boogie nightboogie night
The Inside the Boogie Box party last Saturday at the Mockingbird featured local DJ Paul E. Lopes as headliner, who spun a top-notch deep house set. Lopes has been playing in Toronto clubs for years, and many up-and-coming locals cite him as a formative influence. He's one of the only DJs who is respected in a variety of scenes and who's not known for a particular genre, just "good music for good people," as he describes his sound. These days he's known more as a rare groove and funk DJ -- this gig was an opportunity to showcase his house side.
Unlike many DJs who specialize in this genre, Lopes takes a more eclectic approach and avoids the obvious anthems. His set was a good mixture of classics, oddities and the cream of new releases. His mixing was clean and well thought out; he pulled off long overlays when appropriate and cut quickly when necessary. Lopes truly enjoys himself behind the decks, singing along and dancing to his selections.
The Mockingbird was done up nicely with extra sound and multiple projections. The main room was pretty dark, which works well for this kind of party, focusing the dancers' attention on the music. Although it reached capacity fairly early, it was never uncomfortable, and there was plenty of room to move -- nice to see a bar actually paying attention to its legal capacity.
techno testtechno test
Germany's T. Raumschmiere made a return live appearance Saturday at Alto Basso for the Technomeet: Process Cyan event. Playing alongside him were Jeremy P. Caulfield and Fairmont (aka Jacob Fairley), both of Dumb-Unit Recordings. T. Raumschmiere delivered the quirky, dubby techno the packed little bar craved -- plenty of clicks, squelching synths and spastic edits. Early in his set he performed a live remix of a Fairley track from the first Dumb-Unit 12-inch, grabbing samples of a few of the more memorable pulses and reconstructing them into a chopped-up tech-house stomper.
At first it seemed strange to hold a techno party in a venue like this -- there were definitely a few regulars who were dismayed at the absence of the usual deep house soundtrack. For this kind of artsy dance music, though, the loungy space worked fine, with just enough room for those who wanted to dance and ample seating for those who preferred to listen. Kudos to the promoters for turning off the big-screen TV -- nothing is more distracting than the constant flicker of cable in the corner of your eye.
big maki attackbig maki attack
Every Sunday, Lava Lounge hosts Fat Maki, a mellow, jazz-funk-oriented night featuring DJs Shingo, Duane and KT. Last Sunday it was just Shingo and Duane taking turns every few records. The mix of music is pretty eclectic -- house, Brazilian, funk, jazz, soul, Afrobeat and spacey oddities all get their turn. The vibe is definitely casual, and winding down from the weekend seems to be the main concern for most in attendance. If you're still hungry for music by Sunday night and can't stand hearing any more big hits, this might be the spot for you.