The city birthed the beat to the Bee Gees’ “Jive Talkin’” is home to beloved DJs such as Oscar G and Danny Daze, and once Miami Music Week and Art Basel arrive (each March and December, respectively), the city becomes a biannual hub for international electronic music. In short, Miami’s dance music credentials are unimpeachable.
But the very ephemerality that defines Miami has also hampered its capacity to foster long-lasting, meaningful movements. Whether it’s due to the local government, which prioritizes real estate developers over residents and venues, or the shared, omnipresent existential dread that it’ll be underwater in the not-too-distant future, Miami has historically struggled to allow its subcultures to flourish naturally. Electronic musicians and DJs living in the city -- such as contemporary experimental outfit Space Tapes -- have repeatedly contended with a seemingly endless cycle of turnover in commercial and industrial spaces that’s left artists searching for sites in which to cultivate ideas and breed dedicated, durable followings.
Seeing as it changes on a regular basis, it’s hard to say what Miami dance culture will look like a year from now, much less six months: even as Club Space consistently dominates the affections of locals and passersby alike, the iconic Ultra Music Festival only returned to the city by the skin of its teeth despite calling it home for 20 years. And as cherished nightlife spots such as the Electric Pickle close their doors, the promise of new clubs that’d fill the void are promptly thwarted by rising rent costs and overdevelopment.
However, no condition is permanent, and the last few years have seen the emergence of a new creative class in Miami. Between the city’s bars, record stores, and clubs, Miami’s fresh-faced DJs and producers are finding plenty of places to meet, collaborate and sort out what’s coming next. Even among the uncertainty, if you listen closely, you can hear the future taking shape.
Club Space stands tall among Miami’s dance music landscape in popularity as much as it does in size. Although it’s experienced fallow periods, Space has remained a constant of the city’s dance culture since its initial one-story incarnation opened in 2000. Now a two-floored and multi-venue operation, the club is experiencing a renaissance under the direction of co-owners Davide Danese, Coloma Kaboomsky and David Sinopoli.
Space manages the miracle of booking both crossover and leftfield acts without coming across as conflicted; you’ll just as likely catch Claude VonStroke spinning in the club’s famed Terrace as you will the likes of Dixon or The Black Madonna. The most devoted of Miami’s dance floor faithful have all undergone the rite of passage that is watching the sunrise through the Terrace’s greenhouse-like ceiling. It might require burning the candle at both ends and then some, but it’s the most fantastic and quintessential club experience Miami has to offer.