June 4th, 2013

Bud Light Presents SENSATION @ Rogers Centre, Toronto – June 1, 2013

Reviewed by Gosia Mrugala

Photos by Jason Kwan

sen•sa•tion [sen-SEY-shuh-n] noun

• the operation or function of the senses; perception or awareness of stimuli through the senses.

• a mental feeling, especially a state of excited feeling.

It was an invasion. Seriously, for a while you couldn’t walk or drive around Toronto, listen to the radio or even watch TV without seeing an ad for the Canadian inaugural of Sensation White.

Founded in the Netherlands and organized by promoter ID&T, Sensation is a massive indoor EDM event inspired by the P-Man and Dangerous Dave. When it originated, back in 2000-2001, there was just a single edition, but since then it has now been divided into two separate events: Sensation Black and Sensation White. The idea was to differentiate the shows musically: Sensation Black focuses on the darker sounds of hardstyle and hardcore, while Sensation White is a celebration of house music. (You can find plenty more information HERE.)

This past February, it was announced that Sensation would make its Canadian debut, presented by Bud Light Canada. The date: Saturday June 1. The place: Toronto’s Rogers Centre.

Come early Saturday evening, you could see excited-looking people dressed in white all over downtown Toronto, heading for the city’s famous domed stadium. The party, with its “ocean of white” theme, had been years in the making — and oh, what a night it was! Every element was exquisitely conceived: the waterworks and fireworks, the scantily-clad beauties on stage, and — of course — the lineup of amazing artists. From first to last, Sensation went beyond our wildest expectations, fantasies and dreams.

The night began with a set from the enigmatic Mr. White, who also serves as Sensation’s host. With his deep house grooves, he did a stupendous job of hyping up the crowd as it began to flood onto the dance floor. Mr. White was followed by Dutch DJ 2000 and One (aka Dylan Hermelijn), who further set the tone with his impressive electro dance tracks. 2000 and One’s set really typified the whole evening: an incredible connection between the artists and crowd. The DJs were the puppeteers; we were the puppets.

Next up: Dutch duo Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano brought their funky house and tribal sound to the stage. Swedish House Mafia’s Axwell was quoted last year as saying “If there were a Dutch version of Swedish House Mafia, it would be Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano.” And on the basis of this duo’s incredible sound and awe-inspiring performance, I’d have to agree. I haven’t experiencing anything like it since … well, since I saw Swedish House Mafia at the Rogers Centre earlier this year. CHECK OUT bpm:tv’s WEB EXCLUSIVE interview with Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano HERE.

The Dutch invasion continued with Fedde le Grand, whose mind-blowing performance drove the crowd absolutely wild. I’m ashamed to admit this was the first time I’d seen this bpm:tv Hot 20 mainstay live, and I’m kicking myself for that, because … well, WOW!

Then came one of the night’s most anticipated moments: a rare Canadian appearance by Swedish legend Eric Prydz (a.k.a.  Pryda, Cirez D, Sheridan, Moo, AxEr, A&P Project, Hardform, Dukes of Sluca, Groove System …) The vibe: licentious! Prydz played some new tracks, then stole my heart by dropping some classics! The set peaked with the kaleidoscopic “Lazer Beams” by Green Velvet & Harvard Bass: the lights synched up perfectly with the track’s dirty, underground-style rhythms, and my senses politely parted way with all conscious control. Or to put it another way: HOT DAMN DIGGIDY!

I couldn’t think of a better way to end the night than with a set by Sweden’s Otto Knows. This was a triumphant return to Toronto by the Scandinavian wunderkind, who was here in the winter as part of Swedish House Mafia’s sold-out farewell tour. Fittingly, he finished the night with SHM’s anthem “Don’t You Worry Child.”

And that was that, as they say. At the risk of indulging in hyperbole, Sensation White was the best event of its kind I have ever attended. The work that went into it warrants a standing ovation — and kudos, obviously, to the Bud Light team and Live Nation. Let’s hope that Sensation’s Canadian debut is the beginning of a long tradition.

Gosia Mrugala is a Toronto-based blogger and reviewer. You can read her blog HERE, and follow her on Twitter HERE.


Rock The Vote

May 22nd, 2013

Posted by Gosia Mrugala

Just two days left to show your support for DJs across Canada by voting to pick the winner of the Bud Light DJ Battle. You can listen to tracks by the contenders and cast your vote at the Bud Light Sensation home page. When you vote, you’re entered for the chance to win tickets to Bud Light presents Sensation — plus you give your chosen DJ the chance to receive the ultimate VIP treatment at this massive international dance event, which touches down at Toronto’s Rogers Centre on June 1.

So who are the DJs vying for the crown? Just click on the names below to find out who’s who.

