After having the pleasure of attending Pixel Pop; which was an exotic blend of House, DnB, Techno and Juke under the theme of “Kawaii ’till We Die” by Pixelcorn Productions, I was eager to see what they had in store for their next party. The relative newcomers to the scene teamed up with The Deep End and Last Planet to throw what was arguably one of the best parties of the season. Despite it falling on Friday October 7th of Thanksgiving weekend and me needing to travel early the next day, there was nothing that was going to keep me from missing the amazing line up that these 3 productions had pulled together for the night. Located at the Roncy Hotel, conveniently in my neighbourhood, the party wasn’t hard to find considering you could follow the sound of the bass from the closest intersections. When I arrived I could hear and see the glass of the windows trying its hardest to keep its composure while the Iron Lung Soundsystem did its best to destroy them.
I arrived shortly after 10:30 and there wasn’t much of a line up outside so I was able to quickly get into the party to check out the vibe. Inside was a group about twenty or thirty people enjoying the opening B2B set courtesy of Skengman & Leo Dank. Luckily I had brought my earplugs with me because the sound system was already blowing my mind and I knew they hadn’t even begun to test its true capacity. I took the chance to look around at the setup in the warehouse space they had acquired for the night during this downtime because the 3 Production companies had promised a surreal landscape and they definitely delivered. The decorations were truly something out of this world; with a projector, fog machine and handmade art incorporated into the space it was easy to feel like you were transported to a dark forest filled with alien ravers attempting to communicate through they only language they know – dance!
As the DJs switched over, at around 11, Distinct Motive took over and I made my way outside to see what had become of the line up now that it was closer to 11pm. Prior to that night I had spoken with the promoters and had been informed that they had run out of hard tickets earlier in the week; luckily for those that procrastinated, they had reserved about 50 tickets at the door. When I got outside it had turned out that my hunch was right: there was already a decent lineup waiting to get in, and with only one set left before the headliner, Youngsta, they were getting anxious to get inside.
Distinct Motive, at this point, was really starting to get the crowd going with their intense heavy bass beats. Despite the venue being quite crowded, there was just enough room for people to really get their step going. The DJs were part of it as well – not once during their set did I see them stop moving. They were filled with intense energy and the crowd was loving it. Closing off their set, they played Working Out, which they definitely made the crowd do.
Up next was Toronto local, Freezachin. His beats were definitely as grimy as they come. With the sound system being turned up slightly louder after each set, the crowd was going wild. Over 150 people were packed into the space with change floating around in the smoke pit and in line at this point. Everyone in the crowd seemed to be moving some part of their body as if possessed by whatever spirits were lurking around in the Shadowplay forest. Playing for two hours, not once did he stop the beat, that being said – none of the DJs did; all the sets were for the most part seamlessly handed off and intertwined so that you never had to stop moving – unless you needed to take a break from the heat being generated by all those bodies in motion! I made my way outside to catch my breath before the headliner at this point, and luckily what had been an unreasonable warmth earlier in the night had turned into a cool enough breeze to enjoy the late autumn weather.
I finished off my quick breather while hearing the murmurs of the crowd asking when Youngsta was going on. I gladly informed the curious party goers that he was just stepping on to the stage and rushed in with them to catch the beginning of his set. A couple other folks in the smoke pit could be heard remarking on the strength of the Iron Lung Soundsystem but nobody could expect what was to come when Youngsta took control of the decks.
As Youngsta kicked off his dubstep set the venue continued to rumble to the point that the man of the hour stated that “the roof was falling down onto [him]”. Most of the crowd at this point was so entranced by the music that they failed to notice just how much dust was actually coming down off the ceiling. For a brief moment it looked like it was beginning to snow indoors and with the fog machines going off periodically it was pretty hard to spot the dust but it was a tangible indicator of just how loud this party actually was. The only complaint I heard throughout the night was about the brightness of the projector; for some of the ravers in the back, the light was far too bright so despite how much it added to the ambiance the production ended up taking it down. During Younsgta’s set the floor space got pretty limited, since the party was in full swing and packed wall to wall. As I was attempting to take photos near the front of the stage a party goer kindly suggested that I reserved the valuable space near the booth for those looking to get down, so I quickly took a couple shots and hightailed it out of there. The dancers, at this point, were dripping in sweat and I as well. These 3 productions had managed to completely fill the house space with bodies. Before closing off his set Youngsta turned the music down and expressed just how happy he was to be in Toronto which of course garnered a huge round of applause.
Following Youngsta came Stranjah with a heavy dose of drum and bass. At this point – 2:45 in the morning – the crowd was starting to dwindle, compared to how packed it had been earlier in the night. Youngsta and Freezachin both stuck around behind the booth for a while in support of the Stranjah’s set. As the crowd continued to dance you could tell that those left dancing were starting to lose their energy as most of them had been dancing nonstop for roughly three to four hours.
Ghaleon took the stage next and started to wind the party down by playing a set that lasted from 3:30 until 4:30 in the morning. Ghaleon at this point was playing his Atmospheric Jungle mixes to a crowd that had shrunk to roughly 30 people who looked like they were planning on being there until the end.
When the final DJ of the night, Tim Shannon, stepped up to bat, the crowd was exhausted but ready to go for the final half hour set of juke and ghetto tek sounds that Tim is known for. Following suite in the unified spirit that the DJ’s were displaying this night, Tim opened his set by proclaiming that Ghaleon is “[His] favourite jungle DJ in the city”. Despite the crowd being worn out from a full night of movement, the remaining ravers continued to dance the night away through the final set. Tim had originally been slotted for an hour long set but unfortunately due to setbacks and extended time slots it had to be cut in half. Regardless, it was a great way to wrap up an amazing night of heavy bass-laden music. Surprisingly, the noise from the sound system didn’t end up drawing the wrong kind of attention, and the party was able to go all night long without getting shut down or even receiving a noise complaint! At the end of the night, all promises the party made prior had been delivered, and I was ready to head out, ears still ringing, and made my way back home.
Freeza Chin (Grime)
Distinct Motive (Deep Dub)
Ghaleon (Atmospheric Jungle)
Skengman (UK Garage)
Leo Dank (UK Garage)
Sebastian Richard – EDM TOR