The last time indie rock and dance music crossed paths we got the post-rock movement, which produced some genuinely interesting music but also inflicted a lot of horribly self-indulgent noise. Over the past few years, though, another crossover has happened, one that's aimed at the dance floor and is more influenced by house than by IDM.
New York-based DJ Dominique Keegan has helped provide that meeting ground through his Plant Bar (once the home to the Rapture's weekly party) and record label, and was the special guest at the Fascination party last Friday at Tangerine .
Much of the crowd arrived late, just as Keegan started playing, but they quickly found their spots on the dance floor. His set was a mixture of new synth-disco-influenced house like Metro Area and Chicken Lips, vintage Italo-disco and electro funk as well as more guitar-based stuff like the Jam and the odd post-punk disco track. He's a pretty decent mixer, unlike most of the people playing this music locally, but he didn't drop much that I didn't recognize.
Considering that liquor laws in New York ban dancing at Plant Bar, he played a very dance-floor-friendly mix. This more open-ended approach to DJing might be the ticket to inject some new energy into dance music, and it's definitely a phenomenon worth investigating if you're bored at genre-specific parties.
Saturday night, Mono brought Italian hard techno DJs Marco Carola and Danilo Vigorito to Surface (the basement of Roxy Blu ). Surprisingly, only the back room was full, but the energy in there was good, so you didn't really notice. Both DJs were using the Final Scratch interface, which must be infuriating the trainspotters who're trying to figure out what tracks they're playing. The promoters brought in extra sound, which is necessary for this kind of techno. Vigorito played a bit quirkier and more minimal than Carola, who favours a tighter, more aggressive sound.
Maybe the techno crowd is getting tired earlier as they age, but the energy in the room seemed higher for Vigorito than for Carola.
Mono will be doing another techno event at the normally deep and jazzy Surface November 14, with Germany's Chris Liebing .
The CD launch party for the Required Listening compilation from John Kong 's new label, Do Right , drew a sold-out crowd to the Rivoli Saturday. It was a good cross-genre showcase of Toronto talent, but fitting so many people onto one bill meant that most performers were only able to play one song, and the DJ sets in between were very brief as well.
Still, it exposed the audience to a wider range of music than you'd normally see in one evening and must have opened more than a few ears. firstname.lastname@example.org