Head Spins: DJ Vertigo

Like the architecture degree he keeps sequestered and the dizzying heights implied by his name, DJ Vertigo structures some truly classic nights on the town. Sure, the head spinner uses sound rather than steel and concrete to create what he envisions. But that doesn't make his edifices any less enduring or formidable.

Born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, with stints at both UM and FIU under his belt, DJ Vertigo has been putting the BPM back and forth between Miami-Dade and Broward for nine years. His format is what's commonly called open, but to Vertigo, it's simply "no rules, just music."

Ah, if only nightlife were so simple. When Vertigo started, Living Room was hot, Level was just closing, Oxygen was open, and Opium was brand-spanking new. Still, Vertigo says: "Back then, everything was hip-hop, hip-hop, hip-hop. And very few DJs would drop in anything else." Perhaps that's why all of the above hired the sound slinger, 'cause even way back then, people could still see ahead.

Had they looked both near and far, they would have seen DJ Vertigo eventually handling three out of every four Saturdays at Pangaea at the Seminole Hard Rock and on the fourth flying out to Pangaea Austin to wow all of those Texans. They'd also see him slipping up to New York for gigs at hot spots such as Home, Guest House, and Hawaiian Tropic as well as the odd showing at Coconut Grove's newly opened Cabana One. And by the time you read this, Vertigo should be holding court Fridays at the Fontainbleau's LIV.

Had those folks listened, they would have heard a cat scratching tracks from acts such as LMFAO ("who are really, really hot right now") and Lady Gaga (whom we all need to "keep an eye on") and then letting Kanye have his say alongside the likes of Ron Browz and Busta Rhymes. They too would have heard the word of one who sees "house making a comeback," Crookers taking over, and electro "bridging the gap."

They also would have felt the beat of a man who has "always been a fan of the big boys," such as Kid Capri and DJ Camilo, and "obviously Irie, for his energy, his skills, and his business savvy." And while it's true that Vertigo is a member of Irie's esteemed Artist Related stable, one gets the impression he'd be handing out props to Miami's master mixer regardless.

With the arrival of February, Vertigo is expanding his realm to everything from hosting a hush-hush Grammy party to hitting Acapulco's Palladium. But fret not, you without an invite or a ticket, for there are still those three Saturdays at Pangaea and, if the Fontainebleau comes through, those Fridays at LIV.

So ascend the heights and take in Vertigo — dizzy doesn't get much more exhilarating.

DJ Vertigo's current top five:

1. "I'm in Miami Bitch," LMFAO

2. "Shooting Star (Party Rock Remix)," David Rush AKA Young Boss featuring Pitbull and LMFAO

3. "Great DJ (Calvin Harris Remix)," the Ting Tings

4. "Pop Champagne," Ron Browz

5. "Arab Money," Busta Rhymes

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
John Hood