Miami Music Week 2015: Day 1 Recap [Gallery]

Miami Music Week 2015

Miami and South Beach come decorated in EDM, literally, for the annual Winter Music Conference. It’s embedded in everything, from the mobile billboard announcing the Robin Schulz Pool Party at the Delano on Sunday to “Carnage Loves Miami” on another, to the side of your cab brandishing a vinyl banner of Dada Life.

Riding with the cab windows down, in March, ’cause we can, we head to day 1 of the BMF Media hosted SiriusXM 808, Music Lounge three-day party and media gala at the classy and cool W Hotel Miami Beach, with its wealth of today’s hottest featured artists, special guests, and surprise fanboy sightings.

One half of dance music duo DVBBS mingled with the reverent and unmistakable Tommy Sunshine who schmoozed with up-and-comer Sam Feldt while in the background Chris Malinchak kicked off his housy set with “Happy.”

Rodg, Riggi & Piros, Michael Woods, Jochen Miller, Kygo, David Gravell, Heatbeat, MaRLo, Andrew Rayel and Dash Berlin shared the back-to-back six-hour spotlight leading up to the grand finale of Armada artist, Armin van Buuren, who maintained his perpetual and infectious smile to the delight of the moment and the intimate and adoring crowd.

Oscar G from Murk on the decks at Treehouse

With novelties abound in every direction, the poolside featured a popular beads crafting table to make message bracelets and necklaces. And this year’s party’s beverage of choice was Heineken and Jägermeister served with a variety of specially featured complimentary concoctions including a Mast’s Mule of vanilla with a kick from ginger and sliced jalapeño, an ice sculpture embedded with strategically placed Jäger bottles and a Jäger shots dispenser. When the main Jäger promoter, Cliff, comes up and comments at you ooh-ing and ahh-ing over their innovative party appliance and offers to share a round of shots with him, you can’t say ‘no.’

With the South Beach sundown long behind us the groovy sounds of Dom Donnelly opened Room 2 of Miami Beach’s Treehouse surrounded by its rustic array of fishing nets and dangling sea creatures. For the record, Oscar G from Murk (pictured above) clearly won the first day of Miami Music Week with his Frankie Knuckles heart shirt.

Lane 8 opened Room 1 with its trove of parent’s garage treasures including a hanging house-shaped planter made from a milk carton, an audio cassette recorder and an amber, owl-embossed ashtry. DJ Agoria wound down his electro-house set with the Hot Since 82 remix of “Recluse” before featured duo Dusky took to the decks and blasted their latest “Yoohoo” to an uproarious, packed and steamy crowd.

Not that you need the validation, but you know you’re at a great party when Tony McGuinness of Above & Beyond not only shows up early, but stays for the duration.

Images by Kathy Vitkus (@edmforlife)

5 Amazing Moments from Above & Beyond’s ABGT100 Show at Madison Square Garden


Over the course of their storied career UK trance stalwarts Above & Beyond — Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness and Paavo Siljamäki — have always thought big. To celebrate the 100th episodes of their Group Therapy radio program, they took their show on the road and brought it to Madison Square Garden in New York City. Big Shot‘s Kathy Vitkus, of EDMforLife, was in the thick of the action at the show and recalls five standout moments from A&B’s sold-out shindig. Continue Reading

Review: Cosmic Gate – ‘Start to Feel’ (Armada)



Cosmic Gate’s sixth album, Start To Feel, exudes positivity and optimism right from the opening track, “Happyness,” which draws on a peaceful infusion of beats and a fluent bassline for that picture perfect summertime joyride. Emma Hewitt’s resonating vocals materialize after an intro of haunting solace on “Going Home,” making for the potential immaculate pairing of Cosmic Gate’s duality: Nic Chagall and Stefan “Bossi” Bossems behind the decks and the enchanting Ms. Hewitt’s presence on vocals.

Start to Feel is unabashed in its array of anthems: The synthy raise-your-hands-in-the-air of “Sparks After The Sunset” with Sarah Lynn, the cool reverb of “Yai,” the sexy club groove of the title track “Start To Feel” with Cary Brothers, the runaway winning potency of “So Get Up” and the synthesized effervescence of “Crushed” are all gems. It’s the skillful intermingling of love-letter anthems and heavy-hitter chart busters like these that Cosmic Gate have time and again flawlessly generated to make them masters of their medium.

Notably it’s “No One Can Touch You Now” featuring singer-songwriter Mike Schmid that delivers an unadulterated distinctiveness of rousing, breathy vocals and hastening ascending rhythm that makes it equally impressive as guy-gets-girl-loses-girl music video material, a dance floor-ready dedication and a throw-caution-to-the-wind reverence.

Once again Cosmic Gate has accomplished a coveted concoction of aural sensations to delight the masses on the dance floor, at music festivals and at intimate summertime gatherings to endure for generations.

Ultra Music Festival 2014: Day 3 Recap [Photos]


As a child we ventured to Orlando to go to the happiest place on Earth. Some years later we wander a little further south and go to a different version of the happiest place on Earth: Miami and South Beach for Miami Music Week and the three-day Ultra Music Festival.

The third and final day of UMF (day one recap here; day two recap here) traditionally marks the culmination of the days and nights of festivities and it seems it’s the “let’s fit in all the fun and craziness we haven’t covered yet because it’s almost over” mentality is prominent. It as if we try to see all of the artists at all of the stages for fear of missing something cool. But like Orlando’s theme park mentioned above, you just can’t see it all in one day.

Ultra Music Festival 2014 nervo


Ultra Music Festival 2014 rave girls

As the masses were still flowing in, UMF’s Stage 7 hosted DJ Ideal who was blasting ATB’s old-school classic “You’re Not Alone” in conjunction with the ambiance and haze from the fog machine. Given some time at the scaffolding style stage and dance floor, revelers might mistake the hazy reaction from the aerosol paint fumes wafting up from the graffiti artists below the stage with the overly emotive effects from the music.

Ultra Music Festival 2014 Diplo Jack U

Ultra Music Festival 2014 Skrillex Diplo

Continue Reading