Went out to the Love Unlimited party Saturday at the Mockingbird for an evening of sweaty disco and club classics. The all-local lineup of Steve Yanko, Dee Jay Nav, Jason Palma and Paul E. Lopes drew a decent-sized crowd, many of whom eagerly sang along to all the anthems.
The hot topic lately for house DJs is whether or not Toronto is ready for a disco revival. More locals have been slipping the occasional disco classic into their house sets, and according to Cosmos Records owner Aki, many have been investing significant sums to complete their collections of early club music.
On the one hand, the music is definitely accessible, and the Love Unlimited events have all been very successful. On the other, Toronto's revivalist tendencies have sometimes made it hard for emerging new sounds to gain an audience.
The Mockingbird, stripped-down and raw enough to give off a timeless vibe, is a good venue for these events. And since it's generally used more as a pool hall, rental events like this one can establish their own mood without accommodating an existing image.
Too bad about the badly skipping turntables, thanks to the bouncy hardwood floor. Organizers should consider using the existing elevated DJ booth instead of taking the DIY approach.
paris is burning
Milk and Goldclub teamed up last Friday to bring Dimitri From Paris to This Is London for an extravagant evening of deep disco-influenced house.
The club, normally open only on Saturdays, is usually oriented toward a more mainstream audience and music. Hopefully, this party's success will convince the owners to use Friday nights for more deep house events. It's one of the nicest venues in the city, with great sound -- crisp and clean, but not too loud no matter where you are.
The layout, though initially confusing, provides excellent people-watching opportunities from the overhanging balcony and just enough space for this kind of event.
As usual, the Goldclub decorations verged on kitsch, but in this case they suited Dimitri's playboy image. The Goldclub angels threw a snowstorm of feathers down on the dance floor as Dimitri stepped up to the decks -- a nice touch.
But the security staff were tense and unsure if the regular dress code would be enforced for the special event. Patrons who came earlier wearing sneakers were told to go home and change, while those who got there later seemed to have no problem getting in dressed casually. I was told to check my hat but not my coat, which seemed arbitrary to me.
The Milk crew warmed up the room well, spinning funky deep house, a touch of disco and some quirky 80s-influenced house. It was fairly late into the evening when Dimitri took over the sound system, but he immediately got to work tweaking the hell out of the effects unit to mangle and rework his trademark classic disco and contemporary deep house sound. This time around he offered more Afro-house than during previous appearances and played less vintage disco than on his last Playboy Mansion mix CD.
Went out early Sunday night to IT Nightclub to join in the festivities marking Marc Oliver and Matt C's birthdays.
IT Nightclub's Sunday-night event, It's A Boy's Life, has been one of the most popular gay nights of the past year, but it also attracts a smattering of straight folk on a weekly basis. Word is that Oliver was particularly excited to be playing for a gay audience again, as he hasn't had the opportunity to revisit his roots for some time.
The special guest for the evening was New York-based Honey Dijon, who despite her gender-illusionist style doesn't get to play for gay audiences in Toronto very often either.
Good party, and it filled up fairly early, unlike many house music events.