To say I knew what I was getting into this past Friday would be the understatement of the year. Thinking back, it can be summed up into 6 items: Dreadlocks and bowties, piercings and flapper dresses, and electro swing and tech house. Sounds like an odd combination, right? Somehow, it really worked.
On Friday February 22, a new collaboration was made in the bustling city of Toronto between cirQlar and the Electro Swing Club to bring party goers a whole new experience. Hundreds of fans of deep tech house and funky electro swing flocked into Revival nightclub for a night of entertainment, great tunes and a whole lot of dancing. The venue was broken up into two floors, the basement (Smooth Criminals Chamber) contained tech house, garage and drum and bass, while the upstairs (Frisky Business Swing Room), was filled with gypsy jazz, swingin’ bass and electro swing. To say the least, the whole venue was movin’ and groovin’.
After standing in line for about 15 minutes surrounded by people buzzing to get inside and many exclamations of waiting to see various artists, I walked in to catch the tail end of a burlesque performance put on by the very lovely Mina Lafleur. The crowd was going wild, and the entertainment didn’t stop with her. Followed was a magic show performed by Dylan Studebaker and an aerialist performance on silks by Kadri Hansen. Talk about a full experience in one night!
After spending only 10 minutes inside Revival, I felt like a kid in a candy shop. There was so much to see and experience, at some points I was running in between floors to catch as many acts as I could. In the basement Hans Ohm was dropping a solid drum and bass set while mixing in his signature liquid sound (track highlights can be found below). Spazzmonk followed with a chunky tech house set that had the floor filled and two stepping to the rhythms of some of our favourite techno, french house, and tech house producers. This was followed by the notorious Rollin’ Cash who rinsed out a whimsical set contrasted with dark vibes and uplifting sounds to end the night with his unique turntable abilities.
On the top floor, swing dance lovers united over fun and fast moving music. The headliner, The Lost Fingers, a gypsy jazz music group from Quebec, had the room swinging to their unique covers to classic music, including their hit rendition of Pump Up The Jam. Twirls, jazz fingers and kicking feet were performed by all in attendance, the room filled to the brim with laughter, smiles and singing. After the headliner finished with a gigantic round of applause, medicineman went on to perform a set of electro swing that had the crowd bobbing to the music and dancing to the beat. The closer of the night was Skank Honto, a swingin’ bass dj who has the ability to combine multiple genres into a single set. At many points during the night he dropped old school hip hop classics such as Missy Elliot – Get Your Freak On and rap songs such as 50cent – In da club with an electro swing background, and was also able to combine a swingin’ bass remix of the top 40 tune Thrift Shop – Macklemore.
Some other unique features of the night were at 2:00 a man came around selling roses for people to give their swing partners, and water in pitchers were left on the bar tops for people to pour at their own leisure. Overall, the night seemed to be really well received. From the beginning of the night to the very end smiles were plastered on faces and the rooms were filled with hand holding, hugging and a swing dancing with new and previous partners. This was a special event for me; the new experiences and welcoming crowd made a newcomer to the scene feel extremely welcome. I will most definitely check out a cirQlar and Electro Swing Club event again.
Coming Apart – Dave Owen & Scone Boy
Rise – Big Bud & Greg Packer
Getting Lost – Philip Bader
Octagonal – Luciano
Indian Shot – Sebastian Leger
The Run – Paperplane
Kebo – Combo (Alex Kenji Remix)
Down Below – Funkwork (Gramatik Remix)
THE SWING ROOM
The Lost Fingers
Never Gunna Dance Again – Lost Fingers Cover
Safety Dance – Lost Fingers Cover
Part Time Lover – Lost Fingers Cover
Pump Up the Jam – Lost Fingers Cover
Jive is Good For You – Defunk
California Soul – A.Skillz
Mambo Fever – Lazy River
Swing Break – McMash Clan
Lunatics – Vent
Sanj Takhar – EDM TOR