Local percussion group iDRUM turn up regularly at parties to add live drumming to DJ sets. At last Saturday's celebration of their three-year anniversary at the El Mocambo they debuted iDRUM Eclipse, the full group playing with DJ Joe Rizla and producer Vince Ailey. By amplifying the percussion, they made the live drums more of the focus than the electronic beats, turning the tables on how live percussionists are usually presented at dance events. Even though this was their first attempt at the format, it was quite successful, partly because of Paul Knight's sax and vocal additions. Fans of that deep and dubby Afro-Latin sound Joe Claussell is known for will appreciate where these guys are going. Hopefully, iDRUM founder Davidson Elie plans on continuing with this concept.
rockin' the house
Ended up at Play Records' release party for Floorplay 3 late Saturday night, held in a studio on Fraser. Paul E Lopes rocked the crowd, proving once again why he's so respected on the scene. Patrick Parades also played a memorable set, as did Stephane Teknostep Vera, neither of whom play nearly enough locally. The party itself was great: inventive decorations, an up-for-it crowd who kept the dance floor full until sunrise and good solid house music all night.
The music at this party may have been mostly house-centric, but the Floorplay 3 compilation strays from the deep house sound the last two focused on, instead taking a look at broken beat and nu-jazz sounds. Great for listening to at home, but it was probably a good thing they didn't concentrate on that sound Saturday, since Toronto is still trying to figure out how to move to broken beat's asymmetrical, lopsided rhythms. Considering that Play Records haven't been very active since the summer, it's reassuring to see that they can still draw a good crowd.
Friday night's Jam The Box party at House of Props made two consecutive Sound Factory events that were hampered by bad weather (the last being the co-presentation of Pixelate's last party). Fortunately, the two Detroit guests braved the storm and made it into town -- unlike Jellybean Benitez, who failed to appear at Roxy Blu due to flight cancellations.
Considering the weather, a good-sized crowd came out to hear Paris the Black Fu of the Detroit Grand Pubahs. Unfortunately, Toronto wasn't really up for a booty contest, and the reserved response seemed to bewilder Paris, who said more than once that it felt like he was the only one having a party.
After his set, the warehouse cleared out pretty quickly, as many assumed that Mike Huckaby wouldn't show up. Those of us who did stay were treated to a smoking set by one of Detroit's most underrated DJs. By that time the main room had been shut down, so the backroom was packed with die-hards eager for music. Huckaby's set was more deep house than techno, which surprised some but disappointed no one.