It blares during campus events and from cars stuck in U.S. 1 traffic. It creates the ambiance in frozen yogurt shops and clothing boutiques. It emanates from almost every bar between Homestead and Bal Harbour. It becomes the heartbeat of the city for the month of March. “It” is techno and, love it or hate it, it’s everywhere.
Before graduating from UM, most students will probably know someone who does (or did) consider themselves a DJ: they pirated a copy of Ableton Live, passed out 100 flyers, “spun” at a few small bars in South Miami, maybe even Coconut Grove, and BOOM! A DJ is born.
With so many up-and-coming DJs, it is inevitable that a lot of Miami’s techno is going to be mediocre at best. With a discerning ear, curious mind and wandering feet, some of the city’s best electronic venues and artists can be discovered.
“On the one hand, you have a big European presence and influence … and then on the other hand you have the cheesy-as-hell bottle poppers,” said SpinnZinn, a local DJ who has been working professionally in clubs like Space and Treehouse for more than seven years.
He agrees that Miami’s electronic music scene varies dramatically.
“It’s an interesting mix,” he said. “But if you search hard enough, you can find that ‘#qualitytechno’ sound.”
There are a handful of venues to catch local DJs who have made a name for themselves in this city. Some locals, like Uchi, consider Miami to be “one of the hubs of dance music.”
From the “moody minimal techno” Uchi plays to the “techno and tech house with minimalistic elements” played by SpinnZinn, this dance music hub we call home has enough venues to satisfy any techno craving.
With three huge rooms and a rare 24-hour liquor license, Space has been one of the pillars of downtown nightlife for more than 13 years.
Outside is a typical “warehouse-gone-club,” but the inside is one of few venues that consistently delivers techno and house music well into the following day, often with closing times after noon.
This lavishly outfitted venue is guaranteed to be packed on any weekend night and has featured big-name DJs such as David Guetta, Danny Tenaglia and Deep Dish.
Space is located at 34 NE 11th St.
Amid the hustle and bustle of Miami Beach tourist traps is Treehouse, a moderately sized, casual venue for underground electronic music.
Being much less posh than Space and LIV, Treehouse is a bit off the beaten path. To keep things fresh, decor changes regularly and the theme will change ranging from hip-hop to techno to Latin music.
While the ambiance is casual, the drink prices are not exactly student-friendly.
Treehouse is located at 323 23rd St.
The Electric Pickle
Inside of a modest, typical Midtown building lies The Electric Pickle, describing itself as “an intimate, liquor-fueled love machine, designed as a forum for creative expression and cross-cultural exploration, geared towards the discerning music enthusiast.”
The two-story venue, simply referred to as The Pickle by regulars, is intimately designed for a capacity of 300 people divided between two rooms and an outdoor patio. With underground favorites like Nicolas Jaar and Mount Kimbie gracing the custom Dynacord sound system and an atmosphere defined by a giant, circular light fixture that pulses with the music, it’s understandable why this place is one of the most popular bars in Wynwood.
The Electric Pickle is located at 2826 N. Miami Ave.