Miami Music Week — the largest dance music industry event in America, and the world. In addition to the Winter Music Conference, which takes place that week, a plethora of outside club events dominate the city that culminate into Ultra Music Festival at its end. 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the festival, making for an even more energized atmosphere surrounding it.
Its enormous popularity among fans, industry professionals, and artists alike translates to an enormous invasion of the city, and thus an even crazier unfolding of developments. Surge prices for ride share services and taxis are near-unfathomable, drink prices are egregious, and ATM fees are shockingly high. Meanwhile, utter debauchery and chaos mean tense interactions between bouncers and patrons, wedding rings falling off celebrity’s hands, and of course, instances that in the past have included women talking to trees.
We compiled an array of images that captures moments like these, that show a deeper look beneath the glamour of Miami Music Week and Ultra Music Festival.
Jackmaster discovered ATM fees at the small club Treehouse were set at $36. The fee was so high that he had to document it through Instagram, appropriately quipping, “Some cunt is having a laugh.” Note to self: withdraw copious amounts of cash prior to going out for the night, or else…
Either the drink needs to have at least 4 shots, or it’s best to get toasted enough to last the whole event.
Not planning on drinking? You’ll at least need water to remain safely hydrated in the warm outdoor weather. Humane ideologies be damned — vendors throughout the week are putting necessity and capitalism to the test by charging upwards of $15 for a bottle of water at each event. Perhaps the hot new liquid to hide in a flask is H2O.
This venue wasn’t playing around when it came to hosting an Axtone pool party. The question is, what can you bring?
Pacing is the key to day-drinking, young Padawan.
Plus side: food poisoning is potentially the new leading cause of seeking medical assistance at the music festival? Put that in your pipe and smoke it, media.
Why the odd camera angles? Error? Technical difficulty? Was it all fake after all? Who knows…
Marshmello crowded the Main Stage with a series of surprise special guests, including fellow Ultra 20 performers Slushii and G-Eazy, as well as Yo Gotti, Southside, Lil Uzi Vert, and the inimitable Will Smith, for a live performance of Smith’s 1997 hit single, “Miami.”
Photo Credit: Ryan Hadj
Above & Beyond’s emotive brand of dance music is that which demands many ‘hands in the air’ moments of joy during their shows. It turns out these moments are so intense for some that they end up losing valuable possessions — specifically, their wedding rings.
Such a an ironically tragic incident befell Paris Hilton on Friday night, March 23, during the trance trio’s Common Ground Miami tour stop. During the early morning hours in a bout of ecstatic dancing, the heiress’ 20-carat engagement ring reportedly flew off her finger and into the surrounding chaos, according to witnesses. Panic immediately ensued, with Hilton’s fiancé leading security officers in a search for the valuable bauble. They found it at the bottom of an ice bucket two tables down.
While the neither the couples’ camps nor the venue have been reached for comment as of writing time, Above & Beyond themselves confirmed the incident via a well-wishing Tweet hours later. Jono Grant also posted a picture of himself, Paavo, and Hilton after the show.
H/T: Page Six
Photo Credit: Raymond Hall/GC Images
Miami Music Week is in full effect, with each day being filled to the brim with a wide array of events to choose from that satisfy any electronic lover’s fancy. However, the choices are so vast, that sometimes making a decision proves an arduous task.
Partying 24/7 is virtually an impossible task, however, and rest is absolutely crucial during any bit of downtime. For most new to the Miami scene or for those who rarely touch down in the city, Dancing Astronaut has enlisted Claptone‘s assistance in picking out spots to check out when craving a bit of relaxation among the chaos. The masked musician has compiled quite the list of places close to his heart, across a broad spectrum of activities.
While perusing the guide, we recommend giving his new single from FANTAST a spin:
“While on the road, I long for new music. I love to get my fingers dusty, sifting through bins and piles of records, always making sure to bring a spare pair of my signature white gloves.
There happens to be quite a funky spot in Miami, a store called Sweat Records. They’ve got loads of albums and singles, and I always leave with at least one brilliant, new discovery.”
