ELECTRIC ZOO ANNOUNCES ‘ELECTRIC ZOO: THE BIG 10’ A BIGGER & BETTER THAN EVER FESTIVAL CELEBRATING ITS 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
20 Years Of Ultra – Episode 2
by Amber Lynn
Photos by Michael Beas
Video by Bobby Ben Gal
Are you ready to rave under the magical sunset in Miami? So are we! Miami Music Week is back and better than ever this year as Ultra itself celebrates its 20th anniversary! Miami Music Week, along with Ultra Music Festival, is one of the world’s most recognizable electronic dance events! Every year, hundreds and thousands of people from across the world travel to Miami at the end of March to see the city light up and transform itself into a dance haven. Now in its seventh year, MMW, connects events in the city as every venue opens the doors for a week long celebration that features major artists in EDM.
The featured event location for MMW is the “Miami Music Week Hotel” located at the heart of the event on South Beach at the prestigious urban resort, Delano, the hotel serves as the epicenter of parties for the week. Towards the end of the week is Ultra Music Festival, that hosts over 165,000 EDM fans from over 90 countries. Its here that we are all united as one to celebrate our love for Music.
Some artists to expect include, but are not limited to: Above and Beyond, Andrew Rayel, Adam Beyer B2B Cirez D, Armin Van Buuren, Nicky Romero, Carl Cox, Flosstradamus, Infected Mushroom, Hardwell, Marshmello, NGHTMRE, Ookay, Rezz, Steve Aoki, The Chainsmokers, What So Not, and so much more! Along with sets at Ultra, venues for MMW include the Bayfront Park (home of Ultra,) Heart, Kill Your Idol, RC Cola Plant, Shore Club, Soho Studios, Space Miami, and the Surfcomber will home some of Miami Music Week’s pre and after parties. I don’t know about you guys…but these are some of my favorite artists, I’ve been doing a lot of new music searching, and some old and I’m pretty dead set on attending a couple of these performances. I don’t think I could miss this for the world, so I really hope to see you all there!
Ultra Music Festival 2018 will see the event alone exceed two million attendees spanning over twenty straight consecutive years since the beginning in 1999, which started out as a 10,000-person beach party, since then has grown to 165,000 people. Ultra starts March 23rd, and ends the 25th, ending MMW just right! So far, only phase one of Ultra has been released, but with the hype of that alone, it’s going to be a very anticipated lineup. Stay tuned, on standby…whatever you have to do. With seven state-of-the-art stages, Ultra doesn’t plan on stopping the madness anytime soon! The Resistance stage is back again to dominate two arenas across the park as both the Arcadia Spider and Carl Cox Megastructure make their ways back to the party as well. But how could I forget the Ultra Live Stage? Headliners such as Azealia Banks, Infected Mushroom, The Crystal Method, and Tchami X Malaa: No Redemption and The Wailers feat Julian Marley are all confirmed.
So…can’t make Ultra Music Festival? Most of these parties that are going down are very affordable, and can make you feel right at home with Ultra (even if you’re not attending the festival itself.) Don’t have a ticket? Plenty of these fests are up for grabs! Links are provided on Miami Music Week’s website, just check under the venues or the artist section on the website. Wanting a beach party or something different? I recently caught wind of something called Rapture, which is only a couple minutes away from downtown Miami and South Beach, a 14 hour event will present interactive activities, performances, art installations, stage themes, set designs, a protective environmental oasis, a beachfront setting, and so much more! Feeling beat from Miami’s heat? Take some time for yourself and “Thai” a Thai Massage, float on a lounge in the ocean, or indulge in a yoga session throughout the day. There’s plenty to do, and for $40? You can’t beat that. I’ll catch you at MMW soon guys!
Atrak is someone in our dance community who has refused to forget about the music that he holds close to his heart, regardless of genre sub-category. The heavily lauded turntablist and Grammy-nominated producer has dropped an insanely dope 77-minute DJ Mix appropriately named Cut It Out 2, a follow up to the first one back in early 2017. The mix features everything from hip-hop, deep/tech house, techno, soul, trap and everything in between, flaunting a colorful tapestry of music we wouldn’t hear in a regular Atrak set.
So many producers and DJs these days call themselves “versatile” but Atrak is one of the few that sets the standard when it comes to musical flexibility as seen in Cut It Out 2. He has a subconscious familiarity with all the music he comes across, knowing which songs would sound well together even if it seems odd at first. His Wild Boots (A-Trak Mash), which incorporates the deep house sounds of Moon Boots vs DJ Khaled & Rihanna, was placed halfway through the mix and serves as a perfect reference point to what he’s accomplishing with this mix. Indie and alternative staples Washed Out and Alt-J were included along with house favorites Duke Dumont, Boston Bun and Tchami. However, what really heightened Cut It Out 2 was the thoughtful transitioning in and out of hip-hop and rap lyrics in the first half with vocal nods to Migos, A$AP Rocky and Snap Dogg.
The most impressive moment for me personally was when he combined Cobalt 60 from Freek, Badboy by the BassBrothers and Pharaoh by The Upbeats & Ivy Lab, finishing off with overlayed vocals from Roc Marciano in Better Know. Drum & Bass is surging back into the U.S. dance music scene and this phenomenal example by Atrak gives little room for excuses when it comes to incorporating it back into DJ sets this year.
“I recorded this during a day off on Holy Ship,” says A-Trak of the mix. “I wanted to include a bunch of music I listen to but don’t get to play enough in my sets. I like to sway between genres…don’t get seasick.” Here’s to cutting out musical mediocrity and striving to be better DJs, producers and listeners, thank you for this treat Atrak!