[un]orthodox Easter mass at CODA



Toronto Watergun Party – 2.7K
Trinity Bellwoods block party – 4.4K
Tdot foam party – 4.4K
Toronto block party – 9.5K
Gatsby garden party – 41K

Trigger happy Torontonians are just further re-enforcing that SADs is at the realest as the city that spends 80% of its time in gloom is preparing for the warm days to come.

Anyone in the position to fill this void is certainly to take advantage and not be blamed. Take CODA for example: the descendant of Toronto’s electronic music Mecca, Footwork, has been hard at work booking every big name under the sun this spring season. This past weekend was of no exception. With a ridiculous back-to-back booking of the Hivern Discs Showcase with John Talabot on Friday and Soul Clap on Saturday, Platform, Embrace and Way of Acting were shamelessly taking care of your vestibular “thirsty” and certainly not apologizing for any responsibilities you won’t take care of the next day.

“Fridays after the long weekend are usually slow,” my taxi driver tells me validating the empty streets we speed through to the venue. As I hopped out I noticed no line, no people outside smoking and reconsidered my life purpose (it was well past 1 AM).

This situation was quite different once I made my way up the staircase and past the collector’s booth – the place was ripping at the seams with people. If you have been going to CODA enough, you may have noticed a slight change in attending demographic over the last few months. With the closing of Guv the younger generation looking to rage to some proper sound is now spilling over into other venues, so be prepared to make new friends.

Sardining (not a word, just made it up) myself between the hyped crowd, I made it to the safety zone behind the booth to catch the last of Pional‘s set and see Johnny mix in. To say that John Talabot is an innovative producer would be a bit of an understatement: the man basically re-invented himself from his previous techno career into his sound today. “He is recognized for his unique vocal samples among the house community worldwide,” notes Emile of Way of Acting. “Talabot did not win a Resident Advisor Album for nothing. I could best describe him as a fusion of sounds that celebrate being alive! He is pure talent and has a very distinctive touch in terms of his record choices.” While this kind of mastery requires a seasoned crowd to appreciate this vantage point, the youngings on the dance floor could not get enough and while I did expect to see a few more familiar faces on the floor, appreciation for the sets played that night was evident all around.

If Friday night can be characterized as younger, experimental and raging, Saturday was quite the opposite. Given my preference for not hitting up the same venue twice in a weekend, I sheepishly made my way past an Orthodox church hosting Easter mass (where I should have been) to the mass at CODA.

Soul Clap, CODA‘s Saturday night headliner is just that – if the dudes don’t make your soul clap, you might want to check if you actually have one. Arriving onsite, I noticed a bit less people in attendance, but a lot more familiar faces popping up throughout the night. Local veterans Koki and Jeff Button on the decks only amplified the excitement as Jeff was upping the ante with a bit of that Button magic when I arrived (his and Koki‘s set here, you are welcome). By the time Soul Clap boys got on, everyone was bouncing in unison, waving them hands in a state hallelujah…and not just because it was Easter. There aren’t many DJs who can mix funk, tribal, and electronic in correct amounts to hold a crowd over the set without venturing too far into either one of these. “Soul Clap always perfects the sexy tunes and vibe whenever I’ve gotten the chance to see them play and at a venue like CODA, you just know it’s going to be extra special,” reflects Emile. Sarah, who has never seen them live, didn’t know what to expect, “I loved their energy, retro vibe and tropical outfits – it was great to see DJs straying from the standard black tee. Their booth sign ‘Crew Love’ really stood true to me. The boys looked like they were having just as much fun as their audience. They really played off the energy in the room and engaged with the crowd.”

This was April 11th weekend, Toronto. It’s not even summer yet and I managed to stay up past my bed time two nights in the row. At the rate CODA is going, expect to catch up on ZZZs during work hours – the spring roster alone might induce narcolepsy.

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