OPEN SOURCE at Lounge 88 (14 Clinton), Thursday (October 14). Free. www.supesharu.com/opensource.
THE FINAL EVENT with WABI , JOJOFLORES , THE SAUCE and BEATZ MASSIVE at 66 Portland, Saturday (October 16). $15 before 11 pm, $20 after. www.goknightflight.com.
Most DJs would be insulted if you called them a human jukebox, and some even take pride in ignoring the dance floor and playing for themselves. Alan Webb, however, has gone the opposite way. His new bi-weekly party, Open Source, hands control of the night over to the patrons. You're invited to bring whatever three songs you want to hear - on vinyl, CD, iPod or from your laptop. So far, there've been more requests than time to play them, so get there early if you want your 15 minutes of DJ fame.
"It's difficult to program spontaneity or serendipity," explains Webb over brunch in a Parkdale eatery, "but the first two have worked out really well, a good mix of stuff, and some people brought in their own tracks that they're working on. I'm basically just setting up the process and seeing what happens."
Some of you may know the soft-spoken Webb as DJ Ozawa from left-field techno collective Wabi. More recently, he and fellow Wabi-ite Justin Fong started up a record label, Supesharu Recordings. Their first release was an uncharacteristically upbeat Thomas Jirku EP that shed his slow-motion digital dub techno sound for distorted vintage arcade game samples and a drunken swagger of a rhythm.
"The stuff Thomas had put out prior to this point wasn't too dance-floor-oriented - it was minimal and dubby. For him, it was an opportunity to put out something other labels wouldn't want from him. The more established labels just want that Thomas Jirku sound."
Like Open Source, the label isn't going in just one direction. Jirku's 12-inch received positive reviews from the techno press, but the next one may get a bit more attention from the indie community, due to the involvement of Sandro Perri (aka Polmo Polpo) alongside Toronto techno mainstay Adam Marshall.
"Sandro Perri has this alias, Continuous Dick, that lets him do music that's not Polmo Polpo - more dance-floor and fun - that he couldn't release normally. The label is turning into this not too serious, kind of fun thing. It's sort of the other end of the spectrum from Wabi, which is kind of serious and conceptual."
The next EP, to be released this winter, contains a couple of Continuous Dick guitar rock disco romps along with an Adam Marshall remix and a Sandro Perri remix of an unreleased Adam Marshall jazz techno experiment. They're also just about to release the video for Jirku's Zaxxon single, a funny little clip that is quite effective in a lo-fi high-concept kind of way.
Wabi are still active as well (see Pulse for a review of their most recent event), and will be DJing as part of the final party at 66 Portland before the building is demolished to make way for yet more condos. This loft space - formerly the site of the infamous Heaven & Hell parties - will feature three different areas and sounds.