Inside The Boogie Box put together a warm, friendly party Saturday (July 28) at the Mockingbird featuring all local talent. Resident DJ Analog warmed up the night with some sweet, mellow, jazzy house, followed by Directions, one of the city's finest live jazz-house combos. The seven-piece had the full attention of the crowd as they dug deeply into their signature laid-back groove. Unfortunately, as often happens when bands play dance clubs, the crowd went into rock-concert mode and stood still and watched, forcing the dancers to the back of the room.
Closing the night was Abacus, playing moody jazz-influenced house, heavy on the percussion. It's always a pleasure to hear this man spin -- he brings a mature edge to the music and stays away from the anthems heard every night in Toronto clubs. It's surprising that he's not headlining more local events, considering the respect he's accorded internationally for the tracks he's released on Chicago's Guidance Recordings.
The Mockingbird is a nice location for this kind of event. Maybe the owners will consider getting rid of the pool tables permanently and reopening as a club. The hardwood floors and classic warehouse feel of the place, combined with the outside patio, might make it the next hot spot if they could beef up the sound.
Detroit's DJ Assault spun a high-energy set of booty house at the Hard N' Fast party Saturday at the Zen Lounge. Verging dangerously close to the hardcore rave sound, he somehow manages to keep the vibe sexy even when pushing the BPM into the upper registers. Combining electro, dancehall reggae, techno, house and R&B, Detroit booty is hard to pigeonhole -- it's more of an attitude than a genre. The defining moment was probably the mixing of an a cappella version of Missy Elliott's Get Ur Freak On over what sounded like old Motor City techno pitched up to an insane tempo. Ridiculous, perhaps, but hard to hate.
His shower cap and Playas University shirt said it all. This is ghetto music that, strangely, has found an audience in the post-rave crowd, but would probably be better suited to a soca crowd. High-speed butt-bumpin' isn't something that comes easily to techno kiddos.
big on egon
It's amazing that a weekly Thursday-night soul, hiphop, funk and house night manages to draw so many people week after week. Uproc kept the Una Mas dance floor packed solid once again with their presentation of DJ Egon, who co-runs L.A.'s Stones Throw label. He delivered the rare 60s funk and sound-library joints the crowd was hoping for, even getting people dancing in the upstairs lounge. Every time the partiers recognized a heavily sampled drum break, they'd throw their arms in the air and yell. His fast cuts weren't that technically adept, yet they were effective, and he has a keen sense of pacing. Who scratches $150 seven-inchers anyway?