Review | The Unforgettable Music of Dixon

Following the announcement of his return to ((( the temple ))) last month, Dixon’s All Night Long set at Stereo has been one of, if not the most highly anticipated bookings of 2018. Before we were plunged into his world of incredible musical imagery and pristine mixing, Montrealers and visitors alike enjoyed a solid weekend of local and international talents.

Brian Cid, who has received praise from the likes of Pete Tong, Hernan Cattaneo, and Lee Burridge (to name a few) for his original productions and sublime sounds, threw down intricate, soulful, and dark grooves at Newspeak on last Saturday night. Down the street at Stereo Bar, Brooklyn-based DJ/Producer Joeski had us on our feet tearing up the dancefloor with killer house tracks featuring some funky vocals, followed by local favorites Chus & Ceballos who ripped through a stellar All Night Long Set…And these were just a few of the shows which warmed us up for the icing on the cake: an 8.5 hour musical enlightenment conveyed by one of the world’s top masters of mixing.

Dixon’s crowd was truly immense! Filled with Montrealers, visitors, and electronic music lovers from far and wide, guests flooded into Stereo during the first two hours of the set. As Dixon warmed up to the crowd, I could only help but feel overpowered by the suspense of what would be a voyage through genre and familiar Innervisions sounds. Watching him execute his mastery at the decks, I was in absolute awe of Dixon’s rock solid stance, stoic demeanor, and laser focus; nothing was standing in the way between his vision and the CDJs. The temperature was rising, the crowd was jeering, and things had only just started!

An amazing aspect of experiencing any Dixon set is not knowing what quite to expect. Dixon holds a reputation of being a phantom DJ; having released almost no content (mixes, singles, etc.) in years, he captivates his live audiences by presenting genre-transcending and unpredictable sets. Visit Dixon’s Soundcloud and take a listen to his only action ever made on the platform, an upload of his track “In Our Wilderness”.

Throughout his Stereo set, the crowd lived for his references to Innervisions within his soundscape. But Dixon’s sound was ultimately more than just referencing Innervisions; it’s a sound which remained innovative, adaptive to an unbelievable variety of genres, and seamlessly blended together into one epic musical monster. Listeners were gifted hip-hop references, hardcore techno, tech-house; the list goes on and on!

Here’s a tracklist from Dixon’s set:

One of my favorite references throughout the evening was a Khidja remix of Lebanese Indie-Rock Band Mashrou’ Leila’s song “Tayf” (“Ghost” in Arabic). Knowing the band and recognizing the track within such a deep, emotional, melancholy moment in the set was needless to say, a mind blowing experience.

Toward the end of the set, just as we all thought things were cooling down (musically and temperature-wise!), Dixon revved things back up, dropping this track, featuring an unexpected electric guitar riff. The evening was filled with a myriad of different vocals and musical leads, and I can’t say I was expecting to hear the guitar soar out of the speakers at any given point.

“Dixon has always maintained the importance of delivering an authentic message. This striving for a unique identity has driven an obsession with making personal edits, tweaking tracks until they fit just right” –R.A.

Dixon’s personal edits and tweaks are part of what made this All Night Long set one for the books! Those of us who still needed time to process what went down upstairs headed down to stereo bar for a solid after 8 with stereo owner Tom Cardeli and Erik El (Monitors).

In short, it was hard to walk away from this experience not feeling musically schooled. We were educated, entertained, broken down, put back together again, and spoiled by 8.5 hours delivered by R.A.’s long running number one.

It was a pleasure sharing the dancefloor you – until next time!

Article by Hunter

Featured Photo: DJMag Italia 

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