The opening act consisted of none other than Toronto’s own Rafwat & Chorniy. They broke the night in by tinkering around with some of their own unreleased productions played aloud for an intimate group comprised mainly of friends and supporters. The duo expelled their usual melodic and arcane soundtrack to club-goers trickling in. The pair tested out upcoming releases by producers like, Mano Le Tough and Gab Rhome to create a deep, chilled backdrop to initiate the night. As the size of the crowd grew, it appeared to encompass an assortment of open-minded and passionate individuals who thoroughly appreciated the playing of Dj Koze’s Track ID Anyone featuring the vocals of Canadian artist, Caribou. The crowd also reveled in the detonation of Rafwat & Chorniy’s own production, Sonar. When it was time to hand over the decks to the next local act, the club was already halfway on its way to capacity.
Poupon is yet another Toronto-born producer on his way to stardom and was on the roster to open for Hot Since 82. With an R&B and classic house influenced sound, he has formulated tracks touching on genres from tech house and deep house to nu-disco, with releases on Aella Music and Strictly Rhythm. Artists such as Ramon Tapia, Pirupa and even Adam Beyer have been supporting his sound. I was completely eager to witness him for the first time as well. When Poupon started his set it sounded much louder than the previous set, it was as though something was turned up, it was much more intense. And by midnight there was quite a substantial line shaped around the exterior of the club, which was indicative of the group inside. On the dance floor, even by the bar and entry area, it was quite full of people dancing to Poupon’s groovy, energetic and funky sound. He stayed true to the soulful deep house spirit, without running the risk of sounding too cheesy. As I was waiting in line to coat-check my purse, I found it near impossible to not dance to the chuggy sounds being walloped out on the now turned up system. I checked my belongings just in time. Poupon was cut short as the man of the hour arrived and wanted to start playing immediately, a vigor we all like to see in a main act!
It was around 12:30 a.m., the club was full and I was ready to be blown away! Hot Since 82 showed up in a white Obey t-shirt with rolled-up sleeves and looked ready to go. He mixed in, starting of with an 80’s inspired harmony. He changed the mood precisely after the first track into a bouncy tech house one which was a good call because everyone was into it, especially me. I was standing on the raised platform to the left of the club, just to ensure a clear view of the DJ booth. Usually at an event I socialize and mill around, but not tonight, I didn’t leave my spot at all until the club closed, not even to go to the washroom. I just could not stop dancing! Being a huge fan of his productions and after hearing many of his sets, I was expecting some melodic deep house and some nifty tech house spotted with some of his own impelling tracks. And I must say I was not disappointed. Despite a few minor kinks in the set, which he shrugged off smoothly, his mixing was neat, impeccable and very impressive.
Through his effervescent tech house set scattered with some deep house dance floor destroyers, Hot Since 82 played one of my personal favorites, his lush remix of Shadow Child’s So High. In the last half of the set amongst his other valuable picks he threw in his new release on Noir Music, Mr. Drive—a crisp yet simple and relentless journey of a track, which he then followed by Rampa’s enticing track featuring Meggy, Everything. After the eruption of the crowd for Mr. Drive, the energies were held high to this general Footwork favorite. Hot picked up the pace from here, it became deeper and techier and he even threw in a feel-good disco house track, which everyone lapped up. Towards the end of his set he was sure to include his chart-influencing monster production from last year, Cry Mumbai, which synchronically was one of the songs he was teasing us with earlier on in the night. One could tell that Hot Since 82 was completely enjoying the crowd and the venue; he actually stayed on the decks until around 4:15 a.m., 45 minutes before close! This gave Footwork’s beloved Jonathan Rosa only 45 minutes for his closing set. Rosa went straight into some techno and played some groovier tech house to taper off yet another unforgettable night at Footwork Bar.
Anj Mahabir – EDM TOR