Friday April 19th was the latest installment of Factory Fridays with superstars Congorock and Clockwork returning to the city and making their debut inside Uniun Nightclub. More and more artists are starting to replicate their philosophy of studio collaborations in their DJ sets, hence B2B sets. If you were at Uniun on this particular night, you would have witness the power of such a set. Two of electro-house’s premiere artists, Congorock and Clockwork have been touring the country and are really hot in the world of EDM, so this show was highly anticipated especially after Congorock’s last surreal set in Toronto at Labour of Love 2012.
We arrived around 11:30pm as resident DJs Manzone & Strong were warming up the crowd, most of whom had just finished waiting in a rapidly growing line. I’ve seen Joe and Fab more than I’ve seen anyone else play – they know exactly how to open and close a show. Especially on a night full of electro-house, they were careful to play popular tracks while not “stealing the thunder” from the main act. The crowd was moving in high anticipation of Congorock and Clockwork.
Even though most fans of EDM today support artists and tracks across all genres, there’s always an added sense of excitement (or sensory overload for some) when one of your favorite clubs brings in a big name (or two) that play your favourite style. Electro-house is one genre that has a lot of exciting new material and Clockwork is a newer addition to the scene of veterans that Congorock has resided in for years now. Getting to see these two on the same night was an awesome booking courtesy of INK Events. Not knowing that it would be a B2B set, when I first saw Congorock I was excited that he’d be on so early. Then, right behind him came Clockwork and it hit me…they’re definitely going back to back tonight! Needless to say, this changed the entire dynamic of the show. Instead of hearing some tropical hard house from Congorock and the bass-heavy, big room sound of Clockwork , we were going to hear the two styles blended for what proved to be a massive set. Since the two of them have been touring together, and judging by the clarity of their transitions, I’m going to go out on a limb and say this was not the first time during this tour that this had happened.
The first hour of tracks had us sweating with bombs like Deniz Koyu Bong, Will Sparks Ah Yea (TJR Remix), Jewelz & Scott Sparks Toxic Rush, GTA, Henrix & Digital Lab Hit It!’, and Nero Crush On You (GTA + LA Riots Remix). The tone was set and they were just getting started. At 2:00am, the guys hadn’t relented and were dropping the heaviest tracks of the night, like, GTA’s The Crowd and Congorock Ivory. The entire room was jumping and I could feel the floor shaking but then what seemed like in an instant, it was time to say goodbye to what made them famous. They played Trap. I didn’t mind that the last 45 minutes was a constant 808 fest but it cleared the room out without a doubt. I don’t pretend to know what it takes to please a crowd but I would say sprinkling something in a few times throughout the night to see how it works is a little different than going all out and redirecting to another genre. Uniun is always packed until the end of the night so it was a little disheartening to see the energy fluctuate so quickly. I decided at this point that it was time for me to make an early exit because I could no longer dance to the music.
Since first seeing Congorock in London, Ontario in early 2012, he has become a favourite of mine for this genre of music. I remember having no idea who he was beforehand and telling all my friends about him after; regardless of the show, I’m excited to see what he will come up with in 2013 for productions. Meanwhile, Clockwork is one of those DJs I’ve had on my list for this year especially after hearing his massive set at Ultra Music Festival back in March. His tracks are filthy and he is the definition of cutting edge. His clever mashup of his own track BBBS and Duck Sauce Big Bad Wolf is just one example of how he thinks with an artistic mind. I really enjoyed hearing him play and I am so happy I got to witness another B2B set because it totally made the night one to remember. Despite the fact that there was too much Trap for my liking it was still a great night leading up to that point and I look forward to hearing both Congorock and Clockwork do their thing separately in the future.
Here is a partial track list from the set:
Deniz Koyu – Bong
Will Sparks – Ah Yea (TJR Remix)
Jewelz & Scott Sparks – Toxic Rush
GTA, Henrix, Digital Lab – Hit It!
Nero – Crush On You (GTA + LA Riots Remix)
Tommy Trash – Monkey See Monkey Do (Original Mix)
Clockwork ft Wynter Gordon – Surge (Original Mix)
Sandro Silva & Quintino – Epic
Alvaro – Make the Crowd Go
Bingo Players – Out Of My Mind
DVLM – Wakanda
Hard Rock Sofa vs. Zedd – Rasputin vs. Clarity
GTA – The Crowd
Congorock – Ivory
Tujamo and PlastikFunk – WHO
Ace Hood – I Woke Up In A New Bugatti
Benny Benassi – Satisfaction (RL Grime Remix)
Congorock feat. Sean Paul & Stereomassive – Bless Di Nation (Clockwork Remix)
Monika Sobota – EDM TOR