As I approached the Kool Haus, the excitement eased upon me. I knew this was going to be a night of high quality drum & bass that no one would ever forget. As I entered the venue, the setting up was near its end and Hydee was just stepping up to the decks. Someone had to get the party started, and this local bass DJ was perfect for the job.
Never failing to provide a hype-heavy set to get our adrenaline flowing, Hydee dropped tons of dance floor favourites that Toronto bass heads couldn’t resist. The ravers slowly trickled in as he kept the DNB pumping steadily. It was clear that a fair number of the dedicated drum & bass heads had arrived and were already throwing down their breakneck moves on the floor. It was refreshing to see the fans that truly have a passion for the music, doing what they love most, with no poseurs filling in the gaps. No one had ulterior motives. There were no creepers trying to pick up ladies. It was just me and the DNB lovers going hard.
By the time Fred V & Grafix hit the decks, the venue was packed with high energy party goers ready to rage. Their carefully selected sequence of tracks put their audience in a trance of soulful, deep drum & bass. It was a significant change of pace from Hydee’s set, but in the most refreshing sense. As much as we all like to think we can thrash around for hours and feel fine, we all appreciated the tone down of this UK-based duo’s performance. One of the more upbeat tracks they included was definitely a shout out to their friend from Hospital Records, Netsky. His remix of Skream’s Anticipate had the crowd’s feet going wild to a banger we all know and love. I’m sure we were all pleased to hear tracks from Fred V & Grafix’s new Goggles EP, which encompasses many of the soulful tracks described earlier. Nearing the end of their time on stage, they dropped Endorphins by SubFocus, which raised our spirits with its progressive house vibes.
Up next was the legendary High Contrast, who was originally an inspiration to the younger DJs on the Hospital label. His DNB heavy set certainly proved that all the hype about this man was true. He knew what he was doing. A track that stood out to me what a drum & bass remix of Won’t Get Fooled Again by The Who. Everyone immediately recognized the tune and got riled up. High Contrast continued to pump out a dynamic range of heavy DNB bangers, while also catering to the generation by playing tracks such as Niggas in Paris by Kanye West & Jay-Z. Overall, his performance was energetic, bouncy and it was extremely clear he could sense exactly what beat to play and when to play it.
Finally, it was time to rinse out to the massive sounds of Camo & Krooked. Will the explosive sets ever end?! These Austrian boys did not think twice before laying down the high BPM heavy jams. In the first track, the crowd was already taken over by the urge to dance as hard as they could. The energy in the room was electric. Not only did this duo blast our favourite DNB beats, they mixed in more classic tracks such as We Are Your Friends by Justice Vs Simian, and both Firestarter and Smack My Bitch Up by the talented Prodigy. Each of the songs with a DNB twist of course. To satisfy the mainstream lovers in the room, Camo & Krooked spun a fast-paced remix of deadmau5’s Raise Your Weapon. There was something for everyone, and everyone was rinsing out to the max.
It was clear everyone in the crowd was there purely to have a good time and appreciate their favourite bass genre. The venue was all smiles as the closing act took the stage, SPY. This veteran never fails to end a party with a bang. Ever so versed in the history and art of drum & bass, this set was one that was not to be missed. Each track was spot on and each beat had our feet moving.
I could feel the positive energy and passion exploding from the hearts of all of the dedicated drum & bass heads in the Kool Haus that night. We all came together to experience something amazing, and we all left satisfied. Our drum & bass thirst was quenched thanks to a massive performance from Hospital Records.
Alix Nikulka – EDM TOR