Fedde Le Grand took Ultra‘s main stage by storm last month, and it all started with an unidentified opening track that had fans in awe. This week, Fedde returns to tease that production with a nearly 30-second snippet. “Rockin’ N’ Rollin’” is a party-starter tested and proven at America’s biggest dance party, and will be released via Flamingo Recordings on a date still unknown. The mere snippet captures what the club-rocker will be all about, but anticipation builds for the original record.Posted by
Sander Van Doorn celebrates another triumphant run at Winter Music Conference with an official after movie showcasing another year of hard work and play in the name of electronic dance music.
On the final day of Ultra 2013, a 21-year-old Swede was one (now retired) Swedish House Mafia set away from closing the festival on the main stage. Following twenty minutes of vocally-absent hard-hitting beats, Alesso‘s set was live streamed for the world, and was recorded to become immortalized as one of the weekend’s best. His future hit, “Palladium,” along with the bootleg of “Laktos” and “Calling” worked wonders throughout, but his closing track “If I Lose Myself” became one of the highlights of the weekend.
While Pioneer CDJs were easily the platform of choice for DJs at Ultra, both Zedd and Porter Robinson took to their MIDI controllers on Sunday for two hours of rapid and thrilling mixing. Though the world of DJ’ing has been continuously dominated by variations of the CDJ for more than 10 years now, Zedd and Porter’s rise to fame has been facilitated not by the trusty digital CD player, but by Native Instrument’s small, compact, all-in-one MIDI controller: the Traktor Kontrol S4. Both Zedd and Porter have received heat for their use of the controller, as the age-old beatmatching argument is constantly evoked. At the end of the day, however, both Zedd and Porter are two of the most entertaining live performers in the business, ultimately begging the question: does it matter what platform a DJ mixes on?
When Deadmau5 was revealed as a headliner for Ultra, the announcement had the quality of a Daft Punk rumor. Hadn’t he sworn to never again play the festival? Hadn’t he been wholly absent from the 2012 U.S. festival circuit? Hadn’t he called out “EDM” as “Event-driven marketing?” Well, he had. But yet, there was the lineup with his name on it. Oh you. Deadmau5. You’re so random.
Perhaps ironically, mau5 was billed with a live set for the two-weekend extravaganza, leaving David Guetta and Tiësto to the DJ sets and joining the ranks of Crystal Castles and Yeasayer. Whatever Ultra meant by “live,” it’s unlikely the crowd that amassed in front of the cube gave a second of thought to the distinction: they just wanted to get lost in those big black ears, play-pushing or not. Come weekend two, I wanted to be right there with them.
Avicii made a splash at Ultra Music Festival last weekend when he brought a slew of live musicians to the main stage to perform music from his forthcoming album. Of those artists were country legend Mac Davis, Incubus members Mike Einziger, Ben Kenney, and Jose Pasillis II. This was no a random festival charade — these were the artists (among Nile Rodgers and Mike Shinoda) that have contributed to the album’s production. In a recent interview with KROQ, Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger opens up about his experience working with Avicii in the studio, joining him at Ultra last weekend, and the negative feedback from their performance
It was a festival within the festival. Major Lazer came suited in tuxedos, but with no intentions to keep their performance formal. While Ultra’s live stage is one that remains shy for most of the weekend, the amphitheater packed out for Diplo and company, anxious for the music, but more the experience. The squad became their own electronic version of Barnum & Bailey, pulling out all the circus tricks in the book — only without a ring of fire or a red foam nose. The spectacle was like nothing that had been displayed throughout both weekends — not at Carl Cox’s arena, not at Armin’s, not even at the Main Stage.
From the beach to the sandwich shop, from the hotel to the pool, and all the way to the airport, everyone was talking about Hardwell during Miami Music Week. The acclaimed number six DJ in the world was fresh off his weekend one Ultra Music Festival set turned phenomenon and was the instant favorite of all three days. Fans didn’t even have to be at Bayfront Park to experience what the commotion was all about. His entire set was streamed live from UMFTV and 80,000 viewers tuned in to share Ultra’s highlight outing with those in attendance and those on Twitter who contributed to the hashtag trends of #Hardwell and #UltraLive.
After delivering music from 7pm to 8pm, a speechless and sweat-drenched Robbert van de Corput walked off stage and referred to his set as “the best gig [he's] done so far.” That’s exactly what he said last year on the same stage, but he didn’t hesitate for a second to acknowledge that he’s topped himself in 2013. The magic was felt on his side of the booth, but what made Hardwell’s set so illustrious for fans worldwide? Hint: It wasn’t Lil’ Jon.
At 12:45 Sunday afternoon, a voice cut across an edit of Hard Rock Sofa & Dirty Shade’s “Collapsar,” causing a still-filling Ultra Mega Structure to turn toward the sound.
“Good morning Miami!” the voice rang out. “Are you ready for The Expedition?” Heads started nodding. “Are you ready for 11 hours of A State of Trance?” A yes-shaped roar emerged.
The voice was Armin van Buuren’s, the set was Tritonal‘s, and the effect was pandemonium. Projected on screen from the on-site ASOT studio, the patriarch of the trance family beamed down at the crowd, encouraging them to give it up for their fellow Americans, the trance team from Texas that kicked off the live ASOT 600 experience and played the first of the day’s ten sets.
The episode saw Tritonal, W&W, Cosmic Gate, ATB, Dash Berlin, Markus Schulz, Above & Beyond, Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, and Markus Schulz all taking to the decks, hitting the crowd with wave after wave of the sonic sounds of today’s trance. Hop below the break to journey to Miami on The Expedition.
Through the early hours of Saturday at Ultra Music Festival‘s second weekend, the buzz around all of Bayfront Park’s seven stages, concession stands, and even porta potty lines was for Krewella and their pending 5:45 Drop Zone appearance. The threesome has blown up over the past year and they would dawn upon their Ultra debut riding high among their recent boom in popularity. After delivering from the less-crowded Live Stage the previous week, Jahan, Yasmine, and Rain Man would finally have the outlet to shine and live up to their exceptions this particular Saturday.