SENSATIONAL! (Part Two)

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.

 

We Came, We Raved, We Loved

February 26th, 2013

SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA – ONE LAST TOUR @ ROGERS CENTRE, TORONTO: FEBRUARY 22, 2013

Posted by Gosia Mrugala

All Photos by Jason Hanns Kwan. SEE THE FULL PHOTO GALLERY HERE.


It’s the end of an era.

Forged in late 2008, the alliance of DJ/producers Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso — known on this planet and throughout the universe as SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA — has become a legend in the EDM community. And last June they shocked that community with the announcement, via the SHM Web site, that the trio’s upcoming tour would be their last together.

“One Last Tour” kicked off in November and will wrap up next month, with the group’s last show is to be in Miami on March 24 at the Ultra Music Festival. Their second artist album, Until Now, is the official tour soundtrack.

Initially, Saturday February 23 was planned to be their only Toronto date. But tickets sold out so quickly that the trio decided to add a second show on the Friday — AND WHAT A SHOW IT WAS.


With the massive Rogers Centre as the chosen venue, anticipation was high. I’ll confess, thought, that I was disconcerted to encounter so many teens at the show running around and bouncing off the walls like terrifying, hell-spawned toddlers on some kind of thermonuclear sugar rush.

Yeah, I won’t pretend I was happy to hear that this would be a 16+ event. I mean, sure, every generation deserves a chance to experience music of this calibre. But if the growing commercial success of EDM has a downside, it’s this: most of the people in attendance on Friday seemed only passingly familiar with the music SHM was playing. In many cases, I’d guess, their knowledge began and ended with the mega-hit “Don’t You Worry Child.” Just to put this to the test, I tried putting some questions to few of the kindergarteners in the crowd. Sample exchange:

Me: So what do you think of Axwell as a solo producer?

Fan: Who?

So, OK. Not a capital crime. But doesn’t a great act like Swedish House Mafia deserve a great audience?


Anyway, enough on that. Back to the Swedes!

Their musical selection for the night: superb. The stage show — complete with lasers and fireworks: awe-inspiring. The sheer number of bodies crowding the floor level: insane. I moved to one of the upper levels just to marvel at the seething mass, which resembled, from above, nothing so much as an army of ants.

SHM’s connection with their fans — even the ones who couldn’t identify the trio by name — is commendable, their ability to communicate with the crowd both, vocally and musically, second to none in the genre.  You couldn’t help but feel the positive vibes that filled the Rogers Centre.

As a unit, the three musketeers of EDM will be missed — but never forgotten. The iconic Swedish House Mafia name will live on. Separately, Axwell, Angello and Ingrosso, will continue their musical journeys. And they’ll carry us along with them.

They came. They raved. They loved!


Check out samples of photographer Jason Kwan’s amazing pics from the show below. And CLICK HERE to see the full photo gallery.


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

 

Mafia Hit

September 10th, 2012

Posted by Gosia Mrugala

The news that the members of Swedish House Mafia are parting ways to focus on their solo careers has shaken the hearts of all their fans. These three musical musketeers have produced so many mind-blowing classics that the SHM name will be much missed — though definitely not forgotten. Their newest track, due for official release next week, is “Don’t You Worry Child.” The tune, which stole my heart away this summer, is destined to be remembered as a 2012 anthem. Nothing short of perfection from the Swedish trio.


To stay up to date with these awe-inspiring artists:

Follow AXWELL on Twitter HERE.

Find SEBASTIAN INGROSSO on Facebook HERE.

Follow STEVE ANGELLO on Twitter HERE.


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

Mafia Music

August 13th, 2012

Posted by Scott Willats

The three amigos are back at it again — but this time around, it’s to deliver their swan song.

We still don’t know exactly why Swedish House Mafia have decided to call it quits, but the fact that all three members are gearing up to pursue their solo careers suggests it may be a while before we see the Scandinavian dons together again. For now, they’re embarking on their “break-up tour,” and dropping a few new tracks that you can count on hearing again in a few years time, when they play the inevitable reunion shows.

Whether you think this split is a promotional stunt or the real deal, you can’t deny that these guys have been as important to EDM as any DJ in the history of the genre. They helped put EDM at the front and centre of the public consciousness, and established themselves as international icons. They were one of the first acts to make me feel truly starstruck when I encountered them in Ibiza. There has always been a special aura around this trio, and it will be sad to see them go their separate ways.

