Something brand new for you and your crew. But first and foremost, a quick word on last weekend’s VELD extravaganza.
Naturally, it was a massive success. However, the fact that French electro kings Justice — one of the reasons that massive EDM events like this even exist — were playing at HARD, a completely different festival taking place at the same time on the other side of the city … well, missing that made the whole thing a bit bittersweet for me.
Now, judging by the reported turnout at both VELD and HARD, there were plenty of EDM fans to go around. But still — if we’re going to have festivals like this, why force fans to choose between competing events on the same weekend? Why not do as Rogers and Bell have done with Olympics coverage: establish a consortium and have a single event that the world will envy?
Just my opinion. Anyway, enough politics; more music. We got something brand new-ish today from Dillon Francis and Jack Beats. Dillon and the Jack duo have both established their own signature sound over these past two years, winning followers one track at a time. This new offering is a little different, but just as sick. I don’t know how to explain it except to say: it sounds like a perfect blending of both artists. Wicked.
And here we go. Y’all getting sick of me talking about festivals? Well sorry, but tuff f***ing luck. Because this weekend Toronto the place in the world to be for EDM. Or any kind of music, actually.
Sure, Montreal has Osheaga happening, which promises to be nuts in its own right But Toronto is bringing the heavy, what with VELD and HARDboth going down this weekend.
What’s HARD, you ask? Just a little gathering featuring the likes of M83, Buraka Som Sistema, Austra … oh, and Justice. Sorry, let me rephrase that: JUSTICE!!!! The French icons make their looooooooooooooong-awaited return to Canada in style. Fort York is a special place to be this weekend.
And then there’s VELD, the brainchild of Canada’s own EMD titan, Deadmau5. Check out this lineup: Avicii, Kill the Noise, Mord Fustang, Bassnectar, Cosmic Gate and soooooo many others are busy tearing Toronto’s Downsview Park a new one. Rain is in the forecast for Sunday, but it’s gonna get real messy long before that. Canada, this is our weekend!
And with that, it’s on to …. THE SWEETS!
This will get your weekend going just right. A free download that hits the spot.
CONSUMER WARNING: The bass on this album has been clinically proven to cause full and debilitating mind-and-body addiction to electro.
Go for it!!!!!!!!
(What? Do you wan to live forever or something?)
Finnish electro-house artist Huoratron (a.k.a. Aku Raski) has no restraint when it comes to his productions. He goes for it — and boy, does this guy deliver. There’s a raw underground feel to much of his stuff, and this albums is absolutely awash in it. It’s a rare and refreshing quality nowadays, as EDM colonizes the mainstream. Cryptocracy is an electrifying pastiche, melding electro and underground with a scorching, rock-styled sound: a stalwart, forceful work. After playing the album through and looking up a few videos of him spinning, I’ve made it a priority to catch him live at the earliest opportunity. This is one performer I am very eager to see behind the decks.
Check out the videos and tell me if you don’t agree …
On to the album. Here’s a track-by-track rundown:
1. Cryptocracy – An amazing start to the album, opening the minds of his listeners and luring them into uncharted corners of his musical labyrinth. Check out the video for this track; turn up the volume, give in to the sound and let Huoratron take full control of your mind. It’s a mental ride you won’t forget.
2. New Wave of Mutilation – Mu-ti-late: to deprive a person of a limb or other essential part. This track will deprive you of all senses other than hearing — in the nicest possible way. My recommendation? Don’t fight it … not that you could. Just give in and let the new wave take total control.
3. A699F – Listen at the 0:30 mark and you’ll get a distinct “Happy Violence” vibe. This one left me eager to press repeat repeat repeat — but with eight more tracks still to go, we soldier on.
4. Bug Party – Frenzied. My body absolutely refused to stay still for this one. The farther I follow Huoratron on this wild sonic journey, the more I get the “bug” to see him live!
5. Dungeons & Dungeons – Here, Huoratron pulls the listener into the dungeon of his musical mind and unpacks the instruments of euphoric torment. And it hurts so good.
6. Sea of Meat – And here a fashionable dubstep feel takes over: electro wobble wobble dub. Not a personal favourite of mine, but still an ear-pleaser.
7. Top 1% – “Do it again.” And again. And again. Huoratron keeps finding peaks and depths you didn’t even know existed. With this one, he made me an official convert to the electro chiptune sound.
8. Force Majeure – Here, things take on a nightmarish tone, sucking you into dark realms of the unknown on the scariest roller coaster you’ve ever ridden. This track left me utterly speechless.
9. Transcendence – Homestretch now. Throughout “Transcendence” you hear alarms, as if warning you about the presence of dangerously powerful bass. And with good reason: I was sitting in a friend’s car listening to this track while she dashed into a store and — no word of a lie! — it triggered the alarm on a parked car nearby. The power of this track can only be fully appreciated on good speakers or headphones. It’s like an endorphin overdose surging through your whole system, till it feels like your head may explode. When it comes to a raw, underground hard bass sound, you’ll find no superior example.
10. Unblinking Eyes – At first I felt as though this track ought to have been the album opener: it has a great build to it and really hypes up the listener. But Huoratron knows what he’s doing. It’s genius to make this the album’s finishing touch, because it just leaves you craving more. A masterpiece.
Gosia Mrugala is a Toronto-based blogger and reviewer. You can read her blog HERE, and follow her on Twitter HERE.