Happening on December 9 at Virginia Key Beach Park in Miami, Life and Death and Innervisions‘ collaborative event Rakastella is set to feature a selection of top-tier artists throughout the event.
Set to perform are Âme II Âme, Axel Boman, Lovefingers, Moscoman, Solar, Uchi. Dixon, Axel Boman, Lovefingers, Moscoman, Solar, Marvin & Guy, DJ Koze, DJ Tennis, Jennifer Cardini, Moscoman, Red Axes, Octo Octa, Roman Flügel, and Uchi.
DJ, producer, label owner and businessman: Mark Knight has proven a rare and wonderful breed of musical heavyweight. He is the second highest-selling Beatport artist of all time with no less than eight Number 1’s, and a career that has spanned over a decade with releases on labels such as Suara, 1605, Stereo and of course his own Toolroom Records.
Mark remains one of the hardest-working DJs in his field, a constant champion for the tech house sound that has made Toolroom and his own brand one of the most respected in the industry world-over. It is thanks to his music that Mark has remained a firm fixture on the worldwide touring circuit with a number of key residencies around the world under the Toolroom Live banner and performances at dance music bastions Space Ibiza and Amnesia as well as a host of landmark festivals.
6AM caught up with the globe-trotting DJ ahead of a weekend that will see him perform at Heart Nightclub in Miami and in New Jersey.
Ultra Music Festival has called Miami home since 1999, now a three-day event that marks the end of Miami Music Week each March.
The festival has moved several times, first taking place on South Beach and more recently switching from Bayfront Park to Bicentennial Park and then back to Bayfront Park in the downtown area. Ultra’s contract with Bayfront Park is about to expire, however, and nearby residents have been collecting signatures to ensure it does not get renewed.
The petition, which counts more than 1,100 signees as of time of writing, targets both Ultra and hip-hop festival Rolling Loud, and was delivered yesterday at the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting.
This coming Miami Music Week is upon us, and Heart Nightclub is on a mission to deliver one of the best club experiences in the entire city with a massive multi-room lineup featuring the best in techno, tech house, deep house and beyond.
Spread across their Main Room, Terrace and Basement, Heart’s programming for the five-day affair is filled with label and party showcases, international talent, live acts and DJ sets, and the possibility that some may go a few extra hours as the club has so famously hosted in recent months.
Hosted by local party curators Humans Alike, the towering, multi-zone program of events for the week of March 22-26 includes performances by heavyweights such as Anthony Attalla, Steve Lawler, Dubfire, Hot Since 82, Marco Carola, Guti, Roger Sanchez, Chus + Ceballos, Mark Knight, Martin Buttrich, Josh Wink, Eats Everything and many, many more. It is no surprise then, that several of Heart’s showcases have ended up on 6AM’s party guide for this year’s Miami Music Week.
It is that time of the year once again as Miami readies to transform into a dance music paradise during Miami Music Week, this year taking place on March 21-26.
Held annually since 2011, Miami Music Week has grown into a one of the most anticipated electronic dance music events each year. Over the years, MMW has seen hundreds of thousands of people making their way to South Florida to catch performances by over 1000 artists in over 200 events held across the city.
This year’s MMW promises to be yet another memorable event with the many artists performing throughout that week. If you’re planning to go to Miami for the festival, here are some of the events we recommend you check out:
Guest post by Jennifer King
As I drove away from the luminous sunset and into the cloudless dusk on my drive to South Beach Miami towards Do Not Sit On The Furniture, I immediately knew I was in for an impassioned and magniloquent musical chef d’oeuvre with diverse notes on my entrée. The archetype at Do Not Sit… is artlessly timeless.
As always, the experience is a lavish plate of echoing and swirling vibes are floating with mystery in an elaborate and multifaceted ambience.
The family and staff at Do Not Sit On The Furniture are supremely positive and welcoming. Dancing alongside the skillful DJs after their sets and, in the case of this particular night, with the DJ’s company the likes of New York City’s Delfic, is all a part of an typical outing at Do Not Sit.
Other industry paragons will be subservient by your side as you rollick the night away into a memorable bliss. Do Not Sit On The Furniture is indefatigable and true to its tone and consistency, making it timeless attraction.
