Went out Friday to Element to check out Communicate Friday's special guest, DJ Onionz from New York City. As I arrived, residents Stretch and Hooker were warming up the upstairs with their trademark dirty funky acid house styles, stirring up the dance floor as the club started to fill up.
Downstairs, resident DJ Tim Patrick was throwing down chunky funky house, but it took a while for the basement to fill up, so a good portion of his set was wasted on a near-empty room. Patrick has been quietly releasing some of his own productions lately, honing his minimal, dubby, filtered funky house sound; he's an up-and-coming local talent to watch out for.
By the time Onionz stepped up to the decks, the basement was full and the crowd ready to get down. His style wasn't a huge departure from Patrick's, but by now the crowd was sufficiently lubricated to properly appreciate it. After a while, the loop-oriented structure of most of his selections got a bit mind-numbing. Let it be said, though, that the dancers didn't seem to mind at all.
Friday was also the Poundhouse crew's monthly Ground Control party at NASA, which tends to focus on the deeper side of house. Residents Rod G and Gerald were at the controls; fellow Poundhouser Hali is on tour in Germany.
In related news, Poundhouse's long-running Friday night at Liquids Lounge is now over, due to a change in ownership that's led to the bumping of all previous weekly events (including my own). Hope the weekly finds a new home. The seven Poundhouse DJs cover everything from deep tech-house to soulful vocals and Afro-Latin house, and the vibe is always warm and comfortable.
Check out their Web site at www.poundhouse.ca for live webcasts, DJ profiles and listings of special events and residencies.
traxx cut short
Rub 'N' Tug, the weekly Sunday-night electro party at Lava Lounge, featured a live performance by five-piece improvised electro band Keyop. Miles away from electroclash, Keyop fuse post-punk aggression with ambient textures and harsh techno synth jabs.
The first few jams were a bit loose, mainly due to the difficulty of integrating drum machines and a live drummer. They eventually settled into a tighter groove, though, and were quite a refreshing experience.
Following Keyop was special surprise guest DJ Traxx from Chicago, who was still in town from his gig the night before at the annual Beast Halloween party at Zen Lounge.
While he's better known as a house DJ, he's also notorious for mixing new wave, industrial and techno into his sets. Unfortunately, just as he was starting to really get into it, a medical emergency in the audience brought his set to an early end. I don't know what happened, but I was impressed by the bar staff's speedy reaction and the very quick arrival of paramedics.