Last Sunday night one of the most anticipated festivals of the year came to a close. The Ultra Music Festival was once again, a history making, record breaking, dream fulfilling event. I think it was necessary to take a few days to let all of the amazing moments to sink in. There are so many incredible festivals that go on all year round but Miami has to be my favourite just based on the fact that every performer brings new music to the table.
One artist that brought a bunch of new music to Ultra Main Stage was superstar DJ Avicii. The young phenom who has been shaking up the scene since ‘Levels’, provided fans with something more than joy. He provided questions. Tim Bergling, better known as Avicii, left a lot of people scratching their heads as to what they had just watched and heard. Yes it was unorthodox, something Ultra had never seen, and a bit country? Well, fans of Avicii shouldn’t say they had no idea. For months, Avicii had been tweeting about some “interesting and unique collaborations” he was working on for his upcoming album.
Of course it was completely off the radar from what people were used to, but that’s exactly what it seems Avicii has been going for lately. Maybe he was getting sick and tired of being called the “soft pop house artist” from many people within the scene. Only a few weeks back he was on Diplo’s radio show with an incredible set that really strayed away from what most people are used to. At Ultra he did the same. As he stated on his Facebook page, the performance in question was a 15 minute breakdown of his set, that changed up 2 straight weeks of hard hitting, fist pumping beats. He stayed true to his emotional, positive energy that he always brings and tried to change the the stereotypical DJ performance. In my opinion, it was extremely creative and amazing as always. Once again, Avicii and his manager Ash Pournouri pushed the limits of EDM, not only with the performance but playing host to an ‘Avicii Hotel’ for two weeks. It may have been strange to some but guess what? It is one of the biggest standout moments of the entire festival. It absolutely shocked the world of dance music. But I can guarantee you, whether it’s playing within a giant head in stadiums across America, performing alongside country artists, or putting his name on a hotel – This is not the last time Avicii throws a curveball at the dance music world.
Words by: Danny Moody
What a start to ULTRA 2013!
In the beginning, the plan to move UMF from 1 weekend to 2 seemed that it may take away from the exclusiveness of the massive event. However, as an advocate of growing the scene and with the anticipation growing for the second weekend, few could argue that its been any less than amazing! It truly is incredible how many people will be attending the extended festival this year. The past few years has seen Ultra host around 150,000 people, and this year the UMF gates will see 330,000 dance music enthusiasts dancing on the Ultra grounds. It allows the growing population of EDM fans to cross a bucket list event off their list. It also brings more pool parties, more club nights, more love, and more unity as people from all countries and cultures come together to share an incredible experience.
Not only has ULTRA made the event two weekends to make it more accommodating for fans, it has broadcasted its stunning live stream for people all over the world. Unfortunately, the crew at Ibizadreaming were not able to attend this year but the outstanding coverage offered by Ultra TV is second to none. Numerous camera’s scanning the crowd, from every angle surely had viewers jumping off the couch and dancing to their favourite DJ’s.
This week, I have personally seen so many people tweeting in fear of the forecast heading into the event, but with the weekend approaching, it looks like you can expect Miami’s beautiful weather. Regardless, after attending Veld last summer in Toronto and experiencing the 40+ degree weather, when it actually did start raining, people looked up into the sky and rejoiced. Rain or shine, nothing can stop EDM fans from having some of the best moments of their lives this weekend.
With so many of the same DJ’s performing again this coming weekend, it will be interesting to see how they switch up their sets, what new music they bring to the table, and how comparable the energy will be from last week’s chaos.
We can’t wait to experience last weekend’s magic all over again.
Words by: Danny Moody
Words By: Sean Moffatt
Remember last year after Day One of Veld Music Festival when INK Family member Deadmau5 shocked a lot of people with a primarily techno DJ set? The Canadian star was back in techno mode again yesterday to kick off the SXSW Festival, but this time with support from Canadian electronic music pioneer Richie Hawtin.
The announcement of Deadmau5 and Hawtin playing a B2B set of pure techno was a significant surprise to a lot of people. The opinions of many took over social media streams and generated more buzz then any other event at this year’s festival. The consensus was overwhelming excitement, although it’s worth pointing out that many were unsure of exactly how Deadmau5 would ‘fit-in’. Based on the reactions of those who were in attendance, the showcase of technology and music was nothing less than a mind blowing experience.
