Digital Dreams Festival Takes Over Toronto
As North America is in the full throes of an EDM revolution, Toronto is set to host its first electronic fest in the downtown core during Canada Day weekend. The Digital Dreams Music Festival, taking place outdoors at The Flats @ Molson Amphitheatre, serves as further proof of the continent’s total embrace of club culture. Can’t quite make sense of all the performers set to bang out the hits at this dance-driven dreamland? Fret no more, as we’ve compiled a list of four acts you don’t want to miss!
Montreal turntable whiz and former tour DJ to Kanye West, the prolific A-Trak keeps the momentum going thanks to Duck Sauce, his savvy side project with electro-house producer Armand Van Helden. Their collaboration gave way to the most side-splitting concept video of 2011, Big Bad Wolf, featuring two oversexed guys, on the prowl for lady friends, proudly parading their "big bad wolves" around town in the form of two singing, head-bumping crotchfaces.
Must watch: Big Bad Wolf
June 30, Dreams Stage
English-Canadian techno guru Richie Hawtin – who’s spent a fair share of his career operating under the Plastikman pseudonym – has more than 20 years of experience as an ambassador of all things rave-y. Having grown up just across the river from Detroit (friendly reminder: birthplace of techno), his chillingly futuristic and minimal take on music made with machines has wowed multiple generations of slow-burning techno lovers. His live Plastikman AV shows have also cemented his standing as a true innovator.
Must read: Hawtin interviewing Skrillex for the March 2012 issue of Mixmag
June 30, Echo Beach Stage
A global curator whose greatest talent involves bringing compelling underground sounds to the fore, Diplo is the mastermind producer who has cultivated artists including M.I.A., Santigold and Rye Rye. Mad Decent's label head also runs an unhinged dancehall-from-the-future project, Major Lazer, fronted by a fictional Jamaican commando cartoon character. The collaborative effort got exponential exposure when Lazer’s hyperkinetic “Pon de Floor” ditty was used as the basis for Beyoncé’s chart-topping “Run the World (Girls)”.
Must hear: Major Lazer & La Roux: Hold Yuh
July 1, Dreams Stage
There’s perhaps no better way to indulge in a bit of Canada Day pride than to celebrate the soaring global success of hometown heroes Kenny Glasgow and Jonny White, a.k.a. Art Department. Although both were fixtures throughout the ‘90s and ‘00s in Toronto – through late-night warehouse parties, White’s No. 19 label and Glasgow’s ubiquity on the tech-house circuit – it was only upon joining forces in 2009, to produce a remix for Damian Lazarus’s Crosstown Rebels label, that their sensual, moody house began racking up the electronic honours. Hogtown can now properly tip its hat to these masterminds of soulful bass lines.
Must hear: Without You
July 1, Beach Party – Echo Beach Stage