Much has changed since the '90s, when politicians all over the world were seemingly at war with techno and doing the best to squash the rave scene. Dance music is back in a big way, even in North America where it once seemed to teter on the verge of irrelevance.
Nevertheless, it's still kind of shocking to hear that the city of Windsor has awarded electronic music icon Richie Hawtin the key to the city. We were a bit disappointed to find out that it's just symbolic and that it doesn't actually unlock every door in town. But it's still a pretty big deal. Hawtin is in Toronto today with his CNTRL tour, which starts with a lecture at Ryerson and then continues with a late night dance party at the Hoxton. Maybe not as gloriously grimy as those Transcendence warehouse parties he used to play back in the day, but at least you don't have to worry about what's in that scary industrial dust covering everything.
On a more underground Canadian techno tip, a ton of up-and-coming Toronto talent are playing the Neighbourhood Watch party tonight at Parts & Labour. While it's still a work in progress, the idea behind this series of events is that the proceeds will be used to later release music by those involved - kind of like a coop dance music label. To help get you in the mood, check out a free DJ mix by Nautiluss (a.k.a. the former beatmaker of Thunderheist). Jokers Of The Scene also dropped a DJ mix today as well, but since it's on Beatport you'll have to pay $5.29 to download it (streaming is free).
Not enough Canadian dance music for one day? Go download the insanely epic 7.5 hour DJ mix by Daphni (a.k.a. Caribou's club focussed alter-ego), which was recorded live at the UK release party for his great new album Jiaolong. We're still making our way through the thing, but it moves gradually from downtempo weirdness to pumping dance floor anthems by the end.