The Prodigy are beyond legendary. From rhythms to vocals, their songs are instantly recognizable to just about anyone who knows and appreciates good music. So it took a certain audacity for Toronto’s Zeds Dead to approach the classic track ‘Breathe” and put their own dub spin on it. All too often, these attempts at re-working iconic tracks end in worse than failure: they ruin the original for the listener. Miraculously, Zeds Dead have pulled it off, ripping apart the original big-beat anthem and turning it into a mind-blowing, body-pumping dubstep monster.
Gosia Mrugala is a Toronto-based blogger and reviewer. You can read her blog HERE, and follow her on Twitter HERE.
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.
Another week, another amazing show. If you’re in Ontario’s capital today, I urge you to head over to Yonge and Dundas Square, where the Mad Decent Block Party is raging even as we speak. Local heroes Zeds Dead will be wrapping things up later tonight, and I predict they’ll be shaking the concrete in such a manner as to have the walls of the nearby Eaton Center clinging on for dear life. It’s an extravaganza, amigos – and it’s FREE!!! Say no more.
Speaking of Zeds Dead, we start this week’s Sweets with the brand new EP the duo dropped earlier this week — a collaboration with Omar LinX and, as you’d expect, a classic. Elsewhere, Montreal duo Botnek have a heavy-duty remix on their hands and Alvin Risk takes Fun.‘s “We are Young,” plus a few other goodies. Onward!
I know what you’re thinking: “Why do I want to read a review of Identity Festival in Toronto last weekend when I haven’t even seen the bpm Spotlight episodes on Digital Dreams or Full Flex Express yet?” I completely understand how you feel — but with so many amazing shows happening this summer I feel like I need to give you feedback on ‘em while the experience is still fresh.
And fresh it was. Identity had a lot to live up to. Between the monumental scale of Digital Dreams and the all-star lineup of Full Flex — and factoring in the absence of tour headliner Wolfgang Gartner from the Toronto bill — Identity came into the picture as something of an underdog.
Still, Identity did have one secret weapon up its sleeve: Eric Prydz, who hasn’t played in Canada for more than a decade, was slated to close out the night — and for many people, that was more than enough on its own.
Interviewing Eric Prydz at Identity proved to be one of the highlights of my young career, and to discover how humble and down-to-earth he seems was inspiring and encouraging. As for his performance on stage well, no surprise there: it was the best of the night.
Praise should also go to Le Castle Vania, who threw down a wicked set for a crowd that didn’t seem as familiar with him as one might have expected. This guy does not make bad songs. And while he sticks pretty close to the North American brand of electro house, the young man from Atlanta has mad skills when it comes to mixing and making music. His remix of Kaskade’s “Turn it Down” (a favourite among all the songs I’ve blogged) sent the place mental. Madeon‘s set was incredible as well. He was well and truly representing, and you could see why the young Frenchman’s star has shot so high so fast.
My personal favorite set: Showtek. These guys are crazy. I’m not really a hardstyle fan, but they converted me. They’re an awesome bunch, both as artists and as people — but when the mic is on and the tables are turning, they morph into animals. I know hardstyle has its loyal fans, and I’m sure the genre gained a lot of new ones besides myself on Saturday. Can’t wait for you to see the footage our cameraman Middy captured. Epic!
So that’s the summer’s tally so far: Digital Dreams, Full Flex, Identity – all successes. Next up is the Mad Decent Block Party, which should make it four for four. This one’s free so be sure to get your ass down to Toronto’s Yonge & Dundas Square on Saturday July 28. Headlining: hometown heroes Zeds Dead! See you there.
Dunno about you, but this weekend feels like Christmas to me. The dance music season is in full swing, and Canada is playing host to the best parties in the world! Can you feel it?
This is our weekend. There’s Bassmentality — sorry a Super Bassmentality happening in Ottawa, along with the Escapade fest. As for Toronto … well, you may have heard about a little something called the Digital Dreams festival. Homie! Iz going down. I said, can you feel it?
In this spirit of celebration, I’ve put together an extra-special “Sweets” — not so difficult, when you consider that this has been one of the better weeks of 2012 in terms of new music. Special praise for The Knocks, Zeds Dead and, of course, Dillon Francis. CAN YOU FEEL IT?
