The Spring has brought many moments to fruition, but it has also shaken the magnolia petals to the ground a little too quickly. A death of an 80- year-old woman healer in the Amazon, the death of a 28-year-old DJ that was brought upon him too soon, the Toronto policeman who didn’t shoot; these twisted tales bring a hell of an emotional scale along with my personal plotting.
It feels like a new wave in time has taken form, shapeshifting once again. In 2011 and living in Montreal, I saw Tim Berg, more commonly known as Avicii, play at Bal en Blanc, the city’s ode to spring and all that is iconic electronic music in the Palais de Congres. Spotify was definitely not a thing, and I spent my days downloading the still-underground Swedish DJ’s tracks on whatever sketchy site I could find on my PC laptop. My Montreal bestie introduced me to the real scene of electronic music that was heavily influenced by the Europe, which was not completely my thing, but it opened me up to the world of mixes.
Tim Berg was playing among the 20th century’s most famous European DJ’s that were twice his age. At Bal I saw Sander Van Doorn, Tiesto, Armin Van Buren, Above & Beyond, Ben Gold, Hardwell, and Cosmic Gate to name a handful of what was basically an all-headlining event that lasted twelve hours. All of them had been dominating charts and then comes along the young swede, he was barely 18 when I saw him play. One of his biggest tracks, Levels, heard in Pepsi commercials and beyond, hadn’t even been widely released up until this point, and it made Bal en Blanc feel that more exclusive, that real electronic music heads that paid $250 a ticket to dress in skimpy white clothing for the night, could get into it.
So what has happened to my perception of the rave recently? I’m feeling exhausted, I feel like it’s even a struggle to go out and support my friends, I’m angry that there are men solidifying their position in the drug game, and that although I like to go dancing sober, it seems the environment still thrives on 20 year old guys in thrifted tracksuits trying to sell MDMA. It’s too loud. Too many creeps. Not enough security. Over the top security. Why is it feeling so difficult out there??
This is where my mind comes into full colour. I want to open a female-operating multipurpose studio space. I want there to be in-house creatives, I want it to be a venue during and after hours. I want to hold workshops and to offer holistic services. I want there to be a recording studio, a kitchen, an art studio, a co-working space. I want the witches that I have been blessed to be around to exert what they do best, the most. I want to set the tone, a sense of safety and self-expression. With change comes integrity and stability, that those who are choosing to be vulnerable and put their heart in their art can do so without being manipulated by misogyny or media.
AVICII BBC Radio Essential Mix 2010
Photo by Frank Mitchell, Vancouver, 2015