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A-Trak to spin crowds – and records – at Babylon

The Montreal-born turntablist plays Babylon Nightclub on Tuesday, March 29.

A-Trak takes over Babylon Nightclub on Tuesday, March 29.


A-Trak takes over Babylon Nightclub on Tuesday, March 29.

There are hundreds of thousands of music fans who can say they have seen A-Trak spin live at major events across the globe, but not too many who can say they saw him in an intimate setting, with just a few hundred people bobbing to his beats.

There will be a few hundred more who will be able to make that claim after the Montreal-born turntablist destroys Babylon Nightclub on Tuesday night. Those of you who have seen what A-Trak can do with his hands know that he will indeed tear the place apart.

“The thing that we are most stoked about is putting him in a venue like this,” says BYDEK promotions owner Amar Makim, explaining how tough it is to book the elusive A-Trak, as he is usually bumping massive crowds at major fests or holding down his Vegas residency with supreme style.

“To have a DJ with a Las Vegas residency who is one of the biggest pacemakers in all of music, not just electronic, but to have him at Babylon for $25 a ticket is pretty special.”

A-Trak isn’t a DJ. He isn’t a modern controller DJ dropping cheesy sound loops and effects into a predictable, standard dance set. He’s a turntablist who uses Technics as if they were an extension of his own hands; a guy who can seamlessly mix the Beatles with Daft Punk without anyone even noticing; a dude who has found a way to turn a record player into an instrument. And it’s damn fine work.

“He is absolutely unreal,” adds the 29-year-old concert promoter.

“He is one of those DJs who actually grew up with an actual DJing pedigree and he will read the crowd and see what they react to most. Maybe he will drop some future or whether he goes into a trap set, it’s hard to say.”

Those who have been paying attention to city’s music scene must know by now that BYDEK is a real player, a heavyweight that has really helped put Ottawa on the sonic map. They recently partnered up with DNA Presents and it’s clear they know how to throw a rager. Their first ever event was Steve Aoki back in 2010. Way to start small, boys. Next it was Skrillex, then AfroJack, Porter Robinson and Zedd and, of course, Bonobo with a full band at Barrymore’s in 2013. Through its diverse lineup of genre-spanning shows, BYDEK has been able to reach more audiences than just the college 20-somethings crowd. Their diverse hip hop and electronic shows have brought the heads out, the old-schoolers looking to bottle up a little taste of nostalgia. But their bigger EDM shows have wowed that college crowd and both demographics are thirsty for more.

“Our reach is definitely diverse, but the one thing our crowd knows is that they don’t really know what kind of show to expect from us next,” adds Makim.

“It might be a hip hop show one day, it might be DJ Craze another day, it might be A-Trak. We have really covered all the bases.”

A-Trak plays Babylon Tuesday, March 29. Lace up your Converses.