Next stop, is the hotel's registration hall to get fully tooled up and informed on what's going on. As well as collecting our shiny conference laminates.
The registration hall is a perfect people watching microcosm of the WMC as a whole too. There's eager US DJs with laminate bearing names like 'DJ Foundation', 'D-Funk' and 'DJ Identity', demo CDs clasped in hand. Over excitable record bosses spiel out industy talk in raised voices. Presumably so everyone around them can hear EXACTLY who they are and why they're here. Business heads sit about in short trousers tapping away emails on their laptops. Or trying to top their life-best Pacman scores, we're night entirely sure. What we do know is that after just half an hour in there we're handed more demo CDs, singles and promo packs than we know what to do with. So time to scarper and get some sunshine instead.
Spring breakers and silcon-boosted babes
We make the two mile walk along Miami Beach towards the Collins Avenue district. Here there's another side to Miami altogether – the glitz, the partying, the palm trees. After grabbing a quick bite (we say bite, we mean a typically giant US lunch portion fit for three people) at our favoured New Porch Café, we stroll past numerous street side hotel parties with everything from bumping US house, bongo and saxophonist accompanied funky house to underground electro booming on to the streets. It's a vibrant, bustling atmosphere as Miami eccentrics, silicon boosted babes, Spring Break college kids and bling hip-hop dudes all pass us by on the sidewalk.
By mid-afternoon, we grab a cab and head to the Lucky Lanes bowling alley for the Bowlathon, an annual bowling competition run by Sasha's Dad. With proceeds going to charity, many of the biggest DJ names around are here, letting their hair down and going head to head in a round of ten pin. On lane eight, a relaxed John Digweed is in fine fettle after last night's session at The Pawn Shop Lounge.
"Not bad for a first timer, am I?" he asks DJMag after one of many strikes. Indeed, despite strong competition from tech-trance sensation Sander Van Doorn, Diggers takes the crown on lane eight whilst Kiss Da Funk's Rob Tissera romps home to a victory on the adjacent lane as Yousef, Sander Kleinenberg and Sasha put in admirable performances.
Meet And Greet
We chat with SOS' Demi – in typically buzzing and mischievous form – before grabbing a cab to Monty's Hotel Bar for Sander Van Doorn's 'Meet And Greet'. And although the easy-going Sander admits he isn't entirely sure what to expect, he soon gets into the swing of it. Despite the out of town location, scores of SVD fans journey off the beaten track to meet their hero. Beers are sunk, pictures taken and everyone is put well in the mood for the night ahead.
From here we touch base at the hotel before heading out to CR2's party at downtown's Mokai Bar. Slick, chic, dimly lit and flourished with avant-garde light and décor touches, Mokai has a distinct lounge bar feel which means it's not quite fit for full on raving. But that's not really the vibe anyway. As Bush II Bush serve up deep, dirty electro house and maximal sounds, most are oiling up the bar and getting stuck into catch-ups, banter and waffle. Rob Tissera, Club Class' Serge and Mambo's Rob some of the crew we catch up with. It feels like most are dropping in, catching up before heading elsewhere which is what we do around one am – heading back to the hotel for the eighteen floor party with Adam Beyer, Slam and Miss Kitten.
A vibe flatter than an American pancake
On arrival, though, we find that room two has been closed due to lack of numbers, Miss Kitten is nowhere to be seen and Slam have cancelled altogether to finish work on their forthcoming album on Soma. The vibe is flatter than American pancakes and no amount of silicon boost could gloss over it. It doesn't help the main room is a carpeted hotel bar room – more fit for a scene from the Wedding Singer than the twisted musical sermon of minimal and techno that the tall Swede Adam Beyer is serving. Instead of sticking around, we cab it back out downtown to The Fifth for an Evening With Sander Van Doorn. The place is pumping as Sander blends minimal, techno, electro and tech-trance in a way that only he does right now. We're not entirely sure where the rest of the evening disappears to but hooking up with our friends Mr Whiskey and Mrs Coke probably had something to do with that. Roll on Thursday…
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