“Oh dear! How I love the Crabshack! A family-run and operated eatery with modest design and ambience, serving a variety of crab and seafood dishes, only steps from the beach. How I love to feel the rays of the Miami sun, sitting on the sidewalk terrace. The perfect place for an afternoon with good friends and great food.”
“The Broken Shaker is quite the special space. For some reason, every time that I visit, interesting and peculiar things seem to happen. That is all I’ll say.”
Crusing through Biscayne Bay
“Many of you may, or may not know this – but I have sailed the Seven Seas a plenty. I grew up as a mariner, setting sail and attempting to discover lands still uncharted. These days, my nautical ambitions are much more modest. Whenever I am in Miami, I make sure to spend as much time as possible navigating through Biscayne Bay on my humble vessel.”
“This lesser-known, beautiful, flowing garden was designed as a laboratory for the observation and study of tropical plants in Miami. I often find myself wandering through their grounds, with my portable field-recorder in hand, registering the many organic sounds that can be heard, to later incorporate in my original productions. I cloak the call of birds and the rustling of the leaves in mystery, altering their tonality and timbre to the point of being unrecognisable, but still so special to me. The garden of inspiration.”
Guaguanco in Little Havana
“Six years ago, while strolling through Little Havana, I somehow found myself in a Cuban community centre for the arts. It was on this day that I had my first Guanguanco dance lesson with my very kind and astonishingly limber, sixty-seven year-old instructor, Griselda. Although it has been quite some time since my last lesson, I can still feel the rhythm and pulse that makes Cuban music so special. My experiences there led me to incorporate some Spanish-speaking lyrics on my upcoming album, Fantast. The ninth track, entitled La Esperanza, with it’s chorus sung in Spanish, forever reminding me of Griselda’s patience.”
Kölsch didn’t prepare anything for his nine-hour residency sets at the Gewölbe Club in Cologne, Germany. “But that’s the beauty of it,” he reveals.
Known for his rousing, deeply emotive tracks, the Danish producer believes in both the freedom of music, and of his surroundings dictating his sounds. The aforementioned can certainly be said for the artist’s unparalleled open-air performance last fall atop the Eiffel Tower. His oeuvre has only continued to rewrite the rulebook of modern production, with each and every performance serving as a further testament to his craft and rinsing in the global circuit.
Kölsch’s music implements an articulate understanding of his surroundings, the solace of the times, whatever and whenever he may be drawing from — one he earned in part by growing up in the hippie community of Christiania. Though he’s revered for his countless remixes, each original work comes complete with clear sentimentality. The journey is always vibrant and picturesque, with the electronic composer offering his listeners a window into his soul or his past with each carefully crafted piece.
His most recent LP, 1989, was the final installment in an autobiographical series which embeds his finely-tuned craftsmanship with a newfound emotive elevation of his artistic output. Its sonic landscape is an intensified deployment of real-life orchestral sounds, marking a true ascension for the artist.
Unexpectedly, Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac has shown her undying support for Kölsch’s work, noting, “that man is sort of King when it comes to pianos and house music. He’s got a way of wrenching your emotions.” Of course, she’s right. From his last full-length’s gut-wrenching tearing through the bleak, loneliness that at times plagues adolescence, it may seem that there’s only one side to Kölsch; though a deeper dive into his discography proves the artist, like many, contains multitudes.
With a string of high profile festival shows and a stellar BBC Radio 1 show under his belt, his iconic status has showed no signs of stopping. He an Ibiza residency dubbed “In The Dark” at Hï Ibiza last season, played the iconic DC 10, Berghain‘s Panorama bar, and made his infamous Eiffel Tower live stream for five million people.
Dancing Astronaut had a chance to catch up with Kölsch amidst his global domination as he’s about to touch down in the states for Miami Music Week and will return in April for major performances at Coachella. During the discussion, he touched on his thoughts on the US dance scene, the extinction of EDM, how he remedies his sets worldwide, and more.
Congratulations on your absolutely incredible year! On top of your BBC Radio 1 domination and playing the main stage at Tomorrowland 2018 you’re approaching your first performance at Coachella. What can attendees expect?
