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A Look at Quebec’s Riddim and Bass Festival of The Year: Valhalla Sound Circus [Review]

Holistic yet devilishly enticing Dubstep antics took place late July of last summer in a small town in the French Canadian province better known as Quebec. A young bass mogul named the Riddim Professor was beyond eager to experience the legend of Valhalla Sound Circus for the first time in his life. With the help of his trusty friends, they scurried to Kazabazua to take on one of the most thrilling festival experiences of their lives. This is their story…

There comes a day in every man’s life where his car decides its time to quit cold in its tracks – in my case, this happened somewhere on the island of Montreal – no form of motion could be expected from this fiery hot Chevrolet Cruze that miraculously made it across the border just a few days before. Did you know Montreal is an island? 1,000 miles from home and I was only two days away from a major music festival where I was supposed to do media related activities. My French was still as broken as my buddy’s mixer back in Pierrefonds – but no matter what obstacle came our way, we were heavily determined to make it to Valhalla. Naturally, as the only guy in the troupe of Riddim loving, fader chopping, poutine eating vagrants with a car, I was starting to worry that Renaud, Xavier, and I might not make it to the remote town in western Quebec. But I didn’t want to let that thought sit in my head for more than ten seconds.

 

All photography included in this review can be attributed to
πŸ“· : Dave Gogan Photography

πŸ“·: Sorensen’s Photography
πŸ“·: JV Productions
πŸ“·: Kev.Charlier

and myself.

“Zyven, I find you and me a ride to Valhalla” said Xavier in one of the most exciting tones I have ever heard. Low and behold, a sweetheart of Argentine and Quebecois descent named Milene, stepped up to save us. But I refused to get in the car until I made sure our other buddy also had a ride. “No worries, Renaud will go with Christopher!” exclaimed the young Shiverz fanatic. Since Glodz (Renaud) had a solid plan to get to Valhalla, I didn’t feel so bad about leaving Pierrefonds at two in the morning. The ride felt miserably long, but once we got to Ottawa, the only thing that stood in our way was a straight shot north. We got there at a quarter till six in the morning on that fateful Friday. A guy named Jeremy (who is now my absolute BROTHER) came to guide us to the campground, where a beautiful group of rambunctious headbangers from all over Quebec were quietly laying asleep. Out of the countless camping festivals I had been to this year, Valhalla and Lost Lands were the only ones where I actually set up my tent – and to do it at the break of dusk truly merits an award. Anyways, lets get into the music.

I will always love day one of any music festival the most because it’s nice seeing what everyone looks like before the grime and Riddim kicks in. Folks are full of energy! They’re shotgunning beers, trading candy, screaming “Happy Valhalla”, doing all sorts of fun little extra things to help that special vibe truly settle in to the festival grounds. It’s safe to say that everyone at the festival and I were extremely lucky to catch sets by legends like Space Jesus, YAKZ, and Svdden Death – but there were a few special acts that got me really pumped to be eighteen hours away from home in Charlotte.

I made it down to the HIVE to check out the spot where Tripzy Leary was scheduled to perform. The small yet creatively designed stage looked and felt like the breeding ground for all of the wildest Bass bees who trekked out to Kazabazua this year. I overheard some folks say that the Hive was the spot where the true warriors of Valhalla reside. They weren’t joking – these same warriors were probably the folks swimming in the leech lake all weekend long – it was actually quite the refreshing swim. I had never had leeches attack me at the same time – was a bit weird coming out of the lake and seeing two of them casually attached to my leg. This was when I met one of my favorite people from Valhalla: the man, the myth, the legend… ZACK. We we’re chatting for a few minutes before I looked over at his buddy’s neck and saw a little squid around his neck. It was a bubbly red, 3D printed squid that I quickly named Pietro the moment the new homie put him around my neck. I was OFFICIALLY ready for Valhalla.

