Saturday April 27th, 2013 was special for local talent in Toronto. Impact Productions hosted their first edition of Ascension: A Night In Trance. On a night when there was little happening in the EDM Toronto scene, Impact Productions and Toika Lounge hosted up and coming talents: DJ KidZero, Saad Ayub and Flux Muzik.
Starting at 10:00pm sharp was DJ KidZero, also known as Henry Yoong, a DJ signed under Marquee Media from Toronto. When we arrived at Toika, DJ KidZero was already well into his set and setting the bar high for the acts to come after him. His high energy tracks and beats had the growing crowd dancing from the minute they walked through the doors. The small dance floor was filling up quickly with people taking their respective places to rage for the night. By 11pm it was a packed house. It helped that the Trance community had put together a bake sale for the official ASOT650 Toronto Campaign. The Campaign officially started a couple weeks prior just before Super8 & Tab’s show at The Guvernment. The organizers had chosen this specific night to help raise money with a delicious bake sale to support the campaign to bring Armin van Buuren and his famous A State of Trance world tour to Toronto in early 2014. As midnight quickly approached, so did the end of Yoong’s set and you better believe Toika was packed. You would think there was an International DJ booked with how many people were inside and all around excited for everything Ascension and Impact Productions had to offer.
Next on the decks to win the crowd over for the next two and a half hours was Saad Ayub. Saad is a Progressive Trance DJ and Producer who started his musical career at the age of 18. Influencing the dance music scene in his home country of Bangladesh, he worked with event organizers, promoters and other DJs to help build an electronic music scene that was almost nonexistent. After moving to Toronto he shifted a lot of his focus to musical production while still managing to throw in exclusive energetic sets – one we were fortunate enough to witness for this event. Saad’s weekly radio show, Tranced Podcast is broadcasted internationally – taking his talent, production and DJing even further. His latest mash-ups have been receiving a lot of support from the legendary Mark Oliver who has been throwing Saad’s productions into his sets inside the main room of our beloved venue The Guvernment. Already having heard many previews and mash-ups from Saad, I was very excited to see a live set from him to really get a feel for how energetic his sets really were. It became clear right from the opening track that he was equipped with great skill. He opened his set with one of his own mash-ups of Myon & Shane 54 vs. Space Rockerz ft. Ellie Lawson, Futuristic Sky. Mixing in a wide variety of vocal and uplifting Trance, we heard huge hits like: Aerofoil vs. E&G vs. Armin van Buuren ft. Jennifer Rene Fine Without One Word (Tekno mash-up’, Dash Berlin vs. Shogun vs. Oceanlab Better Half of Satellite (Saad Ayub mash-up’, and one that stole my heart, Mark Sixma vs. John O’Callaghan ft. Karen Kelly Breathe in Requiem (Saad Ayub mash-up’. Just when you thought you were getting comfortable with all of the uplifting and vocal Trance, Saad took a dive into the dark side and started hitting us with some dirty Psy Trance tracks that just melted your face and made it almost impossible to keep up to the fast beats. The last hour of the set was dedicated to everything hovering around 140 beats per minute and no ground was left dry with how sweaty we all became from dancing our hearts out. Saad ended his incredible set with a massive fan favourite, Armin van Buuren vs. Photographer Shivers vs. Airport (Saad Ayub mash-up). Thoroughly impressed with his set, everyone cheered when Saad was done. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bigger smile on a face than the one I saw on Saad’s when he was done – pure satisfaction.
At 2:30am, it was time for Gary Sagoo better known as Flux Muzik to bring his skills up to the mixers. Also from Toronto, Gary has been spinning since 2007 and is known for spinning a wide selection of genres. For this particular night he focused on Trance – Coldharbour style. Playing a wide variety of tracks, this set had many selections paying tribute to Markus Schulz, KhoMha, and our own hometown star Arnej among others. He opened his set up with a deep Coldharbour production from Arnej, People Want To Be Needed and immediately set the bar for his set. Wasting no time at all getting dark and dirty, Gary played some massive bangers including Markus Schulz’s The Spiritual Gateway, Schulz’s collaboration with Armin van Buuren The Expedition, KhoMha’s Dusk Riddles and The Dark Knight, and an epic favourite of mine Personal Jesus (Eric Prydz Remix) by Depeche Mode. Until 4:00am Gary was absolutely relentless on the decks, taking the tone of the night almost down a dark rabbit hole – at least that’s what it felt like. By the end of the show the club was still packed and everyone was enjoying every single moment of what was being thrown at us. Matching the energy of the crowd, Gary provided us with an incredibly high-energy set that will leave imprints in our memories for a long time and of course, wanting much more of where it came from.
The talent of all three DJs for Ascension was very prevalent at Toika on this night. It’s one thing to listen to your friends spin a solid set, but it’s another thing to be in an amazing atmosphere like Toika amongst all your best friends and hearing it all together live, dancing, and truly living in that very moment. I couldn’t imagine being in a better place at that very moment then with all of my friends and KidZero, Saad, and Gary putting on a show that will be remembered for a very long time. A special thank you to Impact Productions and Toika Lounge for putting this event together to showcase our phenomenal local talent, as well as everyone who was campaigning for ASOT650 Toronto, you all did such an incredible job.
Click here to see our photos from that night!
Monika Sobota – EDM TOR