Let’s face it, we all lead busy lives. I’ve been slapping the snooze button so often lately I’ve had to consolidate showering, breakfast, and flossing all into the same five minutes. I can barely seem to find the seconds to reply back to my mom’s “have a good night at work” text messages (which yes, I understand wins me the Worst Daughter of the Year award).
It’s tough out there sometimes. Trying to fit in time with friends, around time at work, and still finding those few and far between moments for relaxation. It’s a highly skilled talent that I just don’t seem to possess. I can barely find time to fold the laundry I did…last week. It continues to sit on my basement floor, collecting dust and screaming “BUY A DAY PLANNER!”
When Ultra Musical Festival (UMF) ended last week and my Soundcloud was inundated with new sets I knew my frenzied state had hit a whole new level of ridiculous. Instead of feeling excited for the mountains of new tunes that stood before me, I felt stressed. How in the hell was I supposed to find time to dig through all of them to see which were good and which were not? I can barely find time to take my pants off before bed, but I’m supposed to take 5 – 10 hours and carefully examine which UMF sets took the cake this year? Give me a break.
Thank god for friends though, right? I started asking around, seeing what people had already listened and liked. After a few short conversations, I was able to compile a list of what appeared to be the best of the rest. So, over the last few days, as I’ve raced around in-between jobs, coffee dates, appointments and errands, I’ve given my peers suggestions a listen and let me tell you, I’ve not been disappointed.
Allow me to share these suggestions with you as well. Here are my seven picks for this year’s UMF sets that you’re going to want to listen to. This list isn’t exhaustive because like I said, ain’t nobody got time for that. But it is a list that will save you some time and it will most definitely get you moving.
In no particular order…
7. The Chainsmokers
These guys are destroying everything they touch this year, and their Ultra set is no different. I got actual chills when they dropped ‘Feel So Close’ and even more tingly when they transitioned from Tommy Trash’s “Fuckwind” into their remix of Fenech-Soler’s “Last Forever.” It’s incredibly high energy and unique. It definitely goes down as one of my personal favorites from the whole weekend.
Datsik continues to amaze me. His grimy bass and assaultive-like drops are always legendary, but he plays in a creative and intelligent way that I find some Dubstep DJ’s lack. The last 15 minutes of his set had me sweating. This Canadian talent is a monster and I’m excited to see what other collaborations and remix’s he has up his sleeve for the summer. Also, there’s an ID that will take your breath away because hey, what’s an Ultra set without a new tune that rocks your world.
5. Eric Prydz
From the first titillating seconds of chord progressions, all the way to the end where he slays the crowd with Pjanoo, Prydz captivates yet another crowd with his abilities. “Powerdrive,” “Liberate,” and “Every Day” are massive tunes he lets fly, all the while throwing in a few jaw-dropping ID’s that had me moving for days. It’s a huge set with huge tracks and even bigger energy. I can’t even imagine what it felt like to hear this one live.
I was able to catch some of the live feed over the weekend and one DJ that caught me by surprise was Zomboy. Sure, who doesn’t love a little bass cozying up in their eardrums? But this set was aggressive and dominating and I had it cranked for the short while it was on. My favorite part was near the end when he let loose his remix of his, Fedde Le Grand and DI-RECT’s “Where We Belong.” That sneaky drop is deafening and as the camera panned over the crowd (who were gyrating like a bunch of bass-crazed maniacs) I felt the energy like I was dancing there myself.
3. Myon and Shane 54
These mash up monsters never disappoint. I honestly believe Myon and Shane have their fingers directly on the pulses of every single dancer that populates their stage. Having seen these two live on more than one occasion, I can safely say their ability to read a crowd and accompanying set list is always on point. They playfully toss in their remix of Daft Punk’s “One More Time” as well as their take on Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful.” The set wasn’t one for the record books and it wasn’t jammed with never heard before material, but it’s uplifting and dancey. Exactly what you would come to expect from this duo.
2. Mat Zo
Not just because my admiration of this Anjuna artist is astronomically high and definitely not because seeing him live last summer changed my life. Not just because I’d sell all my earthly possessions for 10 minutes alone with him to pick his brain and not because “Mozart,” “Bipolar,” “Lucid Dreams,” and “Pyramid Schemes,” are some of the best tracks I’ve ever heard. Not because my friends who were at UMF this weekend said that his set blew the roof off the entire park and not because I simply love his style. It’s because his set is WILL undoubtedly give you full body tingles, beginning to end. Prepare yourself.
- Skrillex and Diplo: “Jack U”
If you didn’t hear it already from your friends and every other person posting about it live on Facebook, this set will bend your mind. Enough said.
Like I said before, this list isn’t exhaustive and I’m sure there are still sets I will find that will leave me in a state of musical bliss. But for now, as we all run around trying to meet the obligations that our busy lives require, allow these helpful recommendations to save you some time. Rock a little Prydz as you slam down your breakfast, cruise to work with Zo, hit the gym with Zomboy and let The Chainsmokers soundtrack your drive in between dinner dates and appointments.
A busy day with music is better than a busy day with none.