I love Ryan Enzed. If ever there was producer who deserved to be famous worldwide — as in right this minute — it’s this guy.
I couldn’t possibly wait for Friday’s” Sweets of the Week’” to share this one. DC and Hooks — better known as Zeds Dead — are back in the lab brewing up some remix shit. This time they’ve taken a personal favorite of mine, “The Fight Of My Life” from Colin Munroe and Lil Wayne arch-enemy Pusha T, and slathered it with grime sauce till it sizzles.
Right, I know I’m being corny as f*ck — but this track is massive. How massive? So massive I’m doing a post just for the f*cking two-minute preview. That’s how massive.
So this week I focused on the UEFA EURO 2012, a tournament many say is harder to win than the World Cup. A good chance to take a look at some of the powerhouse nations in the EDM game and see just how many A-list artists they’ve got on the roster.
With all that said, though, it bears pointing out that North American is making a pretty convincing bid for EDM supremacy, too. This week, in fact, we have one of the year’s biggest fests taking place down in Vegas. Electric Daisy Carnival is finally here — and this year’s looks to be one for the ages. The set lists are incredible, and too numerous to list here, so I’ll just pass on the images I’ve been drooling over for the past two months. If can’t make it, don’t worry — I’ll have you covered next week with info all the best sets.
Until then, some sweets to turn your weekend into a Vegas vacation. Let’s get to it!
From one side of the country to the other: Felix Cartal lends his touch to Autoerotique‘s “Roll the Drums.” An absolute banger.
A little tardy with this one, but whenever you come across a new Pleasurekraft track you wait until the full version is released. We were teased with a preview a few weeks back, but it didn’t do the tune justice. It’s truly out of this world — particularly once it hits the four minute mark. (PS, Pleasurekraft are in Toronto tomorrrrrrrrrow night at SPACE IBIZA at Sound Academy. BE THERE!!!!!!!!!)
Speaking of previews, Tits & Clits have given us a glimpse of their latest track — and this one can’t wait. It’s a remix of Demon Superior‘s “Creepy Little Doll.” Something about T&C in the studio: they know how to pick just the right chord for every part of a remix. This will be a definite download when the full track becomes available; until then, this two-minute snippet should hold you.
Mau5trap is well represented this week with the latest from Moguai: a remix of a track he released back in February. He must of heard something in the past four months that he wanted to incorporate, because this version is miles away from the original. Both are good — but this one’s better.
One of my favourite acts, T.E.E.D., remixed by none other than Miguel Campbell. Huge!
Though the week just past did bring the release of new tracks from Sound Remedy and Porter Robinson,plus an album from Rusko, it felt on the whole like the electronic music world was suffering from a bit of a WMC hangover. Everybody seemed to be functioning on half-speed. Still, I believe the majority were fuelling their tanks for what promises to be a summer to remember.
Skream and Benga absolutely killed The Hoxton in Toronto on Thursday night, These two never seem to deliver a weak set. If ever you have the chance, be sure to check them out.
Now, on to the sweets!
This is probably one of the best EPs I’ve heard so far this year. Expect Sound Remedy to be a household name very very soon.
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.
What can we say about Toronto duo Zeds Dead that we haven’t already said? These guys have caught the wave of momentum so many artists crave and are riding it far ahead of the pack. In a week that has seen new releases from Alesso, Ingrosso and Kill The Noise it’s a double dose of Zeds Dead that has the kids going wild. DC and Hooks seem to be in perfect form, hitting the best stretch they have ever known. It’s a demonstration of the truth behind the old adage: hard work and dedication to your craft really will bring you the respect you deserve.
And let’s not forget Omar LinX. This young spitta is stepping up his game in a major way. For so long, dubstep rappers seem to have taken a backseat to the more traditional flowers. But LinX is walking right up to that stereotype with a automatic shotgun and sending it to its maker. His skill is undeniable, his chemistry with DC and Hooks extraordinary. Prepare for a nation of copycats to try to mimic the sound these three have created – but know that just ’cause it glitters don’t mean it’s gold.
And a lesson here for all up-and-coming DJs and producers: Zeds Dead initially gave away almost all of their tracks for free. That’s how you create a fanbase — well, that and making stinky, stanky, filthy, outrageous, disgusting, epic, ragin’ tracks!!!