Ultra Music Festival is a mere nine days away and many of you are likely scrambling to plan out your schedules, arrange after party plans, and check off the essentials on your Miami packing list. Whether you are catching Carl Cox close his arena stage or Major Lazer throw it down on Ultra’s massive main stage, one thing is certain…
THE HYPE IS REAL
With more than 190 DJs playing over eight different stages you’re bound to find a set that fills a niche interest. Ultra Music Festival is known for bringing in one of the most diverse bills of electronic talent of any festival worldwide. Despite the fact that DJs are revered in an almost religious manner during Miami Music Week, Ultra is hosting 15 incredible live acts spanning across multiple genres that are sure to blow your mind to oblivion. Be sure to check these out during your stay in Miami.
LET’S BREAK IT DOWN
Afrobeta is Miami. The group is the love child of Smurphio and Cuci Amador. Cuci Amador and Smurphio formed Afrobeta in 2006 “as a means to attain an ultimate form of artistic self-expression.” That form has certainly taken shape over the years. As one of the acts that’s been with Ultra for years, Afrobeta is surely worth checking out.
9// RABBIT IN THE MOON
“At the apex of the night, with 5000 people screaming at the top of their lungs, Bunny was unleashed…a mirror clad screaming human disco ball slithered down a rope from the rafters 2 stories above the dance floor. Every light in the club was focused on him. The colors refracted off his mirrored hanging body. A mass of hands below reached towards the light. When Bunny touched the hands of the crowd he hung upside down as they swung him like a pendulum over their heads. As he was lowered to the crowd they did not let him touch the ground. They carried him to the stage, as if he was their sacrifice. The crowd was clearly in a frenzied state of mind”. – A Fan of Rabbit in the Moon.
Known for unique visual style and dynamic live performances; full of energy, Underworld has the power to spark electricity within an entire crowd. The band formed in Wales in 1980 and is credited as being one of the most influential groups in the UK during the height of its rave scene. Underworld is the act that you see under the stars and reminisce about past festivals with friends, complete with a sense of nostalgic sentimentality burning inside you. Underworld is about as seminal to synth pop as Ice Cube is to gangster rap, but more to come on that. If you’re looking to get emotional, look no further.
7// CHASE AND STATUS
What ever happened to Drum N Bass? During a time when most major festivals don’t give Drum N Bass the TIME of day, Ultra is here to SAVE the day by booking one of the genres most influential duos. Chase and Status’ newest single ‘All Goes Wrong’ was chosen by BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac as her Hottest Record in the World. Gear up, this one should be massive.
6// BARCLAY CRENSHAW
You may as well have been living under a rock for the last year if you haven’t had a listen to Claude Von Stroke’s alter ego alias, Barclay Crenshaw. Well, you might call it an alias. After all, the name is simply Vonstrokes real full name. In any case, Crenshaw just came out with his debut self titled album under the moniker and spoiler alert: it’s hot.
It seems like years since Justice’s debut album, Cross, topped dance charts across the globe. Oh wait, it was years ago. Needless to say, Justice has made their triumphant return to the dance music scene with their release of Woman. Regardless of your feelings about the album itself, one would be hard pressed not to be excited about a live Justice show. After all, their live album, A Cross the Universe, is widely considered to be one of the best live performances of all time.
4// ICE CUBE
“Just waking up in the morning gotta thank God.” -Us when we realize we’ve just woken up on the Saturday of Ultra. Ice Cube’s set on the live stage will be the stuff of miracles. In fact, he might set the whole stage on fire. The NWA rapper is sure to bring the house down, and maybe even bring out a few guests. While everyone is probably hoping for Dr. Dre or an Eazy E hologram, we’re a little skeptical. Regardless, Ice Cube is going to fire it up.
Back in March of 2014 when deep house was just taking form in the United States an artist came along by the name of ZHU that seemed to capitalize on the growing trend but in a characteristically authentic manner. The 27 year old DJ has a knack for creating dark and melodic synths that make you feel as if you are riding across the autobahn on a motorcycle with Batman going 110 MPH en route to Berghain. ZHU’s live performances have been well received by critics and fans alike. If his newest track “Nightcrawler” is any indication of ZHU’s newest album, this is not a show you want to miss.
2// CYPRESS HILL
Paging Dr. Green Thumb. Cypress Hill are headed to Ultra and are ready to bring the house down. Yes, you heard right. Cypress. Hill. If you’re looking for a break between Dash Berlin and Tiesto or Matthias Tanzman and Marcel Dettman, it might be time to get insane in the membrane at Ultra’s Live Stage.
1// THE PRODIGY
Last year, The Prodigy had to cancel their headlining spot due to unforeseen illness when one of the groups members was instructed by doctors not to attend the event. However, hardcore fans can rejoice because The Prodigy is back to close out the Live Stage on Saturday night. The UK group is credited as being one of the original pioneers of the Big Beat genre in the UK, along with The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, and others. The Prodigy’s live performances have been known to shake things up a little bit with their industrial sound and wild stage antics. If Axwell and Ingrosso don’t do it for you it might be worth your time to stop by. After all, “your world is on fire” anyways.