Fred Everything at Element (553 Queen West), Saturday (December 1). $10, free before 10:30 pm. 416-359-1919.
Montreal-based producer and DJ Fred Everything is French Canada's house music ambassador. He plays frequent gigs all over the world, spreading his vision of deep funky house in some unlikely places.
"I was really popular in South Africa for some reason," he says over the phone from his Montreal apartment. "I went there last year and people were asking for autographs all the time. (South African) house sounds like it's been pitched down. My track on a compilation released there was slowed down to at least minus-2 -- it was really slow. I haven't heard much of their stuff yet because there aren't many producers there, but maybe in the next few years we'll hear more."
The night before our conversation, Everything played an intimate party in Sherbrooke, Quebec, but as many internationally known DJs have discovered, getting recognition in your home country is hard without the exotic angle to play up.
"It was cool, but there weren't even 100 people -- it was a really small place, smaller then my apartment. As the saying goes,'No man is a prophet in his own land.' It's always been like that -- everybody always bitches about the city they're from, but it's not the city that's the problem. Even in England people are more appreciated outside their country."
Playing regularly in Toronto has exposed him to the growing similarities between English and French Canada's club capitals. While Montreal has traditionally liked it harder, there are emerging scenes in both cities that are open to a variety of sounds.
"They're not as different as they used to be. I notice Toronto has a healthy garage scene that's lacking in Montreal. I've never been to the Movement party, but I hear it's really good. I'd love to play something like that sometime, play a bit more left field.
"I think proper DJs and music lovers will appreciate a good techy track like they'd appreciate a good Latin track. A good example is François Kevorkian. He has produced everything from really minimal and techy tracks to stuff that's really deep. Even someone like Derrick Carter, who plays really tracky stuff, will drop a crazy Latin bossa song in the middle of a set."
Bombay Records has recently released From The Deep, a compilation of Fred Everything's older, hard-to-find remixes and unreleased tracks. Showcasing more of the vocal songs than he is known for, From The Deep offers a chance for non-DJs to get a sense of his production work without having to invest in turntables and a pile of 12-inch singles. It's especially useful since he doesn't play many of his own songs out when DJing.
"Maybe I've heard them too many times. I've seen so many good producers being bad DJs, and vice versa, I didn't want to be like that."