Remember, the 9th of November. It was a day filled with firsts for me; it was the first time I went to Ryze, and my first time working for EDM TOR. I know techno is a unique genre and as such, every show is a unique experience. The only thing I knew for certain was that music was going to be dark and heavy.
When I entered Ryze, Shaded was already well into his set. He had a unique style of deep throbbing bass with sprinkles of intricate high pitched synths. To hear his set through one of the best club sound systems I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing, was enthralling. The colourful lights that surrounded the dance floor rotated furiously painting the walls and the faces of the patrons with a variety of shapes. While putting you in a daze, while the laser at the front of the club was impeccably synchronised with each beat, except when it would go ballistic to match the energy of the crowd.
The patrons were noticeably more mature than what you would find at other venues. This was a nice departure from what I was used to as it made for a more relaxed environment. I am always surprised at how nice some people in the dance community are. No time was this more apparent than when someone casually bumped into my arm and apologized profusely for about 10 seconds. People steadily filled the dance floor until about 12:45am. However, at no point was the club too full. Moving through the crowd was easy and no matter where you were, there was always room to dance. The crowd started to settle and get accustomed to Shaded until about 1:30am.
There was a short lull. Then the crowd erupted. The prince of darkness had just taken to the decks. Without a moment’s hesitation, Dubfire dropped his signature eerie bass line and blanketed the crowd in shadow. He commanded the crowd with such ease—altering the pattern of their dance with the simple press of a button, or the turn of a knob. His use of the signature echo effect was sensational as he would cut the bass, and let the kick reverberate for a second, and reintroduce a modified version of the bass line. Each and every time the bass line would cut out, you could almost sense the entire club hold their breath, feel them trying to get a sense of what was happening, but before they ever became fully conscious of their surroundings, they would be enveloped and disappear into a rhythmic trance yet again. It was quite difficult to ID tracks as Dubfire uses a Traktor to blends in loops and samples, which in turn gives his sets a unique sound. By using a Traktor he is able to build remixes and manipulate tracks live before the crowd.
The atmosphere really did fit that of a horror film, with the screaming of the girl in the corner, the introduction of a creepy loop mimicking the slow creak of a door opening and all important feeling of not knowing what was coming next. It’s almost as if Dubfire knew he had the crowd by the throat and that as long as he kept feeding the beast, they would continue to reciprocate their feelings.
Dubfire illustrated his mastery of the art of DJing by pulling the audience into his world, where he would slowly alter one small aspect of the current track to create a lead into the next one. Offsetting the kick drum by a half beat, pausing the bass line to reset the crowd, adding another beat to create a different effect, all of these were felt and reciprocated by the crowd as they hung onto every second of his 3 hour and 45 minute set.
After all was said and done, I was left sweaty and satisfied, as were many other club goers from the looks on their faces. Dubfire stayed for a little while after to talk with the fans until finally calling it quits at around 5:30am. This event was definitely one for the books, and I will always remember the 9th of November.