Toronto Star music critic Ben Rayner published an article today that highlights the similarities shared by the Canadian pair that is a really good read and worth checking out here.
“Probably how we first bonded was we’re two kids — or we were two kids — who found a love of technology and communicating through technology … that took us to a place where we never imagined we’d be today,”
Words By: Sean Moffatt
Due to the bad weather last week, DJ/producer Porter Robinson and his Circle Assembly crew were forced to postpone the anticipated event until this upcoming Friday. Porter is a leader of the EDM youth movement and while he may be young in age, he’s certainly mature beyond his years. In August, an article was published in Daily Star referencing multiple offers Porter had recieved to produce pop music for acts as popular as Katy Perry, but the rising star said no.
“It’s a surefire way of damaging your credibility and I just don’t think it’s inspiring. I want to make stuff that I enjoy so I won’t produce anyone else, for now.”
While the article is short in length it gets to the point, Porter has no desire to sell himself short of where he wants to take his music. A reference to Deadmau5 and his approach to music signals Robinson’s firm in his direction and that can only mean good things for fans of his music.
Check out the full article here: http://www.dailystar.co.uk/playlist/view/267252/Why-DJ-Porter-Robinson-said-no-to-Katy-Perry/
Words By: Mateo Abascal
On February 1st & 2nd Toronto will host the first ever Brrrrr Music Festival outdoors at Echo Beach. Among other dance music heavyweights, we will be graced with the presence of a dark and sleeveless dance music force by the name of Dubfire. With an underground sound heavily favoured by many in this city, I thought I’d share with you why I’m looking forward to him the most.Dub…who?41 year old Ali Shirazina of Iran most recently known as Dubfire has a long history with dance music. He first emerged alongside Sharam as Deep Dish, the award-winning duo focused on progressive house producing dance music classics like “say Hello”, “Flash Dance” and “Thank you”. After moving away from working together, the two DJs took to the studio to develop their own sounds, and it was then that Dubfire’s discography took a steep turn towards the hells. Since his decision to go solo in 2006 Dubfire’s masterful productions have been primarily focused in the realm of dark, minimal techno. Since day 1 under his new name, Dubfire’s releases demanded attention, and tracks like “Ribcage,” “Roadkill,” “Emissions,” and “I Feel Speed” only confirmed that he is a master in musical production.
In 2007 he established his own label under the name of Sci Tec (the name itself – Science and Technology Digital Audio – suggest the importance of the relationship between technology and dance music). Based out of Barcelona, Sci Tec now represents artists like Ron Costa, Carlo Lio, and The Junkies, becoming one of the biggest labels in techno.
What can you expect from his performance?
In short, a journey. Dance music is all about letting the sounds take you on a trip that’s beyond our reality. Putting Dubfire behind the decks at a rave is the equivalent to having Michael Schumacher as your personal driver – he’s the man you want to be in control.
Because of his strong dedication to mastering technology, Dubfire has developed skills that make his DJing essentially flawless. He literally melts songs together in ways you can’t imagine (all while making you melt at the same time). With long intro’s and few vocals, his sets are more like one great track that rises and falls rather than a compilation of bangers. He is more concerned with creating an atmosphere that turns your insides instead of making the crowd jump.
One of my favourite things about techno is the way in which sounds can creep up on you without you noticing. Dubfire will have you grabbing your head wondering where all these sounds are coming from. Don’t be surprised to find yourself in a trance that’s headed straight for the pits of hell, his set can get pretty dark sometimes and our gloomy February weather seems like the perfect setting to enter the sub-world.
Words By: Sean Moffatt
As Uniun Nightclub’s Factory Fridays continue to push towards EDM dominance in Toronto, the never ending appearances by today’s top dance music artists has emphasized a new standard for parties in our city. The month of December still has seen the likes of Afrojack, Roger Sanchez, and Cazzette roll through the young venue, and on Friday another huge name will leave his mark the final show for 2012, Mr. Calvin Harris. To say Scotland’s most established producer has had a big year would be a massive understatement. A number 1 record with Rihanna, two pending Grammy nominations, and a critically acclaimed album has seen the 28-year-old producer become one of the most recognized faces in the dance music world.
The album gives Harris a lot of material to inject into his set, and he has been known to use old accapellas like Flashback and I’m Not Alone in live mash-ups over today’s big club hits. After being pulled away from the decks early at Sound Academy, expect Harris to take full advantage of Uniun’s late night atmosphere.