I’m really looking forward to experiencing the whole festival. I’ve never been, but many friends say it is an incredible festival. I can’t wait to play a killer set. What you can expect is more of my charming self. That plus good techno records and my intensive competitive miming act is sure to be special. On another note, I don’t think the US is ready for my techno miming act, so I’ll just do the techno.
How do you feel about playing Coachella as opposed to Glastonbury in the UK or Tomorrowland?
Coachella is definitely on the bucket list I always wanted to play. I’ve been lucky over the years to play most of the festivals I dreamt of (Sonar, Melt, Dour, Tomorrowland, Timewarp, Awakenings, Glastonbury, and so on) I actually think that Coachella is the last major festival on my dream list I haven’t played yet, so I’m really excited.
More underground electronic artists seem to be playing at Coachella this year. Why do you think that is?
The downfall of EDM beckons for a new sound to rise. In Europe, EDM is completely dead, and all big festivals have techno acts as headliners next to the headliner bands. Radio has also lost a lot of the power it used to have, and therefore, kids are finding their own new heroes online and through friends. I love the fact that there is finally room for new music at festivals. Be it techno, fresh Indie bands or hip hop it’s about time all festivals start realizing that mass SoMe Followers, doesn’t always result in guaranteed ticket sales. There have been way too many lazy bookings over the years, and I’m very happy to see that change.
You’ve recently had a successful residency at Gewölbe Club in Cologne, Germany. ISPO. Tell us about how that came to be and how it is playing that club?
IPSO stems from Ipso Facto. It ruffly stems from “by the factor off,” and is the name of my label. I’ve got a bunch of releases planned on the label, so I decided to expand the concept into a traveling residency. Its been going at Gewölbe in Cologne for 2 years now, and I usually end up playing very longs sets. Up to 9 hours. It’s such special club, as it has the only bespoke built Martion Horn Speaker system in the world. The sound is out of this world.
How does it compare to playing a venue like Ushuaia in Ibiza, for instance, in terms of planning, energy, set length?
It’s a completely different beast. Playing in front of 12,000 people for 90 min demands a completely different level of discipline than a smaller club. There is not the same room for experimentation. Playing nine hours on a good sound system with the right crowd is any DJ’s dream gig. It feels like therapy to me.
Do you do anything to prepare for the up to nine-hour sets for IPSO in Cologne?
I don’t prepare anything, that’s the beauty of it. With the sound system at Gewölbe one thing I’ve been practicing other than slower tempo and energy, is starting my sets with tracks with a more open sound. Maybe tracks that haven’t been squashed in mastering, so there is more room, to intensify the energy later in the set. Its very interesting to experiment with building a set that way.
How do you see the current scene of electronic music in the US from your point of view?
After the extinction of EDM, the scene is fantastic. There is an amazing form of optimism in clubs all over the US. Suddenly there is room to move more freely and it seems a lot of the freaks are coming out again. People are exploring a new sound, and I just get so much great music these days from the states. I love that the scene has escaped the pigeonholing of style, sound, and attitude that was defined by EDM festivals. For a while there it felt like I was playing in 1997 at Mayday in Germany. It was depressingly hilarious to witness that the scene was so far behind. Thank god for the progress.
How does playing clubs where you can create a new chapter for the club compare to playing the Eiffel Tower like you did back in the fall? That seems to be a true once in a lifetime experience…Maybe the best open-air venue in the world…?
It was definitely a life-altering moment. I’ve had a long-lasting love affair with Paris. From early Laurent Garnier records, through Ludovic Navarre to the French Disco house era hailed by Daft Punk, it’s been a defining place for dance music. The last 10 years have ushered a different, and tougher time for the French. Terrorist attacks have sadly been all too frequent and I felt that I needed to illustrate how much we all love and support them. Just to play Acid Eiffel by Laurent Garnier, a record that influenced me so much in 1993, on the Eiffel Tower was extremely emotional. Dance music may not be political, but on an emotional level we can all show support.
Was there ever a point in your career where you’d said, ok, I know I’ve made it if I’m playing here?
Well playing there was never even a thing I could have ever considered possible. I could have never event dreamt of that, as I got into this scene, so it was a very big deal for me. My French grandmother who is 93 watched the whole set on her laptop…that made me extra proud.
