New York legend François K's Toronto debut overcame a peak-time power failure at Roxy Blu Friday (June 15) to deliver a heart-stopping trip through the history of house music.
François was one of the early DJs at the seminal Paradise Garage club (where garage house got its name) alongside Larry Levan, and this set was one of the best DJ turns ever heard here.
Touching on the classics as well as some very deep jazzy house, he ended with the current anthem Finally, by Kings of Tomorrow, extending it by using two copies and dropping the sound out for a bar to catch the entire crowd singing along.
These dancers weren't going anywhere, and forced Roxy Blu to stay open for an encore of a few more classics.
On the subject of Finally, Junior Palmer and RNB have teamed up to bring the voice behind it, Julie McKnight, to Sunnyside Pavilion July 7. The flyers contain the lyrics, as if we needed any more encouragement.
Toronto is getting a reputation for having an historically aware scene: Marshall Jefferson, Larry Heard, Tony Humphries and now François K have all played in the past few weeks to crammed clubs.
Now, if only the trainspotters would stop huddling around the DJ booth. Show your respect on the dance floor -- it's not a rock concert.
Blue Recordings began its new relationship with Kool Haus (the venue formally known as the Warehouse) on Saturday (June 16) with the Klip party. Focusing on the more refined aspects of techno, the event illustrated a major paradox within the contemporary techno scene.
In its attempts to distance itself from rave music, the already austere genre has reached a point where many in the crowd seem content to stand with their arms crossed looking serious. Worse, few are able to last until sunrise any more.
Smart of the Blue crew to put Chicago's Green Velvet and the Rejects on the bill. They're just what the scene needs in order to remind itself of the inherent sexiness of dance music.
Mr. Velvet performs on microphone and effects, talking more than singing, while the Rejects lay down the techno thump live. With a bizarre and engrossing stage show involving costume changes, synth-smashing and a green baby mohawk, Green Velvet's stage persona is miles away from the guy-in-front-of-a-laptop thing. Hard as fuck, but still funky in an electro kind of way.
Dino and Terry have been DJing together in Toronto since 1989, and it shows. Their new Thursday residency on the patio of Lovesexxy is the place to be for house music lovers. The vibe is warm and friendly, the crowd sexy, and the music solid -- and wouldn't you rather be dancing under the stars this summer?
Those familiar with Carl Allen from the Sunday-afternoon Loungin' In The After Party show on CKLN will want to know about his Wednesday-night residency at the Living Room. It's a good place to hear select R&B, hiphop and classic house without having to deal with the weekend warrior crowd.