent. Most of the raves are meant to showcase what is happening here in Miami."
Sosa-Toro says the party will feature two performance dancers, a live painting/graffiti station, and a tattoo artist, along with food and merchandise.
"I think an important component to all my parties is to include people who are beyond just music," she says. "The recurring theme is to create an ecosystem where people can discover different avenues to Miami's art and music community."
Furthering collaboration, radio station WVUM will have a ticket giveaway on Thursday, September 23, at 7 p.m.
The term "IDM" (intelligent dance music) is usually thrown around loosely and is often attributed to Warp Records via acts like Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin. However, over the years, Miami-based Schematic has spawned a delightfully weird IDM scene in the Magic City. Though techno and house annexed the scene, IDM created something special.
"Miami is really recognized for Miami bass/retro, but there is a huge IDM component in there too that doesn't really get told all that often," Sosa-Toro explains. "It's a good place to put in a party just to like put in something really strange and a memorable moment."
The Schematic stage will cut through the fat bass with ambient overtures inside a storage container. It will — and rightfully should — be weird.
Sosa-Toro could easily hold the event at Club Space and achieve the same purpose. However, to her, site-specific locations are the key.
"You achieve different things with different spaces," she says. "Warehouses and site-specific locations give me a blank canvas from conception to programming purely without any ideologies to hold to."
Sosa-Toro makes clear that she only plays one role in the parties. Every person involved carries weight, and the party's expansion humbles her.
"I think the only thing I introduce is telling them, 'This is your chance to kind of experience everyone at the same time and in the same place.' It's a cultural incubation of everything happening at once."
Omnidisc x Allergy Season Rave. With Danny Daze, Physical Therapy, CCL, Pilo, and others. 10 p.m. Friday, September 24, at location TBA. Tickets cost $10 to $40 via ra.co.