Talk about fan love. After saying au revoir to Zack, I made my way to the front of the Hive to ask around and see when the first act of the day was starting. “Musik Me Luv is about to go on in five minutes!” yelled a fellow warrior. There were so many dedicated friends and fans in the crowd who were thoroughly excited for the trio to kick off the weekend vibes. One guy even pulled up his pants legs to show me his Musik Me Luv tattoo – I remember seeing him later on in the weekend during some late night set at Drakkar, a TRUE creature of the Bass. It was so much fun watching the three DJs wobble around on stage as they threw down an array of swanky Deep Dub tunes for the crowd to enjoy. I looked over at someone and asked them what were the names of the MML members – with a big smile she said “Dick Lee, Vybes and Melek“! *Cue the funky dances moves*

After being friends with this blue haired, G Jones loving, Detroit reppin’, graphic design QUEEN named Rachel for a little over a year now, I have come to learn a lot more about the experimental side of Bass music. One of the artists that has consistently been brought to my attention is a weirdo who goes by the name of Tripzy Leary – which if you ask me, is probably one of the coolest monikers I have ever seen in this industry. Tripzy Leary is a like minded alien from the mountains of Okanagan who has an absolute knack for putting a crowd into a trance. I’m looking at my notebook trying to decipher what I wrote about Leary, and it amasses to this: “It’s safe to say that T.L. holds the ability to turn a little beach in Kazabazua, Quebec into a completely undiscovered universe. I think we’ll call it Tripzypocalis.” I asked a few folks why they love Tripzy Leary, and this is what they told me. Amanda Bradford: “Weird, Wonky, Wonderful“, while another random Valhalla warrior told me “The unique sound design, flow, and his energy on stage.”

When I was at the camp site earlier, Xavier, Milene and the rest of the crew (who I was still getting to know), were finally mustering up the courage to head in to the festival. It was finally time to catch a heavy hitter local from Montreal, a fella who goes by the name of BAWDY. There is absolutely no letter “L” in this mans name. I remember when I first discovered his music on the Big Tooth Records “Rebirth album, that “Southside” tune hits hard. It was officially my time to feast my eyes on the Thundergrounds for the very first time – I was excited to finally get past the internet photos and experience this masterpiece for myself. The Thundergrounds basically give any musician the appearance that they’re performing on a neon throne, as a thousands Dubstep loving subjects thrash around through the woods to the filthy sounds blaring through Valhalla’s impressive sound system. The “Obscene” producer had no issue making the crowd rumble as he cycled through a variety of heavy bass tracks.

I was thoroughly excited to finally catch a producer that I had been following for quite some time now. For years, Simon Fraipoint used to be known as 5OHMAN – while this name was properly pronounced So-man, a lot of people, myself included, thought that his name was pronounced 5-OH-Man. Honestly, either one sounds badass to me, but I’m really digging Simon’s decision to reinvent himself as Kill Feed. The new Multiplayer EP that he put out with Never Say Die features incredible tunes such as “The Mothership” and “Scarecrow” – there’s no doubt in my soul that Kill Feed will go on to do great things in the Riddim and Dubstep world. I was beyond happy to finally meet him at Arrivals festival a week earlier, but it was much better headbanging to his filthy tunes after listening to him for so many years. Much love to Youtuber “WHOISBRIAN” for uploading a nice little video of the insanity.

I ended up making my way to the stage for a little bit of Kill Feed’s set – I wanted to enjoy it up close and personal. Kill Feed absolutely ripped my face off. Eventually I ended up meeting a special Dubstep producer from Quebec who possesses an innate ability to make kids headbang and jump around like wildebeests. If you’ve ever heard a tune by the monstrous Izzy Vadim, then you definitely know how heavy his music slaps.

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I felt quite blessed to finally be catching the creator of “Robot City” live in action. He has a special energy about him that emanates from the stage as soon as he hits play on the CDJs. This man definitely gives Laval a good name, and I’m beyond certain that he would smash a stage in North Carolina as well. My favorite part was when he said “Yo I want all the stoners to turn up to this one!” paired with a filthy reggae wub drop. I definitely recommend an Izzy Vadim set if you can catch one.

