Road to Ultra Hong Kong is just around the corner. Planning to go with your friends but aren't familiar with the artists? That's where we come in. In this blog, we're going to hook you up with some basic info about the headlining artists (A.K.A. the main baes of Ultra), songs to check out, their distinct styles (i.e. sub-genre) in EDM, their supporting baes, and much more. So stay tuned for some EDM extravaganza.
1. MARTIN GARRIX
Dutch DJ "Mar+in Garri×" has got the chops when it comes to producing Electronic music for his fans. The now 20 year-old DJ/producer is one of the youngest aspiring artists in the EDM industry and has sold several platinum records to this day. His self-released song "Animals" in 2013 has gained him worldwide fame and since then, has become the youngest producer to reach the number 1 spot on Beatport. Crazy, right? A mixture of luck and talent, but mostly talent I would say. Garrix initially started off with big room with tracks such as "Wizard", but after 2015 decided to experiment with progressive house, one of the most common sub-genres in EDM. On February of the same year, he collaborated with popular icon USHER and released the song "Don't Look Down", which is still one of my favorite jams to date. Since his experimentation with progressive house, Garrix has began to implement and utilize more melodic riffs and chords. Props to Garrix for garnering the fame he deserves and giving his fans what they want to hear.
2. KNIFE PARTY
Remember the renowned drum 'n bass band Pendulum back in the mid 2000s? (Does the song "Witchcraft" ring a bell?) Well, two of their members quit to form this electronic duo. And okay, we admit, this probably isn't the most flattering picture of them. But, that doesn't make their music any less awesome. This Australian EDM duo makes live sets that definitely keeps the crowd pumping. So much filth, heavy drops, and ecstatic and upbeat rhythms that gives their songs the extra punch! My personal favorite is still "D.I.M.H." off their debut album "Abandon Ship", released in 2014. That song just makes you want to jump, regardless of where you are: in the streets, your own bedroom, while showering - you name it. What I love about it is it's not just one genre that they cover throughout the album, but a variety of sub-genres. Prior to the modern Knife Party, the duo has made several EPs, mainly in the style of electro-house, drumstep and dubstep. For those who don't know what those mean, its characterized by the sub-bass reverberating at different speeds to give a sense of movement or simply, heavy AF. Catch them on Road to Ultra and we guarantee you won't stop 'til you drop.
3. NERO (Live)
This British electronic music trio incorporates relatively darker elements in their music, utilizing drum and bass patterns. And might I also mention that their outfits on stage are on point? I mean, you can't tell me that this does not look color coordinated and outstanding. With their first album in 2011 titled "Welcome Reality", the color coordinating trio has now made their way to Road to Ultra HK, starting off from local shows in the UK. Good for them! Some fan-favorites (and definitely one of my favorites) are "Promises" from their debut album and "The Thrill" from their newest and second album "Between II Worlds" released in 2015. Be sure to check their new album out, along with their debut. Then, you'll know why they made it all the way to Road to Ultra. Fun fact: two of the guys, Ray and Stephen, started off with classical guitar and cello, respectively. Who would've thought they would be playing music through a personal computer, synthesizers, turntables and drum machines? Life's crazy.
I don't know what is with them and their love for cats, but I do know this Swedish duo's tunes always give you the adrenaline rush and gets your body ready for some dance moves. Got to admit their persona is quite the marketing technique though, as how often do you see a pair of dudes wearing cat masks on stage or use a cat on practically all of their album covers? Rhetorical question. When it comes to style in EDM though, I would say it has more of an upbeat and dance/disco vibe to it; songs that make you feel like you're in the '80s. Some fan-favorites include the increasingly popular "Runaway (U & I)" (does the catch-phrase "I WANNA RUN AWAYY...JUST U AND I, I, I, I" ring a bell?), garnering a total of 141 million views on Youtube and counting, and one of their less popular ones (but still one of my favorites) "In My Head". Most songs by them invoke a similar feeling; happiness and excitement. If you're looking for a good time, don't forget to look out for them at Ultra for some good vibes. Although they probably won't be playing all of their originals, they'll still try to give you a good time. Rest assured.
Probably one of the coolest artist logos I've seen in a while. Although personally not one of my favorite artists, JAUZ probably has one of the heaviest and sickest drops I've heard in a while. Love the WUB WUBs (that means dubstep BTW)? Then JAUZ is the artist for you. Hailing from LA, JAUZ aka Sam Vogel, has gone pretty far in his music career, with 385k followers on Facebook and 332k followers on Soundcloud. He's made quite a sizable fan-base, hence his appearance in Ultra. Although Vogel produces mostly dubstep, he occasionally experiments with trap. Here's what one of JAUZ's songs sound like. Check him out if you're into dubstep or just like him for his outstanding logo or O.G. attire. He'll probably be one of the last to get on stage so don't forget to catch him on stage before your departure (assuming you're sober enough or not already lying dead flat on the ground).
His attire probably differentiates himself from the rest of the aforementioned artists (very much like Galantis' cat masks). MARSHMELLO (name not very ubiquitous on social media) has gained quite the number of followers on several social media platforms, especially on Soundcloud. His music is also quite distinctive, blending in trap with cute chiptune-like elements. Some people associate his music with melodic trap, which I find is quite an accurate way of classifying his genre of music. Most of his tunes are happy, melodious, and kawaii AF. If you're into any or all of the above, MARSHMELLO is the artist for you. Join the MELLO gang and you won't regret. Fan-favorite's (probably one of my favorites too) include "Keep it Mello" featuring rapper Omar LinX. Also, funny thing about MARSHMELLO is he's never removed his mask in pubic. But legends say that he did. Once.
7. THOMAS JACK
This Aussie DJ/producer is arguably one of the pioneers of Tropical House (the photo is quite convincing with his plant on hand). Tropical house, including some of Thomas Jack's own tunes, including down-tempo beats, chill vibes, and an infatuation with saxophone solos. Can't deny it doesn't work, though. The genre was coined in 2014, and has since then been growing in popularity exponentially, to the extent that even some of today's pop music caught on and was influenced by it (Just look at Justin Bieber's "Where Are U Now". Jack has a thing for indie-acoustic music, and tries to add that as an influence onto beachside party sets and live gigs. He's even exposed to major EDM festivals such as Tomorrowland, and his popular mix-tapes "Thomas Jack Presents..." has gained him over 20 million plays on Soundcloud. And just to clarify, that's not the total amount of plays, but individual plays on EACH playlist. Far out, Jack.
A picture of CARNAGE with our boy MARTIN GARRIX mentioned previously. Everyone seems to be having fun here, which is a good sign. Hailing from LA, the 25 year-old DJ is now a semi-established musician after his remix of Hardwell's "Spaceman". He has now gained a total of 509k followers on Soundcloud and mainly produces "electro-house". For those who don't know what that is, this should give you a pretty comprehensive background of what it's all about. From then on, record labels started coming to him because of his remix video's view count blowing up and soon signed with Ultra Records. Some of his hit songs include "I Like Tuh" released on October of 2015, featuring rapper ILikeMakkonen. Shit's just starting to get better and better for the dude. Fun fact: he worked at a bakery store before embarking on his music career.
Hope you've learnt a thing or two about the baes and side baes of ultra. Keep your eye out and most importantly...HAVE FUN AT ULTRA HK.