Catching the side eye from buxom models as I gave my name for the press list was in itself a small victory.
Miami was the scene and Club Space was the place to host Cuttin Headz 24-hour party, featuring a marathon b2b performance from Bronx royalty The Martinez Brothers and the don of Music On, Marco Carola.
As the climactic finale to another March in Miami, The Martinez Brothers were preparing to beat their own PR for longest DJ performance. Although the boys have been known to pull some 14-hour sets at Sunwaves and at Space's neighboring nightclub Heart, they had only clocked in a full 24 hours once before – at last year's Club Space blow-out.
Although their first 24-hour Miami Music Week party in 2017 had been a wild success, this year The Martinez Brothers were intent on making a statement. Enlisting seasoned marathon DJ, Marco Carola, was not only a major selling point to Miami's elite techno fans, it also signified a new era for the boys. Steven and Chris Martinez spent most of their youth performing before a sea of moving bodies in their decade-long career. Now, the 20-something brothers have ushered in a new phase, not just as DJs on a lineup but as a headlining brand.
The support was strong for the set to come straight out of the gate. Officially clocking in shortly before 6 am Monday morning, the energy immediately changed, heightening to palpable levels. The crowd was seasoned and primed for the sort of party that just keeps going. With their sunglasses on long before dawn, their souls were ripe for the taking for the musical sermon to come.
In the booth, the men at work were never short on friendly support as DJs and colleagues gave their respects to the young guns. Everyone from Jackmaster to Guti, Loco Dice to Mark Knight, (and even a surprise appearance from DJ Carnage) came to pay tribute to a phenomenon that rarely occurs on US soil.
Although Miami has the benefit of being a global nightlife hub and receives the rare privilege of pushing 2 am curfews, a 24-hour banger is a scarcely witnessed phenomenon in a "post-rave" society. Even beyond the US, the current norm of overbooked talent and saturated markets does not often present the opportunity for a proper sesh.
And yet here we were. Well rested and poised to follow the sun's voyage across the sky; rising out of the darkness to shed light on flowing bodies on the on the Space Terrace only to plunge back into horizon as the records kept on spinning.
Programming such a set is no easy feat either, it takes an acute knowledge for reading a room. Push too much and you might tired out the crowd too early, move too slow and you might lose the energy entirely. And so the music played on, bearing witness to the latin lovers, disco divas, and even a few would-be gogo dancers.
As the day ticked by, there was no guarantee that Marco and the boys would be satisfied with just 24 hours. As 6 am came and went for a second time, there was a feeling that perhaps the music would never stop. That the crowd, the DJs, and the music would be suspended, locked into a moment in time playing the soundtrack to a nearly forgotten fever dream.
Eventually, however, the spell was lifted. The crowd (and the DJs too) were tired despite being carried by the spirit of a rarely experienced, but frequently reminisced, spectacle. Thirty-two hours after the set began, it finally came to a close with a roar of applause and whistles through the crowd signifying the celebration – and achievement – of another closing party in Miami.
For those that were there, the memories are timeless. And for those that performed, the feeling, the high from something that most DJs only ever dream about, will be a difficult one to catch.