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…And so another year of Miami’s Winter Music Conference & Ultra Music Festival are in the books…but this year, the record books. Last weekend, Ultra saw its biggest turnout ever, selling out both days and drawing crowds of over 100,000 on Saturday, Day 2 of UMF. The projected rain never touched the festival times, and the weather permitted into a warm breeze the whole weekend. Couldn’t have asked for a better atmosphere. Well, we won’t get into being picky, it was my first experience in Miami and it was an outstanding one. Ultra was nice enough to give GDD 4 press passes and ///myself a photo wristband to get some of the most exclusive pics ever and I felt like a had the last golden ticket. Here’s my quick recap of each day being down at what I would call a dream true.
Wednesday: OVERTHROW’s Bang! Bang! @ White Room
Favorite Performances: Subfocus, Jack Beats
This venue became our homebase practically every night, with 3 rooms bumpin music like we were at a electronic flea market. Not kidding, a DJs dream feel-good-party-venue. Big Ups to Overthrow for this gem. Jack Beats in an intimate room is fucking mental. Subfocus was the special guest later in the night and blew everyones minds out of just a little white tent.
Thursday: HARD’s Pool Party @ Fontaine Bleu/Blade Pool
Favorite Performances: Fake Blood, Erol Alkan, Boys Noize
This hotel’s pool had the true feeling of Miami and Gary Richards brought the LA hardness to the beach-front resort. Fake Blood scared the crowd with definite new original tracks (can’t wait!) and Erol and Boys Noize reminded me why they’re not to be messed with… a fucking incredible party with great music all day and beautiful thangs to look at. Woop!

Friday: ULTRA – day 1

Favorite Performances: Groove Armada, Stanton Warriors
After we finally got in through all the hecticness, we were confused to find out that Afrojack’s set had got bumped. We were so pissed… Groove Armada came on and totally lifted our spirits though, giving the main stage crowd a powerful live experience like I’d never seen before, and just then we were back on top. Soon after, we learned that Afrojack actually was moved to after Groove Armada, and I was bouncing off the fucking wall. He had a short set, but dropped new massive chuunes that always amaze me. Can’t wait for the new ‘TBA’ track he did with Aoki. We left to go see Stanton Warriors, who I had on my list for MUST SEE and it was well worth it. They are the filthiest breakbeat/electro/dubstep I’ve ever seen, and I mention those categories because that’s exactly what they played. I wish I had shazam on my phone like the n00bs use 😉

Saturday: ULTRA – day 2
Favorite & Best Performance: SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA
Okay first off, I kick myself for not getting to the fest earlier in the day, Benny Benassi apparently set Ultra fucking off by 5pm, and his recorded set (download here) can prove that. Balls. Anyway, we traveled throughout the fest catching the eclectic acts, and being able to get into the photo pit is like trying to hold a camera straight while an earthquake is going off towards your body. Awesome as shit, but difficult. Skream and Rusko were lethal (per usual), and Benga even MC’d. But the cake went to Dream team of electronic, The Swedish House Mafia – comprised of Steve Angello, Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso. On the mainstage and as it finally became dark, they gave Ultra the biggest memory to live by until next year. Opening with their anthem ‘Leave The World Behind’ was unspeakably overwhelming, and the spirit of Ultra was in full force. Make sure to download the track and close your eyes and imagine you were there (or get taken back!) to what was pure music energy. This sounds cheesy but if you were there than you fucking know what I’m talking about. LA – don’t fret, they’re headlining the Electric Daisy Carnival this year!!!!!

Swedish House Mafia – Leave The World Behind (Original Mix) √+

Swedish House Mafia @ ULTRA day 2 (both)

MORE EPIC TRACKS OF ULTRA/WMC (all highly ‘effing recommended.)

Saturday (Late Night): Trouble & Bass TEMPLE of BOOM @ White Room
Favorite Performances: Harvard Bass, Classixx, Nero, Nadastrom
After the festivities, we were on a good one. Drop the Lime and the T&B crew teamed up with the Overthrow gang to put on one of the baddest-mutha-fuckin bender’s that White Room had ever seen. Hat’s off to this one, the heavy hitters of Ultra poured into the event to see bangers til the break of the dawn. GDD fav Harvard Bass dropped a deadly dose of minimal-ravetastic-ness, followed by Classixx playing the set I hadn’t seen them drop since EDC 2 years ago. I was losing it. Mikey played first alone, dropping the grooviest bombs you would recognize from when Classixx had just changed their name from the Young Americans. GRADE-A fucking beats dirty dancers. In the main room, NERO was unloading a barrage of their mystical dubby ways, but throwing in tastes of everything from the likes of Danger, Kavinsky, Prodigy, and more. By 5am, the party was still alive, with Nadastrom set to play until the sun came up. This was when shit got weird… Dave Nada started his set at literally 100 bpm, playing salsa riffs with electro hitters like ‘Hey!’ and ‘Moombah’ at a zombie like pace that had the crowd in a tribal trance. I have too much respect for them now.
Sunday: BEATPORT Beach Party @ Ganesvoort Hotel
Favorite Performance: Afrojack
Just as you thought the fun was over – hell no. After we woke from our Ultra-coma, we wandered over on sunday afternoon to the infamous Beatport Pool Party, where a massive line around the building was vibing to the then sounds of Kaskade. We walked past the entrance however and onto the boardwalk, where we saw that a small crowd had formed on the backside of the hotel because the stage was so big you could watch the whole fucking show right from there. Score. Afrojack went on right after, and by then my buzz had gotten me on my GDD rant that “this crowd doesn’t know shit about Afro!” And this rang true. The fist pumping and highlighter colored beach goers were not ready at all for what happened to them, and Afrojack broke the fucking house down. DIRTY DANCERS, HERE IS MY GIFT, THE FULL LIVE SET, SO GET AFTER IT!

Afrojack @ Beatport Beach Party
MORE GREAT PHOTOS on the GDD camera!

Swedish House Mafia @ ULTRA day 2

Rusko and Skream @ UMF day 2

Crookers @ ULTRA day 2

DJ CRAZE reppin GDD muhfucka! Respect!