Still, you knew they wouldn’t part without some proper goodbye gifts. Their latest release, “Don’t You Worry Child” is as reassuring as the title promises. It’s the sound that’s synonymous with their name, with those enrapturing vocals the whole world loves to hear. This is only a radio rip, but it’s well worth the listen until the official release comes along.

As good as these guys are as individual performers (Axwell, for me, standing head and shoulders above Ingrosso and Angello), I can’t help but wonder if they’ve taken for granted the special quality they share as a trio. Granted, their image and profile have taken a bit of a dip with the emergence of North America’s new wave of superstar DJs — but make no mistake, you still want to be at a SHM concert.

OK, so it’s not like The Beatles are breaking up, but it does draw a little tear. This is the end of an era.

Swedish House Mafia – Don’t You Worry Child: LISTEN TO IT HERE



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Riding The Greyhound

July 3rd, 2012

Posted by Jesse Ship

ABSOLUT GREYHOUND UNLEASHED feat. MSTRKRFT @ The Hoxton, Toronto – June 28, 2012


Absolut Vodka has a long history of supporting and curating the arts, so hosting a massive global booze-fueled promotional party campaign makes perfect sense for the brand. It also makes sense that they would hire superstars Swedish House Mafia to compose the “Greyhound” tune, what with being a Swedish product and all. Haven’t seen the commercial yet? It features robotic dogs in the desert, chasing after a quicksilvery blob, with cut scenes of Angello, Axwell and Ingrosso DJing inside the minds of the dogs. Which happens! Check it out:

So, last Thursday night, Absolut launched the Toronto arm of the “Greyhound” cocktail tour at The Hoxton, with local electro-celebs MSTRKRFT headlining. The set was some serious high-energy stabbing and bassy business, working far better in a mid-sized club environment rather than at the Rogers Centre, where the duo were seen last November opening for Deadmau5. The club was decorated with statues of the Voltron-esque cyberdogs, and select bar staff were outfitted with costumes and masks reproduced from the “Greyhound” video, lending to the overall Gaga-ish masquerade theme of the evening.

According to Absolut Senior Brand Manager, Chris Bhowmik, the idea behind the event was “to create a multi-sensory experience that tells you what your cocktail should sound like.” The evening’s spotlighted cocktail was the classic Greyhound, a summery concoction first introduced back in the 1920s. CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE. Stay tuned for more sonic adventures from Absolut, as Chris hinted at future cocktail collaborations featuring mellow indie-rock and jazz flavours..

CLICK HERE TO SEE JESSE SHIP’S COMPLETE PHOTO GALLERY


 

Attention shoppers: bpm:tv DANCE 2012 compilation in stores today!

April 3rd, 2012

And the awesome continues. (Who said April is the cruelest month? Oh, right: this guy.)

So anyway. Our long-awaited bpm:tv DANCE 2012 compilation CD hits the streets today, with a lineup that includes Deadmau5, Swedish House Mafia, Martin Solveig & Dragonette, Nervo featuring Afrojack & Steve Aoki, Sak Noel … and many more, as they say on the television. Mixed, as always, by the estimable DJ Marky D.

You can find bpm:tv DANCE 2012 at Best Buy, HMV and Walmart, or BUY IT ONLINE.

Own it!


TRACKLIST

INTERNATIONAL LOVE (CLINTON SPARKS & DISCO FRIES RADIO MIX) – PITBULL feat. CHRIS BROWN

BODY WORK (CLUB MIX EDIT) – MORGAN PAGE feat. TEGAN AND SARA

BIG IN JAPAN (DENZAL PARK REMIX) – MARTIN SOLVEIG & DRAGONETTE feat. IDOLING!!!

TURN THIS CLUB AROUND – R.I.O. feat. U-JEAN

PASO (THE NINI ANTHEM) – SAK NOEL

ANTIDOTE – SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA VS. KNIFE PARTY

MUTATE (ORIGINAL EDIT) – SIDNEY SAMSON & LIL JON

AURAL PSYNAPSE – DEADMAU5

WE’RE ALL NO ONE – NERVO feat. AFROJACK AND STEVE AOKI

LONELY TONIGHT (ORIGINAL ENGLISH RADIO EDIT) – HOLD UP

I COULD STAY (CHR REMIX) – KREESHA TURNER

MR. KNOW IT ALL (BILLIONAIRE REMIX) – KELLY CLARKSON

…AND MORE!


