Review: Electric Island – Civic Holiday (Toronto) | August 1st, 2016


By Kaivan Adjedani, Senior Editor. Electric Island returned to Toronto on Monday in what may have been the best island party to happen to date. The smiles were wide, the energy was contagious, and the stellar line-up of DJs provided the perfect soundtrack to a perfect day.

Nitin started things off perfectly at Electric Island on Monday. The No.19 label boss usually comes on later at night and in darker venues so seeing him at 3PM was a real treat. Throwing out eurythmic vocals and addictive baselines to start the day out, he proved that his superb mixing and track selection are transferable to any event, time, and/or stage. Having seen Nitin on multiple occasions this year, it’s become clear that he has the ability to light up any party.


Next up was Andhim, although it was only Tobias Müller representing the duo as his counterpart Simon2 had recently broken his leg. Müller did a great job adjusting his set to the audience and environment, his set took place during the hours of the day where the sun was absolutely scorching. Playing a more ambient sound, the music made the crowd sway and dance minimally on the spot, rather than feel tempted to shuffle and dance full force in the extremely hot sun.

As Müller was finishing up, a peculiar sight of Kenny Glasgow’s signature hat peeked out from behind the booth closer to Guy Gerber’s scheduled performance. It had turned out that Gerber had missed his flight, and the beloved Toronto legend was about to play in his place. Glasgow was actually originally scheduled to play the island last year with Jonny White as Art Department, however the duo split up shortly after the booking was announced. Now, it was finally time to see the damage a DJ of Kenny Glasgow’s elite tier could dish out on a platform like Electric Island.


ITCM_EI_AUG1ST_-21Glasgow’s set was hands down the climax of the entire day; everything you would expect from one of the best DJs of all time and someone who was spinning in Toronto over twenty-five years ago. Kenny played his signature proper techno, with a bit more bounce and upbeat flare to match the island vibes. His infectious tracks made it impossible to stand still, and every transition added more fire to the crowd’s energy. Even with this being his third performance in Toronto over the past five weeks, the set was fresh and delivered a unique sound exclusive only to Kenny Glasgow sets. Kenny ended the set off with the Guy Gerber remix of his own vocals on Art Department’s “Catch You By Surprise”. A great way to sum up his performance.

Following, artist Gui Boratto drove it home after Glasgow had raised the energy on the island to infinite levels. Breaking up massively heavy basslines with short synths and kicks, the Brazillian DJ really took it into overkill by continuing to force the crowd to dance through his cultivating techno set. The audience had legs that rivalled spaghetti at that point, however Boratto gave kept them going for one last burst of energy as he did not once play a track that didn’t have the island grooving and moving.


Closing the night out was Paul Kalkbrenner, who definitely saw how massive the prior two sets were. Playing many of his own quasi-pop techno tracks, Kalkbrenner kept it melodic and a bit more down tempo to end the night off. It was feel good music, and definitely a hit with the crowd who had just been destroyed by the two prior artists. Dancing to piano melodies and vocals was the perfect pick me up for the energy burned by Glasgow and Boratto before. It was an amazing way to end the night off, and solidified the best Electric Island event to take place to date.


Photos by Wesley Campbell

The finale will be split into a two day party taking place September 4th and 5th. Get your tickets here.

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