As the name of this event, and the fact that it's followed by a numeral, might suggest, the epic December party Candyland started out in the golden age of the Florida rave scene. In the Nineties, it was a guaranteed good-time on the party calendar, one of several large-scale annual events that included parties like Clash of the Titans. Amazingly, Candyland is one of the very, very few of those to have survived continuously throughout the years. And while the flyer design for this year's edition may visually harken back to the obsolete, heady days of P.L.U.R., the event's producers, Culture, have updated the lineup to reflect the more subculturally broad state of dance music today.
And perhaps to reflect the state of this musical optimism, the party's venue, Soho Studios in Wynwood, is its largest in years, with four separate stages. The two biggest are, unsurprisingly, dedicated to longtime favorite artists and genres of the underground party scene. Heading up a breakbeat-dominated room are Q-Bert, Spacemen, and Magic Mike, among others; in the drum'n'bass room, the biggest names are U.K. legends Ed Rush and Optical.
But what's most interesting here, perhaps, are the musical outliers. One "arena" is headed up by some of the most-blogged electro-house and mash-up producers on the current scene: Kill the Noise, Treasure Fingers, and Ludachrist. (Funnily enough, all three acts boast dark drum'n'bass pasts.) Back in the d'n'b-dominated "Basshead arena," there'll be a special performance by Otto von Schirach, whose experimental breakcore antics have earned him a following among the Laundry Bar - oops, we mean, Black Sheep set. He'll have his costumed sidekick, Peasants with Feathers, in tow, which means the crowd should expect only the bizarrely unexpected.
-- Arielle Castillo