Not only did I get to witness Izzy Vadim for the first time, but on this once in a lifetime Friday, I got to experience the heaviness that is a Savage Society Takeover. I have always wanted to see Bloodthinnerz live, and the fact that Ernest was with the likes of SVGMAZE and Decimate made this performance so much more worthwhile. It was certainly one of the heaviest sets of the weekend, and every time that I heard the word “Savages” bang in one of their countless heaters, I would yell “Hell Yeah” in excitement. One of my favorite songs by Bloodthinnerz and SVGMAZE will always be “Aortic Rupture.” These guys have such a raw method of creating music, and seeing them mix it all in person provides an extreme sense of euphoria. Much love to Savage Society, thank you for tearing Valhalla apart, limb from limb.

Do you ever get a quick strike of anxiety whenever you realize that you’ve missed a good chunk of one of your favorite performer’s set at special music festival that you’ve been looking forward to for months now? While I have definitely seen Toadface perform several times in the past, I was wildly excited to catch him in this epic atmosphere. Even though I have a true passion for hearing Riddim music live, I can comfortably say that watching Toadface throw down funky songs like “Courage” and “Ancient Arts” is a whole lot more gratifying for the soul – and when I see that wizard from Dayton, Ohio do the steering wheel dance move on stage, it makes my heart happy. I’m glad you exist brother Todd! PS. folks, when Toadface unleashed some of that new Trifinity fire on the lurkers of Drakkar, I went absolutely crazy. “THE TRIANGLE!” My favorite part was when he played a tune that samples a quote from Naruto: “Searching for the true Toad Mage.” AND THEN THE WHOLE CROWD POPPED OFF. The tale goes on…

There’s no denying it. I f*cking love Danny Svdden Death. He was the calling card that this insane Dubstep culture truly needed. I can say that about a lot of producers that I respect and admire, but there’s something about this Californian’s unapologetic, yet very caring nature that resonates so well with me. Not to mention his music is absolutely insane. It’s safe to say that Valhalla was enjoying the Svdden Death death parade to the max. I had to tough it out in that crowd because it seemed like everyone wanted to be “Mr. Muscles” during that set. Brace up or get out of the pit. This mentality didn’t last long because it was soon time for me to run back over to the Drakkar stage to catch one of my all time favorite artists who makes me feel like a beacon energy and prosperity. My favorite memory from this performance was when I gave “Hercules” some water, and it literally restored his life force. This dude was wearing a mask and he was absolutely jacked. He went full HAM after that sip of water.

I couldn’t quite believe that I was living in a reality where I would get to see Svdden Death, Toadface, SVGMAZE, 5OHMAN, and now a second legend from Dayton, Ohio who has quite the knack for making the jungle dweller inside of me come out to play. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of immersing yourself into a live Yheti performance, then you know just exactly how weird things can get. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this genius perform in towns like Minneapolis, Minnesota, Scranton, PA, Asheville, North Carolina, and Darlington, Maryland, and every single time I catch the don’s technical yet eloquently crafted tunes with people who are also equally as passionate about the YHETI mon, my heart can’t help but smile.

So when I realized I was going to jump in a rocketship with the weirdos of Valhalla, I knew I would have one of the best times of my life doing so. Everyone in the crowd looked absolutely “Beautiful” – when he decided to play “Crack the Window” everyone was singing along – when he looked up at the crowd and flashed a big smile, I felt that! “Bu / bu bu bu / bu bu bu / bu bu / buuuuuu bu bu bu bu bu bu bu bu!” In my notes, I also managed to write this down: “There’s something about looking into someone’s eyes and saying the word MILDEW. YHETI.

Without a doubt in my mind, I don’t think my Valhalla experience would have been complete without this one pivotal moment that will sit in my mind forever. While I was getting my brains splattered by the frantic Oklahoma City based martian better known as TYNAN, I started to think about how fortunate I was to be among so many happy and positive people who love the same thing I do. I know we all get this feeling at practically every festival we’ve ever been to, but I was in Canada man. I was really in the French speaking part of a country that within arms reach for the past twenty four years of my life.

