Playing gigs that have spanned the globe (from the Warsaw Ballroom to Studio 54), Padilla is familiar with clubland's vast expanse. But his heart is in the tropics, which explains why Ultra Records picked him to represent Miami for the 2000 release The South Beach Experience.
"I've been doing this for over 20 years now, and one thing I've learned is that if you want to survive, you have to open up to that whole spectrum of music," says Padilla. "I think the popularity of electronic music may have peaked in South Beach, but I still see the music growing."
Maybe so, but promoters and DJs agree that if America is ever to match the success of the European scenes in London and Ibiza, the grassroots movement must continue to develop. Plant yourself on the Modä dance floor this Saturday, then, and watch the scene continue to grow.