EviCtion (Halifax)

Mister Parker (Ottawa)

Mashup Potatos (Quebec)

Adam Doubleyou (Quebec)

Royce&Tan (Montreal)

There’s still time to snap up tickets for Sensation, an epic-scale affair that will feature sets by Mr. White, 2000 and One, Otto Knows, Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano, and Fedde Le Grand — plus a rare Canadian appearance by Eric Prydz. Dress in white and help LIGHT IT UP June 1 at the Rogers Centre!

Gosia Mrugala is a Toronto-based blogger and reviewer. You can read her blog HERE, and follow her on Twitter HERE.



Sweets of the Week – July 6

July 6th, 2012

Posted by Scott Willats

Middle of July, festival season in flight, hotter than a muthafucka ….

Wait a sec: remember all those long, cold winter nights when we bundled ourselves in parkas, scarves and long johns, enduring the bitter chill so we could get to the club to see our favorite DJ rage? I certainly remember, and I’m sure you do too. So I find it hard to complain about this stifling heat we’re all suffering through. As we all know, it could. Be. Much. Much. Worse.

But yeah, it is hotter than a muthafucka.

One other thing about summer that kinda sorta blows: since most major artists are busy touring so much, new material can be lacking. Now, sometimes that’s a good thing, giving you the chance to get reacquainted with old favorites. But for a new music junkie like me, it feels like drought season. But that just means I’ve gotta search harder and longer to find something fresh for you. Plus the Calgary Stampede starts today, and I can’t leave my cowboys hanging without some new electro. Lez get it!

Oh, and did I mention it’s hotter than a muthafucka?


We start with two vastly different but equally awesome remixes of Dada Life‘s “Kick Out The Epic Motherfucker.” Which one do youuuuu like?

Dada Life – Kick Out The Epic Motherfucker (Otto Knows Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE 

Dada Life – Kick Out The Epic Motherfucker (Datsik Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE

Wolfgang Gartner is bizzack — this time with a preview of his new EP. People have been saying that Gartner’s work lately has been lacking. I think that’s a testament to high how he has set the bar. While I wouldn’t put it quite so harshly, I’ll concede that I haven’t heard the old Gartner for awhile. That ended today.

Wolfgang Gartner – Casual Encounters Of The 3rd Kind EP: LISTEN TO THE PREVIEW

One-half of The Krays, Yuksek, is back with a new EP and it’s packed with killer remixes. Anything new from Aeroplane will always get my attention


Here’s something a little different: Skrillex versus drum-and-bass. Some will love, some will hate. Either way,, this will evoke some kind of emotion from you.

Skrillex – DnB Ting: LISTEN TO IT HERE

This one, on the other hand, I know you’ll love. Whether you’ll admit it to anyone is another question.

Far East Movement – Dirty Bass (Jump Smokers Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE

Le Youth is on fire. The way he uses his samples, you can tell he knows his way around a DAW. Keep him on your radar

Le Youth – Memories: LISTEN TO IT HERE

Waka Flocka? Rooster in my Rari? What the hell am I talking about? Fans will know. People who don’t: trust me, you’re not missing much. But Clinton Sparks does make this pump. Worth a try.

The Cataracs feat. Waka Flocka – All You (Clinton Sparks Awesome Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE

Viceroy is an acquired taste. At first: not so much. Now: addicted.

Viceroy – Chase Us Around feat. Madi Diaz: LISTEN TO IT HERE

BANGER!!!! Basically five minutes of pure bass. I’ll take it.

Bart B More & Harvard Bass – Listen To This (D.I.M.’s Unreleased Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE

Hmmm. I’ve liked every Sound Remedy track I’ve ever heard. Ever. But this one lacks … something. Still, he’s earned his stripes, so I’ll let it slide. Consider it recommended on the strength of his past work.

Imogen Heap – Hide And Seek (Sound Remedy Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE

You know I love me some swing. Here’s a track that will spice up your party asap.

Minimatic- Practise Your Swing EP: LISTEN TO THE PREVIEW

Riva Starr, where have you been all my life? The elegant return of a true master. Look out for Canadian tour dates soon!

Riva Starr & Ramon Tapia – Freedom (Original Mix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Excited about the upcoming IDENTITY Festival? This video should get you properly amped. If not, two words: Eric. Prydz. (Btw, if you want to win tickets to IDENTITY, mosey on over to our FB page, as in now-ish,)

Enjoy le weekend, knuckleheadz!

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Dennis Ferrer and Sweets of The Week

February 10th, 2012

Posted by Scott Willats

The end of what can only be considered a slow week in terms of new releases.  Hey, they can’t all be winners, right?  Sometimes you have to wait a week or two — and in the end, that new track you uncover is all the more Sweet.

I am, however, running into Dennis Ferrer tonight, which I am super stoked about. So I figured this would be the perfect time to reminisce on some of the goodies he’s delivered over the span of his career. This is the man who became the face of EDM in 2009.  While the mass audience was going crazy for David Guetta‘s “Sexy Bitch,” Dennis Ferrer had the night owls on the floor till the sun came up in the red room baby!  He created a cult following, and that cult is still alive and kicking. We’ve been  aching … no, dying  for some brand new DF.  Tonight, with luck, we’ll hear some new joints.

