Monday, July 29, 2013

Relive Mad Decent Block Party (Review)

As you ought to now know I have finished my life as host of Enlightenment For Your Ears, on CFBU 103.7 FM, and it couldn't have come at a better time. This being the first Friday following my massive grand finale show, I was allowed the freedom to attend one of the most highly anticipated shows in Toronto EDM history, the second annual Mad Decent Block Party. I can honestly say that it was entirely excellent despite what many would call a sub par line-up (especially when compared to other MDBPs around North America) as a result of the date coinciding with the biggest EDM festival the world has to offer, Tomorrowland happening simultaneously in Belgium. This for me was the reason we didn't get the likes of Dillon Francis, Baauer, Flosstradamus and many other brilliant Mad Decent members, again despite fact this I would called the 2013 Toronto version of the MDBP a huge success. With this post it is my intention to showcase the great local and Canadian talents that were present, as well as allow those of you who unfortunately missed out on this great event, to enjoy much of the music that was played and which has become ear-worms for myself. In the next paragraphs I will make my way though the lineup of those played and highlight tracks that I feel deserve a second look. Unfortunately, for those who are interested in Riff Raff and El Dusty, I have nothing substantive to say as I was not as interested in these acts and cannot accurately comment as to what they performed. Let us now dive into the first act I was mentally present and prepared for.

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If you are a fan of EFYE you will immediately recognize this duo as local Torontonians Pat Drastik and Tom Wrecks. I am outwardly a huge fan and supporter of these two and despite being essentially the first act of the day put on an amazing set, which showcased a number of their own productions as well as some brilliant scratching skills. Many kudos to them for kicking off the day and preparing us for the massiveness to come. Below is a list of tracks (and links so you can listen to what) I can recall from their set:
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Fans of EFYE may not be familiar with this brilliant trio hailing from Ottawa, made up of DJ NDN, DJ Shub and Bear Witness. I too had only heard of this group without having heard their music, and boy was I in for a pleasant surprise. These three as ATCR decribe their sound as Powwow-Step, which if you are a fan of EFYE you might want to imagine Dillon Francis with elements of First Nations music, particularly vocal chanting and drumming. Their music would work perfectly at a bonfire rave; it is perfect to lose yourself to music. I was so impressed with these three, as perhaps I ought to be as a result of there being three member allowing for more scratching, crowd involvement and more all around quality mixing and DJing. Not only was this set mind blowing for all of the thousand or so that were there early enough, but for someone of my specific age and generation, ATCR included some easter eggs from both their and my childhood. Absolutely brilliant mixing and sampling of the Sesame Street theme as well as the Reading Rainbow (as seen similarly HERE when they played in Detroit earlier this year). Once again below find those tracks I can clearly recall:
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Again fans of EFYE will be very familiar with this great local Torontonian talent who rounded out three Canadian artists in a row, and played one of the greatest sets I have ever witnessed and perhaps one of the greatest sets Toronto has ever seen; I simply cannot say enough positive about this talent, his showmanship and producer-ship. I am so proud to be living in the same city and this genius and am so lucky to be alive at a time when he has begun his rise into worldwide stardom (deservedly so). If you follow music at all I'm sure you are aware of the twerking phenomenon happening throughout North America headed by the likes of Diplo, the don of Mad Decent, and championed by worldwide idol Miley Cyrus (Exhibit AExhibit BExhibit C). Grandtheft has intelligently latched his star to the likes of the twerk and more specifically Miley's twerking in his most recent collaboration with Skratch Bastid entitled Miley; he even had someone dressed in a bunny suit, clearly referencing Miley first twerking video (see exhibit A above). Yet again it is time to make reference to the tracks he played out (at least to my recollection):
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This Torontonian duo followed Riff Raff and while I generally find their dubstep sound almost offensive to the ears I was again pleasantly surprised come the end of their set. To the best of my knowledge their set started with nearly all dubstep and this threw me off as for the most part MDBP was almost entirely a trap show. By the end of their set they had successful changed my cynical mind through featuring some great Canadian classics as well as some of their own originals from their past. Here we go again:

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The much anticipated main event of the evening was thoroughly enjoyable from a musical standpoint although I must admit I was quite disappointed in the entirely absent DJing. It seemed as though each and every song was either cut short or spun back. The set was one of the most choppy set I've ever witnessed and were it not the case that I love nearly every Major Lazer track I would have been entirely disappointed. I understand that Diplo, Jillonaire & Walshy Fire were the headlining act for each stop of the tour (which would be quite tedious) and that they were missing out on Tomorrowland to play a much smaller set in Toronto, I can rationalize why they merely wanted to have fun and get the crowd involved, yet I feel that we ought to have had a better chance to hear some of their tracks played out in their entirety and as a DJ I would have really appreciated witnessing some true DJing skills. Nonetheless here is what I heard:

In conclusion I am very happy with the money spent in comparison to the previous event (Digital Dreams) and the fact that I was able to catch nearly the entire Block Party, although it wasn't much of a Block Party being that it was situated directly between the GO tracks and the Gardiner, yet that didn't end up being much of a deterrent. The venue was actually quite good and I thoroughly enjoyed not being surrounded by alcohol drinkers thus able to stay more clean and not sticky although I cannot say the same for my feet which ended up looking more like hooves than anything else by the end of the night; those who wore shoes didn't have this problem so I guess I only have myself to blame. Finally I'd grade this version of the Mad Decent Block Party as better than decent, it gets a solid A in my books with many pleasant surprises, all in all a great time!

Once again I urge you to stay tuned to this webpage in anticipation of the posting of DJ Dano Bordie's brilliant 40 minute EFYE review mix from the Grand Finale of EFYE. Follow myself @OggieJames and the Bordie Bros @BordieBros

Thanks For Reading! Oggie Out!