REVIEW: Mike Vale @ Moskito 07-06-13 by Greta Smithies


I was racing against time to make it to the club before the guest-list closed. After a disheveled jog through Chinatown and Kensington Market, my partner for the evening and I turned onto College Street and arrived at Moskito with one minute to spare before midnight. From there on in, it was pure peace, love, and partying. There was no line, and coat check had been revoked for the season, so we got straight down to dancing, first to the sounds of Toronto’s own Sam Haze and then to Slovenia’s Mike Vale.

Within minutes of arriving, I struck up a friendly conversation with a bartender, had a pen lent to me by the bathroom attendant, was invited into a booth for drinks by some hilarious party-goers, and received word that I was “cute” for writing with a pen and notepad. Perhaps it was my luck that evening, but, from what I’ve gathered over the years, tech-house shows seem to draw in the friendliest crowd and the most positive vibes. I haven’t experienced such radiant positivity in a club, for quite some time, other than at Comfort Zone (where I danced into the early hours later on that night. Since the place is right around the corner from Moskito, I couldn’t resist!). Maybe it was the buzz surrounding Mike Vale’s Toronto debut, or the buzz surrounding my friend’s going away party, or the buzz of summer in the air, or just my buzz…Whatever it was, I was ready to enjoy the show.

Since the club opened its doors in October 2012, Moskito has been gaining huge popularity for being one of the city’s hottest new underground venues, and I can fully attest to these good reviews. The place is great. It’s spacious, laid back yet still classy, friendly, appropriately lit, and has a big booth behind the decks for the VIP. It possesses all the constituents for potentially becoming a legitimate attraction on the global nightclub scene, much like our beloved Guvernment and Footwork. The awesome vibe I encountered upon arrival carried on throughout the night, making the show thoroughly comfortable and enjoyable.

Same Haze was dropping massive tribal-tech when I got there. The sound was deep, fun and inviting. A standout from his set was when he played La Calle (Vlada Asanin & Yas Cepeda Remix) by David Penn & Jabato. It’s fascinating to witness how aptly the underground sound is advancing now that it is becoming so legitimate in the live music scene. Underground DJs are putting their best work out there to carve their niches within an increasingly competitive field. The sets by the locals get better and better every weekend! The whole room was grooving and bouncing, in that beautiful unison we so adore, as the decks were warming up for the 1605 (UMEK’s record label) sound.

Mike Vale graced the mixer just after one a.m., looking young, handsome and charismatic. With an impressive array of original productions under his belt, and co-productions and remixes alongside names like Robbie Rivera and Deadmau5, the man appears to be on fire at the moment. Being an avid fan of the 1605 style of quick and exciting tech house, I was excited to hear what this newcomer to the label had in store.

The sound started off almost jazzy, but it was indubitably underground tribal-tech. The tech-house he played throughout the night was of high quality and had interesting aspects to it. There was no cheesy filler that one sometimes sneaks across during such shows. His skill level and track selection was top-notch. I noted, at various points, that his sound was just as fine-tuned as fellow 1605 label-mates UMEK’s or Jay Lumen’s; impressive, seeing as he is a novice compared to those two. Much of the music he played was unidentifiable, but some notable tracks of the night were Ramiro LopezD.L.A.S.S. (Nathan Barato Remix), and Drop This by Filthy Rich. The high-energy music matched the high spirits of the crowd, making the show a great success.

Check out Moskito if you are looking for a fun and relaxed new place to party and care to take a part in its rise to underground acclaim, and have a listen to the 1605 Podcast to get yourself pumped up for the summer party season!

Greta Smithies EDM TOR


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