Passions, intentions, motivations, and challenges are all coming to mind as I sit on the furniture over different areas of the club to really feel the vibrations of the music. It was effortless to sit as the furniture was completely vacant as a result of the entire venue dancing with intention, taking the club’s name to literal heart.
I danced as if I were comfortable at home, of course. The feeling of subtle xylophone chimes and courageous breaks vibrated through my core, as a hint of classy jazz inspiration brought everything home during a particularly memorable track.
The sound at Do Not Sit On The Furniture radiates. It evokes in my mind that now now “vintage New York” sound that I used to dance my ass off to at the original Le Souk on Avenue B and 4th Street in Alphabet City, where I lived and thrived endlessly.
As I am there, I speak to the owners of the club, Behrouz and Megan Nazari, and ask, “What feel in atmosphere at Do Not Sit On The Furniture depicts the overall sound in comparison to the ‘playa tech’ sound at Burning Man as well as the free- spirited sound at Love Burn?
“The acoustics and customizations with the analog processor and the unique make of the speakers hold it volumes above the amplified sound travel that one hears at Burning Man or Love Burn,” explains Behrouz. “Burning man sound as an art form has an unfair advantage over other art forms when the bass cannot be effectively contained with any structures.”
“At Do Not Sit On The Furniture the sound system is one-of-a-kind. I seek out custom made speakers with an Eastern origin that truly gives the sound an acoustic advantage. You can be anywhere in the venue and you will hear the music differently but never too high-sounding and intense or inaudible and subdued,” he continues. “Extra speaker components are also an important factor to take the rhythm of. Also, tuning the sound just right to an Allen and Heath or Pioneer is essential. Although I believe the sound is on point, at Do Not Sit there is always room for improvement.”
This brings me to wonder and ask, “What do you feel are the biggest challenges within your intention limitations for Do Not Sit On The Furniture? Do you feel ataraxia more or less of the time?” The response is perhaps expected, as they begin talking about the fairly small size of the venue. “Size can be a limitation. Some industry people do not like to explore and will remain creatures of habit. Although Do Not Sit On The Furniture is ahead of the curve for most all taste makers, it is still vital to prepare in advance. The staff has become our family and when everyone is happy and loving the music and what they are doing, there is that feeling of tranquility.”
So what are the true motivations and ambitions behind Megan and Behrouz’ work at Do Not Sit? As I begin to wonder, the answer comes from Megan, “We aim to create a platform for up and coming artists which we currently do. Because the community can be lacking, helping each other out with support is a goal of ours for sure. Also Behrouz’s motivation is to go out and enjoy the music and the sound and curate artists for more new music that compliments the original sound at Do Not Sit On The Furniture.”
Earlier in the night, upon arrival at the club, I had a sit-down dinner with one of the artists set to play that night, the talented Adrian Myd for “Magician On Duty”. We were able to capture his intentions behind the custom “fabulous” hats that he has had in the works for the staff at the venue. The hats offer a unique experience and “somewhat of a show to embellish special wardrobe features.” Believe me when I convey Magician On Duty’s true artistic expertise. Adrian Myd has innumerable projects in his creation including intricate hats, custom key chains and coasters, just to name a nanoscale few.
As a Miami resident with playing experience at a variety of venues in the city, I wondered how he felt the sound at Do Not Sit compared to other clubs. “Having lived in Miami for the past ten years, I have been fortunate enough to be able to play in most of the city’s underground nightclubs. I can firmly say that Do Not Sit on The Furniture is my favorite. I think in terms of musical direction, Do Not Sit is at least two-three years ahead of most of the nightclubs. Obviously, having an underground dance music legend, Behrouz, as the owner of the club the events are extremely well crafted.”
He goes on to say that he believes, “the people that frequent the club are sophisticated, very musically savvy and they are all about having a great time! Living in an age of technology is extremely rewarding. When I walk into the club and I do not see anyone checking their phone, or sitting on the furniture, that is truly joyful.”
Magician On Duty has been running two record labels for the past three years and most notably the music from the imprints has been supported by the likes of Behrouz, Hoj, Joseph Capriati, Madmotormiquel, Rampue, Birds Of Mind, Marymoon, Denite, Riva Starr, Hraach, BLANCah, Jamie Jones, Josephine Retour, Lea Dobricic, Martin Kremser, Philipp Kempnich, Ran Salman, Sascha Cawa, Stas Drive, Alex Schaufel, Clawz SG, Leevey, Talul and many more.
