HALO at Life (240 Richmond West) Saturday (December 22) $15 before 11:30, more after. 416 598 1221 Rating: NNNNN
The rave bubble in North America has burst. Many large events over the past year didn't draw the expected crowds and police in many American cities have have been getting heavy-handed, using crack house laws to shut down parties and banning glow sticks as drug paraphernalia.
None of this has San Diego based DJ and producer Halo (aka Brian Varga) worried. In fact, he welcomes the collapse of the industry that helped build his career.
"I know the whole party scene, especially the big parties, are dead." he explains over a cell phone from his car. "Personally I'd rather stick with the clubs. There's less drama.
"You're guaranteed you're going to get paid, you're guaranteed you're going to have a good time and you don't have to worry about it getting shut down by the cops.
"Most of these parties, it's kids that are like 15 years old, I'd rather stay away from that, I don't like being a part of all these kids getting fucked up on drugs. For me to say that I DJed at a party where some 15 year old kid OD'd, it's not very cool to brag about, you know?
"The past couple of years it's been mainly clubs, and good clubs too."
Halo grew up in Chicago, beginning his DJ career at the age of 12 playing house and techno before moving to San Diego and hooking up with the west coast scene.
While some DJs lose interest in mixing once they get a taste of production, Halo sees production as a way to provide himself with tools to hone his DJ sound.
"I started out as a DJ, that's what I've always loved. Producing -- that's just a whole other world, but it works hand in hand. If I'm working on something in the studio I can play it out that night.
"My sound is something that I created for myself, people might put it with progressive or whatever, but it's just house for me."
His co-productions with Hipp-E as H-Foundation have helped define this sound, a dark, atmospheric hybrid of house and techno that, while not as original as he might think, has definitely had a heavy influence on dance music over the past few years.
"Hipp-E and I work really well together. We bring our own ideas together, but we pretty much like the same stuff -- we don't really have too many differences."