rev•er•ence – a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration.
Or, in other words: exactly what I feel when I hear this mellifluous new release (on Provoke) from Toronto-based progressive house up-and-comers Northend and Stereotronique. With its euphoric vocals, “Reverence” is a guaranteed anthem of 2013 — and the kind of masterpiece that makes me fall in love all over again with the EDM life.
Gosia Mrugala is a Toronto-based blogger and reviewer. You can read her blog HERE, and follow her on Twitter HERE.
As if summer didn’t give us enough to look forward to already (as for example, Robbie Rivera @ Maison in Toronto this Friday) — the good people at Provoke have launched a contest offering Toronto EDM fans the chance to meet a group of stellar DJs this Saturday at the unveiling of the promoter’s newest endeavour.
It’s no secret: if it’s a Thursday in Toronto and you want to hear proper house, you go to Cobra. If it’s a Friday and you need to see the hottest DJs in the company of beautiful people, you go to Maison. Now, Provoke is aiming to own Saturday nights with the introduction of Xsessiveat Club XS.
To mark the occasion, Provoke is throwing a contest. Not only are they offering a full V.I.P. package (and when I say V.I.P., I mean Cedric-Gervais-in-Miami-type V.I.P..), they’re also giving the winner a chance to meet the DJs performing at the Xsessive inaugural.
Count me in! Except, alas, I’m not eligible — but I would be supremely pleased if an EDM addict like you were there to rep bpm:tv.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the DJs on the bill, here’s a quick primer to get you acquainted. Make no mistake, these guys put in work.
MANUEL DE LA MARE
This Italian will have you reppin’ Florence so hard you’ll be draped in a Fiorentina jersey by the end of the night.
Quietly — or rather, in point of fact, not so quietly — Provoke has been dropping some real bombs: in terms of tracks, events, and everything in between. Their latest release, which landed just a couple of weeks back, has more momentum than the LeBron in game five against the OKC Thunder.
The combination of Gabe Gallucciand Jed Harper on the track “Falcon” is hotter than anyone could have even expected. A minute of thumps get your pulse racing at 128. Then the keys. Strings interweaving — a slight echo, a touch of reverb, but a powerful, ringing presence. It’s the big-room feel Jed Harper is known for. And Gallucci steps in with the “air shartz,” as I like to call them, and the rest is just plain insane, mayn.
“Falcon” is big-room heavy duty all the way; add four stellar remixes from the likes of Kim Fai, Northend, Stranjah and yes, Jed Harper himself, and this release is an absolute must-have. While Stranjah’s remix takes things in a drum-and-bass direction, Kim Fai and Northend stick to that progressive template. But it’s Jed’s own remix that takes the cake here.
Sometimes you’ll get a release where the remixers try to do too much, aiming for wholesale renovation rather than a simple add-on or enhancement. Happily, this is not one of those times. Each of these artists takes what’s best about the original and adds a distinctive personal touch. You can hear their creative additions, but the track you love still shines through, intact. Maybe nothing to you, but this is something I greatly appreciated.
The success of Provoke‘s Loud All Night Canadian-UK collaboration concert on March 31 at the Sound Academy in Toronto left many of us wishing we could relive the excitement of that night. So I’m happy to report that Provoke has released the Loud All Night sets from Chris Lake, Michael Woods, Autoerotique and Northend. You can find them on SoundCloud.
It was one of those rare evenings when the DJs and the crowd were in perfect sync, each entrusting the other with energy and getting it back with interest. Seems to be a hallmark of Sound Academy shows, as we felt the same vibe not long ago when Rusko was in town. (Check out bpm:tv’s new Rusko Web Exclusive HERE or on our YOUTUBE CHANNEL.)
I believe all the DJs called audibles during this show and really stepped up for the occasion. And there’ll be more where that came from on Saturday June 9, when Provoke presents the Space Ibiza Festival at Sound Academy. I know I’ll be there — and if it’s anything like the real Space in Ibiza’s Playa d’en Bossa, you’ll need to be there too.
Incidentally, here’s the Web Exclusive clip with Autoerotique that we shot at the Loud All Night show. Enjoy!
