REVIEW: Michael Woods and Walden @ UNIUN Nightclub Factory Friday’s 08-03-13 by Rachael D’Amore

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It’s becoming hard to visualize a Friday night in the Toronto club scene without Uniun Nightclub’s Factory Fridays. This week’s edition featured the British progressive house DJ, Michael Woods and Australian opener Walden.

I arrived around 11pm, just in time to catch the last half hour of Manzone & Strong’s set; the resident DJs here at Uniun. The warm up already happened and the two were dishing out heavy hitting tracks for the packed dance floor. As a regular at Uniun Nightclub, I know how quickly the place can become a sauna of neon-wearing people dancing shoulder-to-shoulder. But tonight seemed far less stressful for the average Factory Friday, leaving room for people to wander and easily access the front of the dance floor and DJ booth – which tends to be everyone’s goal at some point in the night. Manzone & Strong played a great lead-in set before handing it over to the first headliner. Those familiar groovy tech house beats are always the perfect appetizer of what’s to come on Fridays.

No stranger to Uniun, 19-year-old John Walden, otherwise known as Walden, took over just after 11:30pm. After opening for fellow Australian beauties, NERVO, back in January and recently signing to Big Beat Records, it’s no surprise he was welcomed back to Uniun with open arms. Showing no mercy he tore into the night with some of his newer tracks off the label. We heard Ciaco and the haunting robotic vocals off his perfect dance track Intropial, which was featured in of Hardwell’s On Air Episodes. With the infamous LED icicle lights on in full force, the club was now full and lively. Tossing in his remix of The Only’s Looking Back and the addictive bassline in Happenstance by Mike Danis, the night was heating up. He continued his set with his new remix of Clarity, by Zedd, which unlike many of the Clarity remixes popping up lately, combines gritty undertones and hard hitting drum lines – stirring the crowd into a mayhem of jumping. Although fairly new to the EDM/house music circuit, Walden (who’s also off to play Ultra Music Festival this upcoming weekend) once again left the atmosphere at Uniun electric.

Soon enough, the anticipatory chants of his name were heard and Michael Woods took the stage at 1am. Although this was his debut at Uniun, Michael Woods has already made waves here in Toronto, particularly after one of the best parties Toronto’s seen at The Guvernment after VELD Music Festival Day One. Although I unfortunately missed his set at VELD, I definitely made up for the loss with the show he put on that night. Hearing one of his early hits Warrior live was unbelievable. He carried on with banger after banger, and the “far less-stressful dance floor” I was so fond of earlier turned into a sweaty pit of club goers. Keeping the dancing alive, we heard Albin Myer’s The Beast mixed smoothly with the 80’s British classic Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics, which was unexpected in the best possible way. The surprises kept coming when the typically progressive house mixer transitioned into a heavy trap vibe. With this genre on the rise, it’s no wonder more and more house DJs are incorporating a taste of this in their sets, because the crowd absolutely loves it. What everyone thought was going to be Hardwell’s Spaceman turned out to be the Carnage Festival Trap remix, turning that already infectious melody into a perfect mesh of trap and dubstep. And he didn’t stop there. He threw out Trap on Acid by RL Grime mashed with crowd favorite Kick Out the Epic Mother by Dada Life. The excitement was at a point of overflow after those tracks, and as he held up a full shot glass to the crowd as a ‘cheers,’ you could tell him and everyone else was having a great time.

A few more amazing tracks were played before he brought his set to a close around 3am. His newest off Ultra Records with Chris Lake called Black Thong had even the most tired dancers grooving to the epic piano melody and squeaky synth in the drop. That was possibly my favorite of the night. We were even lucky to hear his brand new song Platinum Chains which is released this Sunday on his own label Diffused Music. That’s definitely a track to look out for this summer festival season. After just a few more, Woods showed his gratitude, wiped the sweat from his brow and handed over the rest of the night to Manzone & Strong to bring us to a close. I couldn’t have been happier with the night’s sets, and I’m sure it had everyone leaving with their fingers crossed to see Michael Woods again at VELD this upcoming summer. I know mine are!

Important Links:

Michael Woods:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Soundcloud

Walden:

Facebook

Twitter

Soundcloud

 

Rachael D’Amore EDM TOR

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About Author

Adele Desloges

Adele is the owner of Tranceported. She also heads up the social media as well as the photo and video teams, and was a promoter of events across the Toronto area for years. She has been a fan of Trance music since the mid-90s and has been shooting Trance events since 2011..

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