So let’s take a look at the man of the moment, and then enjoy the sweets.

We’re going to get to the anthems eventually, but it’s these first two tracks that really define Dennis.  He’ll take a simple looped melody and make it darker, balanced against other elements that brighten it up.  The best part is that he keeps the rhythm at such a level of anticipation that you don’t even know it’s happening.

Dennis Ferrer – Sinfonia Della Notte (Original Mix): LISTEN TO IT HERE

If you liked that, you’re going to love this one.  It can either sound to you like a huge clash of percussion, or the perfect underground symphony. Obviously, I choose the latter.  Released in 2007, “Destination” is one of those tracks that the Ferrer cult adores, but that wins over non-believers as well. It’s like Tango on E

Dennis Ferrer – Destination: LISTEN TO IT HERE

My two favourite Dennis Ferrer songs are up next.  Nothing else need be said — if you don’t have them, get them!

Touched the Sky – Dennis Ferrer: LISTEN TO IT HERE

Dennis Ferrer- The Red Room: LISTEN TO IT HERE

Just an ordinary day…

If you’re in Toronto  tonight, be sure to check Dennis Ferrer out at Maison! CLICK HERE FOR INFO & TICKETS


Speaking of kings of underground house, Nic Fanculli is worthy bearer of the title. A track that Dennis Ferrer has been bumping for a minute now has surfaced for me and you online.  Enjoy this one!

Subb-an – This Place (Nic Fanciulli Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE

Yeah, I already dropped a post about Feed Me earlier in the week. But this, my friend, is a chuuuune!

Feed Me – Relocation: LISTEN TO IT HERE

Otto Knows this and Otto Knows that….Otto Knows what the masses want

Otto Knows – Million Voices: LISTEN TO IT HERE

Sound Remedy don’t seem capable of making bad songs.  Took a dubstep track I didn’t care for (hold the spit and vinegar, please) and turned it into an electro banger.

Crush On You (Sound Remedy Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE

Can’t have a week without grime, right? Right? Right Right!

Imogen Heap – Headlock (JCRNDA Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE

My boy ZHU is on a rampage right now.  There’s a quick teaser out for his documentary, and if the minute-long trailer is any indication of what to expect, it will be a treat.  On the production side, he’s still plugging away at the 52  to ZHU project, and he’s not slowing down.

I can’t speak for ZHU, but I have a feeling the two of us share the same respect for Wolfgang Gartner‘s music.  As I have posted earlier, I’m in love with Gartner’s newest, “There and Back” — and guess who decided to put his own spin on it? Playing off the right elements and adding his own special Mace Windu-style Jedi touch (much as he did on “Spacejunk”) ZHU takes us There and Back and There again with his remix. Cop it!!!!!

Wolfgang Gartner – There and Back (ZHU Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


What’s hotter than Dubstep in a 40-degree-plus club? Dubstep girls in a 40-degree-plus club. Name: Scott W. Sex: Yes please…. had to bring it out.

That’s it. Dillon Francis EP dropping next week. You know I got that covered!


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Tuesday’s Turn

February 7th, 2012

Posted by Scott Willats


My apologies for not posting yesterday. What with a crazy weekend and a Super Bowl hangover, let’s just say my motivation was a little lacking yesterday. But I’m back today with a couple gems that I uncovered over the weekend.

First off, a brand new joint from The Perez Brothers that’s so catchy and so poppy that I’d swear it’s bound for your local Top 40 station in the not too distant future. These guys don’t drop off many tunes, but when they do it’s an automatic must-have. Enjoy this one.

Yinon Yahel feat. Emmi – Tonight (The Perez Brothers Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE

Next up, a track that sounds as though it could be an anthem for the London 2012 Olympics. It has such a big room sound, yet it also seems ummmm … PG-13, for the lack of a better phrase.

Otto Knows – Million Voices: LISTEN TO IT HERE

Then we have the return of Todd Terje, who always seems to make the most relaxing yet inspiring music. This track will grow on you, trust me.

Todd Terje – Inspector Norse: LISTEN TO IT HERE

Last, we have the new one from Cosmic Gate, who absolutely shut down The Guv in Toronto this past weekend. I was lucky enough to catch up with Nic and Bossi at their hotel just before the show. Always love hearing from these guys. Keep an eye out for the interview on bpm Spotlight — coming soon for all you trance zombies!

Cosmic Gate & Arnej – Sometimes They Come Back For More


We’re only reached the first week of February, and already there’s word that this is the video of the year. Upon review, I have to say it’s going to take a lot to top this masterpiece. The video is exactly what the song is — but more. Not exactly the EDM you’re used to hearing here, but we promote good music — and this is good music.

A-Trak and Dennis Ferrer on the schedule for this week — should be great interviews.  Stay tuned for updates!


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