And now that I had several reasons to come back out there, I knew that I would get to rejoice like this and feel this way when I go back to Valhalla in 2020. All of the sudden, out of no where! Frank and Jeremy of St. Hyhacinthe Riddim crew popped up to party. Frank is the epitome of a party animal, and Jeremy is an awesome guy to be around in any scenario. We were getting down way harder to the Extraterrestrial than I was truly expecting. I didn’t know what to anticipate from a live Tynan set – we nearly had to call the fire department because he BURNED THAT B*TCH DOWN! But we can handle a few burns.

I’d like to take a second to highlight my absolute favorite part of the weekend. Catching the Foreign Beggars by mistake. I remember reading on the original lineup that the OGs of Dubstep rapping that I grew up listening to so many years ago, would actually be performing at Valhalla this year. As I approached the Drakkar stage, I heard two British voices telling a story about their arrival to Canada – you can tell that they were gripping those microphones hard because they were getting really into this story. My brain started thinking, “Two British voices… Valhalla… who could it be…” That’s when I came to the conclusion that I had stumbled upon the Foreign Beggars. I had never looked them up online so I had no idea what they looked like.

This was by far one of my favorite sets of the weekend. They performed all of their hits, like “Scatta”, “Still Getting It”, their collab with Noisia. Everything. I don’t know all of their tunes off the top of my head, but they performed as much as humanly possible. It was interesting because I pulled up to their set when they were telling a story about how they missed multiple flights before actually making it to Quebec. If you look below, you can see a genuine moment of happinness as Pav “Vulgatron” and Metropolis brought up, what seemed like a lady who was heavily involved with their booking, to the stage to rejoice. I got to speak with Pav after his set, and he drew some sick graffiti in my notebook. This was definitely one of the highlights of my weekend. True, raw Dubstep, with two real badass MCs.

I went back to the campground to finally go get some shut eye, but I didn’t think this plan of mine would be thwarted by the homie Renaud! I absolutely love this guy, and he was the only one awake in the crew and he really wanted to go see Distinct Motive who was about to play around six in the morning. So I did what any good friend would do, I grabbed a lawn chair and made that unforgivably long walk to the Drakkar stage with my friend. I didn’t know much about Distinct Motive aside from the fact that he was part of Deep, Dark, and Dangerous – so I at least had a slight idea on what to expect. When I tell you that this man opened up a portal to a secret underwater city where all the fish and water breathing humans are able to dance and get along, I MEAN IT. I never felt like I was drowning, but I certainly felted submerged under the low end, heavy bass that was coursing through my veins. Ten out of ten performance by the Toronto Bass captain.

Before I close down my day one review, I want to highlight three more sets that really wowed me on this beautiful Friday. But I’m only going to do it using my notes from the show:

Space Jesus played some new superfuego with CharlestheFirst – it was nice seeing the fire breathers show off their skills during Jeezy. Space Jesus put everyone in a trance. I really was surprised that Space Jesus was on playing the massive Thunderground stage, primarily because most of the Space Bass was taking place at Drakkar, but it worked out perfectly. I had to keep my space suit on for this one though Jasha, I was scared of floating away!

Codd Dubz – It’s funny watching kids start mosh pits during “Jotaro” and OG Nixin “Fuck Aliens” – Insane collab w/ Al Ross, Getorix, Chibs. Doubled shitface with? I’m really proud I managed to get this family photo. I know my camera is messed up but in this case, its all about the memories.

YAKZ: “Shut Em Down with some Aweminus XO.” My Yakz notes are by no means extensive. But that’s because I was way too busy getting weird and stomping around to his incredibly heavy style. I met him in Philadelphia a while back at this special event called Castaway: A Pirate Massive, but I didn’t get to see him perform. But I’m glad that the first time I got to experience his live set was in Quebec.

Here’s a really dope picture of one of the fire spinners that was crushing it throughout the weekend!

