It has been a long time since Toronto has played host to such a unique and mesmerizing talent. Not since 2009 have the night owls of Toronto’s club scene heard the Japanese superstar Yoji Biomehanika take to the decks and bombard their minds, bodies and souls with his signature tech dance sound.
It was a blistering cold night, with winds that felt like cold whips on your face. The last time the weather was this bad, I was slated to attend Beat Service, a magnificent performance in its own right. I was hoping this night would forever etched in my memory as well.
I entered an improved Virgin Mod Club and was immediately graced by the beauty that is Shelley Johansson and the darkness that is Alan Fitzpatrick. I immediately noticed a few friendly faces and several improvements. There were new visual effects; cascading parallelograms surrounded the DJ booth, each with their colours and shapes dancing to the music. The speakers, which would surely be tested this night, were elevated to ensure better sound reproduction.
Shelley’s talent and versatility were never clearer than during her opening set. She started off with deep, dark, evil techno that had the crowd feeling like it was 6:00am instead of 11:30pm. She slowly twisted the sound and the speed of the music, morphing it into a style that mirrored the headliner’s. This, in and of itself, was a spectacle.
Shortly before his set, Yoji was spotted on the balcony overlooking the crowd. Surely, he was assessing the energy, the vibe and how concocting an intricate plan on how he would lead the crowd through his labyrinth. At 1:05am, the man of the hour had appeared on stage. He played into the crowd’s excitement as he called for cheers before beginning his set. Then, he started. The fast, pounding bass lines echoed so quickly around the venue that some, me included, had a hard time finding their groove. Those who were very familiar with Yoji’s discography looked right at home. They, as well as everyone else, enjoyed every second of Yoji’s set, never tiring, always smiling.
There were several tech dance renditions of popular songs that were played throughout the night. The most striking was a tech dance remix of the infamous My Neck, My Back by Kia that was censored all across radio stations everywhere some years ago. Fatboy Slim’s hit Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat was also given a facelift—bridging the gap between new ravers and those that were unfamiliar with Yoji’s style. Another pleasant and humourous surprise was Jock Jams’ Are You Ready For This. Go ahead, take a second to reminisce about the first time you saw the movie Space Jam.
You could hear the different musical influences in Yoji’s set. There was a distinct trance undertone during certain parts of his set, while at other times, you could hear the voices of dubstep and hardstyle bellowing from the speakers. As a music lover, it was a very intriguing set and a very captivating night. Nothing was ordinary, everything was extraordinary. Next time Ozmozis organizes an event with a talent that has pioneered his own genre, do yourself a favour and check it out, educate yourselves, and experience something you will not experience anywhere or anytime else.
Jeet Ghoshal – EDM TOR