by Stephanie Casino
Nothing brings the young, hip people of Toronto together like a really good electro-independent-hipster-friendly show. Rewind to September 5, 2013- Flume, the Australian prodigy that is barely “of age” in North America, performed at the stylishly aged venue, The Opera House – bringing together side parts, floral body suits, top buns, and sixties-inspired eye glasses with a love for dreamy, bass-heavy independently mixed music.
Opening act – Touch Sensitive ripped the night’s wounds open by drilling a hard set of deep, throbbing beats into the vein of the crowd. Although the term “crowd” is used loosely – the opening act started (surprisingly) within an hour of the posted time online (9pm), but of course, people did not start filling the venue until 11pm. Touch Sensitive looked like a hybrid of an Abercrombie model and that teacher you lusted after in high school: good-boy 30-something good looks topped with a blue guitar and a messy side part. It’s safe to say that looks are deceiving for this sandy-haired modelesque type. Touch Sensitive got the crowd bobbing, in a matter of 10 minutes he had the camo-clad urban people of Toronto swaying with plaid-clad hipsters. In other words, everyone was digging his bass-heavy beats (fist pumping began within the first 5 minutes of his set).
Next up – the sassy and stunning Tokimonsta. To say this youthful Ameri-asian cherub gets a crowd thumping is an understatement – from the moment she graced the stage, Tokimonsta had the entire venue captivated with her red lipstick, bottle-blonde bleach job, and her signature “sway”- as she mixed, flipped, switched and bounced, this Californian angel managed to get the crowd moving, screaming, fist-pumping, and just plain LIVE. This rarity of a DJ (cute, authentically talented, hip-hop influenced, trap-music-loving) has a skill that a lot of female DJ’s do not possess – she can keep your eyes and ears focused on her throughout her entire set. Whether it’s the shy way she flips her hair behind her ears, or how she occasionally looks up to share with the crowd her sly half-smile, this talented lady is not only brimming with talent, she is dead-set on sharing her physical passion for music with the crowd. The flicks of her wrist, the bobbing of her head, the movement of her shoulders, she feels her music and wants you to feel it just as much. Her 45 minute set was dope from the first minute to the last second. Anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing Tokimonsta live can attest to her skills in mixing classic hop-hop (Dr.Dre anyone?) with modern day (t)rap influence (Versace, Versace, Versace!).
The main course was the aforementioned prodigy hailing from Australia. Flume (aka 21-year-old Harley Streten) dressed in a fitted black top, was fashionably accompanied by laser lights and randomly-selected trip-out imagery (blinking eyeballs, floating limbs, and deserted beaches.) This talented young blood graced the stage with such confidence, that you’d be certain he was twice his age. It’s difficult to say that his stage presence was “unique” or special to this event: he mixed, chopped, and blended his way through his self-titled 2012 EP.
The crowd was dense, bodies swayed, mollies were likely popped in the presence and honour of this talented young man. As he floated between his turn tables, meddled with his laptop, and took moments to grin at the crowd, he performed long drawn-out versions of his 2012 album – something that could have been edited or remixed a bit more. Flume was fantastic regardless of what he was spinning: the crowd moved in rhythm to his ghostly beats and trippy melodies. Although ever-so-slightly remixed versions of his self-titled album was his choice during his just-over-an-hour set, Flume managed to impress his Toronto-based fans thoroughly. Side note- Tokimonsta provided Flume some serious competition by displaying her varied DJ skill set, something Flume did not particularly focus on.
The night was heavy with a viscose love for un-categorized electronic music, and was overall a disgusting amount of fun for a chilly Thursday night. This selection of artists provided Canada’s most heavily populated city with enough entertainment to spread the word. Somehow Flume, Tokimonsta, and Touch Sensitive have managed to disperse the disease that is underground-electro-obsession throughout Toronto in this one night alone.