Nasa might be just a small dance pub, but when the music's right and the crowd's into it, it can feel like just as big a party as places four times its size. Take last Friday night, when the Poundhouse crew threw their monthly Ground Control deep house party, bringing in Bradford James from Boston.
Not many people were there earlier on to hear Gerald 's opening set, but just as James took over the decks, the bar started filling up and the dancing kicked in.
James played a spectrum of sounds associated with the deep house tag: melodic tech house, Afro-Latin-influenced tracks, vocal anthems and some jazzy soulful stuff. His set was well mixed and is worth checking out next time he visits Toronto.
Some of the earliest underground dance parties were thrown at art galleries. Because they're generally fairly raw spaces, it doesn't take much to pile some speakers in a corner and turn the room into a type of club. Generally, art parties are stand-and-talk-type events, but every once in a while the art and party scenes cross.
Spin Gallery has been the site of a few memorable parties over the past few years, even if most people know it as a place to see art. Last Saturday Spin threw the last party ever at its space on Bathurst, as it will soon be moving.
Spinout was the name of the event, and featured DJs Steve Yanko , Mike Sitchon , Baby Joel Smye and Marc Shu-Lutman playing varieties of house sounds.
The party drew a different crowd than you'd see in a normal club. There was a much wider mix of gays and straights, art people and party people, the glamorous and the humble.
Earlier on in the evening, the revellers were more art-oriented, but after 1 am they began to tire and the late-night party crowd started pouring in. Not as sketchy and shady as a booze can, but not as lame and tame as a typical club.
Move in right the direction
The monthly Movement party at Roxy Blu last Friday drew out a good-sized crowd, signalling that the decision to keep it local after years of international guests was the right one. It has more of a casual, family feel now, and the mix of funk, Brazilian, soul, dance-floor jazz and disco is as good as it ever was when they brought in the big names.
By last call, Jason Palma was getting on the mike to introduce every song and get the crowd hyped - a new and welcome development. What he's doing isn't really related to hiphop MCing but is instead drawn more from radio announcers and the kind of thing Keb Darge does when he DJs.