It's Candy Time Again

Now that you're done being good girls and boys for Santa, it's time to pull out the lollipops and get ready for Candyland. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, just head to VooDoo Lounge on Friday to experience the grandiose lifestyle that once was the beloved rave scene.

You see, back in the '90s, it was more about music than VIP and Cristal. Names like DJ Icey, Roni Size, Babyanne, and Rabbit in the Moon turned people on to the electronic sounds that were once vibrant. In the heyday of dilated pupils, three guys (Robert Perez, Angel Candelaria, and Jose Bozza) decided it was time to throw a party midholiday season. Fast-forward 12 years and the Candyland party is the longest-running dance-music event in Florida.

"There are people, especially the ones who might have gone to the first Candyland, who wait for this party not to do drugs but to experience the music and a piece of the scene that once was," said Perez, who along with Candelaria continues to run the party. "The crowd has gotten older, and it's really all about the music."

Still, for many, this is the only night of the year that they get to let loose. So don't be surprised when the spirit of debauchery makes its grand appearance. And as for the soundtrack to the night, separate rooms will be designated for break beats, drum 'n' bass, and local DJs. In fact, New Times spoke to DJ Merlyn, who'll spin in the breaks room with the rest of the big shots.

"The cool thing about Candyland," he says, "is that it's the one party of the year when everybody comes out, so you can count on seeing all of your people, even those who you haven't seen in ages."

Scott Weiser of Dynamix II and Industrial Bass Machine will also join Merlyn in the main room, only this time, he'll perform with Todd Walker as Jackal and Hyde.

"We never DJ," Weiser said. "We always play everything live, but mainly the crowd can expect to hear new music from the album we'll be releasing in February."

In the back room, the Autonomous Bassheads crew will not only work the crowd but will also host the Candyland afterparty in conjunction with Culture Productions at Area 51 in downtown Miami.

"Candyland is known every year to be the best of the best," says DJ Shade, of the Autonomous Bassheads duo. "I expect it to be amazing."

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Lucy Orozco