Avant Guard

Rating: NNNNNFortunately, the Avant_Mutek party last Saturday avoided the sound and liquor licence problems that RNB encountered the week before.


Rating: NNNNN

Fortunately, the Avant_Mutek party last Saturday avoided the sound and liquor licence problems that RNB encountered the week before at the same warehouse space above Aria.

The new system sounds great now that it’s been installed properly, and although they had to close the bar at 1 am, nobody seemed to mind. The video installation and performance by Crevice.ca worked quite well, and their mixing of images meshed nicely with the minimal techno as they rhythmically manipulated the projections in time with the music.

Particularly impressive was the live tech-house performance by Matt and Mark Thibideau (aka Repair). The locally based brothers have been recording for many years but have really started to find their voice in recent releases on Germany’s Sub Static and Toronto’s Dumb-Unit.

Very refreshing to hear techno artists who have a strong sense of melody and harmony, as well as a gift for funky syncopated rhythms. Fans of Herbert will want to check them out — they’re not as dirty-sounding as his productions, but their work does share a similar style of shuffling beats and cool, moody chords.

basso goes deep

House music fans looking for a mid-week fix should check out Open House every Tuesday at Alto Basso. The DJs are different every week but regularly feature some of T.O.’s best deep house mixers rocking the decks.

Some weeks the vibe is more loungey, but the basement dance floor can get pretty sweaty when there’s a good crowd out.

The bar just celebrated its first year in business a couple of weeks back with a sweet and sexy guest set by Paul E. Lopes and has already established itself as a consistently good bet for an intimate but not too mellow night out.

late arrival

It’s about time Nick Holder started getting booked to headline events.

Last Saturday’s monthly Juice party at Surface featured him alongside residents Jermaine Brown and Dale Arseneault, spinning his usual mix of deep Afro-Latin percussion and soulful vocals with some chunkier, harder tracks.

The party drew a decent-sized crowd, but most didn’t get there until close to last call. Toronto club audiences seem to be getting to parties later and later these days, a strange tendency when you realize there are very few legal venues that stay open past 4 am.

suhana

The Suhana crew threw another eclectic event last Friday at Fez Batik focusing on Indo-Arabic techno fusion.

Chai Lounge featured DJs Techno Brainchild and Malika Shara as well as Debashis on percussion, weaving an interesting mixture of deep house, techno, d ‘n’ b and downtempo.

While much of the music didn’t sound overtly Indian or Arabic, the percussion helped give a sense of cohesiveness to the mix. Neither DJ worked the mixer very much, but that’s to be expected when moving through so many different tempos.

The free chai tea was a nice touch, but the European belly dancers were a bit out of place. Interesting to note that although most of the performers were of Middle Eastern background, most of the audience seemed to be Canadian.

benjaminb@nowtoronto.com

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