The conference was in a different venue this year and there were a number of small stands representing local companies such as record shops, radio stations and magazines. This is an area that will undoubtedly develop and more companies from South America and beyond get involved with the event. The first people I met were two journalists from Brazil and Mexico, who I immediately hit it off with. It was great to talk to them and make new friends, but I also learned a lot about the scene in their countries, which was really interesting.
The panels were well attended and well thought out, although due to regulations they were only allowed a certain amount of seating this year which meant not everyone could sit and listen. The seminars brought together local and international DJ's and Music industry professionals to discuss topics such as technology & equipment, record labels, music downloads, communication media and electronic music, audio visual design and producers and recording studios. Dero was one of South American DJ's to take part, 'The conference in South America is very important because it empowers a local scene that is needing that kind of push to develop it's true potential' He remarked. 'there are several South American DJ's and producers that, when given the proper international opportunities, have become world–class superstars. An event like this should be the local kickstarter and all the international players are needed and will greatly benefit by giving and getting wonderful experiences.'
And this was a sentiment felt by every South American I spoke to. They are so passionate about what they are doing, you can't help feeling the same way. South America has become an important destination for some of the biggest names in dance music to play with some of the best clubs on the world such as Mint in Buenos Aires, Gotica in Lima, D-Edge in Sao Paulo. There is also a lot of up and coming talent who have had their tracks signed to international labels and are getting more recognition. Dero is one such talent who's track 'Illusion' was signed to Subliminal Records (USA) and has been championed by Pete Tong on his Radio 1 show. Other examples are Silver City on 2020 Vision (UK), London 909 on Yoshitoshi (USA), Diego Rok on Luxury Grooves (Spain) and Gustavo Lamas on Kompakt (Germany). These are exciting times and it is only a matter of time before more new talent is discovered and it is the SAMC that will be the catalyst for this happen.
After speaking to so many people and soaking up all new the information, my head was ready for the party on Saturday!
There were two massive warehouse style rooms with high ceilings and an industrial feel. The first was the green room which was the tech house and techno room. It had two massive screens either side of the DJ booth with joggers on running machines in front of images of roads round Buenos Aires making it look like they were running along the road. I have definitely never seen that before and it looked really cool! There were also LED displays in front of booth so you always knew which DJ you were dancing to. There other room was the red room, which had 2 large screens projecting the DJ's image and elaborate visuals. Behind the DJ, in the Booth, was an amazing light box with hundreds of bulbs that projected wording and images in time with the music. This was the trance room and just as we entered Italian chart topper Benny Benassi was getting the crowd going. Said Benny 'It's very big...people going crazy...I loved it!' There was also a smaller room called the pavilion, which was where the conference had been. It was now playing host to the South American up and coming DJ's such as Corrie, Tommy Jacobs and Chino Benitez.
We caught up with Tom Stephan as he ended his set on a finale of 'Revolution', which sent the crowd into a frenzy before handing over to Diego Rok. 'Playing at this big event in Buenos Aires is very important for me' said Diego 'apart of the delight of sharing the booth with DJs like Ritchie Hawtin and Adam Beyer, for South America it means a lot too...in this last few years a lot of DJs came here, and they all agree in terms of how hot the scene is, the energy the people have, and the fun time they had.'
At 9:30pm both rooms were nearly full to capacity. In the Green Room it was Misstress Barbara's turn behind the decks. 'SAMC's second year in Buenos Aires was impressive! It was so fun to see all these hands in the air when I was playing; South Americans really are happy people! I know the SAMC will grow bigger and bigger every year.' Commented the Misstress. Argentinean favourite Dero was up next armed with his own live percussionist and a megaphone! After his set he commented: 'This year the SAMC was sold out and the reaction of the crowd was amazing.' Back in the Red Room Christopher Lawrence was also playing to a packed room. Said Christopher: 'playing to 20,000 people was a big highlight for me. The professionalism of the shows and the enthusiasm and music knowledge of the audiences proves that South America has already become a leader in the electronic music.'
There was no room to move and the atmosphere was electric with much anticipation for Tiesto to play. At midnight he took to the decks with a sea of hands waving frantically in the air. For the finale of his set he wore a Diego Maradona football shirt and stood on the decks and received a rapturous response as he saluted the crowd and the music stopped. To follow this would not be easy, but Judge Jules is a big favourite with the Argentinean crowd and took it all in his stride. The crowd were very responsive and they threw caps and t shirts on stage during his set, with him loving every moment. 'The SAMC has a rate of growth faster than Google or Microsoft'. Said Jules. 'It's gone from nothing to one the world's number one annual dance fixtures in two short years. The atmosphere is incredible, and the attendance mind blowing. I can't praise the event more highly'.
The pavilion room didn't get the attention it deserved, as there was a lot of up and coming talent to discover. However, it started to fill up at 2:45am in anticipation for Eli Ewasa, the only Brazilian DJ to play at the event this year. She effortlessly mixed out of the last DJ's reggae track, into some slick tech house and techno. 'It's always great to come to Argentina, meet all these friends from all over the world, play to such an enthusiastic crowd and celebrate the great scene that exists over here. Said Eli. 'the scene in SA has been growing stronger and stronger in the past 10 years, with some of the best clubs and parties in the world, great local talent to be discovered and no doubt, a great, open minded crowd, still excited, fresh and ready to party non stop.' Let's hope she gets to play in one of the main rooms next year.
Back in the Green Room Ritchie Hawtin was taking the crowd on a journey of atmospheric beats and big sub bass sounds. Said Ritchie "Looking out to the crowd and seeing thousands of people freaking out to good quality techno was an amazing moment for me, and for Argentina and the rest of South America! It was Adam Beyer at the helm finishing things off after Ritchie and Ferry Corsten closed things after Jules.
They really know how to party in Buenos Aires and the people are friendly and welcoming. They are not music snobs and love the DJ to play for the crowd and interact with them, as well as playing all the latest hot tunes. There were so many people, but they didn't seem to mind being squashed and kept on dancing and jumping all night long. They are so full of energy it is hard not to get drawn into their party spirit and they will keep going well into the next day if you can keep up with them! Sadly for me I could not keep up, but had a lot of fun trying.
The South American Music conference really inspired me. There was also an ambitious SAMC club tour which took place after the conference which traveled to Chile, Guatemala, Venezuela, Peru, Columbia and Equador. Word is definitely spreading and next years conference looks set to be even bigger. Buenos Aires is also a fantastic city and an amazing location for a conference. Apart from the obvious nightlife there are endless shops, restaurants, museums art galleries and sights to see. It is definitely worth staying on for a few extra days to experience all the city has to offer and soak up some of its Latin spirit. There is also only a 4 hour time difference with most of Europe so you won't even get jet lagged! What more could you ask for!
PHOTOS: South American Music Conference 2005 @ Buenos Aires, Argentina
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November 11, 2005 at 6:22 PM CET