TIM PATRICK with TASK and ADAM MARSHALL at Syp Lounge (56 Kensington), Friday (February 4). $5 before midnight, more after. Terra@minimal.ca. Rating: NNNNN
Tim Patrick freely admits he's not much of a promoter. That goes a long way toward explaining why he's a favoured tech-house DJ of insiders and scenesters but still hasn't really grabbed his share of the limelight.
Scenesters know him as a consistently good DJ who's been around and paid his dues. DJs in general know him as one of the guys behind the counter at Play de Record, or at Traxx and Eastern Bloc before that.
Techno and house DJs in particular know Patrick as an emerging remixer who's been working with Paranoid Jack (aka Manny Berenguel) for some time, and with whom he started a record label called Fifth Sun Recordings that's just about to release its third 12-inch single.
"For the third release, Manny and I decided we'd just like to be executive producers for a change, so we signed Tone Pushers from Winnipeg," Patrick explains in his downtown apartment and studio. "We wanted to make sure to keep it fresh and not get pigeonholed in any particular sound, although obviously it's going to be somewhere in the techno and house area."
Patrick is still somewhat new to the production game and hasn't done any solo releases yet. But that doesn't make him a newcomer - he's been a DJ for much longer than his youthful looks suggest.
"I got into the DJ side of things in the mid-80s, but through hiphop first. At that point house was certainly more accepted by people who were into hiphop. If you went out you'd hear both.
"I appreciated house and was buying some, but I didn't really get into it until I went to England in 1990 and saw what was happening there," he continues. "You had the remnants of the acid house scene and the birth of the rave scene. It was the beginning of this new electronic music scene, and you wanted to get involved right away - it's so long ago now, it's tough for me to imagine life without it."
As a DJ, Patrick's held residencies in clubs all over the city, but by far his longest-running gig has been the infamous all-day after-party at the Comfort Zone. He's worked the after-party for seven of its eight years.
It's hard to give you an idea of what it's like. Let's just say you usually want to have a few showers when you finally make it home. A lot of people won't admit to going, but still end up there after everything else closes down.
The Comfort Zone might be a bit sketchy, but every house and techno DJ in town secretly wants to play there.
"It's been very steady for me, and I enjoy playing there - there's nothing else really like it, even in the rest of the world, and it's been a very long-running thing.
"It's got a certain reputation and some people slag it, but it's a good indicator that the nightlife scene in the city has had it pretty good, because even during the thin periods there's still enough going on to support this crazy continuous after-party. Every DJ likes playing for that kind of crowd, too. It's a lot of fun, and it's a good big-sound-system system."