DAY TWO:


I’ve always had a slight issue with being brief in my festival reviews. So for the rest of this Valhalla story, we’re going to focus on the main ideas. I was amazed at how many incredible people I had met on the first day. It was a truly special experience seeing my Chicago brother Doug from Electric Forest raging out all the way in Kazabazua, Quebec – I met these beautiful women from Long Island named Umey and Juliet who made this experience a whole lot more special. And who could forget Carlton Riddimafbruh from New York who sold me the incredible Riddim wooden fan that said “My Honor Left a Long Time Ago.” This was truly panning out to be one heck of an incredible time.

My favorite set of the weekend was slowly creeping upon us. Before the Quebecois gang and I made it into the festival to catch the Quebec City and St. Hyacinthe legends FLIX and MOTUS for the very first time, we decided to venture out to a nearby beach that somehow cleansed our bodies and souls of all the filth we had encountered the night before. We met some other cool people at the plaj such as Karianne and Yas, who I was actually able to see on my recent trip to Quebec. Much love to these Oka/St. Eustache all stars! They’re notin the photo below, but this is the plaj we went to!

My friends, I couldn’t believe that after so many occasions of missing the dons perform, I was finally moments away from catching their insane antics and wild double drops in their very own province. This wasn’t a warehouse show in Philly, this wasn’t a FLOTUS tour stop, this was the real life, 2019 Valhalla Sound Circus HONKER that nearly caused a dangerous black hole that would have sucked us out of this realm and teleported us to the moon to access our “Space Gun.”

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FLIX rinsed a lot of tunes from his new Observatory EP, such as “Minimalism” which got the crowd really rowdy and hype. The boy even played a Jump Up remix of “Lowest” which literally made my friends and I go mad. There was a lot of unreleasd Flix and Motus tunes floating around of course, what better way to get people hyped for some new music than by teasing them? You want to know what really popped off live? “Forcefield.” I couldn’t believe my ears. Anyways. FLIX and MOTUS, you two are the true examples of what it means to be a legend. Much respect for always showing me and the Charlotte Sessions love. I will always support you two!

What were your top three sets of the weekend? This is always such a hard decision to make. After witnessing FLIX and MOTUS absolutely murder all of Quebec in a foul sixty minute swoop of Riddim madness, I was one hundred percent ready to get my soul destroyed by the Australian mastermind known as CHIBS.

As some of you may know, CHIBS is one of the founding members of the infamous Nang Gang. I’ve always wanted to see him, Getorix and Duffeey live – so the mere fact that I was getting some of this land Down Under action in Quebec was a true treat. While I’m not much into getting involved with a mosh pit, there was something about this CHIBS performance that made me want to get extra rowdy. I was holding it down with the best of them – stiff arm in full effect. I’ll never forget when this beautiful red head queen named Sandrine was getting a kick at me throwing down with all the wild CHIBS lovers. I want to share a little video called the Church of Chibs that was put together by my brother GramGreene. We are so fortunate that he and WhoisBrian captured so many great moments from this festival.

I put together a little list of people that I saw Chibs Murder Quebec with and this is who signed my book: Connor (“Love you Dad“, GiGi, Floroboy, Kate, Frostey, Zoe, Courtney, Elijah, Renaud, Christopher, Le Tout, Riddim Shogun (Carlton the don), Juliet πŸ™‚ (“You’ve be schmoed),Thomas, Dr. R, DougNug (“Chibs is currently destroying DougNug and Riddim Professor“), Courville, A pack of Horses (“You’ve been Served!“).

Day two was a little difficult for me because I was so tired from the long journey coming up to Quebec – at times I could barely keep my head up. I think moshing hard during Chibs also had something to do with it. But the show must go on. I have a lot of respect for the amazing aliens that were booked to perform the Drakkar stage – so when I realized that Vancouver’s very own Pigeon Hole was going to be at Valhalla, I immediately put them on my MUST SEE list.

I’ll never forget catching this swanky duo for the first time at an intimate show with CharlestheFirst and Minnesota in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Their energy is absolutely incomparable, their sound design is next level, and the mere fact that Dusty Melo raps in many of the songs that he and Marmalade have created, makes me really, really happy. The Quebecois crowd was loving every second of the extraterrestrial experiments that Pigeon Hole were performing on stage. Their noise parade ep makes me feel like an absolute gangster – I’ll be honest, when they started playing “Wolves” and the “ch ch ch bum bum bum” part came to play, I got goosebumps all over my corps.