“Recently, Behrouz invited me to host my own night and I am beyond ecstatic to showcase my sound and concept,” he said.
Next up I speak to Tara Brooks, a Los Angeles based artist also on the bill for the night. I ask her how she became involved with the Do Not Sit family. She opens up, “I am happy to say that I have known Behrouz Nazari for years now. We met before we performed in the same venue in San Diego called Voyeur. Since, it has been this mystical voyage into a journey of home. Do Not Sit On The Furniture is always and has been so comfortable that it feel like home. It is an honor and I feel truly grateful every time I play at the club. The vibe exudes a genuine intimacy, and it’s always an enlightened experience.”
Tara is passionate on stage, able to get the entire club grooving as one. When I have a chance, I ask her about that passion in performing at the well-managed, eclectic yet fairly small (when compared to other venues) club. “‘My home away from home’, I always say, because this family makes me feel like I am ‘home’. I have acknowledged that Do Not Sit On The Furniture has always remained consistent with its classy and captivating character as well as enticing ambience. My artistic passion is heartfelt when I play here.”
From a soft and modest woman to a strong warrior goddess, Tara whispers when she comes in but yet she comes in tough and vigorous as an artist. For myself, at Eagle Sound Agency, I am in an atmospheric heaven of sort when she is playing.
Tara’s stylistic hands drop the bass while vibrating my soul chords. She brings in a siren sound that moves the furniture around, transitions spiraling like thread to a spool spinning fabric, threading on an ambiguous tone that tunes the room to a fierce but graceful lust.
As an entity and creative music venue that produces the type of genres and talent that Do Not Sit On The Furniture does, it is safe to say this is the best underground scene in South Miami Beach. Everything is on point from the sound to the atmosphere to the vibe. Atmospheric lust, where sound seeks beyond expectation. Truly the home of vibe extraordinaire.
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Miami has long been known as being the one city in the United States known for hosting marathon techno and house sets, especially thanks to Space Club’s iconic terrace and the long list of top-tier acts it has hosted over the years.
Right next door, however, it’s Heart Nightclub that has recently been making headlines as the club leading the charge of marathon sets. In a city where 6-8 hour sets are the norm, Heart has recently featured performances that have stretched past the 13-hour mark and then some. Marco Faraone and Erick Morillo each hit the decks for 13-hours, Hector & David Gtronic played b2b for 13.5, Solomun spun an uninterrupted 14, The Martinez Brothers lasted an impressive 20, and the club’s Art Basel weekend included a breath-taking 40-hours of non-stop music from various DJs, setting the new record in Miami for longest running hours in a night club.
Behind the carefully curated parties is promotion company Humans Alike, who have set the tone for the vibe on the Heart dance floor, following a remodeling of the 20,000 sq ft multi-room club that is also fitted with a German-engineered Dynacord Corba 3 sound system and the very best in visual and audio composition.
Travis Rogers is one of the partners at the helm of Humans Alike, a group formed together with Louis Diaz, John Fortini and Giancarlo Chia. Travis is a promoter with extensive experience in Miami that includes years of work at Club Space just next door. We had the chance to talk to him to discuss the vision behind Heart’s recent focus on marathon sets and what this means for the club as Miami Music Week approaches.
Despite officials of other major cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City and Chicago publicly announcing that they will remain sanctuary cities, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has ordered county jails to comply with federal immigration detention requests in fear of a loss of millions of dollars from federal funding. This is effectively erasing the county’s position as a “sanctuary” for immigrants in the country illegally, a response to an executive order signed Wednesday by President Donald Trump that threatened to cut federal grants for any counties or cities that don’t cooperate fully with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“In light of the provisions of the Executive Order, I direct you and your staff to honor all immigration detainer requests received from the Department of Homeland Security,” stated Gimenez’s three-paragraph memo address to the interim director of the corrections and rehabilitation department.
While Miami never accepted the label of “sanctuary city,” it has continued to act like one by refusing to indefinitely detain inmates who are in the country illegally and wanted by ICE since 2013. Now, however, the county does not want to lose its federal funding and is changing its stance on the matter, even though Miami-Dade county officials have insisted that their policy was not one dictated by principle but rather simply because the federal government doesn’t reimburse for the expenses.
