Put up your Dukes
Local duo the Dukes came on strong when they first appeared on the scene a couple of years ago but disappeared for a little while after KF moved to Ottawa. He's since moved back, so he and @m are once again rocking their eclectic techno-house-breaks around town. I caught up with them on Sunday night at Nasa for a post-Harvest Festival party called Freebass . Considering they hadn't slept yet, they were in fine form, showing off photos of themselves in full KISS makeup from the night before.
Although the night was supposed to be centred on breaks, the Dukes took the opportunity to play some slice-and-dice techno and even some deep vocal house. The crowd came late (especially for a Sunday night), but they enjoyed themselves once they got there.
Trent connects to T.O.
Checked out New York's Ron Trent at Roxy Blu Friday and found the main room packed, sweaty and ready to get down. Trent started out mellow, playing a lot of neo-soul-influenced deep house, but before long he had the crowd screaming for every mix and singing along to the classics.
He's becoming less and less concerned with the actual mixing of tracks these days, often just doing a quick fade between songs. Instead, his energy is more focussed on EQ tweaking and playing with the effects.
Realistically, though, as long as the mix is tight, no one except for the DJs would notice that it only lasted two bars, especially if the songs are good.
Trent has been playing several times a year in Toronto for years now, and has built up a relationship with the local crowd. As a result, he can get away with playing very few big current anthems and moves freely between eras and styles without losing the dance floor.
Get into the J-Groove
Local DJ/producer J-Groove 's international career has apparently taken off, with remixes for Justin Timberlake and singles out on Subliminal and Deep Vision, but you wouldn't guess that wandering into Courvoisie on a Friday night. It's got to be weird playing big gigs overseas and then coming home to a low-key residency in a tiny lounge.
Courvoisie may be a small place, but J-Groove plays like it's a big room with a peak-time crowd. Expect big, chunky house that's a bit tribal and a bit progressive. His mixing is pretty tight, but his exaggerated movements behind the decks look absurd in the mellow environment. He could probably do quite well in a larger club. The crowd at System Soundbar would love him.
He doesn't usually take control of the turntables until midnight. Before that you might hear the Toronto House Crew warming up the place with hiphop and house. There's no cover, so there's not much risk involved for the curious.