I was a little upset with myself for not being able to hang for Zeke Beats and Eprom’s performances, but I know that Zeke would have much rather me get some good rest and take care of my body. This was the second time that I had to miss a Zeke Beats set in 2019, and a third time would soon follow at Lost Lands. I absolutely could not hang for these late night sound camps. But my patience eventually led me to one of the nastiest back to back sets with Eprom that I could have ever imagined. I have a lot of love and respect for Zeke Beats, ever since I dubbed him DJ of the Day back in 2015. Big ups to the Perth all star – never stop grinding brother!

On my way back to the campsite, I managed to catch a few minutes of Kompany’s performance, but it was enough to put me under. At this point I really felt like passing out and sleeping on the ground below me, but I knew that a bumpy tent waited for me a half a mile away. Much love to Milene and Jeremy for letting me sleep on their air mattress while they drove artists to and from the airport and hotels! Ya’ll are the real MVPs.

DAY THREE:

One by one baby. We’re going through these last few performances one by one and keeping it nice and easy for you beautiful readers.

To start off our day, we went back to the incredible beach that had cured our souls the day before. It was such a nice treat that was only a mere fifteen minutes away from Valhalla. But once we felt like the true gems that this universe wanted us to be, we made our way back to Valhalla for some serious Riddim action.

The first set of the day was the mega b2b between my favorite New Jersey videographer, Gram Greene, the Saskatchewan mad man, ECTO, and the Garden State killer RANGA‘.

A few years ago I had the pleasure of catching Gram Greene and RANGA’ perform at the same show in Washington DC – conversely, I had always been a fan of the ECTO movement. So when I caught wind that they were all performing together, I filled up with excitement once again. I was beyond entertained watching these chop masters go back and forth – they hit all the major points in the Riddim spectru. It was a true “Blockz” party. I had a lot of fun rapping to “Passout” when the time came. If GramGreene is djing, you’re bound to hear this tune.

Much love to all the Gram Fam that was out there! This is one of my favorite photos from all weekend!

While I didn’t really know much about the California crushers LEV3L and Sweet Tooth, I surely know about them now. I can easily to say that this was by far one of the hardest sets of the entire weekend. You can tell that these guys had been practicing together in order to gear up for this murder fest of a set. I’m very grateful that WhoisBrian got some massive footage of this performance because I can’t even justify what they did on stage with real words. Nor English nor French.

Enjoy this sick photo of LEV3L and SweetTooth

Okay ladies and gentlemen, I know that a lot of people give MONXX shit for missing performances and what not, but I’ve always been a fan of the Peterborough bred producer. He impressed me when he came to DC, was even super friendly with me. He hit Charlotte hard whenever Excision’s tour made its final stop in the Carolinas – and now I was going to witness him in Quebec. Third time’s the charm baby, I was one hundred percent ready for a ride on the Wonk Train.

This photo isn’t of Monxx. But this is how lit the stage was during his set

Three words. It was insane.

I went over to say hello after his set, but as expected, there were a swarm of fans ready to meet the man of the hour. Surprisingly enough, Monxx was the only artist all weekend long to offer me a drink in the hospitality area, but I got caught up talking to someone and ended up losing him and his new posee (lol). But the person I lost him for was actually very thankful because she attributes meeting Monxx to something that I did. I can’t really remember exactly what I did, but that’s what she wrote in my book! “Bro you unlocked my heart to go to Florida and my mind to go to Lost Lands, because of you, I met Monxx!” That’s what we do!

I have four sets to go my friends:

DA FORCE back to back BLANKFACE was by far one of the wildest performances I have ever witnessed. I love Da Force with all my heart, and I never thought I would see the day where I’d get to witness them massacre Canada, standing only a shy two feet away. Shiverz da Butcher was obviously present, shelling away any chance he could get – as for the second member of Da Force who performed, we’re going to keep that a secret.

