Dancing Astronaut’s Soundtrack to Ultra Music Festival 2016

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Dancing Astronaut's Soundtrack to Ultra Music Festival 2016

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Another href="http://dancingastronaut.com/tag/ultra/" >Ultra Music Festival has come and gone, once again drawing thousands to Miami’s Bayfront park for three days of dance music madness. The weekend was not without its share of momentous highlights, from Tom Morello href="http://dancingastronaut.com/2016/03/knife-party-bring-tom-morello-close-ultra-music-festival/" > joining Knife Party on stage, to deadmau5 href="http://dancingastronaut.com/2016/03/deadmau5-drops-techno-trap-motorhead-ultra-day-3/" >performing from Armin van Buuren’s ASOT structure. With 7 stages of music spanning everything from trap to techno and trance, there was certainly something for everyone at this year’s event.

To encapsulate the feeling of a weekend spent at the world-class festival, we’ve created our Soundtrack to Ultra 2016, highlighting some of the biggest songs from this year’s event.

Photo courtesy of Rukes

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Deadmau5 – Imaginary Friends

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Deadmau5 was ubiquitous at Ultra. From filling in last-minute for The Prodigy, to href="http://dancingastronaut.com/2016/03/deadmau5-joins-pendulum-ultra-main-stage-ghosts-n-stuff-video/" >appearing on stage with Pendulum to perform “Moar Ghosts n Stuff,” the Canadian veteran was, in many ways, the star of the festival. His performance from Sunday’s A State of Trance stage was easily a top highlight of the weekend, boasting a slew of techno cuts throughout his evening slot. Amid selections from Maceo Plex, Pan-Pot and his classic hit “Faxing Berlin,” deadmau5 employed one of his many unreleased gems, “Imaginary Friends,” to tremendous effect. The electro-friendly original sounded colossal on the arena speakers, capping off another intriguing set from Joel Zimmerman.

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Photo Credit: Philip Wuyts

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Pendulum – Witchcraft

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The reunion of seminal Australian drum ‘n’ bass act Pendulum was likely the most anticipated event of the weekend. Their festival-closing  tabindex="0" data-term="goog_1332928131">Sunday set exceeded expectations, showcasing a plethora of new edits and nostalgic favorites, beginning as their heavy-hitting electro alias Knife Party, and then ending as the full Pendulum live band in the latter half. About an hour into the set, a hush fell over the crowd as Rob Swire sang out the instantly-recognizable vocal intro of “Witchcraft.” With UMF’s dazzling Main Stage visuals behind the band and crowd enthusiasm at a weekend high, it was an unforgettable moment in a truly memorable closing performance.

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Photo Credit: EDM Photos

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Pryda – Rebel XX

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Eric Prydz is one of the more malleable DJs around. The Swedish juggernaut is just as comfortable dropping warehouse Cirez D sets as he is wooing over trance-savvy crowds from Ultra’s ASOT Arena. Prydz returned to Armin’s specially curated stage for the second year in a row, performing after deadmau5 as one of the stage’s Sunday headliners. Oscillating between his his usual rhythms of Pryda and Cirez D, Prydz dropped a particularly enchanting selection: “Rebel XX” off last year’s Pryda Vol 1. The potent lead arp and classic Pryda snare proved the perfect the perfect charm for ASOT and Prydz fans alike.

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Photo Credit: ALIVECoverage

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Martin Garrix – Now That I've Found You

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A headlining slot at UMF is a career milestone for any electronic artist, and now Martin Garrix has earned that achievement at just 19 years old. The Dutch wunderkind has demonstrated a newfound sense of direction and versatility in performances since his split with Spinnin’ Records last August, dabbling in genres and experimenting with styles that may surprise those who stopped listening to him after “Animals.” Garrix closed out his  tabindex="0" data-term="goog_1332928134">Friday night set (which boasted 10 new originals) with his first release on his new label STMPD RCRDS, “Now That I’ve Found You.” Though the track was only officially unveiled about two weeks prior, much of the crowd was singing along to John & Michel’s euphoric vocal.

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Photo Credit: Rukes

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Lindstrøm – Closing Shot

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Lindstrøm’s new single “Closing Shot” made the rounds all of Miami Music Week, appearing in countless daytime and afterhours sets. It’s easy to see why — the track’s infectious arp and disco-friendly synth stabs made it an easy choice for the seductive vibes of the city. Perhaps nowhere was its impact as potent as it was at Sasha’s performance from the giant spider of the Resistance Stage at Ultra. Commanding the monolithic mechanical beast, Sasha employed Lindstrøm’s new concoction with hypnotizing bravado, enrapturing the free-spirited crowd in the open air.

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Photo Credit: EDM KEVIN

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Tiga – Planet E (Dense & Pika Remix)

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What would Ultra be without a dose of proper techno? From the behemoth Carl Cox & Friends Arena to the riveting Resistance Stage, there was never a shortage of quality underground artists performing at all times of the day. One such artist was Nicole Moudaber, who took the reigns of Carl’s coveted stage on Saturday afternoon. Amid some truly dark selections, Nicole Moudaber unearthed Dense & Pike’s dastardly remix to Tiga’s new rave anthem, “Planet E.” The daytime crowd, which was out in numbers for the techno queen’s performance, relished in the warehouse-savvy selection.

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Photo Credit: ALIVECOVERAGE

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The Chainsmokers – Roses

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There’s a reason why The Chainsmokers’ “Roses” ousted “Lean On” in December, winning the coveted #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart. Signaling a stark shift from 2014’s “Selfie,” Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall have taken their music in a new direction after revealing their softer side with the omnipresent record which features singer-songwriter Rozes. As The Chainsmokers continue riding the wave of success, “Roses” saw support from the likes of Galantis, Tiesto and Dash Berlin, among others at Ultra.

Photo Credit: ALIVECOVERAGE

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Agents of Time – Magma

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Agents of Time brought their sinister production “Magma” to Maceo Plex’s Ellum imprint earlier this month. Since then, the track has been in constant rotation in house and techno sets of the darker variety — not to mention being a favorite in Maceo’s own performances for the last few months. Aside from popping up at Damian Lazarus’s Get Lost party over the weekend, the track made a very notable appearance in Eric Prydz’s ASOT set — a rarity considering the Swedish hardly plays music outside of his own catalog.

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Photo Credit: EDM Photos

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Riton – Rinse and Repeat

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Riton’s “Rinse and Repeat” has served as a certified UK anthem over the past few months. If Ultra was any indication, the track’s appeal certainly hasn’t dampened. Heard everywhere from the Main Stage (thanks to Michael Calfan) to various side stages, the funky house cut was a clear favorite. With Brodinski and Busy P remixes adding to the fanfare, don’t expect the  tune to be going anywhere any time soon.

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Photo Credit: EDM Kevin

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DJ Snake – Propaganda

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It was inevitable that DJ Snake’s “Propaganda” would maneuver its way onto the UMF grounds. Played out previously at a number of leading festivals like Lollapalooza Brazil, EDC Mexico and Okeechobee, the single has been sustaining massive amounts of hype with no end in sight. The anthemic track’s thumping basslines and gritty synth structure helped facilitate a handful of the weekend’s biggest moments, appearing in sets from Marshmello, Lookas, Botnek, and of course, DJ Snake himself. Likely played more than any other track at Ultra, “Propaganda” ultimately reigned supreme during the festival’s 2016 installment.

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Photo Credit: EDM KEVIN

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