In this month's edition of Hottt Dance Trax, we turn our eyes and ears toward Miami, and not just in celebration of Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers, whose soundtrack features the frankly bonkers proposition of Skrillex making ambient music alongside film-score maestro Cliff Martinez (not to mention a Southern rap track from James Franco, who proves himself once again a postmodern Renaissance man par excellence). This week marks a spring break of a different sort: the annual pilgrimage of electronic-music fans to Miami for the week-long debauch known as the Winter Music Conference. This year, the already gargantuan assemblage of club nights, pool parties, booze cruises and outdoor festivals gets even bigger, as Ultra Music Festival expands to fill two weekends.
Miami's W.M.C. (also known, these days, as Miami Music Week) has long been dance producers' opportunity to bust out the new anthems they've been cooking up over the winter -- the big, brash, epic tunes they're hoping will make a splash in the summer festival season -- while staving off Seasonal Affective Disorder. This year, with the EDM boom (or bubble?) still expanding, is no different. In fact, some of the biggest tracks have super-sized their ambitions accordingly.
Avicii's "X You" represents the fruits of a collaborative project between the Swedish artist and more than 4,000 fans, who uploaded beats and samples to be folded into the final mix. Kaskade and Swanky Tunes' soaring "No One Knows Who We Are" -- which shares its title, incidentally, with Kaskade's recent blog post in response to a Los Angeles Times report detailing drug-related deaths at a number of raves around the country -- aims to give voice to a generation of misunderstood ravers. And Armin van Buuren and Markus Schulz' "The Expedition" finds the veteran trance producers beefing up their trademark sound to scale with their growing fan base; the official anthem for van Buuren's A State of Trance 6000, it sounds suited to rock a stadium the size of a moon colony.
Along with those three epics, we've included new songs from Tim Mason, Above & Beyond, BT, Ferry Corsten, John Dahlback, Dirty South, W&W and other trance and electro-house heavyweights; Zomboy and Dillon Francis weigh in with Moombahton and dubstep bangers, and fresh remixes come from Fedde Le Grand, Manufactured Superstars, Riva Starr and more, including Rune RK (in his Kölsch guise) putting a progressive spin on Deadmau5 and Imogen Heap's dulcet "Telemiscommunications." So grab your bathing suit and dive in.