[Recap] TMN Invades Miami for Ultra and WMC

Well ninjas, we’re back from our trip to Miami. We wish we could have stayed the whole time, but that would have resulted in empty pockets and a necessary liver transplant. There are so many highlights to the trip, from the amazing interviews to the mind blowing sets. It was one hell of a trip. So, we’re going to run you through a day by day recap, so we can share with you some of our favorite moments.

THE PARTY BEGINS

We arrived in Miami and had to hustle down to Ultra as our flight was a little bit late. Upon arriving we immediately headed over to the main stage to catch Fedde Le Grand. We’ve seen Fedde play on numerous occasions, but seeing him on this level was spectacular. His set was what would be expected; energetic and housey. Following Fedde was Afrojack, who we have to be honest, did have a hiccup. We love Afrojack, and his sets are always filled with dirty dutch beats that fill the dance floor (or in this case, grassy area). We’re not sure if the sound system had a glitch or not, but there was definitely a little “oops” by someone involved. With that being said, Afrojack is a consummate pro, and recovered nicely.

Fedde Le Grand
Live @ Ultra Music Festival 2013 Miami

Next up was Swedish House Mafia, which was an emotional moment. Yes, we know. In the music industry, a farewell show is rarely a true farewell show. However, knowing that one of the biggest names in EDM was playing one of their final sets for a while (minus their set this Sunday) was a moving thing to see. Especially when you factor in the massive and awe inspiring stage set up that only added to the theatrics of the experience. In a sea of PLURred out people, SHM threw down an incredibly memorable set. There was nothing quite like seeing the smiles spread across people’s faces as they belted our the vocals to their favorite tune.

Swedish House Mafia
Live at Ultra Music Festival, Day 6 (WMC

After their set, we had to hustle over to Project Miami. Unfortunately there was an issue with the permits for this show, so the main stage they had built in the patio area couldn’t be used. While we were disappointed that we didn’t get to see Project 46, Cold Blank, and Spencer and Hill grace the decks, we did get to hang out with some of our favorite smaller artists. We caught part of Nexus’ set, as well as Lazerdisk Sex Party, and had a nice chat with Bailey Smalls. While this wasn’t the mind blowing line up that you catch at Ultra, these guys are talented, and had some pretty hard, fun, and party inducing sets. After a handful of tequila shots, we were ready to call it a night.

COCONUT WATER, SUGAR FREE RED BULL AND TRUNK LIQUOR

Coconut water should have a permanent spot on every Miami-goers list of necessities. It certainly saved my life. Saturday morning we headed into South Beach to the Anjunabeats Pool Party. Upon arriving we immediate dove into our first interview for the trip, Andrew Bayer. After a quick chat with Andrew, we knew we were going to enjoy his set. And we did. Andrew’s new music is a little more glitchy and ambient, but he blends it seamlessly with bigger club tracks to create an experience that’s true to his art form and kept the party going.

Next up to interview was Norin and Rad. Almost immediately after that, we interviewed Tritonal. Both DJ/Producer duos were incredibly nice, humble and down to earth. But, after two interviews in a row, we were ready to head back out to the pool party. The next few hours were a blend of cocktails, talking to TMN fans. dancing on a sand dance floor and listening to two of our favorite performance of the trip, Mat Zo and Seven Lions. Mat Zo’s set was progressive, energetic and dancy. Seven Lions on the other hand stayed true to his form by throwing down a ridiculous dubstep set. If we have to say anything about this party is that Anjunabeats did one hell of a job putting together a unique and interesting group of producers who kept the crowd’s attention through the entire sun soaked day.

After Seven Lions set, we realized we needed to head back over to Ultra, as one of our ninjas wanted to catch Deadmau5′s set. We asked some random party people for a ride back across the bridge and hustled down to Ultra. Before we went over to the main stage though, we had to stop by the fabled media yacht for a quick glimpse. We know that press areas aren’t the most interesting things to our readership, but we have to at least give a shout out to the good people at Ultra for giving us a quiet comfy space to interview in. On top of the cushy digs, we also ran into long time TMN supporter, Tommy Sunshine.

