Welcome to my Ultra-world. It is a land filled with sun, sex, sounds, and sea. The energy here is relentless, the pace is fast. People come from around the globe to experience the narcotic pulse of bass that emanates throughout the city. Come with us as we voyage in to the depths of debauchery and dance, and experience the glory that is known as Miami Music Week.
Pool parties are a mainstay of the Winter Music Conference, so let our journey begin in South Beach at the Raleigh Hotel pool for the DIM MAK Miami Beach Party. Here we can observe the one and only Steve Aoki in his natural habitat. Aoki provides copious entertainment for all, and he is generous enough to even give some of his devoted following cake and champagne! Though very little of these accoutrements actually make it in to anyone’s mouths, it’s the thought that counts. Other notables to be taken from the environment are Deorro, The Chainsmokers, 3lau, Felix Cartel, and Autoerotique. Amidst the hard hitting, fist pumping, in-your-face beats that DIM MAK records is known for, we can’t help but to be pleased with the plethora of beauty and movement that surrounds us. A large pool waits patiently behind, framed in a soft blue hue and coaxing weary partiers towards it cool waters with the promise of buoyancy. As the party wanes, we trickle with the masses back on to Collins Avenue and become engulfed in an ocean of neon, skin, and cars that cost more than most families homes.
Back across the bay and just a couple miles north of the Ultra Music Festival, we now travel to a chic and sensuous lounge nestled in the heart of Wynwood. The famed area is known for its walls; ever-changing murals blanket the buildings. The crackle and hiss of spray paint can be heard around every corner and an aroma of acrylic permeates the nostrils like a vandal’s potpourri. Be mindful of the razor wire on your right as we meander towards The Social Lubricant. TSL’s staff holds up to the lounge’s name, offering courteous and brisk service along with reasonable drink prices (for Miami). Absorb the deep house beats put on tonight by the likes of underground sensation Thugfucker. That’s right, Thugfucker. While the American and Icelandic combination of Greg Oreck and Holmar Filipsson could certainly play until 5am, the line up tonight will not require them to. Both of the boys are in excellent spirits this evening from the looks of it. Their connection with their crowd is palpable. Each twist and turn of their set seems to mean something, each bassline tickles the stapes in a profound way. Don’t forget about Thugfucker’s buddies either. Matt Tolfrey, Nick Curly, Francesca Lombardo, and many others are here as well to ensure auditory satisfaction. Are you hungry? There’s a sushi bar in the back corner to compliment your ethanol if you so choose…I would highly suggest it, we’ll be here awhile.
We’ve shown you South Beach and gone underground in Wynwood, so let’s venture now to what everybody has been waiting for; let’s go to Ultra Music Festival 2014! A cab is necessary because parking is the worst clusterfuck you’ve ever seen in your life. I am scheduled to interview Art Department, Paper Diamonds, and Vello Virkhaus prior to partaking in any of the festivities. You’ll notice that there, regrettably, is no press area within Ultra’s grounds…there IS, however, a mega yacht docked right next to the grounds that we can use. After delightful conversation coupled with a Krewella photo-op and a chance brush by with Zedd (he has sparkly eyes, pay no mind to my screaming “Zedd! You’re awesome!”), we tromp through the hidden workings back stage to make our way over to the Underground stage. Cue the sensory overload!