Foundry Day One featuring Four Tet, Anthony Shakir and Gingy 99 Sudbury, Toronto ON, March 14

Foundry Day One featuring Four Tet, Anthony Shakir and Gingy 99 Sudbury, Toronto ON, March 14
Photo: Kevin Jones
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In the run up to the launch of its second year, the organizers of Toronto's Foundry series have been working overtime. As well as attracting world-class live acts and DJs and local up and comers, part of Foundry's ethos is to house these events in unusual spaces. Last year saw the organisers — Foundry is a co-production by several Toronto promoters including Mansion, Box Of Kittens and Breakandenter — make use of The Great Hall's BLK BOX as well as the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art for the Foundry BBQ event last summer. This year the plan to take over the Tower Automotive Building in Junction Triangle was sadly thwarted by the city just days leading up to the opening event. The last minute change of venue, however, didn't stop the party from going off as it should, moving to 99 Sudbury without a visible, or audible, hitch.

As people filtered into the venue, DJ Colin opened up the proceedings with a laid-back set that ended with some tasteful deep house grooves as Gingy (a.k.a. local DJ/producer Brian Wong) took to the stage as the room quickly filled. Playing a set that took the BPM up slightly but with a respectful degree of restraint, Wong played a contemporary sounding and also cerebral set including tracks from Young Male and DJ Richard's lauded White Material label. He had the crowd moving in no time.

Meanwhile, in the second room, Andrew Ross' Nacho Lovers were keeping it going the whole night with some great grooves, experimental sounds and a beautiful chunk of acid in the middle of the night. The chill, anything-goes vibe of the room provided some much needed sporadic respite from the bustle and body heat filling the main room.

Next up in the main room was Detroit techno legend Anthony "Shake" Shakir, who played an eclectic set, starting off with techno and gradually ending in a head-scratchingly eclectic mix of tracks from all over the map, including some John Talabot toward the end.

As 2 a.m. approached, Four Tet (a.k.a. Kieran Hebden) hit the stage. Playing a DJ set where eclecticism is an understatement, Hebden mixed dance-floor bangers with a strong middle-eastern influence, including the title track from Omar Souleyman's Wenu Wenu album of last year — an album that Hebden produced himself — as well as his recent collaboration with UK's Terror Danjah.

Compared to Four Tet DJ sets almost a decade ago, it's a pleasure to see how his DJ-ing style has evolved, blending the more esoteric and psychedelic tracks that have always piqued his interest with a greater capacity for keeping the dance floor happy. Hedben did exactly that, delivering the party while integrating some more cerebral elements and ending on a trippy final note, providing a great start to 2014's Foundry series.

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