Ultra 2013 set the bar really high for Ultra 2014. Ultra 2014 proofed that it isn’t the same every year. This year was different and in a way jaw dropping. Picking the top 5 DJ sets at Ultra 2014 wasn’t easy at all. This year was different from last year from Armin van Buuren playing as GAIA at A State of Trance in an epic back to back pure Trance DJ set with one of the members from Rank 1 Benno De Goeji; to the Carl Cox and Friends 10 years anniversary with an arsenal of techno and house giants like Marco Carola, Loco Dice, Luciano, Dubfire, Umek, Maceo Plex and the EPIC Carl Cox b2b Nic Fanciulli DJ set. Here is my top 5 sets:
Closing Ultra on Sunday. Honestly the kid is now the world’s number one DJ by DJ Mag and I think he really proved it here in the epic closing of Ultra wow! Very spectacular and jaw dropping I think you can appreciate the DJ set more if you watch the video then just listening to the mix.
4. Carl Cox b2b Nic Fanciulli
Their is a reason the man is given a stage for himself and his guest DJ’s at Ultra every year. Carl Cox did and amazing performance with Nic Fanciulli the perfect combination of old school and modern Carl being 51 and Nic being 24 they played a two hour long set of tech house and it was amazing a very rare occasion to see them play they usually play together just a handful of times in Ibiza mostly.
The set GAIA did felt kind of like taking everyone to the church of trance. Not even kidding…like the entire set was just very different from the typical Armin and pure trance with a twist of techno and amazing graphics so unique see for yourself.
2. Eric Prydz (HOLO)
Eric Prydz really took it to the next level on this one. HOLO truly is breathtaking, I wasn’t there I saw the whole thing on my Mac and I was amazed I can’t even imagine how well it must of looked in person. North America’s biggest hologram ever.
In my opinion the best set at Ultra 2014. Deadmau5 replaced Avicii at the last minute due to a severe illness. Not only did he play minimal techno but he did the biggest troll in the history of EDM. The troll starts around 29:00 but the whole set is beautiful give it a listen and he also does a short tribute to Avicii with Levels right after the troll or maybe it was a part of the troll as well, we will never know.
Aly & Fila b2b John O’Callaghan
EDM crowd at Ultra World Wide Stage in 2013.
Swedish House Mafia last show at Ultra.
EDM scene at the main stage at Ultra 2013.
TimeWarp Richie Hawtin b2b Dubfire at 3pm closing set.
Techno is not EDM. Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is about “PLUR”, “Kandi”, and bros. EDM is about main stage festival music and radio music. Techno is a lot more minimalistic and a lot of simplicity. EMD is about colorful stuff and rainbows techno is not about rainbows. I made a Storify and a YouTube video to better explain this. Although Techno is under the literally Electronic Dance Music (EDM) it is not apart of the EDM culture. Techno is more groovy and dark and DJ sets tend to last from 3 hours to 6 hours or longer. Techno is a lot more dark but not in a creepy way just the music it self is dark and the environment as well but just because its dark doesn’t mean techno is only played at night. Theirs a lot of day techno parties as well. The outfits its usually all black on black as oppose to EDM that is a lot more colorful.
This is a video I made that really shows the difference between EDM and Techno enjoy 🙂
Adam Beyer played in Austin not that long ago and it was another one of those OMG moments. The set was deep and intimate. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Adam Beyer he is one the worlds best techno DJ’s in the world. He constantly headlines in major techno festivals like “Awakenings” and “Time Warp” also his residency in Ibiza. He has his very own and successful record-label “Drumcode” which had major artist like Joseph Capriati and Alan Fitzpatrick! He did a two hour set at Kingdom Nightclub in downtown Austin currently my favorite club in Austin and with the best sound system.
Here is a short video of what happened that night 🙂
So for SXSW I volunteered I unfortunately didn’t attend all the shows that I wanted but that is how it goes. This year was a bit disappointing for me as a Techno/House enthusiast their wasn’t many artist that REALLY caught my attention except for Cajmere and Duski and Doorly but that was as underground as it got with Techno and House. Last year we had Richie Hawtin, Loco Dice, Tiga, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (TEED) and Ean Golden which was amazing! I got to see all of them and hear them play! On 2013 I couldn’t attend the LEGENDARY set deadmau5 and Richie Hawtin did back to back! Richie Hawtin finally released it for free stream on SoundCloud which I was extremely thankful for! Some of my highlights for SXSW this year was seeing Flosstradamus for the third time and I got to experience a lot of Hip-Hop something out of my comfort zone. Also on the more underground not Techno related Djemba Djemba, Mr. Carmack and Loudpvck where there. I also saw the premiere of the Swedish House Mafia ‘Leave the World Behind’ movie with my friend Ana which is absolutely amazing! Really good documentary of the Swedish House Mafia very real! I took a picture of the tour manager Amy (she was sitting a few rows from where we where sitting) with Ana! This is cool because to be honest I think that is as close as I we will get to the Swedish House Mafia. Overall this year wasn’t the greatest but I had a good time.
Ana (left) and the tour manager, Amy (right side wearing a white shirt) of the Swedish House Mafia.
Richie Hawtin vs deadmau5 b2b @ SXSW 2013