Is it pretentious to have a title like that? (Short answer: Yes, Long answer: ……always yes) How can we say that we know the top 10 must-see artists, DJs and bands? Why not make a top 10 list after the festival where you can compare and contrast the different sets? (Don’t worry, we’ll do it.) Sometimes it can be hard to articulate your favorite’s feelings. something that you wish to categorize and express yourself. It can be even harder to predict what set you’ll be blasting in the car on the way to the gym via the Soundcloud widget on 1001tracklist.com in two months.
But that’s what makes it fun, right? Tossing our opinions like hats on a ring creates a great environment to appease seemingly subjective topics. Beyond just saying, “Oh yeah, I loveinsert artist name here> also”, talk about something like this can lead to a deeper sense of understanding and at the very least a fun debating exercise. This list, for example, will dive deeper into the music festival experience and compare the history of the festival to artists taking up the torch and even returning to these iconic stages. It’s a list that runs through the programming to determine which artists will create the must-have tracks that will wrap up the summer, the genre be damned! Additionally, it should be mentioned that some of these sets may collide or even unwind at the same time. Unfortunately, that doesn’t take away from how “must-have” these sets will be. But hopefully this list will help guide and guide you on how you’ll go about this year’s festivities.
So let’s go. Here is the list of the 10 essential sets to see at the Ultra Music Festival.
Arguably one of the greatest bass artists to explode, ISOxo’s rise to fame and notoriety is meteoric but not surprising. From his collaborations with RL Grime and G Jones to his exceptional solo work, he has become the most sought after sound in the genre. His set at Ultra Music Festival could most likely be a testing ground for what his future sets will look like in terms of identities and aesthetics. Keep an eye on this one.
If you’re just into techno, house, or even commercial EDM, Miami is the perfect city to host these kinds of events for its hip veterans in those genres. South Florida has even developed a strong bass music scene thanks to both local red creators and more bass artist appearances on tour. However, there is not enough Drum and Bass performance during Miami Music Week. But this year, there seems to be a bigger push for UMF and MMW to include DnB in their genre pantheon. Dimension is a great place to start as its flexibility and prowess in other genres like psytrance and midtempo is nothing short of phenomenal.
8. Adam Beyer and Cirez D (B2B)
TECHNO is BETTERNO! Wait…let me explain. Each year that these names appear individually, they increase the capacity of Club Space to the point that you are going to experience 3rd degree FOMO. It’s two masters of their craft who will perform some of the hottest darkroom tracks you’ll ever hear together. But don’t take my word for it. Look up some of their past sets in Miami and let Adam Beyer and Cirez D prove it.
7. Dom Dolla and vintage culture (B2B)
This ensemble may not come across as a must-see act at Ultra let alone any festival at first glance. But this is where I would argue that no sequel set is as perfect as Dom Dolla and Vintage Culture. First of all, they are among the biggest names in EDM’s new class of stars. They have a huge crossover appeal between new fans and house bosses that few other artists do. If I could guess what we could expect from this set, it would have to be a mashup or transition between the remix “New Gold” by Dolla of Gorillaz and Tame Impala and “You Give Me a Feeling” by VC and James Hype . The idea of this sounds like the maximum deity of Miami Music Week.
6. Armin van Buuren and Ferry Corsten (B2B)
Legends. Quite simply. You can’t say you’ve been to the Ultra Music Festival without getting into the trance beat. And what better way to do that than seeing legends like Armin van Buuren and Ferry Corsten. Both dominated trance in different ways and arguably laid the groundwork from which modern trance still takes notes. They’re also hugely popular with some of Miami’s oldest scene relationships, as these two have been making pit stops in Miami religiously for a decade and a half. The best part is that this set isn’t even headlining this Friday night! (This honor is for Armin’s solo set).
5. Little Texas
So… it’s time to talk about this guy. The artist known as Lil Texas is a big deal coming to Ultra Music Festival for a similar reason to Dimension. Lil Texas made more than a splash in the EDM landscape with gabber, hardstyle and happy hardcore. It summoned a monolithic tsunami and invaded the eardrums of adrenaline junkies the world over. But sadly, Miami has never been a major breeding ground for these sounds and genres. But Lil Texas’ showmanship and production style meld into a gripping performance to hopefully open up the town to this aggravated sound. I mean if the Needle Drop can be found at one of his shows, then we should too.
4. Moore Kismet
This kid is so beyond special. Bass music was blessed as Moore Kismet’s beautiful soul and creative function took hold of the bass music scene. By the time their songs “You Should Run” and “Rumor,” we all knew we weren’t dealing with your run-of-the-mill, bro-step, basic boo. Kismet’s versatility and production skills are on full display on his debut album. Universe. During this time, they have developed a whole repertoire as a staple of the bass music scene. Now let’s see if this performance positions him as a main contender for upcoming festivals.
3. Swedish House Mafia
The big boys are back and they’re not messing around. Axwell, Steve Angelo and Sebastian Ingrosso also have the coveted main stage headliners they’ve wielded in the past with an understanding that few musical acts can say they’ve achieved anywhere. We have seen the Swedish House Mafia, split, reinvented and reunited premiere on this stage and throughout the past two decades. But to those who might say they’re just wrapping up touring their recent album support gigs to Heaven again, keep in mind that Ultra is all about creating new music. So while they’re mixing old school classics with their newer gems, we can expect to hear some potentially new music and possible guest collaborators. It’s a must for anyone who wants to understand the essence of dance music.
2. Ida Engberg and Maya Jane Coles (B2B)
SAINT-MOLY. What a dream come true for everything darkroom, everything warehouse, everything club. The union of Ida Engberg and Maya Jane Coles as tastemakers and room readers means this will meet the hype as their set clocks approach the end of Day 1. To quote one of the Essential Mixed on BBC Radio 1 (a program they each participated in), their set will be “a truly underground kaleidoscope of sounds”.
The icon. If you’re a raver or even a casual EDM fan passing through the Resistance Tent, it’s a rite of passage that all must undertake if they’re to say they’ve truly been to Ultra Music Festival. I had been away for years before finally seeing Carl Cox in 2017 and staying for what I thought was half an hour. About two hours later and several minutes of filling my camelback with water, I realized that he gets his own stage every year. A raver doesn’t have to like or even understand dance music to understand the effect it has on people until they’ve seen what thousands of dancing bodies look like under a spell. of a DJ. You have to give credit to those who paved the way for this to happen.
What do you think of our list? See if you agree, disagree, or have a different lineup in mind. We would like to know more!
See you in Miami.
Photo credits :
Rukes – Carl Cox, Swedish Mafia
Tylor Vi – IsoXo
DNZ Media – Moore Kismet
Gina Joy – Adam Beyer and Cirez D
Parker Day Photography – Lil Texas
Adinaev – Ida Engberg