IAN GUTHRIE spinning as part of BUILDING BLOCKS with SAFETY SCISSORS (live), TWERK (live) and ALGORITHM at the Mockingbird (560 King West), Friday (October 26). $15. Rating: NNNNN
Toronto's Ian Guthrie likes to push the definition of a party.
He's been a force in the background of the techno scene for most of the 90s, starting with his involvement as a promoter and organizer of the legendary Trancendance parties, then the One-Offs series and the Fukhouse parties at Industry, and now Building Blocks.
At Trancendance nights, the walls were often covered with plastic, the lights minimal and calculated to disorient, and the soundtrack was provided by some of the most challenging electronic musicians of the time.
They captured the attention of the first generation to become disillusioned with the rave scene and set the standard for deep techno parties.
"What we're concentrating on right now are the mid-sized events. We're not trying to draw large crowds," says Guthrie. "We're going for the slightly older crowd who are interested in quality deep techno and tech house.
"It's a club night but with more deep music and a more knowledgeable crowd than would normally come out to a typical club night."
Although he initially made his name putting together parties, Guthrie has gradually been appearing more and more as a DJ.
"There were enough people who I really respect who play what you would call intelligent techno, and there were enough people who I respect playing hard-as-nails techno, but there weren't many people playing deep, good music that was also danceable. I realized that maybe there was room for someone who played funky, dance-floor techno."