Time for Las Vegas to get a dose of “deep, soulful, funk and dub-inspired dance/electronic music.” That’s what producer/DJ Miguel Migs says he’ll be bringing to the tables when his independent label, Salted Music, partners with the Palms for a pool party on September 5. The Independent Music Awards winner for best dance/electronic album had a candid tête-à-tête with the Weekly about the state of house music in Vegas.
How do you think the electronic-music scene in Vegas differs from your home base in San Francisco, or even the rest of the world?
For the most part, it’s no secret you cruise around Vegas and you hear the same music at every club. You hear the DJs playing almost the same commercial hits back to back to back. And the crowd loves it.
Unfortunately, there’s not a very interesting quality underground dance or electronic-music scene [in Vegas], it seems. But there is a little local scene, and there’s the guys that do Soundbar. They bring in consistent, quality artists and underground acts that branch out and play maybe some more interesting and different stuff than people are used to, and I think that’s important.
The hard part about Vegas is you get a lot of this more commercial crowd that doesn’t really give a shit or care about paying attention to quality, interesting, unheard, underground dance or electronic music. It’s difficult to sometimes get the response from the crowd and the vibe and the energy you might get other places in the world ... I think with Vegas, you’re always going to get a few people who really know the music, appreciate it and support it, but most of the time it’s going to be a bunch of tourists that are wanting commercial hits, unfortunately. That’s not what I do, so I’m surprised they book me as much as they do out there [laughs].
Soundbar has been holding strong for eight years and has been fantastic in helping create a core underground house crowd. And lately, versions of house are infiltrating major clubs. But some fans seem adamant that most DJs aren’t spinning “real house music.” What do you recommend newbies do to discover and learn about the genre?
You’re not going to necessarily turn on MTV or the radio and hear some of these really amazing, talented artists that there are all over the world ... A lot of people don’t realize it’s such a vast genre these days. Calling something electronic or house to a lot of people means different things. I think it’s important people have an open mind, go out and research and support and maybe buy independent music and help keep this stuff moving along. I love all different kinds of music, and I think it’s a shame for anybody to only be into one style of music; people should always try to expand their musical horizons.
When you work on original productions, is there a certain feel or emotion you’re hoping to convey?
For me, I don’t do music just for people to jump up and down and get as wasted as possible to on the weekends … I try to create a balance where there’s something that you can enjoy and bob your head to and maybe get down to, but feel something on a little bit deeper of a level at the same time. I try to convey this quality and soulful element to the whole dance-music spectrum.
What’s the most important thing for attendees to know about your set on Saturday?
I would say to people in general—especially at these events in Vegas and pool parties—go with an open mind, leave the bad vibes at home and enjoy the sunshine and the music. It’s so strange to me when people expect really banging, hard, commercial music in the daytime when you’re at the pool. I wanna hear some soul, funk—some more interesting elements to the music besides just club hits. I just hope the people will stay a little bit more open-minded and enjoy themselves.