- Top 100
March 21, 2012
Erick Morillo actually gives gifts on his birthday. Maybe that’s because the Colombian-born, New Jersey-raised house producer seems to have everything: a storied discography, a top record label, and residencies at the finest nightclubs. Having never seen his wizardry live, I faithfully made the trek to Avalon in Hollywood, Calif., to hear the master do what he does best: smash nightclubs. And, wow, did he deliver the goods. The Subliminal Records label boss characteristically threw down pure, uncut house to an increasingly berserk crowd and as if that wasn’t enough, he brought some incredible surprise guests and graced the DJ booth for more than six hours.
Kicking off the madness just after 1 a.m. with the banging Eddie Thoenick collaboration Stronger, a visibly passionate Morillo churned out crowd-pleasers like Stefano Noferini’s Little More and Steve Smooth’s So High (Kalendr & Inphinity Remix). He then treated his fans to several never-heard-before edits and mash-ups before launching two awesome new Subliminal tracks, Carl Kennedy’s Once Upon a Time, and Symphonympho’s unreleased Colors.
Rolling hard into the early morning, Morillo’s set darkened and eventually settled into a pounding tribal-infused masterpiece that essentially connected the crowd’s energy directly to his music in intoxicating harmony. Between blasts from Avalon’s mist machine and siren-wailings, Morillo got on the mic at 3:30 a.m. to announce the first of his surprise guests, none other than house master Dirty South. The Aussie superstar immediately began to spin, and to bewilderment of those in attendance, he blasted his brand new track, the Michael Brun produced Rise (Dity South Edit).
Not long after—and much to everyone’s glee—Morillo introduced the rest of his amazing surprise guests: AN21, Max Vangeli and the big man himself, Swedish House Mafia’s Steve Angello—who had played earlier that night at XS in Las Vegas. Again to the amazement of all in attendance, Norman Doray and EDX were spotted in the booth as the always-entertaining Morillo and Angello tag-teamed the sound system, eventually closing out the set with an incredible dual performance that lasted until 8 a.m.
In sum, Morillo demonstrated to everyone in attendance his legendary skills and supreme clout in the industry. Already a tireless promoter of the house music genre, Morillo’s killer set at Avalon can only further entrench his status as one of the strongest forces in all of dance music. Plus, he gave us great music—on his birthday, no less.
GUEST LIST INTERVIEW:
If you’ve rocked out to a top DJ in Victoria, chances are that Aidan Henry is the man you need to thank. Since 2009, Aidan has been Blueprint Events’ main man in Victoria. The Wet Coast caught up with him recently at a strangely busy neighborhood pub:
WET COAST: So Aidan, how did you get started with club promotions?
“I started getting into electronic music about four years ago. I saw that Vancouver was consistently getting big DJs and producers, and I wanted to bring them to Victoria. So a business partner and I started a promo company, Cloud 21. Our first show was Adam K at Hush and we ended up doing eight shows in total. Things just didn’t work out—which, in a way, ended up being fortunate.”
“Well, I got talking to Blueprint’s DJ Timeline and eventually we worked out an agreement that would see me join the Blueprint team. They run an awesome game; they have a track record of big, excellent shows. But they also get guys, such as Avicii, before they blow up. For example, on Boxing Day 2010, we hosted Avicii at Sugar in Victoria. Exactly one year later he’s selling out the 7,000-person Vancouver Convention Centre. It’s nuts, man!”
What’s the best show you’ve thrown in Victoria?
“Oh, that would have to be Skrillex at Sugar (on Jan. 14, 2011). It was seriously crazy … he went moshing, crowd surfing, everything. It was his actual birthday that night … the whole crowd sang happy birthday as Expendable Youth brought out a cake with candles.”
“Yeah dude, he came to my condo for the after-party too.”
So you hosted Skrillex’s birthday party?
“Yeah … and I didn’t even get a noise complaint.”
What’s your relationship like with local DJs?
“It’s good man. I have a roster of regular DJs we book for Blueprint events. We definitely like to work with DJ Omri, who has an electro flavor, and Sam Hagen who is a bit more to the progressive house side.”
What do you see on the horizon for the Victoria EDM scene?
“Victoria’s scene is a bit younger, a lot of students, hipsters. They go crazy for the dirtier stuff: electro, dubstep. There’s a lot of hipsters here, and hipsters love the dubstep.”
And what’s on the horizon for you?
“I’m running a private party series—we’ve held events in Craigdarroch Castle, the Maritime Museum and other awesome locations—through my company, Brink Events. I saw that no one was really servicing the young professional in Victoria and wanted to do something about it. So I did.”
To wrap up, what’s the craziest rider you’ve seen?
“Steve Aoki’s: confetti guns and an inflatable raft … the ‘SS Aoki.’”