When you're looking for a party, it's nice to have a trusted name behind it. The days of the big-name DJ are over, so knowing who's behind the best nights can make your choice a lot easier.
1 A.D/D. www.addevents.com
Since exploding onto the scene two years ago, A.D/D. have emerged as the top dogs for all that's new and hyped-up in dance music. If it was big and had something to do with electro/rock/house/mash-ups, it was probably their doing. Along with their own events, they've also brought touring international parties like Return To New York and Club Filth to town, and over the past year booked heavyweights like 2 Many DJs , LCD Soundsystem and Diplo.
2 BLACK MARKET www.blackmarket.co.uk
UK veterans Black Market have successfully integrated into local nightlife, dipping their feet into various scenes from drum 'n' bass to techno and soulful house. Their record store is no longer around, but they've still been active, bringing in legends like Larry Heard , A Guy Called Gerald and Marshall Jefferson and throwing smaller warehouse parties with local talent.
3 MILK www.milkaudio.com
Long-time players Milk, their programming as eclectic as ever, are still holding it down on the party front. They got reclusive deep house hero Moodymann to play a rare gig this summer, brought Marky Ramone to DJ at Spin Gallery and did several soulful house collaborations with Garage 416 . All in all, they've had a hand in many of the year's most interesting events.
4 HOTSTEPPER www.hotstepper.com
Like Milk, Hotstepper are veteran party promoters, and while their Garage 416 brand has slowed down a bit, they still found time to invite New York heavyweights like Joe Claussell and Danny Krivit here in 2006. They really showed their staying power, though, with the continuing success of their monthly Bump N' Hustle parties at the Rivoli , where residents Paul E. Lopes and Mike Tull rock classic hiphop, soul, funk, disco, house, reggae, Latin and more to a dedicated crowd of dancers.
5 DMONEY, www.myspace.com/drugmoneyunderdogs
Over the past few years, Dmoney has emerged as a force, running several ongoing events as well as sporadic one-offs and co-productions. The vibe usually centres on aggressive, grimy party music, including electro, Baltimore club, booty, hiphop and mash-ups. Currently, Dmoney's monthly events are Fuck Faces , Full Effect and Next Party , held at Sneaky Dee's, Tiger Bar and the Boat.
6 SOHO www.thisislondonclub.com
As tempting as it is to rail against underground dance music in places with a dress code and bottle service, it's also true that Soho Fridays at This Is London featured some of the biggest names in the business this year, including Richie Hawtin , Louie Vega , Laurent Garnier and Danny Howells .
7 MAKE IT FUNKY www.myspace.com/makeitfunky
The funky breaks scene is never going to be super-hip, due to its inherent cheese factor, but that unselfconscious joie de vivre is exactly what's made the Make It Funky parties so fun. Most of them have been held on the second floor of the El Mocambo, where the new back room allows Make It Funky to program house, techn0 and downtempo DJs along with the funk and breakbeats usually found in the main room.
8 SHIT LA MERDE www.myspace.com/shitlamerde
This monthly bash at Sneaky Dee's has been consistently fun, bringing together people from the indie scene who want to dance and from the dance scene who want to hear more than just dance music. Alongside DJ Shit La Merde (aka Dave Binette ), you'll generally find a local guest DJ or two and occasionally a live band.
9 TURNING POINT www.ducktape.ca
Some thought A Man Called Warwick was a fool for leaving the Movement crew and starting up his own monthly party at the Gladstone Hotel devoted to the vintage tropical funk that he loves, but it's really worked for him. The dance floor is always bumping, the room suits the music perfectly, and the vibe is unique right now.
10 AFE SOCIETY www.afesociety.com
Saturday nights at Footwork have seen a lot of quality events over the past year, but the techno-oriented AFE Society parties have been the most consistently interesting, offering top live electronic acts like Audion , Jake Fairley , Dandy Jack and Solvent alongside some of T.O.'s better techno DJs.