Derrick May Market Square, Victoria BC, September 14

Derrick May Market Square, Victoria BC, September 14
Photo: Megan Cole
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Nabbing Detroit house legend Derrick May for Rifflandia might have been the organizers' biggest coup this year. Known as one of the forefathers of U.S. techno and house music, May is no stranger to the electronic festival scene and was the last night headliner for Rifflandia's electronic stage, which featured an elaborate maze of security fences and top-notch sound and lights by Canadian company PK Sound. May got right into it without hesitation, building his rib-rattling beats slowly over the course of his set. By two-thirds through, his deep throb was so unrelenting the crowd seemed as though they were in deep state of hypnosis. May's self-coined brand of "Hi-Tek Soul" is true artistry, a far cry from the higher-profile billing of Z-Trip and his pandering mash-ups. Although May mostly honed in on his turntable selections and accompanying backbeats throughout the set, he also took some time to pose for photos with fans near the back of the stage, leaving his heaviness pounding away on the entire square. Those lucky enough to get a front row spot are probably still vibrating inside.