Foundry Day Six featuring Carl Craig and Box of Kittens

99 Sudbury, Toronto ON, April 6

BY Asa ThomasPublished Apr 6, 2014

Foundry rounded out their landmark series of events with another marathon Saturday night session and legend-status line-up. The concept remained unchanged: one greatly respected international electronic music star, some local talent, a big dark room with cool lights and a very big sound system. It sounds simple, but to anyone present at this year's definitive celebration of electronic music, Foundry has been much more than the sum of its parts. Saturday was no different, with second-wave Detroit legend Carl Craig bringing his unique brand of dance floor magic for us to gawp at.

First, Berlin/Toronto-based producer/DJ/promoter collective Box of Kittens opened up proceedings with a set that touched on more than a few different corners of the 4/4 dance music spectrum. Represented by a rotating group of selectors made up of Mike Gibbs, Fabio Palermo, Jamie Kidd and Hali, the set went from house grooves to a darkened stretch of techno and finished up with a stint of chunky bass-music builds and drops.

With few pretenses toward the limits of an "opening set," the crew stirred the rapidly swelling crowd into an early frenzy. Although the constantly changing cast hindered attempts at narrative subtlety, the joyous atmosphere, beefy selection and impeccable mixing were exhilarating.

With the messy euphoria that ultimately defined the night already firmly established, Carl Craig's entrance was more of an understated changing of the guard than a full-blown shift of gear. However, a change was palpable as Craig got to work stripping everything down to sublimely simple synth and bass grooves.

With every element fully under his control, Craig's selection effortlessly intertwined big-room synth stabs with precise soulful vocal refrains while never straying far from a chassis of punishing kicks. The uncanny sense of timing, raw texture of his selections and deep musicality of his blends were there for any hardcore fan to marvel at, but most important was the sheer unbridled joy it all conveyed.

Carl Craig's cool demeanor behind the decks of 99 Sudbury and its contrast with the dance-floor mayhem mere feet away will be the final and lasting image from this year's Foundry series. It's a fitting one, a testament to what the best moments of this series stand for: the power of a large loud room and a skilled DJ in full command of body of music, all perfectly and passionately executed for the enjoyment of a hungry crowd.

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