You could hear the thumping bass echoing across the DVP heading closer to Evergreen Brickworks. The industrial east end venue provides the perfect backdrop for such a creative atmosphere. Unlike the more widely recognized electronic festivals in Toronto, Senseless pulls in an older and sophisticated crowd. With acts like Alberto Jossue, Frank & Tony, Rodreiguez Jr and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, it quite possible that this music event would have not been on the radar to most casual electronic fans.
With an industrial yet organic atmosphere, lingering art pieces and a smaller more intimate dancefloor, the event has more of a social gathering vibe than a typical music festival. These elements help Senseless stand out from all this summer’s other electronic events and adds a more tangible aspect that is unmatched by any other festival.
This sensory festival houses to rooms for live music, a digital art gallery located behind the larger music area, a wide array of food vendors and creative pieces scattered around the industrially botanical venue. Senseless had some technologically advanced toys that adds a digital aspect to this sensory experience. Festival goers could get creative in their own immersive digital space with VR Drawing and literally feel the music on their back with the impeccable wearable sound system, Subpac. I had more than my share of fun strapping on a VR headset and leaving the physically tangible world to be a part of my own creative design.
In both rooms, deep house and electro set the audible tone for the evening. The main space had an incredible visual backdrop that married the aged, graffiti covered brickwork with flashy new technology complete with projector cubes, LED triangles and an aerial silk dancer. The spacious main room had more than plenty of space for everyone to shake and move to their hearts content and not a single person in the crowd was standing still to the infectious sounds that flooded the space all evening. Just behind the illuminated brick wall of the main space were trippy and beautiful digital artwork, one even incorporating viewers with the use of a Kinect camera. The smaller of the two music areas was housed in a building that had some old machines for when the area was full of bricks instead of people. Given the lights and sounds of the two spaces, it was an event that felt foreign and original for a Toronto event.
With a plethora of outstanding international acts, it was refreshing to attend an event where the acts, although playing similar sounds, would preform uniquely from each other. Sam Jasperson’s set had incorporated a synth played with a cook’s knife and his own distorted vocals. Berlin duo Tube & Berger played an all vinyl set which I’ve been dying to see for as long as I can remember ever since CDJS have phased out the classic DJ tool.
Senseless is truly unlike anything ever showcased in Toronto and combines art, food and music, which are three widely popular creative areas that are celebrated in Toronto every year. With an unforgettable first year, it will be amazing to see how Senseless stimulated the senses for years to come.