blocks blockbuster blocks blockbuster
If there were any doubts about Toronto's capacity to support an intelligent techno scene, the crowd at Building Blocks 4.5 last Saturday should have put them to rest.
A wide variety of partiers, from aging ravers to serious technophiles, with a good dash of up-for-it clubbers, came out to the back-alley space above Aria to support the well-loved Building Blocks crew.
As usual, the space was decorated subtly and inventively for the event -- the innovative use of a video projector as a main lighting source was particularly effective. Glad to see that the club has decided to hold onto the lovely Wabi-designed light boxes for the lounge area. Who would have guessed you could do so much with Christmas lights and particle board?
Jeremy P. Caulfield's debut live set went over well. Although it was less dynamic and varied than one of his DJ sets, the cohesiveness of his sound didn't lead to boredom, thanks to some skilful arrangements.
After Caulfield came DJ Zip of Germany's Perlon label, who with T.O.'s Dave Lee proved that techno doesn't have to be monotonous when it's minimal. Ranging from cute electro-pop-inspired techno to dark industrial-influenced thumping, Zip and Lee kept the dance floor guessing. Too many techno DJs pick one type of sound and stick to it, so it's refreshing to hear someone with a more open world view mixing it up a bit.
stuffy peroxide stuffy peroxide
Could the much-hyped electro revival be over already? The Peroxide monthly may only be a few parties old, but already curiosity seekers and spectators outnumbered the participants last Saturday at Club 56.
Hype can help introduce new sounds and concepts, but too much sets up expectations that can't be met without an established scene to back them up.
Perhaps the vibe problem had something to do with opening local DJs Solvent and Lowfish. They've both been pushing this music around town for a while, so they were natural choices, but neither DJ connected to the dance floor much. The crowd seemed split between scratching their chins and shaking their asses, but unlike the earlier party attendees, too few chose the latter.
While many Peroxide regulars were excited to hear Detroit headliners Ectomorph and Charles Manier, the hot, stuffy basement and the overly serious vibe scared off many before they took the decks.
sugar popssugar pops
A new club called Sugar opened up in the entertainment district a few months back, bringing the number of competing bars in the area to a ridiculous level.
Judging by last Friday's crowd, Sugar has managed to carve out a small space for itself amid the dozens of similar venues. Although it was far from packed, a reasonable number of people were out, considering the newness of the venue.
Tastefully decorated with red lanterns, white walls and green lasers, the club seems to have taken more care with the details than many of its competitors.
Last Friday's DJ was Alan Best, who spun a competent commercial house set that kept most bodies moving. The crowd consisted mainly of professionals in their late 20s, with a decent mix of races and an even split of men and women. Not exactly a pickup joint but not really a proper dance club, Sugar is a clean, up-market, mid-sized club that will appeal to those who are looking for something inoffensive to satisfy a diverse group of friends.