French DJ/producer Breakbot made his greatly anticipated Toronto debut last Friday at The Hoxton, which was the perfect venue for this kind of show. It’s intimate enough for patrons to see where they’re going, dance without getting brushed, actually hear what your friends are saying to you, yet big enough to accommodate everyones respect of space on the dance floor. Even though I anticipated a more mature crowd for this kind of show, it was refreshing to see this respect among the crowd especially at The Hoxton. This is also due to that this was a very educated and knowledgable crowd, and everyone was there for the same reason as the next guy – to DANCE!
Our ensemble arrived around midnight, and delighted to see that the smoking pit area beside the line was actually larger than the line itself. It seemed as if all of Breakbot’s French fans came out that night too! We walked in within minutes, paid our $30 door cover and immediately walked into a flashback. Upon walking up the steps into the main room, we literally had to walk past what seemed like several crews of B-boys funk pop and locking battling it out amongst themselves. Initially scoping out the place I burst into excitement to see that this wasn’t your conventional nightclub atmosphere, it reminded me of a disco dance club from the 80s a la Saturday Night Fever. Minus the tacky and dated disco novelties, couples were dancing with each other and the center of attention wasn’t directed at the DJ. Mix Chopin kept the atmosphere where it needed to be, playing a lot of funk but not dropping any big note-worthy tracks to say in the least. Not that anyone cared however, because the club would spontaneously erupt into a Breakbot chant to let him know that he is who we have all came to see!
I was very pleased to had come right when we did, because literally after standing a bit in coat check and going to the bar for our first drinks is when it got funky. The poppy bass lines and drum kit groove moved the crowd as the house lights dimmed, and everyone knew what was coming. After the instrumental intro had climaxed, out ran a lanky skinny figure onto the decks and dropped the funk onto The Hoxton at it’s heaviest. For 2 hours straight Breakbot pursued to deliver the swings and the crowd pleasing massives in electro funk, Nu-disco, and French house. Breakbot is most known for his remixes, and I heard many of his most popular ones including Let There be Light by Justice, Happy Up Here by Royksopp, and When The Night Falls by Chromeo. Some sections of his set were harder hitting and electro-esque, but was always brought down paced by a groove Breakbot original. The crowd was loving everything he threw at them, even his Trap remixes of Drake‘s Started from the Bottom and Jay-Z’s N!ggas in Paris (which I personally thought both were very clever).
Until the very end the excitement on the dance floor was elevated and became rowdy at some points. It was awesome to see Breakbot finally come to Toronto and hear our favourite tracks played out. Even though his live gigging persona isn’t very enthusiastic, I’m sure he felt the love embracing massive crowd reactions after dropping track after track. Thanks to Embrace Presents and The Hoxton for another bangin’ party!
Sabino Furlone – EDM TOR