If you were to get out a map and track the history of house music - with endless lines sprouting from New York, Chicago and Detroit to points all over the world - you'd have to make a big, red circle around Miami, Florida, and start drawing. Miami was never ground zero to a full-fledged subcultural movement. But it is where Oscar Gaetan, better known as Oscar G, has lived every day of his life. And that fact alone makes it a hub on the global underground.
An award-winning songwriter, producer, and DJ, Oscar is one of dance music's brightest and most enduring stars. As part of seminal production teams Liberty City, Murk, and Funky Green Dogs, he boasts hits - Billboard chart-toppers as well as underground smashes - in every decade, every trend, and every market. "Some Lovin'," "Fired Up," and "Dark Beat" are more than just tracks: They are moments, shared by clubbers worldwide. They're the kind of moments Oscar still creates at Space Miami, his hometown superclub, where he's been a resident DJ for a staggering ten years - coming full circle after a globetrotting career.
In March 2000, Space opened in downtown Miami with Oscar as the Saturday night resident, just as the world was paying its annual visit for Winter Music Conference. The club - with its cavernous main room, pummeling German sound system and nitrogen blasts - was the talk of dance world, and the legend of Oscar's residency began to grow.
The year 2003 was a big one. Oscar released the "Live @ Space" (Star 69) compilation, and won the Club World Award for "Best Resident DJ" (which he won again in 2007). Murk set a new Billboard Dance chart record, with five No. 1's in a single year: Four singles from their self-titled artist album on Tommy Boy Records, and "Dark Beat" (Twisted), tribal house's first real vocal anthem, which found its way from dance floors onto mainstream radio. "We came up with 'Dark Beat' in about 15 minutes. Whenever things come that quickly, you know there's something to them," says Oscar. "But we didn't think radio or anthem; we were thinking more like, 'Oh man, Danny Tenaglia's gonna be all over this!'"
Even though his passion for music creation is undeniable, it's in his DJ booth where Oscar feels most at home. "On the music side, I've felt pretty energized lately, because the changes in the industry really enable you to be a lot more experimental and take more chances," he says. "But DJ-ing to me always comes first: I really believe in it as an art form. Having a residency like Space, with a regular crowd, it's the ultimate."