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Blankface brought that California flow that meshed in so perfectly with DA Force. He’s a true don – there’s a reason why he’s considered a Savage. I’ll never forget a really important conversation that we had in 2017 that really set me at ease at the time. Not only is he a great guy, he’s a wild producer who’s managed to create sounds like “Elephant Tusk” with Australian Brit, 7INN, or “Louder“. He definitely held down the fort and turned Quebec into a death pit whenever it was his turn to shine. Now what I love about Da Force is their innate ability to paint a full on picture of what it would be like if Yoda and Darth Vader made Riddim music. The picture is their live performance, and the paint are tunes like “Jabba VIP” and “RETURN OF THE SITH” I want to show you a little video that GramGreene put together.

Note that I wrote down: “As I was leaving Da Force to catch the last few minutes of Abelation, the legends start playing Rawtee like there’s no tomorrow.” F*cking Rawtee… He’s an absolute madman. At some point in the day I had seen Reese, the young man behind the obscure and mind boggling project known as Abelation.

What caught me off guard is that he wasn’t quite sure if people would actually show up and show out for his set – I told him that he was a legend and that he didn’t need to worry about that. By then, I could already tell that Quebec loves the experimental strange sounds that make you feel like you’re in a boxing match with a cyborg or disassembling a rocket ship. I was really happy to run into the Long Island beauties, Juliet and Umey once again – it made me happy to see some familiar faces getting down to one of the freshest producers at Valhalla. Abelation Notes:

Okay, I’ll say this. By this point in the festival, I had finally reached my breaking point. My ankles were absolutely shot. I had never experienced a real sprained ankle before – basically, because I chose to Riddim stomp around with my friends and peers for three days straight, the following three days were all about icing and healing my ankles. I could seriously barely walk. THE BREAKING POINT? Was Wooli. I’ve scarcely listened to Wooli’s tunes, you can only listen to so many artists right? His collaboration EP with Excision is absolutely incredible – so I knew that it would be a wild time hearing some of these tunes live. AND IT WAS. Wooli is a madman, and a true beast from the ice age. I definitely recommend catching him live if you have the opportunity!

What if I told you that I ended my weekend with one of the most ridiculous sets I have ever experienced to date? It was only right for Valhalla Sound Circus to end with non other than Montreal death monger, KRIMER. But what had actually happened was that I couldn’t stand the feeling of my ankles anymore so I waddled back to the campsite halfway through Wooli’s set. But after I realized that Krimer was the last set of the evening, and I could literally hear the insanity from only half a mile away, I decided to waddle back. It literally took me like twenty five minutes to get there – it was by far the most painful walk of my life. But was it worth it? You tell me. CHIBS was on stage playing some filthy Riddim with Krimer by the time I got there – something I never thought I would see. So ultimately. Yes. It was TOTALLY worth it. F*cking Krimer b2b Chibs man. You can’t find this stuff in your backyard… Only in Kazabazua, baby.

I’d like to give a little shout out to everyone I spent time with, and everyone who signed my book! For starters, merci to Renaud, Xavier, Christoph, Jakob, Anne Lou, Lili, Milene, Jeremy, Frank and Andy for being the best Quebecois crew a guy could ask for. My Ontario Riddim sistas Caitlin and Jessica. DougNug, Carlton, Tyler Ep, Kevin Constant, Sorensen, Juliet, and Umey, FLIX and Motus, Milton GramGreene, PAV from Foreign Beggars, Sandrine, Ryan Chibs. Sean (8 years w/ Valhalla), Amanda Bradford, Ryan, Jannik, Damian Rolan, Jordan Daniels the crazy f*cker from Ottawa (love this guy), Shannon, BRANDI (you’re awesome), Simon, WackWizard, Felix Volatile (da bes), JV Productions from Denver, Katherine F. and so many other great individuals. ALSO, much love to David Bissonente for encouraging me to come out and experience Valhalla – and to David Gorgan for taking such incredible photos and helping me figure everything out while I was in Kazabazua! Hopefully, I’ll be back this year for another round of fun πŸ™‚

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– Zyven (The Riddim Professor)

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