After a blowout of a party for Toronto’s civic holiday weekend that included phenomenal sets from Robert Babicz, Green Velvet, Art Department and more we have yet one last Electric Island party to look forward to. Embrace, Platform, Footwork, and the extended family have been working hard all winter to bring forth a season of summer dance music fit for nothing short of four perfect days on the island.
As we walked inside the gates of the early August event we were graced with a crowd that was already primed by the stacked lineup of locals such as Koki, Mike Gibbs, and The Junkies. DJ Three had just taken the decks and the day was carried forward with soft euphoric beats that fit the midafternoon vibe to a tee. Shortly after, Shiba San had come to the tables bringing with him his signature Dirtybird sound. He dropped all of the hits, including last summers smasher ‘OKAY’.
With night drawing nearer and the dance floor growing busier, Robert Babicz was able to take the decks and deliver a mind bending set unlike many have ever heard before. He came prepared for his live set which allowed him to deliver everything from his signature acid to the slow, gentle, melodic vocal tracks that carried forward time in what might have been the best island set to date. Playing hits like Rennie Foster’s ‘Devil’s Water’ and Jamie Stevens remix of his own track ‘Sea of Colours’, we can’t wait for the next time the German heavyweight makes his next visit to the dot.
Fueling the floor as the sun set was Green Velvet and Art Department. We got all the usual hits from the Chicago superstar, including a sensational mashup of his ‘Shake & Pop’ vocals together with Kink’s ‘Cloud Generator’. Art Department did exactly as suspected and played a very different set. As different sounding as it was, all of the tracks satisfied the ears through a combination of refreshing latin drum samples and various other obscure sounds that together made this one of our favorite sets of the day.
It’s never easy saying goodbyes, but with another stacked lineup coming up for Labour Day weekend, I think we’ll be okay to go another eight months with no Electric Island.
Kicking the finale off we have Toronto locals Members Only, Terrence Kissner, Box of Kittens own Jamie Kidd, and half of powerhouse label No 19, Nitin. We’ve seen what the man has done for the city in the past, and with a follow up to the magician Jamie Kidd we expect everyone to get to the island early for these boys.
Although we do not have the Life & Death stars Tale of Us with us this time around we were rewarded with the addition of a very exciting upcoming duo Frank & Tony. With an already impressive set of releases under the Brooklyn-based label Scissor & Thread, we have yet again a set of DJs that are coming in to push the boundaries of the average Toronto listener and introduce them to something new.
The highly anticipated debut of Recondite is predicted to be the highlight of the island and we’re hoping that along with him comes his live setup. With monster releases from the Berlin native on Innervisions, Hotflush, Life & Death, and more, we are in for a real treat as the genius will fix us up something both full of heat and bliss.
We’ve seen a trend as the sun goes down with the addition of more percussion and who better to fill that spot than the German wonder Loco Dice. With an impressive resume of clubs played, and an outstanding combination of techno and house, we’re excited for the man to bring over his delay and reverb pedals and show Toronto how to do the tech house thing properly. The Desolat star has been all over the world for what seems like every year now we all know how much he loves to smash Toronto. We are awaiting his return like the rest after his set at Movement festival in Detroit left people wanting more.
The headlining slot of the evening needs no introduce as the techno superstar and Drumcode label owner has created a name for himself big enough to headline some of the world’s biggest festivals. His last visit saw a sold out crowd in none other than the cities own afterhours hotspot Coda. He brought forth a wide array of music covering all the bases of the underground while even sneaking in a trance track here and there. Adam Beyer is back after another extended leave from the city, and with all the work he has been putting in over that year and a half we’re sure to be blown away with a night of hard hitting techno to wrap up one of the best parties of the year.
Kudos to all of the Electric Island family. We can’t wait to see what next year has in store.