Live Review: DZEKO & TORRES: Updated!

May 7th, 2013

Dzeko & Torres @ The Hoxton, Toronto – April 27, 2013. Presented by Embrace

Reviewed by Gosia Mrugala

While I’ve had occasion to listen to buzz-worthy Toronto duo DZEKO & TORRES in the comfort of my own home, it’s a sad fact that I’ve somehow never managed to catch them live. That situation, happily, was rectified recently at The Hoxton — a local venue where they’ve built something of a name for themselves. The pair brought their trademark big-room electric sound, driving the crowd into a full-on animalistic frenzy.

I had a few moments to chat with Julian Dzeko and Luis Torres at the show, and queried them about the benefits of working as duo. Torres told me: “It’s good because you have two creative minds bringing ideas to the table. That can also be tough at times, when two different ideas clash. But we work through it till we come to a conclusion that we’re both happy with.”

It’s awe-inspiring to watch these two play live — the way they work together seamlessly, mixing, complementing each other’s musical selections and shaping the set into a satisfying whole. Their mutual passion for the music is plainly evident on stage, just as it is in their studio work.

I wrapped up the conversation by asking the boys for their opinion on the music scene in Toronto. Dzeko replied: “The scene in Toronto has been pretty big for the past 10-15 years, but it has grown a little stronger in the U.S. Here in Canada,  especially in Toronto, the music scene didn’t just begin in the past two years — but as I said, the past 10-15 years. But I would say Toronto has a strong music scene and community.”

If you’ve been missing out on Dzeko & Torres, as I was, now’s the time to change that. Keep an eye on their gig schedule and mark your calendar when they come to town

Couple of new tracks:

Hurricane (feat Sarah McLeod) – BUY IT ON BEATPORT

Down to This (with Chuckie) – BUY IT ON BEATPORT

Check out some photos from the event below. Photographer: James Nahhas (@NAHSTEE)

Special thanks to CruelTO. (Follow them on Facebook HERE.)

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


Digital Dreams News: Alvaro

April 24th, 2013

Posted by Gosia Mrugala


It is a scientific fact: every single Dutch person is a DJ. It is required by law and tradition. If you cannot DJ, you must leave the country.


Who is Alvaro? Alvaro is a Dutch person, who is a DJ, who makes house music, who will be at the Digital Dreams Music Festival this Canada Day weekend.


For DD tickets and info, click on the clicky thing HERE. For the DD Facebook page, click on THIS HERE clicky thing.


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


Digital Dreams News: TJR and Myon & Shane 54

April 23rd, 2013

Posted by Gosia Mrugala

Today’s new additions to the 2013 Digital Dreams Music Festival artist lineup: San Diego’s TJR (above left), whose signature sound is a self-described “brand of quirky, bouncy house that blur[s] the lines between house, techno and electro,” and Hungarian trance duo Myon & Shane 54 (above right), currently ranked 80th on the DJ Mag top 100. Look for both acts on the Dreams Stage.

‘sall for now. HERE be the link for tickets and info. HERE be the Digital Dreams Facebook.

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



Digital Dreams News: Art Department

April 22nd, 2013

Posted by Gosia Mrugala

Most intriguing new addition to the artist lineup for this year’s Digital Dreams Music Festival: Toronto house duo Art Department, a collaboration between legendary local DJ Kenny Glasgow and Jonny White, the mastermind behind the No. 19 label. This spring finds them wrapping up the tour for their newest album, the mix compilation Social Experiment 003. Can’t wait to see them bring it to the Echo Beach Stage on June 29!

DD tix and info: HERE. DD Facebook: HERE

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



Digital Dreams News: Excision

April 19th, 2013

Posted by Gosia Mrugala

Everything’s coming up bass today. British Columbia’s dean of dubstep Excision – who just wowed them at Coachella with his spectacular “Executioner” stage show — is the latest talent to be named to the 2013 Digital Dreams Music Festival lineup. He’ll be schoolin’ ‘em from the House of Boom stage on Saturday June 29.

Looking for tickets? GO HERE. Follow DD on Facebook HERE.

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


Digital Dreams News: Flosstradamus

April 17th, 2013

Posted by Gosia Mrugala


Because there’s no such thing as too much bass: Electronic Nation today added Chicago-based trap duo Flosstradamus to the 2013 Digital Dreams Music Festival lineup. Check out the full artist roster HERE.

You know the drill: tix and whatnot HERE, Facebookishness HERE.

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



April 16th, 2013

Maya Jane Coles @ The Hoxton, Toronto – April 12, 2013. Presented by Embrace & Platform

Reviewed by Gosia Mrugala

ALL PHOTOS: James Drobik

I’ve been in love with the deep house sound of UK producer/DJ Maya Jane Coles ever since I heard her Low Key EP. The title track alone was “Low Key” is all it took to get me hooked.

This is one talented and prolific young artist. In addition to the house tracks she puts out under her own name, Coles records dubstep under the alias Nocturnal Sunshine, and has teamed up with vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Lena Cullen to form the electronic dub duo She Is Danger. Little wonder Rolling Stone ranked MJC number 14 last fall on its list of the world’s 25 most influential DJs.

Coles brought her distinctive sound to The Hoxton in Toronto last Friday — and what a night it was! The lineup outside wrapped right around the building, tickets at the door sold out in a heartbeat, and the joint was quickly filled wall-to-wall. The vibe was raw and had a delicious, underground feel. Coles’ artful production and unerring musical selection had the whole crowd swaying oceanically to those sweet, deep rhythms.

Keep an eye on MJC’s touring schedule HERE, and be ready to snap up tix quick if she’s gonna be in your neighbourhood.

