Despite receiving a very average response last year at Breakfest on Boxing Day, Canadian-born producer Ekali decided to grace Perth with his presence once again. I’m sure I speak on behalf of many when I say, thank god for that. One of the smoothest producers in the world was on his way back to Perth, and there was absolutely no chance I was missing him this time.
I must say, Father managed to do very well this time round, not only managing to secure Ekali, but also bringing along Australian up ‘n’ comer Kuren to the party. Having previously seen him perform a rather sub-par performance on support for Slumberjack back in June, I was curious to see just how far the live performer had come. Safe to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Kuren came on and absolutely smashed his 45 minute set. His live performance, with his enthusiastic drumming and keyboard skills, ensured a solid mix of diversity to keep the crowd engaged.
Maybe I’m just cynical, but it still looks and sounds like he mouths the words of his songs to a backing track. Whether that’s true I have no idea, and I don’t want to make too many accusations. Other than that, it was hard to fault his set. He played some of his biggest tunes including Mastercraft, and even gave us a preview of some music from his upcoming debut album. While sceptical at first, I must admit that Kuren proved to be a solid, very engaging opening act to make way for Ekali.
Upon stepping inside Villa, I was very pleased to see a much larger crowd than I anticipated. If Facebook events are anything to go off, I wasn’t expecting to see more than 300 people inside, but thankfully, almost double than that ended up packed onto Villa’s dancefloor. Not only was the crowd much bigger than I expected, but it was also fantastic to be a part of. You could really feel the energy and excitement, particularly as it lifted in anticipation for Ekali.
When he finally stepped onto the stage at 1am, it felt like the crowd was going to explode. You could feel the excitement in the air, and you could tell people were just dying for him to start. Having missed him last year, I was ecstatic to have another chance to see him. Believe me when I say, he did not disappoint. A trap based event was a refreshing change of pace from the face-melting dubstep I normally subject myself to, a change of pace that I welcomed with open arms. Ekali spent 90 minutes throwing done tune after tune, that no one could fail to enjoy.
He opened his set with Major Lazer’s Be Together, and before long he was playing songs by everyone’s favourite artists. Flume, Boombox Cartel, Post Malone, even Daft Punk made an appearance over the course of his very diverse set. His remix of Flume’s Smoke and Retribution mixed incredibly with What So Not’s Innerbloom remix, and the deeper we got into his set, the more certain I was that he could do no wrong.
Hearing him drop his I Can’t Stop tribute was incredible. How he managed to make that song better than it already is I have no idea, but he managed it. Not long after that he dropped his unreleased Porter Robinson tribute, and by that point it felt like the roof was about to collapse.
As always, Villa provided a light show featuring enough strobes and flashing beams to send anyone unfortunate enough to be wearing diffraction glasses into a different universe. On top of that, his presence on stage was fantastic, and I couldn’t help but watch amazed as he would run around the decks to the front of the crowd, hyping everyone up even further.
Diverse is definitely the right word, and I was honestly shook when I heard him dropping Riddim tunes by Bukez Finest, alongside his recent release, Babylon, with Denzel Curry.
Ekali delivered a set that was nothing short of beautiful, and I’m certain that from the reception he got this time, he’ll be even more motivated to head back to Perth in the future.
To top off an already amazing night, I had the pleasure of meeting the man himself, as I saw him step out the green room to watch some of his supporting acts. After nervously approaching him, and trying to prevent myself disintegrating into fanboy mode, I had a very brief chat with him, and can safely say he’s an incredibly humble, down to earth guy, who for some reason really loves Perth. All that’s left to do now is keenly await his return, and trust me, if you missed him this time, you won’t want to make the same mistake again.
Will Marsh| Curtin Student| Dubstep enthusiast