Dancing Astronaut’s Guide to Ultra 2014: The Cream of the Carl Cox Arena
Dancing Astronaut's Guide to Ultra 2014: The Cream of the Carl Cox Arena
If there is one artist who needs little versing in how to bring underground dance music to the masses, it’s Carl Cox. The Intec boss man turned global techno icon is back with his own arena amid the hustle and bustle of UMF for 2014, fuelling both Friday and Saturday of the festival with some heavy duty talent from across the international circuit. Carl’s ethos is a simple one: his house, his rules. It’s a year-on-year celebration of the mutual talents dominating his global club and festival duties, banding together on the sunnier plains of downtown Miami for a near biblical sermon on the cream of the house and techno crop. As we fast approach Ultra’s most diverse three-day showdown to date, DA lists the artists you need to be pricking an ear for whilst Carl Cox and his uber talented friends are in town.
By the time we made Maceo Plex our top techno and house artist of 2013, it felt like the former ghost producer turned heavyweight had barely stopped to reflect on the chaotic run of success seen throughout the year. He penned the perfect middle ground between ominous techno and off-stem house with a low-end fixation, kept his Ellum imprint in tune with some formidable and frankly wild talents and for the most part, left no continent untouched in the process. The underground sound certainly has its heavyweights, but few of them can hold a match to the stamina and consistency of the man sometimes known as Maetrik. Moving from the Bayfront Stage to Cox’s own kingdom for 2014, the British bombshell keeps significantly good company for UMF, taking the post as one of the most distinctly accomplished players to join the Carl Cox Arena during an undisputable renaissance in his respective genre’s health.
A seasoned favourite among Cox’s camp and British techno heavyweight through and throughout, Jon Rundell is too often mistaken as a new face on the beat. But as one of the key components in Intec’s consistent impact on the digital market and an accomplished studio hand himself, his work behind the scenes of the powerhouse label has been matched with some sizeable productions over the years, owing to a don-like standing throughout the world. At the outset of 2014, his Fifth Generation EP said it all, lapping up the energy of his biggest summer to date. Far more ‘golden boy’ than ‘poster boy,’ Rundell has lived and breathed the genre since long before its modern explosion, making him an essential asset to the Carl Cox Arena come UMF.
Despite popular belief, Mark Knight is not the only man to have channeled a formidable career out of the unsuspecting UK town of Maidestone. Infamous Space Ibiza resident Nic Fanciulli has schooled the vast majority of modern players on the lifeblood of tech house, taking a penchant for long and ever-expansive live sets across the world that challenge any claims that the sub-genre is growing stagnant. Through his own Saved imprint, new legions of talent have meticulously entered the global conversation through his selective sets and label spotlights; the bounty of which is never amiss in his festival sets (and there are quite a few these days). In yet another fine celebration of British dance music to bless Cox’s biggest hosting duties to date, join Fanciulli to witness one of the nation’s most outspoken luminaries bringing the bigger picture in global house music to the masses.
Cadenza’s chief in command Luciano was one of the earlier artists of his kind to breach the North American market. The crowds may not have always been arena-primed, but just try stopping the Swiss club manipulator from celebrating the spotlight as it continues to magnify. His ability to curate vivid journeys into the genre woven for any given audience has made him an indispensible asset to the industry and unpretentious sound waves alike – that’s before you consider the left-of-field talent pool savored by his beloved label. Following on from the Luciano & Friends Pool Party at SLS, expect a tropical sound clash from one of the more practiced and pragmatic DJs of the 21st century.
Through his Music On concept and a swell of impressive global residencies, Italian techno kingpin Marco Carola has become a man associated with the highest echelon of the genre’s current lifeblood. He’s been curating expert journeys into the underground landscape to the masses for quite some time now, making a pit stop at Cox’s arena with a befitting injection of talent to the stage’s already burgeoning line-up. Carola’s penchant to bring big room energy through those vivid and often off-the-cuff sets is sure to be at play on return to WMC for 2014, adding yet further steam to a man who constantly sets the tone for what’s hot in techno on an unprecedented scale.