More photos:

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


Live Review: Flume & EPROM

April 12th, 2013

Flume + EPROM @ The Hoxton, Toronto – April 4, 2013

Reviewed by Gosia Mrugala

Friday night, and the dance floor at The Hoxton was filling up rapidly, a crush of bodies thrumming with excitement and anticipation. You could feel it: the indefinable something in the air that says, “This is gonna be good.”

I’d be a liar if I said I had much prior familiarity with the music of Australian DJ/producer Flume or the artist who shared the bill with him, Portland, Oregon-based EPROM. But I can tell you that, after hearing them last week, I’ve rectified that situation. I couldn’t wait to start SoundClouding and Beatporting their stuff the minute I left the club.

EPROM is a techie terms that stands for erasable programmable read only memory — “a little memory chip thing,” he explained when we spoke after the show. When I asked him to describe his sound,  he termed it “electronic music grafted onto rap.”

I was captivated by his set. He communicated effortlessly with the crowd, hyping them into a frenzy, and his musical selection was positively orgasmic.  His passion for the job and for the music was palpable, both on stage and when we chatted later. This was his first time performing in Toronto, and when I asked for his reaction, he said: “Tonight was f*cken awesome! Super responsive crowd — everyone was giving me a really good vibe. which I feed off of when I play”

When Flume took the stage the crowd went wild, the dance floor devolving into a clusterf*ck of the musically enslaved. And the set that followed left me beyond words.

Flume describes his musical style as “experimental electronic music with a strong hip hop influence and lots of catchy melodies.” But that doesn’t do it justice. His sound that night was wonderfully grimey, with the kind of “underground” feel that is all too rare on the EDM scene nowadays. His energy, too, is awe-inspiring: when he played his track “Holding On,” the audience reaction was spine-tingling, climaxing with a burst of spontaneous applause.

Do yourself a favour and get to know these artists before they hit town again.

Special thanks to Francois and the Embrace team! Check out the Embrace Web site HERE to stay on top of upcoming events.

Some more pics from the show. All images courtesy of Embrace Presents:

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


Digital Dreams News: Wolfgang Gartner

April 11th, 2013

Posted by Gosia Mrugala

A gloomy Thursday here in Toronto, but Electronic Nation brightened the day with the announcement that WOLFGANG GARTNER will be joining the 2013 Digital Dreams Music Festival lineup. Less than three months now to the Canada Day long weekend!

Tix ‘n’ info HERE. DD Facebook thingy HERE.

Check out Wolfgang Gartner on bpm Spotlight:

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


Decadence 2013 – the bpm:tv Review

April 4th, 2013


Reviewed by Gosia Mrugala

March may have gone out like a lion this year, but the arrival of spring is still an event worth celebrating. Toronto’s The Guvernment-Kool Haus complex certainly did its bit to help promote spring fever, hosting a massive all-access event on the eve of the Easter long weekend, headlined by some of the biggest names on the EDM scene. At Kool Haus: Calvin Harris, Nicky Romero, R3hab and Manzone & Strong. At The Guvernment: Cosmic Gate, W&W and Mark Oliver. At Chroma: Flipside, Joee Cons and Greg Gow. And at Acid Lounge: Ovi M.

Running back and forth between the rooms was quite the adventure — each time trying to push my way through a wall of bodies entranced by the relentless pulse of the music. You really do see and feel the love — or “PLUR” — that animates the EDM community at an event like this. I just wish I had a cloning machine so I could be in three places at once, catching the full sets from all of these amazing artists, instead of running around like a chicken without its head.


>> The musical remedies of R3hab were a balm for the soul. I first saw him last summer at Digital Dreams and was impressed by his set there — but at Decadence I was utterly blown away by his performance, his flawless musical selection and, above all, his connection with the audience.

>> Manzone & Strong and Mark Oliver are residents at the Guvernment, and with good reason: they never disappoint, bringing their A game every single time they work the decks.

>> At one point was near the entrance to Chroma, when a mass of bodies suddenly surged toward the Kool Haus, and I found myself swept along with the herd to witness Nicky Romero taking the stage. It was pure pleasure to witness the mastery with which he took control of the dance floor, his energy electrifying the entire complex. Romero’s name is one that gets my pulse pounding any time I see him on an artist lineups.

>> Calvin Harris is an artist I first saw live at WEMF two years ago and was absolutely blown away! So my expectations for his performance at Decadence were high — and baby, did he deliver! His musical selection was golden, and his connection with the crowd awe-inspiring to experience.

>> Cosmic Gate certainly had a pleasing musical selection, but there seemed to be a lack of energy. Somehow they never clicked with the crowd, and I found myself drifting back toward back to Kool Haus during their set.

>> W&W created an animalistic frenzy on the Guvernment’s dance floor. My body escaped conscious control and fell under the spell for the duration. These boys work so well together, and communicate musically with the crowd so perfectly.

>> Chroma wasn’t as packed as the two main rooms, but those who made the effort to check it out were amply rewarded by Toronto’s Flipside. His musical selection set the floor spinning; I couldn’t tear myself away while he controlled the decks. Definitely one of the evening’s unsung heroes.

>> I do have to send out some love to Toronto Rave Community (TRC), which made its presence felt and contributed to the overall positive vibe. I can now proudly say that I received my first piece of kandi at Decadence, courtesy of a nice TRC gent.

All in all, Decadence 2013 was an rousing success. The crowd was crazy, and the energy was palpable in every corner of the complex. Every year, Decadence seems to improve. If you haven’t yet made it to one of these annual gatherings, then be assured: you are missing out. Personally, I’m already looking forward to Decadence 2014!


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