Giving the gearsGiving the gears
Shifting Gears, Jason Palma and Nav's Saturday residency at Una Mas, is a consistently good soulful house night, usually packed and featuring some top international guests. Last week there were just the residents, but no one in the crowd was complaining.
Nav warmed up the party with some jazzy house, garage and a few classics. His mixing is always smooth and confident, not too showy. This time he was playing more gospel vocals and garage than he's known for, as well as a few old disco tracks. It was nice to catch him when he didn't have to cut it short to make way for an out- of-town guest headliner.
Palma followed him with one of his trademark eclectic sets of soulful house and disco. He's a top-notch DJ who could probably do quite well internationally if DJs were booked based on their skills and records instead of how many records they've produced.
Unlike Nav, his mixes juxtapose songs rather then blend them, going from old-school minimal techno to current deep vocal house, and bouncing through the decades with ease. He frequently teases dancers with the next song minutes before making the final mix, and he knows when a quick cut is better then a long mix, always keeping it musical.
majik manmajik man
UK drum 'n' bass producer J Majik was the guest at the final Lifeforce Friday at Turbo. J Majik was a young protege back when Metal Heads was at its peak and Goldie had just released Timeless. His productions stood out in those days for their intricate but tough drum programming.
Drum 'n' bass has since lost that spastic jazz quality, but J Majik is still one of the most respected artists in the genre. His set Friday was somewhat minimal, pleasing the crowd and getting the lighters in the air often -- a strange trend that sort of makes sense considering the genre's growing resemblance to heavy metal.
Rumour has it that Lifeforce Fridays may continue at another club, so those looking for their D 'n' B and progressive house fix shouldn't have to wait too long.
lakeside soullakeside soul
Also Friday was Bump N' Hustle, Hot Stepper's funk and soul party down at Harbourfront Centre. Starting off on the Norigen stage with the Ghetto Opera, the party then moved into the Lakeside Terrace for DJs Paul E Lopes and Mike Tull, and the Brigantine Room for Hip Hop Unplugged.
The mainstage show featured an all-star band of local talent. By the last song, there were 16 people onstage for an extended version of The Ghetto that ended up a bit chaotic and over-the-top as a result.
Unlike in other years, the main area never really filled up. It wasn't until the subsidiary rooms opened up that the crowd started to grow. By midnight there were long lineups to get into both areas, and the dance floor in the Lakeside Terrace was packed and sweaty for the sounds of old-school funk and disco.