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#83 Oliver Wickham





Entries in Top 5 (6)


5 Must See Artists @ NXNE Port Lands

5. Caveboy: Saturday 3 pm, Canal Stage

 Kicking off our list of essential performances at NXNE Port Lands is  Montreal's Caveboy.  They've been in the studio working on the follow up to last year's single 'Superbia'.  We caught their show last summer at Osheaga, and loved it.  Based on that experience, and the possibility of hearing some of that new music they've been working on, we just can't miss Caveboy at NXNE.


4. River Tiber: Sunday 6 pm Skyline Stage

This week River Tiber is performing in Spain at the Sonar Festival, and returns home to Toronto to help bring the Port Lands festival to a glorious close on Sunday.  River Tiber is one of the most buzzed about names in music these days, and for good reason.  He's released music with Daniel Caesar, Pusha T, and fellow Port Lands performer Kaytranada.  The album Indigo was released last year, and it's way too good to pass up the chance to hear some of those songs live on a sunny Toronto Sunday.

3. Kaytranada: Saturday 9:30 pm, Skyline Stage

Kaytranada was added to the Port Lands lineup when Tyler the Creator cancelled his performance.  The album 99.9% is still in heavy rotation, and based on his set at Manifesto last summer this is one headline show that cannot be missed.  There's simply no one else who dj's or makes music like Kaytranada, and that unique style and sound is what brings together such a lively, energetic crowd at his shows. 

2. Cold Specks: Friday 6:20 pm, Canal Stage

Last year following Schoolboy Q's headline show at NXNE Port Lands, Cold Specks put on a stunning show at Lee's Palace.  With the new single 'Wild Card' released just today, we're excited to hear the evolution of one of the finest voices in music one year later.  It seems a fitting next step that Cold Specks would taking the stage at the large scale NXNE event.  If 'Wild Card' is the first in a new collection of music, this show could be a chance to hear more...

1. Sleigh Bells: 7:50 pm Skyline Stage

Flashback to 2014 and Sleigh Bells was stealing the show at NXNE with a Wednesday night show at Tattoo, and an appearance at Yonge/Dundas Square the following night.  They were touring in support of the album Bitter Rivals and this time around it's the incredible album Jessica Rabbit.  The duo of Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller have been unstoppable since 2010's Treats was released, and their live show is not to be taken lightly.  This show is an opportunity to see Sleigh Bells live that should not be passed up.

Click here for more information on NXNE, including the full Port Lands lineup and click here to get tickets!


Digital Dreams Top 5 Must See Artists


Digital Dreams has grown over the last few years to become one of Canada's foremost electronic music festivals.  The Ontario Place area of Toronto's waterfront transforms into a haven for those craving a great time, and unforgettable memories.  In past years there have been unforgettable sets like Justice headlining the mainstage in 2014, Green Velvet performing in the rain on the lake that same year, and las year's unbelievable set from Claude Von Stroke.  Within the lineup a few favourites have emerged, so we selected our top 5 acts that we can't wait to see.  Tickets are still available, get them here.

1. MK (Marc Kinchen): Detroit's Marc Kinchen has made quite an impression with his recent releases, leading up to his new album.  His career has been a journey of creativity, beginning in dance music, moving on to hip hop and soul and then embarking on a return to his roots, including reviving Area 10, his label and event brand. 

2. Hannah Wants: 2015 saw the world begin to catch on to the brilliance of Hannah Wants.  Her irreverent, garage influenced sound is embraced by music lovers all over the globe.  She's bringing it to audiences worldwide with her highly regarded mixtape series and a seemingly endless series of sold out shows.  This is not her first performance in Toronto, but it will be her first set at Digital Dreams.

3. Bassnectar: 'Unlimited' is the latest album from the unbelievable Bassnectar.  IT's his 10th, and it's clear he's reached new heights in his quest to create music that will move those who are dedicated to getting wild.  Over the years each time we've experienced his live show this is acheived with seemingly relative ease, and there's no doubt he'll do the same this weekend.

4. Tiga: Back in 1998 Tiga founded Turbo Recordings, a label that was instrumental in building his career along with those of Chromeo, Azari & III, and Boys Noize.  In 2007 he released his first solo album 'Sexor' and since then he's continued on as one of the driving forces in dance music in Canada and all over the world.  We're not quite sure what to expect from his show at Digital Dreams, and that mystery is just another reason that it should not be missed.

5. Destructo: Gary Richards has been an integral part of the growth of dance music in North America for a some time.  His newest single '4 Real' with Ty Dolla $ign and iLoveMakonnen merges house, garage, and hip hop, and the results are wild.  It's no surprise he's on the cutting edge, and we can't wait to hear what he brings to Digital Dreams.


