WMC Up Close: Danny Tenaglia

Danny Tenaglia.

Superstar DJ Danny Tenaglia is notorious for his marathon, 16-hour sets (no, that’s not a typo). Expect plenty of bone-shaking bass and ground-breaking tracks from his latest compilation mix Futurism, which blends dark, tribal beats and mesmerizing rhythms into a deep journey through the best that progressive house music has to offer.

You’ve been performing at the conference since the beginning, haven’t you?
I moved to Miami for a few years in 1985 and I missed the first one, but I’ve been participating since 1986 and I’ve never missed one since.

Where are you performing during WMC?
The headline gig will be Wednesday night (March 25), the Pacha gig at ParkWest downtown, with special guests the Martinez Brothers. I’ll start around 4 a.m. and go well into the afternoon. And Friday night (March 27) at Score on Lincoln Road I’ll do a New York classics kind of party with the theme of trying to keep that spirit of Groove Jet alive, the party we did for many years in Miami. And Saturday (March 28) I’m doing the official Ultra afterparty at SoHo, and I’m really looking forward to that because I did Ultra Fest three years in a row, and I think I’ll find it more exciting to do the afterparty because I won’t have to worry about rain and thousands of people not sure which tent to go into. And we’ll wrap it up Sunday afternoon at the Shelborne pool party.

Will you be doing a 16-hour marathon set again?
No, no – those days are gone. Never say never, but . . . I think we wanna put a cap on it out of respect to the next parties that will be happening that week.

How much are you able to plan your sets?
It comes by nature to me because this is my purpose. I’ll just show up with a great amount of music and just follow what’s in front of me and just follow my heart.

Have you switched from vinyl to digital?
Not yet. I’m not saying I’ll never go in that direction, but right now I’m still enjoying the physical CDs and flipping through pages of CD books, missing the artwork of 12’’ vinyl and the crispness and warmth of that. But it’s not DJ-friendly to use that anymore, from the feedback and noise and bulkiness to work with.

I know there’s many, but do you have a favorite Miami moment from past conferences?
There’s so many. I guess it has to be Groove Jet when it all came together in the ‘90s when the whole world caught on to the conference. DJs, producers and record labels all united as one before the collapse of the stores and the labels folding and all that. Everybody was there together – it wasn’t segregated. It was a phenomenon to look out there and see Masters at Work and Armand Van Helden, all the way through to the techno guys, friends like Carl Cox, Paul Oakenfold, Fatboy Slim – my eyes are closed right now, imagining a window to the dance floor. It was a party of industry people, and that’s what’s absent these days. They’re all growing up except for me!


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