Even though Moss Park dance punk duo MSTRKRFT believe that, as dance music artists, “there’s much better places for us to be,” (this is said right at the 4:16 mark, of all times) Toronto’s other homegrown house producers have taken the entire electro world by storm in the last few months. One needs only to point one’s browser to the website Beatport, which has quickly become the DJ world’s number one website for downloading high-bitrate dance music, and look on the “Top Downloads” panel on the lower right. In that period of time, there has been at least one track by a Toronto-based artist on the Top 10, and in the last five months, at least one Ontarian (if you include Windsor-raised Richie Hawtin, a.k.a. Plastikman.) Here is a brief look at three Toronto artists who have been conquering dancefloors around the world with their popular tracks on Beatport:
Multiple Juno Award-winning Hatiras‘ breakthrough track “Spaced Invader” was hardly the beginning, but since then, Hatiras has been jamming in the studio, running Hatrax Records and Blow Media, showcasing brand new music with his weekly radio show Hatiras Presents, and selling dance chart topping tunes on Beatport like a machine. At least one of his latest smash hits “Bass Monkeys,” “Gutter Music,” or “Poppin’ Beats,” whose launch party was A.D/D.’s RANDOMLAND at CiRCA less than two weeks ago, will be playing on a soundsystem near you in the near future, guaranteed.
The eyes of the world turned to Toronto late last year when they began to watch the rising star Deadmau5. This summer, in the week of August 26, 2007, Deadmau5 had five tracks in the Top 10 on Beatport, making him one of the singularly most successful Beatport artists of all time. Through his label mau5trap, he has released banging tracks like “I Thought Inside Out” (with Chris Lake), “Complications” and “Desynchronised.” While it seems like Deadmau5 would have trouble keeping himself in the city for long enough to record new chart toppers with his frequent appearances in Europe and Japan, there is no shortage of his new techy beats for DJ’s to devour.
Jelo has been a mainstay of Toronto’s club scene for over a decade, with residencies at some of the city’s most famous hotspots. A few months ago, Los Angeles-based DJ Dan, sometimes called the world’s number one house DJ, spun an unreleased track by Jelo and Deadmau5 called “The Reward is Cheese” to kick off his set at Opulent Temple, the largest soundsystem camp at Burning Man. Cue November 19, 2007, when the track was released on the label Rising Trax. “The Reward is Cheese” instantly soared to number one on Beatport. His latest tune “Darke,” featuring a remix by D.A.V.E. The Drummer, is poised for party domination.
It is incredibly rare for any artist in their lifetime to record a Top 10 track, but even rarer for them to be from Toronto. These tunes are currently blasting out of speakers somewhere in the world, bringing the sound of our city to the ears of millions.
Photo of Hatiras at WEMF by Thomas Weller, photo of Deadmau5 and Jelo at BCE Place courtesy of the artists.