By John Ruiz
It’s safe to say Ultra is a mainstream festival. Some are already saying it about Burning Man since Silicon Valley homies began spending bank on the coolest party abodes.
I’m not gonna lie, I have a weird obsession with which way the mainstream decides to gush its essence onto the masses and if I’m sure of anything is that I can’t say that about everyone. Still, most people eat this shit up.
I use to and I’m first to admit it. But something happened along my journey of actually understanding what house music is that it’s very delivery changed, adding allure when compared to this forceful counterpart. I know these two genres aren’t the only sounds worth talking about, but it’s clear that there use to be a separation between niche underground house and any DJ on the Top DJ Mag poll. This year’s lineup left me like, WTF. One, MAYBE two stages of this but I’m officially reminiscent of those really short months of that very defined line that reminded me of choosing rap or rock in the middle school days, LOL. It was borderline between the light side or dark side of the force. That was until System of A Down came out and that line was suddenly rather blurry. It’s hearing Loco Dice throw in his hip hop break beats into authentic Berlin techno that those lines begin to blur once again. Only this time between fertile electronic music and well, sterile EDM.
Did you ever expect to hear this…
…so close to this???
So this Ultra 2015 lineup. Wtf right? Did all these once underground DJs just sell out? That answer is ultimately up to you, but there comes a time when music trends mix in a way most zodiac signs would advise against and the time has come again. I thought I was part of a small strange collective excited to see GTA or Skrillex in the same lineup as Maceo Plex and MK but turns out there’s a lot more of us than I thought. Every year Djs choose Ultra as their moment to drop new tracks that essentially ripple throughout radio stations and podcasts for the entire year.
How interesting will it be to see how these “Top DJ’s” adapt to the resurgence of house and techno, as well as visa versa. Avicii’s much anticipated 2014 set turned into a Deadmau5’s troll of Martin Garrix with funky Deep House rhythms on the MainStage. I can see unaware ravers moving towards the mature sound, but I definitely don’t see underground scenester’s turning out to see Afrojack or Nicky Romero even after they adapt to the more popular sounds. Or maybe just maybe, they’ll prove me wrong. It’s music in the end. We’re the ones who compartmentalise it into genres just for the sake of conversation. And yes I’m guilty of that as well. It’s a loud world y’all, let’s enjoy the silence within the music. I wasn’t even fully aware of electronic music when Ultra had Rabbit in the Moon on Miami Beach, but it seems that those days of real house music may be coming full circle. I for one will be looking for the candy kids at Deep Dish because I know that I won’t bother looking for anyone at all during Hardwell. See you at Carola, and don’t you dare forget your pacifiers.