The ten best artists of the Ultra Music Festival 2022: Kygo, Adam Beyer, Tale of Us
Hope you managed to snag a ticket to this year’s Ultra Music Festival, which returned to Bayfront Park March 25-27. Unfortunately, you’re out of luck if you waited until the last minute. Tickets are sold out.
For those who purchased admission a long time ago, there is a lot to pass on. Techno, house, dubstep, dance-pop and many more will be well represented this year. With over 160 acts spread across seven stages, chances are you’ll find something you’ll want to listen to at the festival.
In case you need advice, new times took a closer look at this year’s lineup and picked ten acts (listed in alphabetical order) that you should see first at the festival.
Swedish techno master and Drumcode Records founder Adam Beyer leads the Carl Cox Megastructure on Sunday, bringing his chilling Scandinavian beats with him. Just watch his latest collaboration with DJ Rush, “Restore My Soul”, to get a taste of what to expect. It’s frenetic and cold, but manages to mesmerize the listener into a state of euphoria. In short, get ready for a techno masterclass from a producer who’s been leading the genre for over two decades. Sunday, March 27, at Carl Cox Megastructure.
Before Beyer takes over the decks, Belgian DJ Amélie Lens will warm up the audience. A techno phenomenon in her own right, the 31-year-old producer has been rocking bodies since 2016. Last year, Lens released the four-track EP, Raver Heart, a collaboration with French producer Airod. The title track would feel right at home in a dark, cavernous nightclub like Berlin’s Berghain, but make no mistake: the festival crowd will go wild when she drops it during her set. Sunday, March 27, at Carl Cox Megastructure.
black tiger sex machine
Montreal trio Black Tiger Sex Machine hits the world stage on Saturday, promising to play hard on bass. BTSM combines electro and dubstep to create an aggressive and dark atmosphere with their music. But the most arresting thing about the band is their light-up tiger helmets in the vein of other masked acts before them, like Deadmau5 and Daft Punk. Saturday March 26, at the Worldwide Stage.
In 2020, Elohim spoke to our sister newspaper, Phoenix New Timesabout the way which she is often mistaken for a DJ. “I make my own music. I write it. I play it live. I’m a solo show and I read music,” she told the newspaper. The Los Angeles-based producer and singer-songwriter has certainly proven herself capable of creating irresistible tracks. In 2021, she released a three-volume EP, called Journey to the center of myselfperhaps the best introduction to his dance-pop sound. Sunday March 27, at the Live Stage.
Norwegian DJ Kygo has more than proven himself capable of running a festival the size of Ultra. Maybe that’s why he’s closing the main stage on Friday night. Around the start of the pandemic, the producer released the tropical house-tinged album golden hour, which featured collaborations with artists like OneRepublic, Kim Petras, and Zac Brown. The album’s star is a posthumous collaboration with the late Whitney Houston. He reworked Houston’s cover of Steve Winwood’s song “Higher Love” into a joyous celebration tailored for the festival stage. Friday, March 25, at the Ultra Main Stage.
Fckng Serious artist Moritz Hofbauer breaks the stereotype that techno is soulless sound. It is perhaps his training in classical music that allows the German producer to incorporate so much emotion into his work. On “Field of Light”, with Harry Keyworth, he transforms what could have been a catch-all techno track into a melodic experience. As his label takes over one of Resistance’s two stages on Friday, Hofbauer is one of the few live performers to perform at the festival concept at an Ultra festival. Friday, March 25, at Fckng Serious at Resistance.
Born in Georgia (the country, not the state), Lasha Mamulashvili traveled to the United States on a tourist visa in 2015 and made it his mission to stay in the country and succeed under his nickname Nitepunk. Currently based in Los Angeles, the producer is often referred to as “dubstep”, but that rings hollow. Mamulashvili’s sound borrows heavily from hip-hop, R&B and urbano to create something new and refreshing for a genre that still seems unable to shake off Skrillex’s influence. Scary monsters and nice goblins. Saturday March 26, at Gud Vibrations at UMF Radio.
This year, few acts at Ultra represent what’s happening in the underground scene better than Pan-Pot. The Berlin duo’s experimental techno sound often breaks the rules instead of following them. Tassilo Ippenberger and Thomas Benedix’s 2021 track “Voodoo” vibrates with jungle rhythms, sometimes bordering on undanceable. Pan-Pot’s recent collaboration with Bjurman, “Skin on Skin,” envelops the listener in a capricious yet welcoming cacophony. Sunday March 27, at Anse à la Résistance.
On Friday, San Jose native Svdden Death performs his show Voyd on the live stage. Presented as an audio-visual experience, the set will only include original sounds from the producer. Svdden Death recently announced the release of Void IIthe sequel to his 2018 EP, See I. If it’s anything like the previous version, expect to feel literally shaken from start to finish. Here’s hoping the audience gets a taste of the upcoming release during his set. Friday March 25, at the Live Stage.
Tale of us
The Berlin duo via Milan Tale of Us are no strangers to performing in front of a Miami crowd. Last year, he took the stage at CircoLoco’s Miami Art Week party and stopped by Club Space countless times. On Saturday, Carmine Conte and Matteo Milleri will headline the Resistance stage, bringing their melodic style of techno. The duo have performed at countless festivals, including Coachella, Secret Solstice, and Tomorrowland, so expect Tale of Us to feel right at home during Ultra. Saturday March 26, at Resistance.
Ultra Music Festival 2022. Friday, March 25 through Sunday, March 27 at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; ultramusicfestival.com. Exhausted.