Deadmau5 at Ultra Music Festival, Miami 16.03.2013

After a quick chat with Tommie we hustled over to catch the Deadmau5. Mau5 opened up with Superliminal which was the perfect track to get everyone warmed up. The long build up created an amazing atmospheric build up was traditional Mau5 to the tee. The only thing that threw us for a loop was when Zedd came on stage wearing pink undies and suspenders. Most of the crowd could care less, and niether could we. It broke up the serious party vibe and provided a laugh. Forty minutes into Mau5′s set we realized we had to hustle out and catch a bus back over to South Beach to interview Thomas Gold.

After being let off near our parking garage, we hustled in and changed. Yeah, that’s right. When you’re working Ultra and WMC you have to get kind of crafty. Knowing that we had to interview Thomas Gold at the W, we planned ahead and brought dress clothes. So, after we suited up, and took a shot of fireball from the trunk, we started walking down. It was at this moment when Thomas’ management texted us and asked where we were. We immediately relalized that walking 13 blocks could not be done in 10 minutes. We started sprinting.

After running through the streets of South Beach we arrived at the W Hotel. Thomas was sitting on the couches, enjoying a cappucino with his management team. We charged in out of breath and sat down. The interview went extremely well, and had plenty of light hearted moments where the entire group was laughing. Score. As we concluded, we walked over to the hotel bar and ordered a celebratory mojito. We sat outside, and reflected on one hell of a day. Four interviews, a pool party, Ultra, and the W Hotel. Holy shit! Shortly after our blogger self-reflection moment, we headed into WALL.

Aside from Thomas’ incredible set, this venue was actually not that impressive. It was oversold, crowded, drinks were outrageously expensive, and who ever was doing sound clearly had 40% hearing loss. Look, we’re all for loud music, especially when we’re tipsy. But this was ear splitting loud. Regardless, we powered through and danced our way through the night with people in income brackets we envied. Class warfare aside, it ended up being one hell of a party.

DO WE REALLY HAVE TO BE AROUND PARTY PEOPLE AGAIN?

We know, we know. It’s Ultra. It’s WMC. We knew we were going to have to be around party people the entire time, but shit! After partying from 2pm – 5am, sprinting through the streets of South Beach, you’re going to be a little jaded. After a quick rejuvenating procession of coconut water, sugar free redbull, and a pick me up of Fireball, we were ready to head down to Ultra. This time though, it was going to be a little bit different because we were finally seeing the grounds in the sun.

When we got to Ultra we took the opportunity to head down to the Mega Structure since we yet to see a show there. Coincidentally enough, the man playing was who we had just seen less than 12 hours ago, Thomas Gold. Thomas’ set was once again entertaining, energetic, and non stop. Even the tired legs of the third day of Ultra were no match for his beats, as exhausted party people danced their asses off and furiously pumped their fists.

After watching TG for a while we wandered over to the Carl Cox and Friends Stage to catch 12th Planet. On the walk over our we were talking to our friend who had never experienced trap live before. Yes, there are a few out there that still exist. 12th Planet was honestly one of the most entertaining shows we had seen. He of course played his traditional filthy dubstep, but the trap infusions throughout the set had people going absolutely crazy.

12th Planet
Live @ Ultra Music Festival (Miami)

After raging to some heavy bass, we made our way back over to the mainstage. For the next few hours we caught sets from Arty, Tommy Trash, Wolfgang and Aoki. While we were absolutely exhausted, all of these producers absolutely killed it. We heard amazing unreleased tracks left and right, and were close enough to the stage to get a great experience.

A SENSE OF NORMALCY

Monday was the only day that resembled a normal vacation. We met up with a friend of ours and did all of the normal vacation stuff; walked down the beach, ate sushi, etc. After a long walk around South Beach we were once again ready to be around party people again. This time around we were heading to the Chris Lake/Michael Woods show to interview.

Prior to the interview we stood backstage with some of the artists we’ve posted on in the past. Tommie Sunshine was there again, the Disco Fries, Mak J, Victor Niglio, Carnage, TJR, and the list goes on. At one point the DJ booth was crowded with Carnage, TJR, Michael Woods and Chris Lake. All of four of them were just yelling, laughing, taking turns and having a blast. It was one of those experiences that we’ll never forget.

