Halloween is that time of year where everyone get’s an excuse to dress up as their favourite ghoul, goblin, villain, fantasy or hero. It gives everyone a reason to bring out their inner child, or inner monster. Adding to the festive cheer leading dance music event organizer Submerge brought us their Mad Stupid Halloween Party this year at Blue Frog, Mumbai. What’s more they even added the joy of raving to one of house music’s most elite producers, Felix Cartal.
So we got down to it. Got down to dressing up the best we could for a night of delectable music and costumed backed frolic. We entered the Frog and were amazed how the venue was converted to dark, dingy cave with perfect Halloween decor. There was a huge spider web above the console, scare-crows and skeletons scattered around the place, and decapitated body parts hanging from the ceiling. To add to that we were welcomed by none other than seasoned DJ and Submerge boss, Nikhil Chinappa, taking control of the dance floor.
We entered to a very enticing re-imagined Tom Staar version of Paper Aeroplanes by Francesco Rossi. The groovy bassline had us head straight for the dance floor. From then on, Mr. Chinappa was on fire. His set echoed the perfect mood that night. It resounded dark, groovy, techy, dancey and upbeat vibes from the start. He then dropped the very groovy Your Love by Toolroom boss Mark Knight. By now the dance-floor was filled with 3 ghouls, a goblin, a vampire and a couple of superheroes. Eclectic mix, but that’s the fun at Halloween party.
Nikhil’s set was chock-a-block full of brilliant mash-ups as well, of the likes of the DJ’s From Mars mashup with the acapella of One Republic’s Apologise with the melody of Daft Punk’s One More Time and Josh Wink’s Higher State of Consciousness and Project 46’s mash-up of the Sultan & Ned Shepard’s remix of Locked Out of Heaven with Nicky Romero & NERVO’s Like Home. He then played the intense vocal club smasher Letting Go Tonight by Sandro Silva which was followed by a crowd favourite, Sebastian Ingrosso & Tommy Trash’s Reload.
He then handed over the decks to the very incredible, Felix Cartal. Cartal was born with a passion for hard hitting electronic music. With influences ranging from the heavy hitting distortion of The Bloody Beetroots and Boys Noize, to the techno influences of Vitalic, Felix has created an amalgamation of electronic genres which results in a unique listening experience for home and live audiences alike.
His distinctive method of incorporating abrasive distortion, intense instrumental build-ups and unique frequency variations in his songs gives Felix a sense of versatility within the electronic scene. This versatility has led him to become one of the industry leaders of heavy-house, a genre known for its relentless intensity and bass and distortion heavy melodies.
This precise versatility is what our team got to witness. From the moment he walked on to the console right until the end, his set was a quirky, hard hitting, dextrously and proficiently mixed concoction of hardstyle, bass heavy music, festival banger, electro house and even sprinkles of hip-hop and trap thrown in to spice it up.
He also dropped a few phenomenal mash-up’s and it was a real pleasure watching such talent dish out one spectacular hit after another. He played a mash up of his own track, After Dark with the acapella of Can You Feel It by Lunde Bros and Deorro’s remix of Melbourne Bounce by Orkestrated & Fries & Shine featuring Big Nab and followed it up with the bass infused W&W remix of Krewella’s Live For The Night, which got the crowd bouncing. The entire dance floor was packed with people dancing their hearts out. He whipped the crowd into a frenzy again when he dropped his mash-up of Firebeatz & Schella’s Wicked with Staxx by Apashe & Snails.
He then chose to go down the emotional road when he dropped his own remix of the crowd favourite, Clarity by Zedd, an astounding remix ensuring he could fit the soothing emotion backed lyrics fitted well into his high-energy set. From this point onward there was no turning back. The energy at the Frog had already reached an all time high. He again decided to show us his ingenious mixing capabilities with his mash-up of Matador by La Fuente with Simon Says by Pharoahe Monch. The heavy plummeting beats made sure everybody stomped their feet while the speakers were pounding. This energy was kept in place by the music which followed including Hard Rock Sofa’s edit of Something To Believe In by Norman Doray, NERVO and Cookie, and the very techish electro, Nippleodeon by Nom De Strip.
He then went on to push the tempo even further with a little Melbourne Bounce music, by way of the Nom De Strip Remix of What’s Up Suckaz? by TJR mashed up Quintino & MOTi’s club favourite, Dynamite. Later he went on to drop a little dirty electro/hard bass with a mash-up of Aire Atlantica & Fight Clvb’s Shout That with Major Lazer & Amba’s Get Free. If this much of bass wasn’t enough, he followed up with the Botnek Remix of Allienz by Dallask, smoothly blended in with original version of the very same song.
Not wanting to let the energy drop even by a bit, he got the audience roaring with delight as he dropped the Jacob Plant remix of Calvin Harris & Ellie Goulding’s Need Your Love. Again, playing a perfect emotive track, just to fit with his high energy set. After a continuous flow of heavy and hard hitting electro, he followed through with the very intense Zedd Remix of Alive by Empire of The Sun.
The audience at this point were so lost in the heavy barrage of beats, you could see it under all of their make-up and masks. Felix again dropped some grimy electro by way of Nom De Strip’s Techno Saturdays, followed by the Sleepy Tom remix of Young Love by him and Koko LaRoo. To round up proceedings with a bang, he pelted the Hard Rock Sofa edit of After Dark by Tom Staar & Style Of Eye at the crowd.
By the time his set was over, we were spent of all our energy, and most of our make up, faded with the intensity of dancing. Our feet were tired and arms were tired from all the fist-bumping and stomping.
Certainly, there was no better way to spend our Halloween and we would like to thank the team at Submerge for giving us an incredible night which shall be locked in our memories for a long time to come.
Reviewed by: Shule Puri
Edited by: Aditya Seth