The second-ever Soundclash was hosted by CFRE, the ICCIT Council, and the Erindale Gaming Organization last Thursday at the Blind Duck. Soundclash can best be described as a battle of the bands, but with DJs, whose only instruments are a set of turntables, their laptops, and a pair of giant headphones. Five DJs competed for a first-place prize of a $250 gift card and a runner-up prize of a $100 gift card to Long & McQuade. Each competing DJ got a 20-minute set to show off their musical talents, and the crowd chose the finalists and the winner.
Doors opened at 9 p.m. and the first competitor, DJ Tranquada, hit the turntables around 10. The crowd was sparse as he began spinning, hoping to liven up the room with some house music and Euro dance tracks.
By the second set, more people had entered the Blind Duck and crowded on the dance floor, pumping their fists to the beat and shouting to their friends over the heavy bass emitting from the speakers. Dance circles continued throughout the night, with students showing off their moves, or lack thereof (I’m looking at you, Mr. Failed Moonwalk).
DJ G-Rex added some variety by playing old-school hip-hop and R&B, and the crowd responded enthusiastically. The pub was alive with students dancing, laughing, hollering, and enjoying the bubbles that rained down on them from a bubble machine.
Jill Kennedy, the station manager of CFRE Radio, felt the pressure to top last year’s Soundclash. “This year, we had five competitors who all have shows on CFRE,” Kennedy said. Special guests Peter Plurtastik, DJ Adverb, and DJ Red-I, who spun but didn’t compete, are CFRE alumni. “I think it was cool to bring focus to up-and-coming acts from our very station this year,” Kennedy added.
Last year’s Soundclash had three DJs but not all of them were from CFRE. This year’s event gave students a glimpse of some musically talented UTM students and lent some exposure to the campus radio station.
EGO contributed to the event by live-streaming the game Beat Hazard on a screen behind the DJs during their sets. The game responds to the music to create a unique gaming experience. Corey Belford, CFRE’s marketing director, stressed how important it was to collaborate with other campus clubs. “It’s mostly to spread the word about the event itself, but it also helps broaden the appeal of the event and find a larger audience,” he said. “That’s why we have DJs that are mixing a variety of music genres, too, so there’s something for everyone.”
Though it definitely wasn’t the busiest pub event of the year, the energy of the students who came out, whether to support the DJs or just for drinks and laughs, exceeded expectations. “This year’s Soundclash generated a higher attendance,” Kennedy said. “However, the level of enthusiasm from guests was the same.”
The finalists, DJ Naived and DJ Keener, had another 15 minutes each to fight for the audience’s love. In the end, DJ Naived came out on top. Whether it was raised by the music or the bubble machine, the adrenaline of the attendees brought Soundclash to life.