The only EDM event officially associated with the Junos & Hamilton’s Art Crawl took place this past weekend and the positive energy was unreal all evening. Molson Canadian Studio hosted The VIII Day’s event for the launch of their own recording studio opening up on James Street; it’s a place for all their artists to record, develop ideas into albums, promote via social media, and more. But after this weekend, I also realized VIII is more than just a place for artists to go, it’s a family of people who share the same passion for music in their own city, Hamilton.
At 8pm, the doors officially opened and people started pouring into the venue. The main room felt like a downsized Sound Academy, with a sweet view from the balcony, and lots of room on the floor to dance. Outside in the Lobby, smaller local artists played a wide variety of music and girls were selling their Rave gear for merchandise, which many attendees repped for the show.
At 9pm Alex Gunby opened for the evening, with a ton of Big Room, Melbourne Bounce and Trap. He played tracks like Unicorn Bounce by SikDope, a fellow artist also on Buygore Records. He also played a remix of Better off Alone originally by Alice DeeJay, which had so much nostalgia attached to the track that it heightened the energy levels instantly. I can admit that Big Room and Melbourne isn’t my favourite type of EDM but everything Alex Gunby played that evening was the best of those genres. At the age of 17, this guy is ahead of his time. I’m excited to watch him grow over the next few years and represent Hamilton well.
Mathematic and Agno3 came on around 10pm for a flawless set. They dropped Agno3’s remix of When a Fire Starts to Burn by Disclosure, Stress by Justice, and the Agno3 remix of Deadmau5’s track Some Chords. Their B2B set was hard hitting, had a beautiful amount of variety, and showed off their talents perfectly while still maintaining that Dirty Vibe. I was really excited to hear Jaguar by What So Not. The duo covered a lot of ground in the EDM spectrum, and demonstrated themselves to be well-rounded artists.
Fruiti & Edubs were next up to bat for a chill and progressive set. They played a lot of tech, some minimal & deep house. We heard tracks Giv Me Luv by Alcatraz (Nicole Moudaber Remix), Three Two One by Sonny Moko, and Strength by KGreen. I think the crowd was generally a bit young to really appreciate the quality in progressive techno and their smooth transitions. Many could easily mistaken the entire set for just one really long song, but it was a set that brought out all the shufflers in the back and ragers in the front.
SAVY & MatStubs brought another angle to our EDM fix that evening. I was pleased to hear a bit of an older track, the Porter Robinson Remix of Spencer & Hill’s song Less Go! It’s definitely on the heavier side of electro-house, but it still holds up to its epic-ness. They also dropped the Botnek Remix of Deadmau5’s track Maths, and Alesia’s new track Hyacinthus, which I don’t think people were ready for. The energy was unreal, and the visuals for their set really shined through. It was still hard to grasp at this point that the headliner was yet to come.
Marquis finally closed the show, with the best of Big-room bangers and lots of bass. He played a lot of original tracks and remixes, with that signature synth sound full of hype and anticipated drops. The venue was thinning out by the time his performance took off, but the dedicated fans stayed to rock out until the very end.
It was amazing to be a part of such a great movement in Hamilton. The o was a success in the sense that it felt like a reunion of the artists from the October festival; only every single one of them has grown exponentially since then. Every single DJ backstage was extremely supportive of each other, and were actually having the deepest talks about music, genres, and what the scene means to them. Although the turnout was not as expected, the live sets exceeded all my expectations. It was truly an honour to get to know the artists and their support crews. It was also an amazing feeling to be part of the only EDM event associated with the Junos weekend in Hamilton as well as Art Crawl. The city felt so alive and buzzing with arts and culture. It will be a night I’ll never forget.
Stay tuned for a special video recap in a couple weeks coming from EDM TOR.
Serafina Thoma – EDM TOR