Kind of a calm-before-the-storm weekend. Not that much new stuff dropped — but what did definitely raise some eyebrows. First was a quick video teaser from Zeds Dead. You really have to appreciate what these guys are doing right now. Sure, the whole hip-hop/dubstep thing has been taking off everywhere, but DC and Hooks are doing it differently — and doing it better, some (OK, me) would say. Their video teasers and trailers, especially, are sheer genius, creating such a buzz around the songs that they seem larger than life. This video highlights their new track “The One.” Check it out — and be sure to cop the Victor EP while you’re at it.
I’m a huge fan of Ecotek, so when this dropped late last week it was an automatic download. With Paige on vocals, it sounds downright heavenly. Reminiscent of Deadmau5, it’s made for boats and beaches. Throw in remixes from Kevin Alves and Trajikk & Joman, and the whole EP is a must-grab.
Speaking of progressive house, I have a gem for fans of that genre. Whelan & Di Scala are two dudes out of Liverpool who have a track that’s climbing the Beatport charts. “The Fox” will put a smile on your face no matter where you are. This is an immediate buy.
A big shout-out to Pleasurekraft, who have been a personal fave of mine since their remix of “La La Land” a few years back. The boys were just in Toronto last week — check out the Provoke Web site HERE for a taste of what you missed. The double Ks, Kaveh and Kalle, know how to nail that perfect balance of carnival and progressive house to create sustained pleasure. Always a good show, and often an even better listen, this Swedish-American duo will be one of the hottest acts to catch this week in Miami. Keep an ear out for their new joint “Skeleton Key,” featuring Green Velvet on vocals. Should be a return to the glory of “La La Land” all over again.
Okay, maybe this weekend wasn’t a big one for shows in the Greater Toronto Area — but there was at least one event during the previous week that more than compensated. Washington, DC’s Sharam was the featured artist on the bill Wednesday at Cobra on King Street West, as Emergency and Provoke Media outdid themselves with a stellar show.
The crowd was primed, proper and packed, to say the least, and the location fit the occasion. All that was needed was for the Iranian-born DJ to deliver the goods. And no fear on that count: Sharam sensed what the crowd was in the mood to hear and scratched that itch with by serving up some of his classic hits.
His name may mean “modesty” in Persian, but a DJ of this calibre has no need to play it humble. The songs flowed seamlessly, and the vibe stayed dialed up to its highest setting throughout the night. Best of all was the choice of tracks. Sharam doesn’t stick religiously to his own stuff; just as in his acclaimed podcasts — or Wildcasts, as he calls them — he plays whatever he knows will get the party hype and keep it going to the small hours. Check out his latest Wildcast (below) and you’ll see exactly what Sharam aims to do whenever he’s behind the Pioneers.
While you’re at it, scope out the pics from the event HERE – and take a stroll around the Provoke Web Site: as you can see, they’re doing big things. With Pleasurekraft, Nic Fanculli, Stefano Noferini and, of course, The Martinez Brothers all on deck, Provoke and Extravaganza are burnishing their reputation for bringing the hottest EDM acts to the Toronto — and soon to the rest of Canada.
I’ll talk abut my Steve Aoki interview in tomorrow’s post. The living legend opened up about his new album Wonderland, the current state of EDM, and much more.
Last month, EDM pioneer Chris Lake blessed Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto with amazing performances. During his Toronto stop, I got a chance to catch up with him and see how things have been. Naturally, he wanted to talk about “Sundown” — and I was more than happy to chat about this massive anthem.
In this quick little Web exclusive video, you’ll get to hear about the origin of what is sure to become an automatic on your spring playlist. I feel like this track is just lurking around, waiting for the first sign of good weather to smile upon us. When that time comes, you’ll find me on a boat cruise, listening to “Sundown” at full blast!
And in case you haven’t already seen it, here’s the video for Chris Lake’s “Sundown.”
World-class DJ/producer Chris Lake was in Toronto last Friday and gave everybody at Maison Mercer a treat for their ears, seamlessly spinning new cuts and classic material. I also get to spend some time with him backstage, where we talked about the state of EDM, his label, and some of his favourite tracks. All of that content will be available in the new year, along with a look at Zeds Dead‘s Graveyard tour performance at Kool Haus, and much much more.
For now, here’s a quick teaser of Chris Lake at Maison Mercer, plus a couple of my snaps from the show. A big thanks to the team at Provoke. I urge everybody to check out their new Web site, launching soon!