What tracks do you have in mind that you will definitely play at Miami Music Week?
I’ve got so many new demos in want to test out…currently working on a new IPSO collab with Joris Voorn that I will definitely play.
Also testing out stuff for my next Speicher 12”, so demo galore.
Which track do you have in mind for the anticipated b2b with Tiga at All Gone Pete Tong Pool Party?
It’s going to have to be our new tracks from our upcoming IPSO collab. It was such a pleasure working together. We had a great time in the studio.
Which track for the Kompakt at Space Party?
Maybe a Kompakt classic. I’ve been hammering Donnerkuppel by Robag Wrühme again lately, so maybe that one.
Do you have a track in mind for Get Lost Miami?
I’ll see how underground I can get away with playing there. I really want to take it far out, so I’ll be digging into my rarer records for that one…
And finally, where can we expect the Kölsch sound to move to in the new year? One of our all-time favorite quotes of yours is, “I was trying to make a Balearic version of Jeff Mills..” and it’s in reference to the making of “Calabria.” Obviously, a lot of time has passed since then and your music is consistently evolving, but considering your latest exclusive release other than the WhoMadeWho remix and now “Left Eye Left,” was 1989 — the significantly more emotive, final installment in the album trilogy — we wonder whether the grey shall clear and we’ll see a new side of Kölsch…
The Grey is well and over… I’m working on a lot of new material. Experimenting a lot right now with new demos, so let’s see what comes out of that…
Kölsch US Tour Dates:
March 22: All Gone Pete Tong Pool Party Surfcomber, Miami, FL
March 24 – Kompakt Club Space, Miami, FL
March 24-25 – Crosstown Rebels present Get Lost Miami, FL
April 15 – Coachella, Indio, CA
April 22 – Coachella, Indio, CA
Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.
Yotto hardly needs an introduction in today’s dance sphere. Having risen seemingly out of nowhere, the Finnish talent caught the attention of Anjunadeep early on in his career and subsequently climbed the house ranks for his lush, melodic take on the genre.
He became much more than simply a wunderkind for Anjuna, however, forever keeping his blinders on and making music that brought him the most profound fulfillment. As a result, his forward-thinking approach to musicmaking cemented his credibility, and made him a well-respected member of the dance underground. Yotto’s name began appearing on prolific bills across the globe, with an increasing demand for his driving, hypnotic aesthetic. In 2018 alone he’s been tapped for his debut Essential Mix, while also releasing on an EP Joris Voorn‘s Green imprint.
As he prepares for his Miami Music Week appearances — which include a booking alongside progressive greats at the Rapture festival (tickets here), a gig at Do Not Sit On The Furniture, Ultra, and more — he graciously provided Dancing Astronaut with some insight on his artistic development, retaining balance among a chaotic tour schedule, and using his air miles for various things around the airport.
Tell us about your first Essential Mix – what was the story of your recruitment to make one, and how was the process for you of fashioning the mix?
Making an Essential Mix is one of those bucket list things that I’ve always wanted to do – BBC Radio 1 has been an invaluable supporter for my music so I think getting to do an Essential Mix came very naturally. For the mix I wanted to include a combination of stuff that I play right now and a lot of music that forms my musical DNA some in form of edits that I made just for the mix. In the end I just recorded the mix and added some intro and outro bits later.
What sorts of sounds, artists, and other factors have inspired your sonic evolution over the years?
Ahh many things! Most of my musical inspirations come from old, non-dancefloor electronic music like Boards Of Canada and Ulrich Schnauss. Listening to new, upcoming producers is also great for inspiration as they might have a less jaded view on producing and bring new, fresh ideas to the table. Dj-wise I was always a big fan of Sasha & Digweed, Desyn Masiello and Deep Dish.
It seems progressive has played a major role in your upbringing – from your days of influence from Sasha & Digweed, to falling in love with the classic progressive house sound, to now, where a lot of your music can be defined under the sub-genre. What is it about progressive that strikes a chord so deeply with you? Do you feel it’s having a moment again in the current dance sphere thanks to acts yourself (among many others) are helping to return its credibility to the mainstream?
