JOJOFLORES with DJs ANGEL & CULLEN, WIL MILTON and vocalist KIMBLEE presented by Flirt Entertainment, Got Soul and Cy Campbell (live), Saturday (March 8), at Studio 99 (99 Sudbury). $15 before 11 pm, $20 after. www.flirtentertainment.com
These days the roles of DJ, producer and promoter are very confused. It's expected now that one person will do all three jobs, which underscores the lack of respect and understanding for what the different roles involve.
As a result, we see producers charging thousands of dollars to DJ like amateurs, record stores clogged with generic singles written by DJs who have little musical knowledge and parties failing because the promoters are more interested in being DJs.
So it's reassuring to come across someone like Montreal's jojoflores. A DJ before all else, he approaches his craft as a true professional. Despite his lack of production credits, he's so busy with touring that he's given up all his Montreal gigs except for his long-running weekly, Therapy.
He's also started a record label, using it to release records by truly musical producers, in particular a series of singles by highly rated producer Osunlade.
Jojoflores is known for crafting his own personal re-edits, a side of production that many have neglected since the days when tape edits were an integral part of house music.
"I do a lot of re-edits, rearranging tracks to make them more DJ-friendly," Flores explains over coffee. "It's very easy to do now, but a lot of guys don't have the musical sense of how to structure a track. When you've been playing for a long time, though, you start to understand what you want out of a track. Some DJs shy away from songs that are hard to mix, so this is a way of getting around that.'
Flores started his DJ career way back in 1986. Initially known as a hiphop DJ, eventually he caught the house music bug and became Montreal's most recognizable proponent of deep soulful New York-inspired house.
"My introduction to house was through a club called Business, which was sort of Montreal's equivalent to the Twilight Zone. At the beginning of the night they'd be playing soul and jazz. After a while they'd start picking up the pace, getting into the alternative stuff, but also hiphop and house.
"It was basically an artsy-fartsy kind of crowd -- you know, a lot of black clothes -- and they wanted the music to be cutting-edge. I was still into hiphop at that point, but hearing hiphop getting played in the middle of all this other music made me think there was something to house music.
"We still try to take that approach with my night. We do a lot of converting. People might come in thinking they don't like house music, but after a while they learn to love it."
Despite his efforts, Montreal's club sound these days tends to be on the harder end of the spectrum. While Therapy Montreal is a small, intimate weekly, the Toronto version of Therapy that this party launches will be a larger-scale monthly. And because it already has a lot of local support, Flores won't have to work so hard to convert ears to his sound.
Live performances are the focus, this time around featuring vocalist KimBlee performing some of her hits on François K's well-respected Wave Music label. Promoters wisely decided not to associate too closely with any one venue, so Therapy Toronto will rotate through various locations, in this case bypassing the whole club district for a neutral warehouse space.