Known as Toronto’s “Home of the Afterparty”, but colloquially known (in my mind at least) as the “Home of G-House”, The Hoxton has seen its fair share of dirty Saturday night bookings. But nothing I’ve seen has been quite like this weekend, when MALAA literally tore it to shreds.
Just who is MALAA, anyway? Just speaking the name opens you up for debate among fans eager to unshroud some of the mystery surrounding the producer/DJ that literally appeared out of nowhere. Is it Tchami? Is it DJ Snake? Mercer? Is it all three, or are they just red herrings? Determined to see for myself just who this mysterious MALAA was, I set off eagerly towards The Hoxton on a snowy night in January.
I got to the venue just in time to see Toronto native MADDMON warm up the crowd with some dirty G-House of his own, including his remix of Destructo’s “Techno” which Destructo himself had played at a Ship2Ship earlier in the month (according to MADDMON’s Twitter feed at least).
By around 12:45, the venue was packed with MALAA set to take the stage in 15 minutes. Eager to see MALAA take the stage, I maneuvered to the side of stage and waited. Opening with his notorious hit single “H+M,” this would mark one of the first of several tracks I actually recognized before his set descended into IDs on IDs. Somewhere amongst the slurry of IDs flying at me, I managed to pick out some key tracks being played. Based on all the Tchami/MALAA rumours with several tracks on Tchami’s Confession record label, I heard “Go Back” by ATICA and MALAA’s own Notorious B.I.G. remix “Notorious.”
MALAA closed out the night in style, wrapping up 90 minutes of furious head-nodding and shuffling with his own remix of “Lean On”. I really doubt anything I’ll see for the next little bit will come close to his Saturday night set,with its potent combination of the mysticism and intrigue behind the MALAA project in tandem with his raw, hard-hitting beats.
Unfortunately, photographer access was limited in order to preserve the integrity behind the mysticism of the MALAA project, which didn’t leave me much to go with in terms of MALAA shots. He did, however, go out of his way to upload the full Toronto setlist onto his SoundCloud page so those who missed out can definitely revel in the g-house FOMO below.