This review comes from a biased stance. I’m an avid listener of underground electronic music, and Drumcode is my personal favourite record label. Alan Fitzpatrick is my favourite DJ signed with the label, and is therefore the top DJ in my books. I had no doubt that his performance, which took place on November 30th, would be an absolutely delicious experience – and that it was.
The show went down at Toika Lounge, the spot to go for intimate electronic music concerts in Toronto these days. Ozmosis Productions runs parties inside the living room-like space (mostly with trance headliners) that allows for tight-knit interaction amongst the crowd and with the artists playing. One would worry that such close quarters cause the space to feel like a sardine can, but that’s one of the reasons why Ozmosis events have gained such respect since they began in 2010 – they aren’t overly promoted or oversold. Another nice asset to these parties are the chilled buckets of five Heinekens for $27.50 that you can set down wherever you choose to station yourself for the night.
I arrived at around midnight to the pumping sounds of Andrew McDonnell, a resident at Toika. My friends and I grabbed a Heineken bucket, and claimed our spot on the dance floor. Andrew was setting the stage for the headliner with some seriously infectious underground tracks, none of which were showing up in the Shazam app. He is an extremely talented mixer and his underground mix was the perfect appetizer for the underworld experience that was to come.
Alan Fitzpatrick arrived, and I had the honour of shaking his hand and telling him how much I loved him – which put me in an absolutely star-struck state. I melted into a fumbling pile of hearts. I can honestly say that it was one of the most exciting moments of my life, as I am a HUGE fan of the loveable British Buddha-doppelganger. Such occurrences are rare to come by in larger clubs with boundaries that section off the common partiers from the VIP, and the DJ booth from the crowds. It’s always nice to experience such opportunities in the small club setting. There was a true family sentiment in the room that night, as the Drumcode family had come together to celebrate.
Drumcode’s signature techno is as dark as can be, but also beautiful and groovy. It draws in the soulful, seasoned partiers. The beats are sure to get you dancing whether you’re in the club witnessing a performance by one of the many talents signed with the label, or locked in to the Drumcode Radio Live podcast (available on iTunes) in your car, at your desk or on the treadmill.
Alan Fitzpatrick provides a fast and heavy spin on the signature darkness, and his sound can be characterized by consistency of an intense momentum throughout his sets. The way he worked the decks evoked an air of absolute ease and professional focus, and his control over the room was truly awe-inspiring. The Southampton, UK native has experienced a meteoric rise to fame over the past few years, and his art is gaining more and more attention each week as more EDM listeners discover the dark side of the genre.
My star-struck self transitioned from teary-eyed to completely pumped for three hours of magic as soon as the first cords ensued. The set started off with Harvey McKay’s unreleased Silk Road (forthcoming on Drumcode Records). For a lot of the night, I was absolutely overwhelmed by what I was hearing. The passion this DJ has for what he does is sublime, and it radiates from his being and through his musical curation. The first hour had him playing some of the bangers I’ve been hearing all year on the Drumcode podcast. The crowd went wild when he dropped his popular productions Skeksis and For an Endless Night. These songs that he played were in the safe zone compared to some of the other tunes he was dropping, which evoked a delightfully Hell-ish atmosphere.
I left the show at a loss for words, because what I had just witnessed was so incredible. Once I came to my senses, I decided that the reason why Alan Fitzpatrick is so fantastic is because: he turns emotions, which I and other Drumcode listeners identify with deeply, into something concrete. His music and his very presence is inspirational, refreshing and proves that magic exists.
If a DJ you love is playing at Toika – go! Also, if this sort of show seems like something you’d like to experience for yourself, check out the next Drumcode artist coming to town on December 21st : Joseph Capriati at Ryze. For the next Ozmozis event will be Sean Tyas with support from Shane Halcon at Toika Lounge on December 13st (tickets online here).
Greta Smithies – EDM TOR