REVIEW: Nicole Moudaber at RYZE 16-02-14 by Nusrat Kamal


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Nicole Moudaber is no stranger to the Techno scene in our beloved city. When Ryze announced that the Queen of Techno was coming to play on the Family Day long weekend, I knew I had to see her.

Nicole has won my heart and ears since her first track which I heard in mid 2013, a song called Whatcha Playing.

Since then, I have been glued to YouTube and SoundCloud, scouring out her sets and songs. Her music sends me to another realm and gives me chills all over my body. She played in Toronto for the opening of RYZE Nightclub in October 2013, but unfortunately I was unable to attend as it was a sold out show (as expected).  This show was definitely not to be missed by a hardcore Moudaber fan.

I heard of the show back when the new year began and have been eagerly waiting for the 16th of February. When the day finally came, I could not contain my excitement. It was my first time at RYZE and a Nicole Moudaber show at that, so I arrived extra early (11pm). I knew that the venue was going to fill up quickly. I walked in to opening DJ Anthony D’Amico laying down some awesome, groovy tech-house tracks. The venue was rather empty with a few people dancing at the time. I found my bearings and wandered around the club getting a feel for it. RYZE was recently renovated, as showcased on their Instagram, therefore I felt like I knew my way around already. The club looked gorgeous. Nice sophisticated wallpaper, two large bars on opposite ends, fancy white and black couches. I knew a return visit would be in order.

Photo by Stephanie Canarte for EDMTOR

Photo by Stephanie Canarte for EDMTOR

As the clock hit midnight, the venue suddenly filled. The Queen was due to come on the decks in an hour! You could feel the excitement and eagerness in the entire club. I had spoken to a few wonderful ladies about the show and Miss Moudaber. Their  eyes were beaming with happiness (just like mine) for none other than the Queen herself. All the while, Anthony was doing an amazing job getting the crowd warmed up and ready for the Queen’s arrival. I couldn’t help but lay down some of my own dance moves, even though I was trying to save my energy for Nicole. Tech-house just has that effect on people.

I could see group after group of people walking into the club. I was sure it was going to hit capacity by the time Nicole appeared behind the decks. I made sure to situate myself with a decent view, before the area was filled with people. I was not going to miss her entrance by any means! As  the clock neared 1 am, Nicole ariived next to Anthony and started to prepare. My heart started beating faster. She was going to start her set anytime soon. What a dream come true, seeing the Queen of Techno live!

Around 1:15 am, Anthony D’Amico stepped aside, and let Queen Moudaber take her stage. The crowd went into a frenzy of excitement; cheers and flashing cameras. The moment has finally come! I had the biggest smile on my face, and eyes wide with joy. She started her set with a big smile on her face, with the opening Theme Snippet as I’d like to call it, and as heard on her BPM Festival 2014 set.

You could barely hear it, through the cheers of the crowd. Then came the start of her set. There was this undeniable energy in the crowd that I’ve never felt before at any event. I knew right then and there that this was going to be a show that would be etched in my memory forever.

Photo by Stephanie Canarte for EDMTOR

Photo by Stephanie Canarte for EDMTOR

I started making my way closer to the stage, to get a better view of the Queen. The club goers were quite accommodating. No one was rude or pushed me as I made my way to the front. They were all too busy loving the music and grooving. You could tell, they all really knew Nicole’s work, and definitely came for the music. As I danced, and watched her mix, I could tell this is a woman who really loves what she does. Every transition into a new song was perfect and fluid, and it came with a smile on her face. As someone who is very familiar with her work and sets, I could recognize a lot of the songs she played. I’d heard them on my speakers and headphones, so it was quite exciting to hear them live. The sweat was building from the dancing. I just couldn’t stop! 4 hours of Nicole Moudaber  is the best way to spend a night!

As the night went on, and the music kept getting better and better, I noticed something I really haven’t seen before at a club. NO ONE was leaving! The place was still crowded at 3 am! My friend and EDM TOR photographer Stephanie Canarte, found a place for us to groove right next to the stage! My excitement got even greater. It was just her and I in that spot, grooving away.


Photo by Stephanie Canarte for EDMTOR

Photo by Stephanie Canarte for EDMTOR

It all seemed to come so naturally to Nicole on stage. The set so far seemed like a 4 hour song, because her mixing was so on-point, sending the crowd on a musical journey. You could just feel the music in your soul, pulsating through the body.  She is such a brilliant producer and DJ, and watching her live, a mere few feet away was a big honor for me. She is known as the Queen of Techno for a reason.

I couldn’t help but dance like crazy to the dark-groovy techno tunes she was putting out. I was drenched in sweat and this usually doesn’t happen. At times, members of the crowd would climb the stage to shake her hand and give her a couple of gifts they had brought. Some were even clad in NM merchandise. This is how much the fans all love this woman. Nicole was genuinely interested to interact with them too. At one point, she looked my way and I shouted her name and smiled-waved at her. She flashed me a smile and winked at me, sending me into fangirl mode.

As the night drew to a close, and the clock hit 5am, my body was tired but my mind and ears wanted more. I knew the 4-hour set was coming to an end and it saddened me. But, Miss Moudaber knows how to keep her fans happy. Well after 5am, she continued to play, until around 6am! I wasn’t going to leave until she finished, and I had had the honor of meeting her. The moment she finished her set, I felt my heart racing is I waited to meet her. She had started her set with a smile on her face, and ended it the same way. I stood in line to meet her, unable to contain my excitement. I had written on her Facebook fan page earlier that day, expressing my love for her and her work. This moment of was definitely the cherry on top of the night.

Photo by Stephanie Canarte for EDMTOR

Photo by Stephanie Canarte for EDMTOR

Stephanie and I were beyond excited! We took pictures with her, and spoke to her for a bit. My next goal is to catch her live at one of her famous marathon sets at Stereo Montreal.

Special thanks to Balance Inc, I/O Productions and EDM TOR for this amazing opportunity and a spectacular night!  Check out Stephanie’s photo album from the event by clicking on this link!





Nusrat Kamal – EDM TOR



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