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Toronto's favourite Montreal house DJ, Jojo Flores, played an intimate set last Friday at Lincoln as part of the Leisure monthly. The small lounge easily reached capacity while resident Steve Yanko was still warming the crowd up. He's a capable and versatile DJ who, with Mike Sitchon, the closer for the night, plays regularly in Toronto these days. If you like your house funky and chunky but also a bit deep, check them out. Flores sounds different every time he plays Toronto -- judging from the large selection of mix CDs featuring his name, he prides himself on being multi-faceted, a quality too rare among DJs.
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NYC producer and DJ Nickodemus's debut Toronto appearance two weeks ago at Glide was such a success that he decided to come back after his Montreal and Ottawa dates to guest at Izzy Boutique last Saturday.
Nickodemus's sound doesn't easily fit into any one genre, although the broken-beat and nu-jazz categories are probably the closest fits. He likes his big reggae bass lines and loose, jazzy breakbeats, but wasn't playing many vocals last week. Unfortunately, the layout of Fez Batik isn't conducive to dancing, and the regular Saturday night crowd isn't very responsive to begin with. Hope the next time he comes to town it'll be to a club that has a proper dance floor so that people can make the most of his movement-inspiring loose, organic beats.
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Young anglophiles of Toronto congregated at B-Side last Friday for the two-year anniversary of the International Colouring Contest. It's the monthly party featuring an eclectic mixture of UK indie pop, strange Japanese pop, French lounge and bossa hiphop spun by residents Naoya Itagaki, Tadaaki Hozumi, Ansonn Bryant and Andreas Tompros.
Although the mix of music is fairly international, the night does have the feel of a Britpop party without the mod trappings -- Pulp's Common People had just filled the dance floor as we arrived. It's one of the more unique events in Toronto at the moment, the only place to hear arty techno played next to Stereolab.
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The Element recently moved its Thursday-night hiphop and soul session to Sunday to make room for the new weekly, Mission. Touch Sundays still feature DJs Hangman and Fase spinning underground hiphop and rare funk, but the switching of days has definitely cut into attendance.
The friendly bartenders took advantage of the nearly empty bar to buy a round of shooters for everyone. Since Fase has returned from touring with the Pocket Dwellers, he's been more obsessed than usual with funk, favouring the box of dusty 45s while letting Hangman cover more of the hiphop. The improved first-floor sound system is treating these rarities better than it used to; it actually comes close to being too loud at times.