The Ultra Music Festival is taking place at the end of March in Miami. Partnering with the label Ultra Music, the festival has just released a compilation of songs from the performers at the upcoming festival. Ultra Music Festival Compilation 2014 is a perfect sampling of the various performers and highlights their stylistic differences, including some huge club smashes.
DJ megastar Calvin Harris starts things off. “Thinking About You” was a big dance hit in 2013, serving as Harris’ fifth consecutive number one track on Billboard’s Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart, and charted in over 16 countries. Small wonder he was named as the highest paid DJ in 2013 by Forbes. “Thinking” is a catchy straight up dance pop song with a strong vocal performance by Ayah Marar.
Kaskade and Project 46 ramp up the progressive house with one of the compilation’s stronger tracks, “Last Chance.” That’s followed up by Dutch DJ Nicky Romero, who teams with EDM sensations Krewella for “Legacy.” The track is both lyrically and musically a melodic juggernaut, shifting between house with deep dubstep flourishes in the break. Krewella’s vocals masterfully elevate the song.
A couple surprises include John Dahlback’s “Sirens” with its retro keyboard lines (almost Com Truise-ish) and Adrian Lux & Marcus Schossow’s “Wild Child” which shifts tone dramatically in the middle of the song, courtesy of vocals by JJ. Steve Aoki, Chris Lake, and Tujamo’s “Boneless,” another sizable dance hit, gives the compilation a good dose of grit, as does Flosstradamus’s “Mosh Pit,” featuring rapper Casino.
Blasterjaxx (DJs Thom Jongkind and Idir Makhlaf) are represented on the compilation with their excellent track “Faith.” Both in their early 20s, Blasterjaxx have not been around as long as some of the other acts on the record, but certainly have the talent for a long career on the scene. Sick Individuals contribute the most melodic track, with “I Am” featuring vocals by Taylr Renee. It’s both driving and upbeat, but melodic and evocative, with peeled-back layers at key intervals throughout the song.
Finally, towards the end of the compilation we get to some trance, my second favorite electronic genre (after downtempo), courtesy of Above & Beyond. Stalwarts of the trance scene (they produced the radio show Trance Around the World from 2004-2012), Above & Beyond are featured with their recent single, “Hello.”
Ultra Music Festival Compilation 2014 is a perfect overview of the current state of dance music as well as a nice primer for fans going to the festival. And if you choose to buy the compilation at Best Buy, there is a limited edition mini-mag that accompanies it with interviews and pictures from last year’s festival.Powered by Sidelines