Miami Music – The Hit Factory

On October 2, 2012 by Nelson Fernandez

Latin rhythms in general, and salsa in particular, are the first vibes we can think of when it comes to Miami music. But there is more to Miami music than Julio Iglesias and Gloria Estefan. ULTRA music festival, for instance, is a renowned event in electronica. Furthermore, Miami Beach has been the recording site for artists one wouldn’t necessarily associate with Florida.

Sun – Cat Power (2012)

miami music Sun Cat Power

Sun by Cat Power

Partially recorded at South Beach Studios, this is the latest great album made in Miami. After learning that Chan Marshall (AKA Cat Power) now lives in Miami with a pet bulldog and makes luminous music, I can see the soothing possibilities of this city. Because until this album, Cat Power music, albeit being fantastic, has always been soaked in darkness and pain. Sun, on the other hand, is as radiant as its title.

Time Out of Mind – Bob Dylan (1997)

miami music time out of mind bob dylan

Dylan’s Time Out Of Mind

Dylan didn’t only record an album in Miami, but the masterpiece rewarded by critics and fans as his artistic comeback. With Time Out of Mind Dylan left the struggle behind and rediscovered his musical identity. What is difficult to find, though, is the warmth and happiness one expects from music made in Miami. In this sense, songs such as Love Sick and Not Dark Yet may as well have been recorded in Siberia. But they weren’t: like the rest of the album they were produced at the iconic Criteria Recording Studios, Miami.

Beat ‘Em Up – Iggy Pop (2001)

Also recorded at Hit Factory Criteria Studios, Beat ‘Em Up was made when Iggy’s music was still enjoying the limelight brought by Trainspotting soundtrack. Then he started to appear as a puppet in insurance adverts and everything went downhill. Beat ‘Em Up was the first self-produced album by Iggy Pop. Although not his best, the record is a decent blend of popular music and punk. Its rage an urgency might make one think about more fast-paced cities such as New York or Detroit, but the Iguana made it at what is his home since 1998: Miami Beach.

Hard – Gang Of Four (1983)

miami music Gang Of Four Hard

Not that hard…

Now, if there is a band hard to imagine hanging out in Miami that’s Gang of Four. After all, what is a group of angry young men from rainy Leeds looking for in Miami? Well, sun maybe. Sun for their musical output, we understand, which this time around sounds less caustic, political, claustrophobic and fragmented than in the previous three albums. Sadly this didn’t go precisely well and by smothering the edges of their sound, they lost their appeal. Hard was described as “a string of wasted opportunities” by Melody Maker and “a bland offering of Manhattan disco with dashes of post-punk cool” by Rolling Stone. Hard was, inevitably, the last album Gang of Four ever recorded.