In the past year, sounds of the 80s have been resurrected in the form of respectable references in dance music. Now the revival extends beyond the blips and bleeps of electro to include many other synth-driven forms of that decade.
Since the end of electroclash's relevance, other tangents are starting to be explored, in particular the intersections of industrial and dance music. Known as EBM (electronic body music) in Europe, the funkier side of goth is starting to regain respect.
And so for the first time in eight years, I found myself at the Velvet Underground for a goth retro night. This free Sunday event featuring DJ Lazarus attracted a large crowd, many of whom were dancing to a mix of new wave, industrial and alternative hits of the 80s along with new tracks inspired by that era.
Lazarus is one of the biggest local supporters of the goth/rave crossover and a prime mover behind the highly successful Darkrave events and the after-parties at the Zen Lounge. It's been replaced by a weekly Thursday-night event at Zen Lounge that goes on during regular club hours.
Ran into Hali and Gerald of the Poundhouse crew, both reliving their own introduction to electronic music through the darker European sounds. House fans might scratch their heads at this, but in the earliest days of house it was often played in the same sets as what we now consider alternative music.
colour him peroxide
Will Munro's monthly electro bash Peroxide is still going strong and 56 Kensington was completely rammed Saturday night, drenching everyone in sweat within a few seconds of entering. His sound seems to be veering from electroclash and now features oodles of obscure Italo-disco, creepy Belgian-style new beat, the requisite Kraftwerk anthems and some new music that takes these influences and runs with them, like the punky techno of Swayzak's I Dance Alone.
The crowd's artsy and fashionable for the most part, more DIY disco-punk than label whore. There's a strong queer presence, but it's very much a mixed night that attracts glamour girls and record-store nerds alike.
The gritty space is appropriate for the vibe, but it could really use better air circulation. The makeshift sound system broke down around 1 am but fortunately was quickly resuscitated.
This is usually a dead time of year in the club world but Fukhouse packed System Soundbar to the limit early on Friday. This was good news for Jacob Fairley. It meant he delivered his live set at midnight to a primed and ready crowd instead of being simply a warm-up. He's more familiar to minimal techno circles, but the party crowd ate him up. He even inspired a few cringe-worthy glow stick shows, much to his bemusement.