I’m going to give you all a little background to my history with Victor Calderone and his work. Just something you can live vicariously through, or not! It’s your choice.

I normally greet Victor with a warm hello and welcome back whenever I catch him at Stereo. To some, he’s another legend. To me he’s the first DJ I’ve seen that compelled me to dance nonstop regardless of my company, surroundings, circumstances and weather. Yes, weather! The first time I saw him was at Digital Dreams 2014 at the Echo Beach stage. The area was outfitted with a false beach (not the brightest idea) and I lost my group of friends as they all went about their own ways to see other artists at different stages. Once I took notice that the crowd started to dissipate due to the rain, I ran up to the gate and joined the few dancers that remained. Sand and rain? Yeah, you’re gonna’ have a bad time. He cranked the volume up a notch and played through the rain, louder, darker and with thick techno drums that just made your pedometer break. For me, it was my entire Digital Dreams weekend summed up in one set. It was a set that reminded how powerful music can be. My first time seeing him in Stereo, I wrote him a short letter describing just this and how much his dedication means to the world that he chooses to be inspired by. Victor kept my letter beside the decks for the duration of the show and after the show I spoke with him. Delighted as he was to meet me, I was even more thrilled that I even got to talk to him. I took my chance by leaving my mark and asking him one question. It went a little something like this.

Rye: Victor, Do you think life is short?
Vic:…Yeah, I would say so.
Rye: What If I told you life wasn’t short? What If I told you life was the longest thing you’ve got.

Victor gazed into the disco ball that hovers over the dance floor. He nodded in agreement and said “I like that, I like that a lot.” As I left, he thanked me for the little bit of philosophy I felt he was responsible for but it wouldn’t be the last time we spoke. I continue to drop small quotes and deep thoughts every time he swings by Montreal. Words that made you look at life a little differently. It just shows that a little perspective can go a long way. With that being said, you’re going to see a different side to Victor, one that I feel many weren’t ready for.

It had been a grey, cold and dreary week. Some were studying for their exams, writing their essays or hustling their projects. Everyone however was feeling the inkling of holiday anxiety. They needed an escape and chances are if you’re reading this, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Being locked up all week only makes us long for the dance floor even more. The night was lead by none other than Montreal’s own Marciano (La Famiglia) and to be followed and closed with Victor Calderone (Waveform/MATTER). Now, normally I would love to cover the entire night from start to finish. However, I missed a hefty portion of Jonny Marciano’s set and caught the tail end of it. As much as some people don’t mind skipping out on the opening set, I strongly advise that people try to sit through an entire show. What’s a movie without the introduction? Any way, that’s a discussion for another time. Now back to the night I waited all November for!

When I walked in, Jonny had everyone on the dance floor and moving. That’s nothing short of the ordinary because it’s such a regular occurrence. This city is brimming with local talent that knows how to get a party started. It’s not uncommon to see people taking a breather a few minutes before the next artist is up. It is however very fun to see people moving from the very beginning to the very end with no breaks or interruption. Jonny’s set consisted of loud and heavy bass, a surefire way to make you want to find a spot next to the speakers and dance until you drop. If you know Victor, then you know he’s going to be ending around 11:00AM..and Jonny isn’t doing anyone any favours by forcing to dance to some beats that snuck their way into our ears. He passed the baton over flawlessly and the transition was seamless. Some of the regular crowd I’m used to seeing had asked me who was playing, because they assumed it was still Jonny. It was Victor, look at your watches! I’ve seen Jonny play open to close and the party atmosphere was as though it were a M/\TTER* night.


Well into the night, Victor took the party from what was anticipated to what wasn’t expected. He picked up the pace and drove everyone on that dance floor to dance their hardest. Techno that ranged from Drumcode’s own songs, to some up beat highs by Julian Jeweil. He dropped some of his notable tracks and remixes but also more current beats such as; Mole, Roll and I believe a song off his latest EP which I’ve yet to identify. I needed to take a breather when I noticed that his pace was faster than usual. I mean, Chris Liebing was just in town about a week before…I think our ankles still haven’t recovered! This was a first time for me, to be experiencing what felt like Industrial Techno when I had no expectation of it. The intense rapid fire beat, fast drum cymbals and deafening beat changes. After taking note of the adrenalin filled moment, I ran into the booth to give Victor a proper hello. After an exchange of kind words I let the artist commit to his work. He didn’t have a set list in mind, he was reading the crowd and was prepared for whatever angle he was led to. Using his mixers without second guessing anything, he had total control over the dance floor and the music. I don’t like to interrupt anyone doing anything ever…but seeing him take a step back from the mixers allowed me to grab his attention for a quick hug-hello and how are you’s. When he got a chance he let a CLR-inspired track run while he spoke with me…

I’m sorry to everyone who danced that hard for 5 minutes because Victor and I needed to talk.
It was very important. I promise you.

Rye: Hey! It’s been a while, what made you come back?

Victor: I needed my Stereo fix! My Montréal fix!

R: What is it about Stereo that separates it from most places you’ve played?

V: It still has that original feel to it, everyone is just dancing and enjoying themselves. No one’s on their phone. No devices. They’re with us now. Usually I see people texting or taking selfies. There’s virtually none of that here.

R: It feels organic?

V: Yes! exactly, and the room carries over from each generation. The same vibe, same energy, where it all started, it’s still alive today.

After a moment of deep appreciation for the atmosphere we’re so lucky to have, he runs back to his decks and gives the audience a well deserved break. He did so by dropping the tempo with the change up on a track that was red lining. After my charades, I danced it out with the crowd and enjoyed his selection of tracks. From Scuba to Joseph Capriati, he covered some of the darkest corners and picked up everyones spirits with Joeski. Using Joeski’s famous vocal editing on his tracks, Victor would transition the mood after the last word of a lyric was spoken, using a reverb and cutting it off suddenly before a tone of bass took over. No one could resist dancing at this point. After hours of hard music, it felt good to hear the drum kick alone on the speakers, it was simplicity we needed. Once the drum settled, Victor’s signature cymbals would creep in, forcing you to give the new track some attention. This made it easy to dance but also challenged us to adapt to the ever changing beat. Across all types of techno, the mood suited and followed. It was well into the night, and the dance floor was comfortably filled. We had him play another two tracks at the very end of his set, a double encore! Some would call it selfish of the crowd to request another track. We wouldn’t ask if he knew the answer would be no. Hand picked track that sealed the night;


It’s always a pleasant time to see someone who’s put in so much time into their craft and loves to give back to the scene that made it all possible. I’m happy to see all the faces that stick around until the very end of his sets. It’s an integral part of who we are, to demonstrate our love for their labour. Victor loves Montréal and we love Victor. It’s perpetual techno bliss and we’re forever grateful for it.

Jonny Marciano’s and La Famiglia Recordings soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/marciano_italy


Victor Calderone’s soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/victorcalderone

Follow for LFR Podcast and new releases along side Victor’s latest Cerebral Cortex EP!

Rye Guy