Nick Holder spinning as part of GARAGE 416 with Jerome Sydenham, Blueprint and Moreno at Roxy Blu (12 Brant), Friday (October 19). $12 advance, $15 at the door. www.garage 416.com Rating: NNNNN
Besides being one of Toronto's best-loved club DJs, Nick Holder is among the city's most successful independent dance music entrepreneurs.
Holder's DNH label, formed in 91, has mirrored the evolution of the underground scene, from the techno associated with the rave boom of the early 90s through the rise of retro disco and the current popularity of Latin jazz-flavoured house.
To mark the label's 100th-release milestone, Holder has selected 10 significant tracks of the 10-year DNH run that will hit the streets in November.
"Back when I started the label," chuckles Holder, "I never thought I'd put 50 records out, and when I did, I figured I'd quit at 100. But the way things are going for me in Europe and England right now, I don't see that happening."
At this time last year, Holder was considerably less optimistic about his label's future. Pat Metheny's legal representatives were threatening a lawsuit over Holder's unauthorized sampling of a large chunk of Metheny's Slip Away as the basis of his Summer Daze club smash. He's since settled with Metheny -- giving away most of the song's publishing in the deal -- but for a minute Holder was seriously considering alternate employment.
"I didn't really know or care who this Pat Metheny guy was. I just picked up the record and thought, 'Hmm, I could use that.' So I dropped a beat on it and I was, like, 'Holy shit, this is gonna be the bomb!' It was a bomb, all right, and it blew up right on me.
"Apparently, Metheny heard it and just freaked. When my UK label people started talking about the possibility of suing me, I figured it was all over. But luckily we were able to work things out."
Holder claims to have learned a valuable lesson, and won't make the same mistake again.
"From now on, whenever there's an uncleared sample on one of my tracks, you won't see any credits or contact information on the sleeve -- maybe a catalogue number etched in the wax, but that's it."