 

Sweets of the Week – March 16

March 16th, 2012

Posted by Scott Willats

    

The eve of Miami Music Week, and you always knew these sweets were going to be something special — so sit back my friend, because it’s about to get a little hectic. Got some exclusive brand new cuts here from big names and no-names, major players and underground movers. This time of year you can’t help but smile. Suddenly it feels like springtime outside, and that calls for a toast. Coincidentally it’s also St. Paddy’s Day this weekend — which means, for those who can’t make the trip to sunny Florida, there are green beverages to take the pain away.

Enough chit chat. Let’s get in to it — with Tiësto remixing Canada’s own Autoerotique! This is incredibly huge: biggest, baddest Tiësto tune since “Strings.” Yeah, I said it!

Autoerotique – Bring That Beat Back (Tiësto Edit): LISTEN TO IT HERE


How many times can a song be remixed? At least one more, apparently. This take on Lana Del Rey‘s “Blue Jeans” has surpassed Kris Menace‘s mix as my fave. And wow — there is no label with more momentum than Bromance Records right now.

Lana del Rey – Blue Jeans (Gesaffelstein Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


I digress…

Beni – Last Night (Brodinski Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Not to be outdone, Afrojack has created a monster of his own. This bumps!

Afrojack – Fatility (Original Mix): LISTEN TO IT HERE)


It isn’t the Sweets without some dubby-wubby … this one with an almost-d’n'b twist.

Adam F- When The Rain Is Gone (Subscape Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


As cool as the other side of the pillow … Hype Jones goes a little AWOL.

Michael Jackson- Maria (Hype Jones LoveStep Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


My favourite member of The Glitch Mob just dropped a big track for us, and it’s everything you expect from him — and more. Ooah, u done it again.

OOAH – Don’t Stop Now: LISTEN TO IT HERE


Iy-yi-yi … not gonna lie, I didn’t know much about Delta Heavy until about 27 hours ago, when this dropped. This is the kind of dubstep I love: not just smashing your face in, but doing it with a melodic touch. Enjoy!!!

Fixers – Iron Deer Dream (Delta Heavy Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Diplo just tweeted:

@diplo Big free tune for all sxsw and wmc DJ homies .. Rasclat riddim w @vatogonzalez bit.ly/rasclat #boof

Vato Gonzalez & Diplo – Rasclat Riddim: LISTEN TO IT HERE


VISUAL SWEETS

Diplo is everywhere this week. Check out the new visuals for “Express Yourself.”


Swedish House Mafia are superheros. Not gonna lie — this video is pretty dope.


This, of course, is only the tip of the iceberg — many more songs will be released throughout the week. Be sure to check in every day, as this is the first place all those new tracks will be posted……xx

 


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Big Boys Back At It

March 12th, 2012

Posted by Scott Willats

 

Two of the bigger names in dance music have new material out this week — headline news for sure. Tiësto is bizzack with a banger, just in time for the Ultra Music Festival. The track, “Chasing Summers,” has the sound we’re growing accustomed to hearing from Tiësto: very uptempo, around the 126-130 bpm mark, with heavy doses of electro funk and bass. I’m a fan of this one, and with all the the Tiësto addicts out there, I’m pretty sure I won’t be alone.

Tiësto – Chasing Summers: LISTEN TO IT HERE


Then there’s Swedish House Mafia, a group that seems larger than life in the EDM world. They’ve been lacking a truly major hit since teaming up with Antidote, but this track hits the spot: classic and heavy at the beginning, only to morph into a big-room monster somewhere around the midway point. To be honest, when I listen to the Mafia it’s Axwell who usually dominates the sound but this release really balances all the contributions of all three in a unique way, and for that I applaud them.

Big track!

