Since Move D’s mind-blowing set at Sunnyside, I have been desperate to get back to the sun-kissed shoreline of Lake Ontario for another another instalment of their summer programme. Last weekend saw Sunnyside host the one and only Derrick Carter, alongside Richard Brooks, Sean Roman, Miz Megs and Strange City & Tele. On this gorgeously sunny Saturday, we were truly blessed with musical curation and event production of the highest level.
Strange City & Tele got the party started with a blend of deep house peppered with summery piano chords, feel-good disco vocals and instrumental nods to the Midwestern mood that would permeate throughout the evening’s acts. Meanwhile, Richard Brooks got the ball rolling on the main-stage - producing a refined mix that left a lasting impression on me. It began with minimal tech and deep house, typified by its hypnotic grooves and the use of compression on the low-end frequencies. As the set evolved, this bass compression gave way to a more rolling style of tech-house - filling the high walled venue with brain-melting bass and kick-drum sequences.
I was lucky enough to catch Miz Megs b2b Mc Flipside and Sean Roman b2b Peter Damian playing at the Nightshift x Frequencies boat party just two days prior to this event. I was pleasantly surprised by the versatility shown in the following performances - with both taking marked stylistic tangents from Thursday.
Miz Megs’ superb set was characterised by bouncing high-hat progressions, soothing vocal cuts, and oscillating basslines in a scintillating fusion of tech-house and classic 90’s garage. Sean Roman then started with a blend of summery deep house and tech-house, which became heavier as Derrick Carter began on the main stage. To compliment Carter’s more disco-inspired selection, Roman moved towards more bass-driven melodic house. His dynamic mix concluded by weaving rolling tech-house and acid house with a couple of breakbeat influenced tracks.
On his long awaited return to Toronto, Derrick Carter’s performance was a showpiece of the house-music legend’s credentials as a genius. He seamlessly transitioned between classic house influenced by the Midwest, acid house, deep house, disco and soul. His set-list was of an equally grand status, playing eternal classics including Al Green - Love and Happiness, Chaka Khan - I'm Every Woman, and Nina Simone - I Put a Spell on You. I think a lesser DJ playing this many disco edits may have sounded contrived. However, Derrick Carter is one of the original acts purveying this distinctive blend of house and disco that so many love and have since tried to imitate. His masterclass at Sunnyside both affirmed disco’s role as a creative precursor to house music, and Carter’s inimitable stylistic influence in shaping the genre as we know it today.
Photo & Video Credit to Nuno Serrenho!
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