I have never been a big fan of genres to start with, I’ve just always had a very passionate relationship with emotional, musically rich dance music. It can be disco, classic deep house, just a fat techy drum loop or the turn-of-the-century prog sound. I honestly don’t think that the more progressive sound ever went away. People just keep rebranding it – a lot of today’s “melodic techno” is 100% progressive house to me but sometimes people need to come up with new labels to form a new perspective on a sound. I think generally it’s a sound where people can find more to remember in a song, when the musical content is rich.
When did you realize the “music bug” had entirely bit you and that you needed to do music full time? Or did you fall into it unexpectedly? Tell us the story!
I did work for ages before actually giving in and working on music full time. It was always more or less a daydream but all good things have a way of coming if you work for it. It all happened quite organically after a few successful releases with Anjunadeep I was able to start touring and at that point there’s really no way to have a day job when you arrive home late every Monday and have to leave on the road again on Thursday.
Given your climb up the success ladder as of late, you must be finding yourself quite busy. How do you maintain balance and clarity among a chaotic work schedule? What is your self-care routine?
Good thing about being busy with music is having this hard-wired need to make music and listen to it all day long, so it does not feel like a burden. Chaos can be controlled, haha. Touring is tiring and sometimes very heavy, but it’s a small price to pay for being able to do it. Taking care of your health and family is essential. I try to do sports basically every day I’m not on the road, have recently been getting back into the swimming pool too so that should keep me going. Taking the dog out into the woods is also a perfect form of therapy. In all fairness I enjoy making music for a living so much that I think I’m cheating in life and should be taken in for questioning.
On that note, where do you see yourself taking your career in the future? Have you given any thoughts to running your own label? Are you planning a party series like Guy Gerber’s Rumors?
For sure, there’s no masterplan for it just yet but will definitely look into having my own label at some point. I get sent a lot of amazing music and would love to get that out there on my own too.
What is your philosophy toward making, and performing music?
I make and play music that I like, very simple. I believe that whatever music you make and play it should come organically and from a real place, otherwise there’s no point if you can’t enjoy it in a very honest way.
Where are your favorite places to play in the world, and why?
Everywhere! I must say I love South American crowds a lot, they have a great culture for dance music. Each city and every club has their own charm, so it’s hard to pick just a couple. Sometimes a festival stage feels amazing, sometimes a tiny basement in a small European town is exactly what gets you going.
Let’s switch gears to Rapture festival. It must have been an honor to be booked on the Soundgarden stage! How is it working with Nick Warren, and to know you were chosen to play alongside such heavyweights in your arena?
Nick is a legend, and the whole festival has a really good lineup from Luciano and Guy Gerber to a great combination of classic and modern progressive artists on the Soundgarden stage. I think that’s a great representation of where the sound is now and where it’s going in the future.
What excites you most about playing Rapture?
The lineup and the location, I’ve heard that it’s a beautiful part of Miami and feels great to jump out of the madness of South Beach and Wynwood for a bit during the Miami Music Week. Also a cold beer or two, hopefully a hot dog and maybe pancakes if they have any.
Now for your favorite question: what’s coming up for Yotto throughout the rest of the year?
More music! I’m excited about all the new music that I have ready to go. Will be going around all continents again over the rest of the year so I’m also looking forward to missing airplane meals and trying to figure out if I can buy candy with air miles.
Deep passion manifested itself into a triumphant return for Gabriel & Dresden, whose crowdfunded album The Only Road exceeded already high expectations from trusting fans to become one of the top trance releases of 2017. The beloved duo have since been taking their new work on the road with them, attending to their global following’s craving for their clever and sentimental aesthetic.
The pair offer an enticing taste of what fans might expect from their forthcoming appearances both Ultra and at Above & Beyond‘s Common Ground Miami Music Week event, taking place March 22 at the RC Cola Plant. It makes for an enjoyable hour, flowing smoothly from the deep end of trance to a more energized soundscape, ending with their beloved remix to Andain’s “Beautiful Things.”