“I want to make sure we don’t put in jeopardy the millions of funds we get from the federal government for a $52,000 issue,” said Gimenez. “It doesn’t mean that we’re going to be arresting more people. It doesn’t mean that we’re going to be enforcing any immigration laws.” Trump’s response came, of course, via Twitter.
Miami-Dade Mayor drops sanctuary policy. Right decision. Strong! https://t.co/MtPvaDC4jM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2017
Howard Simon, executive director of the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, went on record to speak against Gimenez’s move, claiming that it “flies in the face of Miami’s long history as a city of immigrants” and predicting it will “drive a wedge of distrust between law enforcement and our immigrant community.”
But what does this mean for the dance music community of one of the country’s most vibrant cities, and for the countless thousands who land in Miami for major annual dance music events the likes of Miami Music Week, Winter Music Conference, Ultra Music Festival, iii Points, Art Basel and more?
The cornerstones of dance music are ones of undeniable inclusiveness and pervasive acceptance. A first descendent of disco, house music found its beginnings in Chicago, thanks to the iconic parties that featured the music of pioneers such as Frankie Knuckles, Leonard Remix RRoy, Chip E and of course Farley “Jackmaster” Funk. There is absolutely no doubt that spiritually and aesthetically house music, and by default all dance music that came later, developed in the U.S. out of the need of oppressed people, African Americans, gays and Latinos, to build a community through dance. The same was true later in the UK, when the need of young people dissatisfied with the meaningless materialism of Thatcher’s England to build an alternative community of music gave birth to the Acid House movement there. The aim was to unify people of all races, backgrounds and sexual orientations, not to divide.
And now, a week since Donald Trump has taken the oath of office, we are seeing an America that is as divided as ever, with Miami going against current as the first major city and dance music hub to comply to Trump’s threat with regard to “sanctuary cities”. Miami has long been a city built by immigrants, and immigrants have for decades played a fundamental role in shaping the city’s culture into what it is today. Statistically speaking, Miami-Dade is a county where more than half of the population is foreign born, and it is safe to assume that the same can be said of the dance music community that resides there.
Then there’s the case of the visitors that roll into the city annually for the aforementioned major music events. As things stand now, with Mayor Gimenez unable to find any sort of backbone to stand up to the Trump administration for more than a single day before rolling over, if you’re in the city because you either live there or are in town for a festival, you are no longer offered sanctuary protection. If arrested and wanted by the feds for immigration-related purposes, you will face deportation or long, indefinite stints in detention centers under Trump’s new plan.
More broadly, however, there is no denying that Trump’s executive order and general rhetoric goes against the very fabric of dance music culture. The city’s new policy is hurting the dance music community rather than listening to the people of Miami and to those who come to the city every year to celebrate diversity. In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel declared: “I want to be clear: We’re going to stay a sanctuary city. There is no stranger among us. Whether you’re from Poland or Pakistan, whether you’re from Ireland or India or Israel and whether you’re from Mexico or Moldova, where my grandfather came from, you are welcome in Chicago as you pursue the American dream.”
“We’re going to defend all of our people regardless of where they come from, regardless of their immigration status,” Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York said at a news conference with other city officials. But perhaps no official went as far as Boston’s mayor, Martin J. Walsh. “To anyone who feels threatened today, or vulnerable, you are safe in Boston,” Mr. Walsh said at a news conference. “We will do everything lawful in our powerful to protect you. If necessary, we will use City Hall itself to shelter and protect anyone who’s targeted unjustly.”
The same cannot be said of Miami now that it has effectively turned its back on the very same immigrant population that had always been considered to be the backbone of the city. It’s perhaps a little too early to predict how the immigrant community in the city will respond, and certainly it’s hard to know how the dance music community that calls Miami home will react to the events transpired just yesterday.
On Saturday January 21st, the day after Trump’s inauguration, millions across the United States and the world took to the streets to participate in the Women’s March, a worldwide protest in support of women’s rights and other causes including immigration reform, health care reform, protection of the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial justice, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights. Discwoman, a New York-based platform, collective, and booking agency representing and showcasing cis women, trans women and genderqueer talent in electronic music, took part in the march with a clear message for Trump: the techno community will be fighting against his divisive agenda.
#Discowoman present at the #WomensMarch in Washington D.C. earlier today 💯🙏🏼❤️💛💚💙💙💗 #techno A photo posted by 6AM (@6amgroup) on