igloofest 2014 / review

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guys, i’ve been so MIA the past couple weeks. and you wanna know why? well, i blame igloofest. i blame igloofest for most of the problems in my life right now, such as: i don’t think i will ever actually be warm again, i have perma frostbite on all my extremities, i am more tired than i have ever been ever, and also, now i have this insatiable need for booty shakin techno and big big room sound. so fuck you igloofest. but also, i love you.

this was the 8th edition of igloofest, and this year boasted a record attendance. people came out in the thousands to shake a foot to a roster of epic proportions. everyone you could think of from adam beyer to scuba to skream, pete tong, TEED, hissy fit, basic soul unit, art department and so. many. more took to the stage in what could easily have been a snowglobe, that’s how fucked the weather was this year. i was over it, mostly, but it’s igloofest – it’s a novelty. you put on 84 layers, suck it up, and head down to the old port because…well, what else are you gonna do on the weekend in february? stay home? please.

let me preface this by saying that i am not a whiner when it comes to being cold. most of the time. but this year, the cold was wet, it gets into your bones and clings to your body from the second you step outside to wait for the bus, to the very minute you are dragging yourself home, drunk, stumbling through the slush. it’s not cute. regardless, i managed to make it out to a record breaking 7 igloofests (like i said, i was over it by the end) and i’ve compiled a list of my favourite moments for those of you freaks that didn’t make it out. in no particular order, here we go!

adam beyer /

there were mixed reviews about adam beyer‘s set. i had a few friends that said they just didn’t get pulled in by what was easily the hardest rolling techno of this year’s festival. not surprising – that kind of techno doesn’t do it for everyone. but montreal’s drumcode crew were out in absolute droves for beyer (and ida engberg, who opened for him). it was PACKED. i barely have anything else to talk about other than the fact that a little part of my soul died because it was so fucking packed. beyer played it clean (and safe), and though a few moments lacked the soul that i was expecting from him, it was a great set all around. plus, he played that remix of tiga and audion’s “let’s go dancing,” and well, we did.

claire /

i’m not even saying this out of a friendship based bias. claire‘s set at igloofest was easily one of my favourites of the festival. by the time the crowd had grown, claire was in full on techno mode, having slowly built up from warmer, conceptual beats. she held her own the entire way – that unmistakable claire twist and drive, part buzzy jazz, part weird, part insatiable groove. she dropped a couple familiar numbers, which sounded absolutely stellar on a big big sound system. snow was falling, vibrating to the bass…you could not stop yourself from moving. and why would you want to?

eresys showcase /

you know, i’m a tough nut to impress. i like the eresys boys, natch, but i was really moved by their showcase at igloofest. while the mainstage had a conventional housey feel, the videotron stage was banging will full rolling techno. it was deep – the kind of techno you feel in your chest – and the boys (mono-poly, le boucher, kasteneide, and yan leigh) did not relent for a second. i even heard a wee twinkling of tchaicovsky’s “dance of the sugar plum fairy” (which you might recognize from moody jones’ speaker session), remixed into a sneaky electronic number. yes please!

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sharam /

i don’t care what anyone says, i had fun at sharam! maybe blame it on the half 26er of jameson i drank before arriving, but come on. live a little. it was a bit housey for my current taste but the energy was extra high and the crowd equally lively. i know i can’t be the only one that was absolutely gutted that he didn’t play “don’t say a word,” but i guess you can’t win em all. next!

pete tong /

my first thought when i read pete tong‘s name on the line up was, “pete tong is still alive and also still a DJ?” just kidding, but…i guess now we all know why pete tong is pete tong. the actual earth was shaking with how banging this man’s house was. that housey kind of house isn’t my bag in any way, but i had tremendous respect for it nonetheless. people were going mental. at one point i got caught between a horse and a giraffe that were half-dancing-half-dry-humping, and all of it got caught on camera by the igloofest people. that sounds like a joke but i’m completely serious.

hot since 82 /

yes, yes, yes! sadly i was only able to catch the last little while of hot since 82‘s set, but for the half hour that i was there, the dancing did not stop. a well rounded little set that pulled in his own productions alongside, HS82 delivered exactly as i imagined he would. spirited beats, heavy kicks, lots of that pshhhttt noise. you know the drill.

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matthew dear /

you know, matthew dear has consistently disappointed me performance wise. when i saw him play in detroit…well, i couldn’t even tell you how it was because it was literally the most forgettable hour of my life. womp womp. i didn’t expect much of his igloofest set, but i have to say, i was impressed. although somewhat linear at points, dear’s set get my feet moving, and i can’t ask for much more than that. upbeat, danceable, interesting. next!

claude von stroke b2b justin martin /

dirtybird is one of those labels that i loved a few years ago, but that i’ve found hasn’t evolved enough to continue to interest me. that being said, i really liked what claude von stroke and justin martin put out at igloofest. again, the dirtybird sound is not really my thing, but these boys always manage to inject a bit of humour into their sets, which is saying something in an industry that, for the most part, takes itself entirely too seriously. things got a little ragga here and there (yes that’s the first time i’ve ever said that word, get over it) but if you were there, you know exactly what i mean. brilliant.

although typically my reviews are saved for the music side of things, was anyone else all over how fucking unreal the visuals were this year? i wasn’t taking notes, but there was some doooope renaissance style paintings hanging out in the videotron stage. there was some stellar stuff happening on the mainstage thanks to our friend diagraf, and our boys ewerx took the small stage to the next level with their (as always) unique and interesting displays. sadly i do not know, at all, how to talk about visuals in a way that sounds intelligent or makes sense in the slightest. i need to educate myself – any takers?

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by the end of the 4th weekend, though, i had really had it. igloofest is definitely getting more and more and more packed every year (much like piknic), and i might be becoming a little too old for this crowd. i was also so, so cold and so, so tired. luckily, it was worth it.

++ all photos taken from the igloofest facebook page <3

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