March is South Florida's gateway to summer. The shirts come off as the parties move back to the beaches, hotel pools, boats, and backyard barbecues. The month of March gives us the best and worst of South Florida nightlife. On one hand, clubs and beaches are filled with rowdy spring breakers, but on the other hand, we also get WMC/MMW/Ultra, which gives us the chance — if we take it — to hear absolutely incredible electronic music from artists all over the world. Aside from summers in Ibiza, ADE in Amsterdam, and a few other massive festivals, there is no place on earth where so many of the world’s biggest artists will all be in the same place at the same time.
There is also more than enough variety to go around. Big room commercial house may reign supreme at Ultra and larger venues, but on any given day during Miami Music Week you will literally find the best producers and DJs in the world playing shows together from nearly any genre imaginable: nu disco, tech house, techno, dubstep, UK Garage, soulful house, drum and bass, funk, trap, breaks, minimal, trance, and even hip hop.
Personally, I like to use this week as a chance to be inspired and to hear new sounds. Even in unlikely places you can find great music. Last year I scored a last minute Sunday ticket to Ultra and spent a day of bliss at the Majestic Casual Stage, watching the sun go down and listening to amazing sets from Moon Boots, Julio Bashmore, Oliver, RAC, Amtrac, and more.
With all the new music flooding South Florida this month, it's hard — maybe even impossible — to hear it all. My club chart for March includes, as always, my favorite new tracks to play out this month, but I also added in some gems from artists who played this week in Miami. Enjoy.
Alex Adair has perfected the emerging tropical house genre with this track, which is sure to be a huge sound this summer. With a breezy, laid back vibe, you can feel the sunshine coming through your speakers the second you hit play.
Obviously this one holds a special place in my heart. It’s my first remix with my good friend and extremely talented producer/DJ Joe Maz. We reworked Ciara and Missy’s “1, 2 Step” into a future house burner. We have gotten a great reaction so far during our live shows, and the remix has gotten a ton of support from DJs.
The original version of this song is a guilty pleasure of mine, and this silky smooth deep house remix is a perfect warm up during my sets.
On this track, Le Youth comes out heavy with the nostalgic '90s house piano and vocals, but reimagines it with a stylish modern feel. With summer on the horizon, this better be on your pool party playlist.
More touching. So much touching.
On this one, producer Shift K3Y remixed his own song, “Touch.” The original is more of a classic R&B/speed garage track, but this remix slows it down a little, making it fit nicely into DJ sets. Shoutout to my friend DJ Cam for giving me the heads up on this one. Check out the original too, and see which one tickles your fancy more.
This track is a great example of taking an old sample and flipping it into something new. This track is raw, lo-fi, and the half time, stop/start breakdown in the middle creates some tension and release in the club.
Here's another throwback, but this time it’s a full-on remix. This piano and saxophone driven tropical house remix of Earth Wind and Fire’s “September” was love at first listen for me. This may seem like an odd choice, but trust me, this is a huge crowd pleaser during live sets.
It’s been a pleasure to watch Gorgon City go from unknown UK producers making strange bass music to successful industry innovators. Their sound has evolved into the pop-influenced deep house music that now has them getting #1 hits in the UK, performing on Letterman, touring the U.S. and all that other fun stuff. In the meantime, every release just gets better and better. This one is mostly instrumental but creates a beautiful, airy, wide open soundscape that will work in your headphones as well as it does on the dance floor.
One of the great things about the popularity of all these UK producers is getting to meet the (mostly unknown) singers they use on their tracks, some of whom go on to massive careers of their own. The best example of this is Sam Smith and Jess Glynn, who first got noticed on tracks with Disclosure and Clean Bandit. I’d be willing to bet that Karen Harding is going to be next in line — especially after hearing this single.
It's always a pleasure to hear great dance music coming from South Florida producers. And it was great to see the local UnoMas score a huge release on the legendary Toolroom Records, owned by Mark Knight. Out now on Toolroom’s annual Miami WMC compilation, you’ll definitely be hearing this one poolside this week.
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This should keep you busy until April. And if you're still hungry for more, check out my latest live set that was recorded at Mynt Miami’s annual Brazilian Carnival.
You can listen to all the songs from this list in one playlist here, or in the embed below.
Adam Foster is a South Florida-based DJ and producer, founder of twilightnotes.com, and entertainment director for the Restaurant People. He was named best DJ of 2014 by New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook.