Spent a while wandering through the alleys around Spadina and Richmond before finally figuring out that new club Klinik is really the basement of Turbo, recently renovated with a coat of white paint and a medical theme.
Other than the paint job, not much is different about the space except that there's a bit more lounge room around the edges.
It's disappointing that the owners haven't done anything about the sound, which was many partiers' main complaint about the venue. There's enough power on hand and more than enough speaker stacks. For once, the problem is the opposite -- too much sound.
The echoes in the underground concrete bunker create pockets of unpleasantly loud, resonant bass in many spots, as well as ear-piercing, distorted high end in other areas. If you wander around enough, you can find zones where the sound levels aren't too painful, but then the music is overpowered by the rattling ventilation system. They should really consider handing out ear plugs at the door, or hiring a knowledgeable sound expert to fix some of the problems.
The new Saturday-night residents are the Analog crew, known for their Boogie Box events, who spin a mix of current deep house interspersed with classic anthems. The crowd here is a bit more mainstream than the typical audience at one of Analog's own events, but they didn't have to adjust their style much to appeal to them.
Toward the end of the night, an unnamed DJ stepped up to the decks to spin a set of contemporary mainstream R&B and hiphop. Nothing terribly special about his set, but it was interesting to note that his selections, while pulled directly from the pop charts, weren't really any less challenging than the more underground sound the Analog boys focus on.
t.o. surprises owens
Talking with Chicago house icon Robert Owens before his set at Roxy Blu last Friday, I got the impression that he wasn't expecting a crowd as historically aware as the one Garage 416 tends to bring out.
"It's strange seeing all these people getting into some of the older stuff. Luckily, I brought a few jazzy songs, but I didn't think they would go over that well," Owens confided as he waited for his turn at the sound system.
Much like fellow innovator Marshall Jefferson, Owens has changed his approach to DJing over the past 10 years to fit the demands of the lucrative European market, and has ended up concentrating more on harder, minimal tracks as a result. It must have been quite a surprise to find a packed Toronto club hungry for soulful deep house instead of pounding club stompers.
While his set was a departure from the usual Garage 416 sound, he still managed to keep the dance floor full and played a fairly eclectic mixture of dance music.
It was the live performances of his own classics that most of the crowd were there for, though, and in that department he outdid himself. The crowd ate up his passionate singing over the instrumental versions of his most popular anthems.
there's the rub
More evidence of the electro invasion emerged this week with a visit to Rub And Tug Sundays at the Lava Lounge.
DJs Phink and Jive Talking Robot are the selectors, and although the flyers promise electroclash and disco punk, most of the soundtrack last Sunday was closer to deep techno with a dash of new wave influence.
It's strange how many electro-themed nights have emerged over the past year, considering how much of a niche genre it still is. Last week not much of a crowd came out in support, but this week (Sunday, August 18) will probably be better, as funk-punk band the Centimeters, billed as the weirdest band in L.A., will be performing.