After Michael had his fun on the decks, we went out front to chat. This was definitely the most fun we had all weekend long as far as interviewing someone goes. Michael is a party animal, and isn’t scared to laugh and have a good time.

BRUISED AND BEATEN, WE HEAD HOME

Miami was once hell of an experience. Not only was Ultra the most amazing music festival we’ve been to, with the most amazing set designs and the best DJs in the world, but it was an experience unlike any other. Ultra and WMC were like a huge get together with all of the who’s who in EDM. We ran into tons of TMN fans, DJs who we’ve featured, and just fun people in general. If there’s one experience we ask you to do as an EDM fan before you die, it’s experiencing Ultra and WMC. It’s truly unlike anything else you’ll experience.

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The 1975 have taken the music scene by storm, on both sides of the pond. This Manchester four piece originally released “The City” as a demo recorded from their bedroom. Since picking up steam in the music industry, they’ve since re-recorded this radio single version of the track that will eventually appear on the Mike Crossey produced album, which is due out later this year.

Driving drums and bass, delicate guitar riffs, and of course the haunting vocals of lead singer Matthew Healy comprise this highly addicting pop track that begs to be sung along with.

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[Hip-Hop/Soul] Theophilus London – Rio ft The Menahan Street Band

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Always trying something new and experimenting with a different sound, NY native Theophilus London takes listeners on a chill journey with the new smooth track titled “Rio”. The Thomas Brenneck produced track shows off Mr.London’s singing skills as he flows over a old-school, tropical instrumental provided by the Menahan Street Band. This is definitely a beautiful summer jam that pays homage to the Brazilian vacation city. Be sure to check out the single below and get your copy when it becomes available on iTunes 4/16.

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[Indie] Meg Myers – Heart Heart Head

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Today Meg finally released this gem today, and we couldn’t be happier. While we don’t recall the vocals being as intense towards the end during her live performance, we were happy to have these emotionally charged lyrics grace our eardrums once again. “Heart Heart Head” is powerful, intense, and displays Meg’s talent in both vocal range and songwriting abilities. Her and producer Dr. Rosen Rosen have once again provided us with something remarkable.

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[Concert Review] Little People-The Larimer Lounge, Denver

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I’ve been a fan of Little People for quite some time now: readers may remember my review of the artist’s latest album We Are But Hunks of Wood (http://www.themusicninja.com/little-people-we-are-but-hunks-of-wood/).

I was pretty excited to have the opportunity to do a live performance write up of the artist, but to be fair to the reader, I’m not a huge fan of the proverbial on-stage DJ. It’s not really my scene as I tend to prefer the more head banging, guitar slamming variety of on-stage performance. I typically save my electronica for home.

It was with this sensibility in mind that I donned my Neurosis band tee shirt before heading to the show: an invitation for Little People to impress a diehard metal fan. In the few DJ shows I’ve seen, I’ve never spontaneously started dancing. I’m adverse to even the thought of it.

I spontaneously started dancing at this performance. I just couldn’t help it.

Little People took the stage in an unassuming tee shirt and jeans and promptly got to work. And it was work. This guy is one of the hardest working DJs out there, I’m convinced. He immediately dropped some up-tempo beats, faster than his albums it seemed, and began weaving some of his signature piano licks from Basique, Moon and Start Shootin’ into the faster tunes. I was impressed at the following he had there and the hoots of pleasure as each piano lick trickled over the speakers.

His new album made some appearances as well, Marzipan Children, Aldgate Patterns, and Eminence Grise were present along with others, sometimes tweaked and often juxtaposed between other songs. At one point, Little People was flipping back and forth between four songs, matching beats perfectly, never losing any of the impact of the songs. How could you not dance to that!? It was a great show and a great time.

On a side note, I had the great privilege of sitting in on the interview between the Little People (Laurent Clerk) and The Music Ninja. Not only did I like the Clerc’s reverence for the Wu-Tang Clan and A Tribe Called Quest, I enjoyed the artist’s down to earth, shy and somewhat overwhelmed responses to his own popularity. The indie music industry is full of prima donnas, appropriately! It’s nice to see someone who is aware of his talent but isn’t personally defined by it. Check out Little People. Very worth it!

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