Variety and energy were the themes of the night at (ESP) Electric Star Production’s debut event Spacekraft Launch Party! Despite a last minute change in venue, ESP successfully blasted straight into a successful, high-energy night in the basement of the well-known Celt’s Pub near Keele and Dundas, a space known around The Junction as The Devil’s Cellar. Decor for the night was created and designed by Rhia Rave Fae, who transformed the space with her time and talent. Glow in the dark stars dangled playfully and steady red, green, and purple ceiling light strips interacted beautifully with several rave laser arrays casting solid designs and moving patterns on the walls and the dance floor to create some beautiful, visually active light play. A lineup of some of Toronto’s hottest DJ’s topped everything off, promising an EDM night like no other — a musical journey that was truly out of this world, travelling through almost every genre!
Although I arrived tired, due to some last minute plan changes and several detours in my travel route that evening, the inviting lights and ELLE Nocturnal‘s Drum ‘n’ Bass opening beats gave me new energy. While the early crowd was sparse, the dance floor was never empty! ELLE Nocturnal’s mellow tempo and beautifully smooth transitions defined an opening set that got everyone up and moving. Her moving tempos, blending in some House but always coming back to those solid Drum ‘n’ Bass beats, set up the dance floor for DJ Paul Savage.
With the energy started, and everyone starting to move, Paul Savage took over the decks to bring some Electro House energy to the dance floor. His unique style — self-dubbed “Dirty Electro” — crammed an incredible amount of energy and variety into his 45-minute set. Unlike anything I had heard before, and a musical contrast to the previous set, Paul Savage’s skills filled the dance floor and kept Spacekraft Launch Party cruising through the stars with tracks like Holy Shit by Owl Eyes, and Brutah‘s Charlie Darker.
DJ Davide, Toronto’s Master of Mákina — a lesser-known subgenre of Hardcore (similar to UK Hardcore) — brought fresh waves of energy to the crowd with his expertly-mixed and uplifting Italodance and Mákina tracks. The set included a Funk Factory Team remix of Double Time, and Van & Der‘s At My Side; my personal favourites were the last two tracks of Davide’s set, which were his own and particularly fantastic. One of my favourite sets of the night, its pulsing, upbeat energy kept me dancing for almost an hour straight, and was my introduction to this unique style.
Up next on the decks was Audi Étoffe with another energy-raising genre switch that embraced Acid and Progressive Psy-Trance. An amazingly tight set with every number leading further down a musical path through familiar tones and awesome remixes, including Hilight Tribe‘s Free Tibet (Vini Vici Remix) and UnderCover‘s Chapati. Audi’s vitality and intensity made him a force to be reckoned with on the decks and burned up the dance floor!
If I thought I might get a breather after that set, I was wrong, because as soon as DJ Shok stepped up, I found myself abandoning my recently-sought seat yet again, summoned by the bright, irresistible energy of Hardstyle and Drum ‘n’ Bass tracks. Amazingly, this set ranged from feel-good, often remixed anthems like Castles in the Sky, to an incredible track by Pendulum called Blood Sugar, and hit so many musical points in between that it was uniquely similar to the night as a whole — full of stunning variety and uncontainable, must-dance-it-out energy — no limits here!
The final captain of this Saturday night musical journey, DJ Fraktl, a well-known name in the Toronto dance music scene and to those familiar with Toronto Hardcore Radio, got everyone back on their feet with some more Happy Hardcore, alongside waves of House and Dance. With remix tracks of Re-Con and Demand‘s Like a Rainbow and The Entity by Wisdom, this set proceeded to collect the scattered energies of the night and refocus them for one last phenomenal set. An excellent choice for closer, DJ Fraktl inspired burnout on the dance floor and left everyone on a high note with his captivating melodies and driving rhythms.
High energy to the very end, this night definitely left me in a better place than it had originally found me. I was particularly impressed by the distinct effort Electric Star Productions made to include a variety of EDM genres in their lineup. The diversity that came from music that constantly jumped genres all night brought constant infusions of fresh energy with each change. ESP has indicated they plan to continue to span the spectrum, musically, and that their events would not be restricted to one-genre parties. TRIP project was also present, promoting harm-reduction among ravers and contributing to the comfortable vibe of this event. The welcoming feel brought ravers of all ages out to support ESP’s first event, and provided a happy, comfortable atmosphere full of upbeat dancing — from energetic firstcomers to end-of-the-night holdouts — socializing, and well-priced drinks. I look forward to seeing more from Electric Star Productions.
My favorite photo of the night was taken by Mr. E. Kat, who was shooting this event. Other photos of the night taken by him and Tim R. Haynes can be found on the Spacekraft Launch Party event page.
Electric Star Productions
Spacekraft Launch Party
Jade Benjamin – EDM TOR