Traditionally, the DJ culture element of music festivals like North By Northeast comes across as an afterthought. Half-hour showcase sets don't give DJs time to play many records (unless they're turntablist scratch DJs), and there are so many tangents in dance music that cramming them all into one party makes for a major lack of flow.
This year, however, NXNE has corralled a number of local crews to throw a variety of DJ showcase nights, each specializing in a different aspect of the scene. In a few cases, some pretty big out-of-town names head up the bill.
If you're interested in soulful deep house, you've got a couple of good options. June 7 at Rockwood (31 Mercer), San Francisco's OM Records teams up with the local Red Circle crew to present the soulful melodic sounds of Andy Caldwell . The Red Circle guys represent the edgier tech-house and electro flavours, with hometown favourite Kenny Glasgow alongside Teeloo's Kitchen , Nitin , James T and Jonny White showcasing where they're going with their collective and record label.
On the local side, Deep End presents a great soulful house lineup June 8 at Crosstown (178 Bathurst) featuring some hometown veterans ( Nick Holder , Andy Roberts ) along with up-and-coming producers ( John Kumahara , Martino ), all of whom have good track records not only as DJs but also as producers.
On a bit more of a classic tip, late-night party animals Layers play alongside house music icons DJ Pierre (acid house innovator) and Ron Carroll (Chicago veteran) at Steam Whistle Brewing (255 Bremner) on June 8.
Drum 'n' bass hasn't been forgotten either. Vinyl Syndicate 's event features active local producer/DJs including Marcus Visionary , Slip n Slide and Mystical Influence at Crosstown (178 Bathurst) June 10.
Kick Magazine is usually associated with techno but has put together an eclectic June 8 showcase at the Annex Wreckroom (794 Bathurst) that veers from electro ( Procon ) to instrumental hiphop ( No Luck Club ) as well as some actual techno from DJ Derrick Ramirez and DJ Peko .