cool hand luke
Because he's known to many house heads for his frequent collaborations and association with Chicago's Derrick Carter, it was assumed that UK-based funky house DJ Luke Solomon would focus on jackin' Chicago-style bump 'n' funk house at Red Square's Nation gig Saturday.
Surprisingly, he chose to go off on his own tangents, dropping some soulful vocals and lots of tripped-out weirdness, and avoiding the more obvious anthems. The crowd of dancers were definitely getting off on his selections. Smooth mixing (although not overly showy) and an abundance of underplayed cuts made it a set to remember.
Resident DJ Kenny Glasgow has really started to settle into his still-developing electro-house sound. He's made more than a few tracks into anthems associated with this night. Currently, he occupies a peculiar middle ground that connects the techno and house scenes with both the purist electro crowd and the emerging electro-clash sound. If he gets down to work producing some more of his own material, he might be able to give Felix Da Housecat a run for his money.
The first snowstorm of the season kept the club district quieter than usual, but the crowd that braved the weather to come to Nation didn't let it affect their partying and the dance floor was full and active.
Nation has certainly benefited from its move from the now-defunct Life to the smaller and more luxurious Red Square. The crowd is less sketchy and the atmosphere friendlier and more relaxed. Definitely a spot to hit for a Saturday-night house music fix.
Decided to wander through the College Street strip and keep an ear out for something different on Friday. Stumbled on a nice low-key reggae and soul night at Sutra, a slickly designed narrow little bar. Resident DJ Night Cook was joined by Anousheh, who's known for her love of vintage soul and reggae. Adding a twist to the dusty vinyl-style spinning was the effects unit that Night Cook brings out each week. They use it to launch cascades of dub-style echoes to segue between tracks.
That extra touch was a great way to tackle the problem of mixing un-mixable records. It's a technique more roots-oriented DJs should consider.
sines of the times
Ended up at Habitat Thursday night for Christian Newhook and Tee Loo's Kitchen's weekly throwdown. The music was a pleasantly varied mixture of deep house, disco, Chicago-style thumpers and even a bit of Detroit house weirdness.
It was a fairly low-key lounge night, but the mellow vibe got broken up a bit by Todd Sines's boisterous cheering of every mix. Now that the formerly Ohio-based techno producer has settled into his new Toronto home, it's increasingly common to see him out at parties pretending to be a drunken fool while in reality he's only sipping water. Somebody should start paying him to show up at gigs as the designated cheerleader. His behaviour is a big improvement over the usual cross-your-arms-and-stroke-your-chin pose Toronto scenesters are known for.