Swedish House Mafia – Greyhound (Original Mix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


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The Monday Mash – Deep Freeze Edition

January 16th, 2012

Posted by Scott Willats

  

Bitter cold throughout the city of Toronto this weekend, but that didn’t stop the concert and party scene. I, however, am the biggest wimp when it comes to minus-15 weather. So I grabbed a couple movies and a couple of mixtapes, some wine and steak sandwiches, and called it a hibernation weekend. It’s a shame, too, because Burakka Som Sistema had been calling my name for the past couple of weeks, but I just wasn’t up for it.

What I was up for was dedicating some time to finding new cuts you’ll love. And what I came up with was Steve Aoki remixing Bassnectar, Urban Noize brightening up Young Money‘s Tyga, and more. Take a taste and savour the flavour.


Bassnectar dropped the new Divergent Spectrums EP on Friday, and it features a host of remixes from some of our favourite names. I’m not sold on all of them, but the more I listen the more I hear pieces of a picture I admire. Plus when it’s free and it’s Bassnectar, you want to just snatch it up and worry about  the fine details later.

Bassnectar – Divergent Spectrum Remixes: LISTEN HERE


Urban Noize‘s remix of Tyga‘s “Rack City” seems to have disappeared from Soundcloud. Here’s a link where, with luck, you’ll be able to find it. If not, be sure to check it on YouTube — it brings a different feel to a song that a lot of people are jumping on.


Forgive me for being tardy with this one. Our favourite Swedish electro duo F.O.O.L. (F**k Our Ordinary Lives) gave a way a free track for us last week and I missed it. The good news is, I’m all over it now — and it’s dark, which I find to be F.O.O.L’s best style. Pick it up!

F.O.O.L – Nighthum (Original Mix): LISTEN TO IT HERE 


Eby Le Beatz goes innnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn! This is heavy!

Justice – Planisphère Part 1 (Eby Le Beatz remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Tommy Trash‘s name came up a lot in the conversation when I linked up with Chris Lake last month — and with tracks like this you can def see why.

Swedish House Mafia Vs. Knife Party – Antidote (Tommy Trash Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Sick video from Aoki and Wynter Gordon.


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2012 Coachella Lineup Announcement Reaction

January 10th, 2012

Posted by Popo

Indio, California’s 2012 Coachella lineup has been announced and it’s heavy on electronic dance music.

While the 2012 Coachella lineup gives credence to the recent thought that DJs are the new rock stars, I personally still don’t believe it. For better or worse, it’s more like anyone can reach the “rock star” gold standard as long as the music and performance reaches the soul of the audience. We are in a time of eclectic tastes where people look for what’s unique, fun and cool, disregarding the negativity surrounding how it’s produced and presented (ahem.. DJ/Producers don’t just push buttons!) This years Coachella is just that, where the electronic element is in full force; We will have the Swedish House Mafia, Afrojack, Guetta, SBTRKT and Martin Solveig playing to thousands of fans who will also cheer on established rock acts the Black Keys, Pulp, Bon Iver and Radiohead without thinking twice about it. I took to twitter to see what the reaction was by some of the EDM headliners as well as the fans. Check it out.

 

@swedishousemfia: Coachella…. YESSSSSSSSS!!! (SHM HQ)

 

@djafrojack: i will actually play a daft punk song on coachella

 

@kaskade: So many friends hitting me up for Coachella passes…ummm I see what you are doing there…

 

La Roux (VIA  Facebook): We are very pleased to announce that La Roux are playing both weekends of Coachella! April 13-15 and 20-22. This will be the first time any new material from the forthcoming second album will have been played ANYWHERE!

 

@girltalk: just spilled so much dr pepper all over my fridge. also just announced, i’m playing coachella 2012!

 

@morganpage: Yes – Coachella!! Playing both Sundays.

 

From the fans:

 

@ParisHilton: The Coachella Lineup is sick! #YES! @DJAfrojack @DavidGuetta @Avicii @Alesso @CalvinHarris @GirlTalk @SwedishHouseMfia @Kaskade I LUV HouseMusic

 

@Michael_Babatunde: Sweet mother of god. Coachella dance line up: Swedish House Mafia, Nero, Kaskade, Justice, David Guetta and AVICII. #insane

 

@gabbyolya: on closer examination of the coachella line-up, i give the electronic acts an A+ and the bands a B-

 

@chadisclutch: VERY last tweet about #coachella: shocked it went so electronic/dubstep compared to previous lineups: no jam band, nothing psychedelic