Winter Music Conference 2011 will always be known as the year of controversy. With the much discussed fights between WMC and the Ultra Music Festival and the subsequent split into 2 separate weeks in March, no one really knew what to expect this year. Having attended Ultra since its inception in 1999 and watch it grow and, in recent years, get worse, I decided to show my support to WMC who seemed to uphold the values that drew me to dance music in the first place. While this year's WMC was largely a subdued affair, compared to previous years, it allowed me the perfect opportunity to explore events, artists, and promoters that I had ignored because off all the big parties. My experience was unlike any year that I had been before and the smaller more intimate crowds we right up my alley.
Highlights for me this year included my involvement with NextAid and their Beauty & the Beats event. A unique event held at South Beach's Primp Salon, visitors could get their hair done while listening to house beats and sipping on wine. This was a surprisingly lively event and stood out as being uniquely Miami. Large Music's party also held a special place with some of the best house music I heard all week. I mostly hung out in smaller venues, catching Mark Farina at a tiny packed bar, catching the Geishaz spinning amazing electro bass at Jazid, digesting the warm house at Sobe Live courtesy of NextAid, chilling with my Om records friends at the gorgeous Setai hotel, random beats at South Beach dive bar Liquor Lounge. This year it wasn't about catching the biggest and most popular DJs. It was simply about the feeling of discovery and renewal that dance music can provide. And while most people are preparing to go to Miami for all the Ultra craziness, I feel fully satisfied in my personal and rather intimate experience I had at WMC this year. It was a return to basics. Friends, Fun, and Fierce Music!