Entries in Review (97)


Ta-Ku at The Opera House

Ta-Ku and Wafia may have just released their collaborative EP '(m)edian' but there's a lot more music from them that we were dying to witness.  And we weren't the only ones.  The Toronto stop on their tour sold out rather quickly, and if that wasn't enough indication the anticipation leading up to the show was quite evident in the audience.  It's a unique experience to find such a tightly packed crowd for artists synonymous with delicate, beautiful slow jams. 

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Nate Bargatze at #JFL42

Nate Bargatze takes the stage and has an instantly disarming presence, no matter the venue.  Within moments his stories seem like they're coming from an old friend.  It's not exactly obvious but part way through the show we realize this is a big part of Bargatze's mastery of the craft.  With such casual ease he performs material that makes it feel like he isn't performing at all. 

The Royal Theatre hosted his headlining performance, and along with him came opener Sarah Tiana.  Her energetic show was a perfect compliment to Bargatze.  She had the audience losing their minds within minutes and set up a brilliant long form set.  Later in the week Nate performed at the Queen Elizabeth theatre opening for Natasha Leggero.  It was incredible to witness his ability to tailor the material to a different audience and setting. 

He lets us into his world, and has no fear in admitting how much he loves Wal-Mart.  Bargatze puts a brilliant shine on everyday life, and keeps you thinking outside your own experience.  He's never loud or outrageous, he'll ease you into a new idea and surprise you everytime.  The Nashville upbringing and laidback attitude seemed to make him a favourite with Toronto audiences.  Impeccable timing and a politely subversive perspective make him a legend, because he makes it looks so easy.


TIME Festival 2016

TIME Festival has grown into a very unique event in comparison to the majority of festivals in Toronto.  The crowd is a reflection of the lineup, with the most dedicated fans of every artist on the list in attendance.  The historic site of Fort York is now home to countless music festivals, but something was different this time around.  From the early years of TIME at Sunnyside Pavilion, to the insanity last year thanks to Die Antwoord's headlining set there's nothing else quite like it.  And you never really know what to expect.

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Top 5 Sets At Digital Dreams 2016

We've been thinking back to last weekend at Digital Dreams, looking at the photos and videos online and thinking of our favourite sets.  We have finally narrowed it down to our top 5, and we're going to keep watch for these sets being released online.

5. Danny Tenaglia:

New York's Danny Tenaglia held down the headline spot at Echo Beach like no one else could.  The veteran dj moved the crowd at one of our favourite venues in the city, and made it look easy as only a legend can.  The balance between new, innovative music and classic tracks makes for the unpredictable experience we hoped for, and exceeded expectations. 

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Digital Dreams 2016

From the first to the fifth edition of Digital Dreams we've witnessed the evolution of this festival.  The team behind Digital Dreams has been dedicated to creating a world class event in one of the most beautiful parts of Toronto, and this year saw huge returns on their investments of time and effort.

Digital Dreams took place over the two days between Canada day and the 4th of July, right in the middle of Pride, so the timing was perfect for a massive celebration.  What many may not consider is that this event, right in our own back yard has become a reason for some to travel for miles.  Though the music may not sound always sound like it did in the early days of house and techno in Chicago and Detroit, that unifying factor is still present, and arguably more vital than ever in this day and age.

Where last year the festival faced a shut down on the first day due to a terrifying storm, this year was greeted with beautiful weather.  Days like these make it so clear why Lake Ontario, and Toronto's waterfront make for such an unforgettable place to hold an event of this magnitude.  Looking out over the sea of people, it's hard not to acknowledge that despite every divisive thing in modern society that we do this together.

There's something powerful about getting out there in a crowd of thousands, dancing, cheering, singing along, even if you're not overly familiar with the music.  I don't pretend to understand how it works, but I know it's one of the greatest feelings I've ever felt.  That sense of total elation is one that I cannot properly explain, and I know I'm not the only who experienced that time and time again this weekend.

In the five years since the festival began we've all grown along with it.  What we witnessed this year was the festival coming into it's own in a very big way.  Performers like Above & Beyond, Axwell & Ingrosso, and 3lau clearly have as much fun as anyone in the crowd, reminding us that by showing up and letting go we all contribute to this event being a special one.  Dance music keeps growing as an interntational force, and it's really quite inspiring to see the music bring so many people from our community and the world together.

Following last year was a challenge, and the team that brings you Digital Dreams responded by delivering on the best edition of the festival yet.  We can't help but feel blessed to have shared that experience with the thousands in attendance.  Until we meet again, we'll be dreaming of next year.

Thank you!

-Scott Mitchell (@yahohyah)

Check out the rest of our photos here and on Facebook and watch for our Top 5 sets fromt the festival, coming soon!