Gene's Top 5 Rainy Day Slow Jams

photo by Peter Adams

Looking out the window at this weather led me to go back through the last few weeks of posts to find a couple of slow jams.  Mickey Blue, Gallant and Seal inspired me to go back a bit further to include a few more emotive, soulful favourites.  Keeping this list on rotation throughout the day made me think it's just too good not to share.  So here's my top five rainy day slow jams.  

1. Mickey Blue: 'We Just Be'

2. Samm Henshaw: 'Only Wanna Be With You'

3. Gallant ft. Seal: 'Weight In Gold'

4. Disclosure ft. Jordan Rakei: 'Masterpiece'

5. Tokimonsta ft. Anderson Paak: 'Realla'


The 5 Must See Acts at Digital Dreams


Digital Dreams is only a day away, and that means it's time to figure out exactly who to see in the jam packed schedule.  We selected 5 of our favourite acts that are performing, that we simply cannot miss.  Check them out and click here to get your tickets and more information.


1. Galantis: The Swedish duo that has just released the incredible record 'Pharmacy' first got our attention as two thirds of Miike Snow.  Their debut set from Coachella 2014 has been on heavy rotation ever since, and the chance to see them live is too good to miss...



2. Anna Lunoe: Anna Lunoe has long been one of our favourite acts in dance music.  Her talent goes far beyond simply djing, with her production, vocal, and songwriting prowess simply unmatched in today's world of music.  



3. Carl Cox: An absolute legend, Carl Cox not only headlines the Echo Beach stage on Saturday night, but irreverently curates the lineup for the day.  One of our favourite places for live music in Toronto is the spot for an unforgettable takeover.



4. Claude Von Stroke: The man behind Dirtybird Records brings the heat as part of his relentless tour for Dirtybird 10, the label's tenth birthday.  His joyful, comical, and inherently groovy sound will be right at home in the midst of a larger than life festival setting.  



5. Alvin Risk: Following the outrageously inventive 'Venture' EP we simply cannot wait to see Alvin Risk live, but we also have no idea what to expect from his live show.  Few artists these days move from sound to sound so effortlessly, and that makes the reality of Alvin Risk live all the more fascinating.  



Top 5 Tracks at Governors Ball 2015


In the week since Governors Ball, it's started to feel like the festival happened ages ago.  Despite this, there have been a few songs that we heard over the weekend that made a memorable impression.  They're evocative of the vibe on Randall's Island, and help take us back to the rainy and sunny days and long nights in New York.  Some of these are older favourites, and some are quite new but one thing is true regardless, they are examples of the mysterious power of music.


1. Future Islands: 'Back In The Tall Grass'

The opening track for what was the stand out set for us made it clear this was truly a one of a kind experience.  The music is so heartfelt and sincere to the band that it will certainly move you too if you let it.  'Back In The Tall Grass' leads to you to think about the people you care most about on 'Singles' and is far more powerful live and up close.


2. Tame Impala: 'Cause I'm A Man'

The single from the psychedelic Australian band's new album 'Currents' has been on heavy rotation for us since it's release.  Midway through their Sunday afternoon set they lean into a hazy rendition that sounds like the original album version, only tailored slightly for the occasion.  It was almost as if Tame Impala could sense where everyone was at in their Governors Ball weekend, and provided a perfectly calm, refreshing moment.


3. Hot Chip: 'Let Me Be Him' 

The track we thought was the finale to Hot Chip's stellar set played out like an affirmation.  A decision to take the steps to become that person we envision.  It was a joyful celebration of possibilities, and a reminder why everyone in that crowd wants, and even needs to get out there.  The spend the rare moments of a music festival singing along with thousands of people really feels so good.  The band surprised us all with an encore, performing Bruce Springsteen's classic 'Dancing In The Dark'. 


4. Nadus: 'Nxwxrk'

In the final hours of Governors Ball we passed by the VIP area near the mainstage, and were caught by surprise.  The unmistakable sound of Nadus' club masterpiece 'Nxwxrk' called out 'JERSEY!'.  It took a moment, but we spotted A-Trak playing a set to small crowd (by comparison) and absolutely turning it out.  There's no doubt in our minds that the Fool's Gold founder is one of the dopest dj's EVER. 


5. Logic: 'I'm Gone'

Logic performed at 3 pm on the final day of Governors Ball.  The MC delivered a high energy show that proved to us that he absolutely loves what he does and probably had the most fun out of the thousands of people in attendance.  He passionately delivered the lyrics to one of our favourite songs from the album 'Under Pressure'.  He led the audience through the hook, and the echo of the chorus sung by the massive crowd is something we will never forget...



 Check out our photo highlights from Governors Ball 2015 and read the review!