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Ultra Music Festival | Miami – 29/03/14 | Live Review

HTF hit up day 2 of Ultra Music Festival in Miami! Feat. Gramatik, Bro Safari, Been Trill, Sydney Blu, and WhiteNoize. Read our thoughts here!

Source: Jericho Sav

Ultra Music Festival may be over but we still can’t stop thinking about it.  Winter Music Conference as a whole was certainly a memorable experience, but there were no doubt significant moments to be had on the second day of Miami’s biggest event.  We had the chance to catch some very unique artists, all incorporating and utilizing their vast knowledge of music as well as crowd control.  These may not be the guys (and gal) you’d expect to see getting their “PLUR” on the main stage, but these are certainly artists to keep your eye on.

Source: Jericho Sav

Coming into the UMF weekend, I had only really heard about Been Trill in passing while checking out some ƱZ mixes.  However after seeing their set on the Worldwide Stage, and with some further research when I got home, I discovered that Been Trill is not only a tight DJ crew, but operate as an art collective as well.  If you can’t already identify what kind of set these guys throw down, we’ll just say they know how to turn up.  Abundant hi-hat and 808 claps were heard constantly and were certainly an example that Trap has taken over.  With Bro Safari and DJ Snake laying in wait, Been Trill operated as a very appropriate lead in for the rest of the night.

Source: Jericho Sav

After having seen and shot countless Bro Safari sets over the last few years in the US, it came as no surprise to me that he would yet again find a way to impress me.  Riding the Trap wave to the full extent, Bro Safari finds various ways to alter and update his set from tour stop to tour stop, and the Worldwide Stage was no exception.  Throwing in tracks from artists such like Milo & Otis, Dillon Francis, Gents & Jawns, and Skrillex was a clear nod to OWSLA and Mad Decent, and a fitting one given the productions they continue to release.  With MC Sharpness interacting seamlessly with the crowd, the energy was at a high.  I had the chance to talk with Bro Safari last night in DC about his Ultra set and needless to say he was pretty happy to have had that opportunity.  Check out his set below and see what you think.

Source: Jericho Sav

I’ll be completely honest here – Gramatik is my favorite artist.  Hands down no question about it.  What this man does for Electro Soul, Dubstep, Funk, and Downtempo is truly significant and needs to be recognized even further.  His latest album The Age of Reason is a shining example of what truly innovation and creativity is, and if you haven’t checked it out for yourself, stop reading right now and just listen the second track off the album, ‘Torture‘.

Ok done?  Good.  Gramatik’s latest tour features a new addition, coming in the form of Russ Liquid on trumpet and saxophone, replacing guitarist Eric Mendelson while he focuses on Exmag.  Adding brass was always something I wanted to see from Gramatik, so the fact that it came during his Ultra set was particularly exciting.  Highlights of the set include the aforementioned ‘Torture‘ and Gibbz‘s accompaniment for ‘Get A Grip‘, while the high point definitely came during ‘Expect Us‘, a track that we have fallen in love with.

Source: Jericho Sav

Further in need of some funky vibes, I switched it up and headed over to the 7-Up sponsored Stage 7 for Sydney Blu.  With a far more intimate setting than all the other stages at Ultra, the Stage 7 platform not only overlooked most of Bayfront Park, but allowed for an open air experience, one that of course featured some great house productions.  Grooving to the fullest extent, myself, Sydney Blu, and the rest of the crowd couldn’t help but smile and admire the tracks she was throwing down.  As with most pro’s, there were seamless transitions, pin point song selection, and just an overall mastery of her craft.  In a weekend where I saw countless DJ’s perform, Sydney Blu’s control was certainly admirable.

Source: Jericho Sav

Stage 7 featured a number of house producers, and the next one I caught was WhiteNoize.  Having known about him through a collaboration with DJ Dan and a number of fantastic remixes, his set was exactly what I had hoped and expected it to be.  Much like the technical mastery of Sydney Blu, WhiteNoize was on point to say the least.  The second his ‘Engine No.9‘ track came on the crowd was treated to a great production, but unfortunately some very untimely rain.  At that point Stage 7 had to be shut down due to rain and wind concerns, so WhiteNoize’s set had to be cut short, and thus, my night at Ultra Day 2.

While the final hours of Day 2 were rained out, it certainly didn’t put a damper on what was already a great day of music. I like to pretend I’m a snob and don’t necessarily care about Ultra, but after having been through the gates for a fourth year, I really do appreciate what this festival does for attendees and the city of Miami. While controversy may envelop the first day of Ultra, the last two went off without any other major incidents. Hopefully planning and preparation is already going smoothly for Ultra 2015, and here’s to hoping I’ll be there for one more year.

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