The Deep End

It looks as if Christmas presents are going to be arriving early — at least for the many electro fans who've managed to slip some nice into their naughty this past year. Yup, Candyland is back. The 11th rendition of the longest-running dance event in South Florida goes down Saturday at Area 51, and as always, its thumping beats will ring like holiday bells for the electro scene. This year's lineup features some of the homegrown dance dignitaries who have graced the stage in years past; DJs Icey and Craze put the spin on things, while live performances by breaks duo Hydraulix and more than two dozen local acts are spread across the club's various rooms.

Although there's sure to be plenty of willing dancers throughout the spacious interior, the drum 'n' bass/turntablism arena just outside the venue should be a requisite stop for adventurous listeners. Miami's mad electro-noise scientist Otto Von Schirach unveils a set of irreverent, laptop-built noise-core that should pose a savory counterpoint to Candyland's sweeter beats. Take, for example, his ghetto-porn indulgences on "Tea Bagging the Dead" or the deconstructed noise of "Demonize Decibel." If that's not enough, there's Thorns, the industrial-tinged side-project of Miami-based DJ Frank Mendez. Thorns' hyperactive mix warps drum 'n' bass syncopations around the flattened keyboards and guttural screams of Mendez, but the result is far more groovable than it sounds. Experimental and danceable? Yep. Sounds like Candyland may be the holiday gift that keeps on giving.

Candyland 11 takes place at 10 p.m. Saturday, December 23, at Area 51, 900 NE Second Ave., Miami. Admission costs $20. Call 305-552-5505, or visit

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John Linn