Feature photo credit: Sean Moore Photography
Miami’s Winter Music Conference has announced official dates and panel topics ahead of its 33rd edition. Taking place on March 20-22 in Miami Beach’s illustrious Faena District, the conference will play host to a variety of panel discussions. Publicity, agency, licensing, streaming and A&R are among just a few of the topics listed on WMC’s official website.
“We’re thrilled to have the breathtaking Faena Forum as the backdrop for this year’s Winter Music Conference,” explained Bill Kelly, WMC Co-Founder.
“2018 is the start of a renaissance for WMC,” the conference said in a statement. “A major announcement about WMC’s future will be made at this year’s conference that will once again put it at the very top of must-attend events for the entire international dance music community.”
New devices and channels offer DJ’s, Producers, and Artists more choices than ever to interact with their fans and build their brand. By adopting modern tools, you have endless opportunities to create proactive commerce across every touchpoint. Other key points discussed at this panel are strategies to further your career from marketing to publishing, creating sales demand, cross-promotion, and various other revenue streams. Come meet these heavyweight champions as they give us insight into their world.
This panel explores the relationship between an agent and promoter. The main duty of the promoter is to publicize and promote a show, from DJ Gigs to Live performances. The agent’s responsibilities are to book shows, negotiate contracts and work with promoters to assure that all goes smoothly when planning your show or a full tour. Allow our panel of experts help you navigate the symbiotic relationship between Agent and Promoter to assure everything goes off without a hitch and gives your fans an experience they won’t soon forget.
Whether your intentions are to drive sales, foster brand awareness or increase your fan base, social media is a vital but potentially daunting task. In an era of slippery music economy and constantly evolving new music economy this panel will focus on utilizing social media, tastemaker blogs, and even your website to steer you through the proper channels and take your career from the Blogosphere to the Stratosphere!
With music sales both physically and digitally in a steady decline over the years, one of the most lucrative and successful new revenue streams has been the rise of music licensing. From movies to TV commercials and video games, let your music work for you. Licensing your work to commercials, film and video games introduces your music to new audiences, create sustainability, as well as being a great source of income to help pay the rent. Let these expert panelists steer you in the right direction to increase revenue and get your music in front of new audiences.
Artist and Repertoire (or more commonly know as an A&R) representatives are the people who scout talent for record labels. A great A&R person is expected to understand the current tastes of the market and find artists and help guide their path to commercial success. Once signed, the A&R will act as the artist’s main point of contact with the record label including navigating deals with the label and the development of their artists which can include finding songwriters and producers. This panel of key industry players has the insight and wisdom you will need to help you make the best decisions for your career!
Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and future streaming services are rapidly changing how we as the consumer get our music. Sharing your streaming profile across your artist properties and socials will drive fans to follow you and allow you to engage in conversations with your fans. From creating quality playlists to tracking your metrics, this panel from Radio and Streaming leaders will teach you how all of these best practices can grow your streams and increase revenue.
Ultra Music Festival unveiled their RESISTANCE lineup for UMF’s flagship Miami edition, ahead of the festival’s 20th anniversary in March. The lineup is directly in line with the underground thematics of RESISTANCE, an intra-Ultra brand that caters to house and techno fans. RESISTANCE will host some of the underground’s most storied acts across its Arcadia Spectacular “Spider” stage, and its tented Megastructure arena.
A landmark anniversary celebration warrants a lineup of large talent, and RESISTANCE delivers. Adam Beyer, Carl Cox, Jamie Jones, Sasha, Maceo Plex, and more top the RESISTANCE lineup. Dubfire, Nicole Moudaber, and Paco Osuna will convene for a triple b2b performance at the Megastructure on Saturday, March 24, while J.E.S.u.S., comprised of Jackmaster, Eats Everything, Skream, and Seth Troxler, will dominate the ‘Spider’ on Sunday, March 25.
A host of additional artists will also provide support across both stages. While the RESISTANCE lineup is nothing short of stunning, it is not yet complete—festival organizers will announce the rest of the performers that comprise the RESISTANCE Miami lineup in the weeks to come. Tickets to Ultra Miami’s 20th anniversary from March 23–25 can be purchased here.