Fri, May 4
The weekly Fukhouse Compressed techno throwdown at Toi Bar has turned into a reliable Friday-night option, regularly drawing a capacity crowd to the tiny dance bar. This particular night was dedicated to the resident DJs, with Noah Pred , Eric Downer , Ian Guthrie and Lee Osborne holding it down, mixing up minimal, tech-house and electro flavours for an appreciative dance floor.
Large-scale techno events are no longer as common as in past years, and much of that scene is no longer young enough to party every week, so it's nice to see so many new faces wandering into Compressed and enjoying the vibe. The lack of a cover and the heavy foot traffic in the area make it much more welcoming to curiosity-seekers and outsiders, which can only help inject much-needed new blood into the scene.
Try to arrive relatively early. The club's small capacity means it's not uncommon to see a substantial lineup outside that can move maddeningly slowly if they're at the one-out, one-in point.
Sat, May 5
A birthday social
West Queen West hot spot the Social celebrated its second birthday with special guest DJ appearances by James Murphy and Pat Mahoney of LCD Soundsystem and Al Doyle of Hot Chip , who were brought in by promoter Thomas Rotten .
Took a break from my gig down the street at the Drake to check it out and found a huge crowd outside trying to talk their way past the bouncers. Inside, the bar was rammed with partiers, and the mood was rowdy and raucous for the celebrity DJ tag team action.
As far as rock-stars-turned-DJs go, they performed reasonably well, mixing up oodles of obscure underground disco with more contemporary electronic sounds and a few curveballs here and there. Beat-matching wasn't really anybody's strong point, but to be fair, many of the tunes they dropped weren't metronome-tight enough to do any extended layering even if they had been veteran mixers. The crowd ate it up regardless, and that's what really counts.
In the past few years, the Social has slowly evolved, getting rid of its kitchen to expand the dance floor and beefing up the sound system. It's very nice to see a bar put its profits toward improving the experience, but there are still some items on our wish list for the coming year.
First, they need to isolate the DJ booth better. Nothing disrupts your dance moves like a needle skidding across the record because someone decided to lean against the booth. Second, while the sound is loud enough now, it's often distorted and piercing, which doesn't do the tunes justice.
It was rumoured that some of the LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip crew might end up DJing at the official after-party for their live show at the Social in a loft space around the corner, so many of the heads who couldn't get in made their way down there.
Unfortunately, the demand for more indie rock DJ action far exceeded the available space, which led to an odd situation that saw advance ticket holders standing in line for obscene amounts of time as security tried to figure out what to do.
Those who got fed up and left without getting in will be relieved that they didn't miss much in the way of famous rock stars. Most of the music was provided by the locals (mainly Nasty Nav ), with the exception of a handful of songs very late in the evening/morning. It was a decent enough event once you made it in, but the door issues left many annoyed.