“Just close your eyes and follow me” was techno goddess Nicole Moudaber‘s response after I tweeted about my lack of familiarity in the techno territory of the EDM world. Like a master of any craft would, Moudaber asks her audience to trust her on the journey into the dark and dirty sounds that make up her underground sets. Techno junkies and newbies alike are welcome to join, but all are asked to trust and follow – in the end she’ll take you where you need to go. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a trance girl at heart, so this was new territory, but after hearing all the hype around Moudaber’s visit, and receiving the welcoming encouragement to venture into her sound, I was intrigued and ready to check her out at Footwork Nightclub.
The beauty of a nightclub like Footwork lies in the owners’ belief in showcasing underground talent. There is no pretentiousness, no judgment, and definitely no neon (I know that appeals to many of you out there). Footwork draws in a crowd that appreciates the sound over anything else and partygoers feel equally part of the vibe whether they are lounging on a couch or pounding it out on the dance floor. There’s no concern over who’s doing what, who’s going where, and who looks like they belong. You go, you listen to the music, and nothing else matters. Footwork is definitely a unique spot on the map – as I entered the club a few guys from New York mentioned they wish they had more spots like this in their city – they had driven to Toronto just experience this night at Footwork with Nicole Moudaber.
Arriving around 12:30am, there was a decent line-up and the club inside was fairly busy. It was promptly at 1am when we looked up at the decks and caught a peek of the wild mane that belongs to Ms. Moudaber. As she took the party into her own hands, the crowd around her was fired up with one gentleman jumping up to the DJ booth to dangle with Nicole and snag a high-five. During the first 45 minutes, people were still trickling in and getting warmed up to the soulful sound that was emerging. I remember taking the advice of closing my eyes, noting the space available on the dance floor and opening them minutes later only to find the venue packed and the dance floor crowded. It was halfway through her set, around 2:30am when I finally understood why her sound has been described as dirty, sleazy and sexy. The addictive beats of pulsing techno set were pounding throughout the venue – it was impossible not to move to them. The sound of Moudaber’s mixing makes you sweat, makes you yearn, and makes you feel incredibly sexy – that emotion was definitely seen throughout the crowd.
Musical hightlights for me included the vocals of Mark Knight ft. Skin Nothing Matters paired with a deep and sexy beat that had some people singing and dancing like nothing before. Of course we also heard the feature tracks on Nicole’s collaborative EP release with Victor Calderone, Vertical Limit and The Journey Begins. Each track took the party to another level with classic yet soulful sounds that you can feel with every part of your body.
As she closed her set, Nicole graciously thanked her audience, and we did the same back. With the backing of Carl Cox and praise from industry legends like Pete Tong, Nicole proved that she is more than just a rising star. People around the world are cautioning to look out for this one, and after experiencing her set for the first time, I can tell you myself, she will blow your mind.
Thank you Nicole Moudaber for giving this trance girl a taste of your techno world. I can’t wait til the next one.
Anjali Handa – EDM TOR