Most promoters take a break from organizing large events in the winter, so it's a good time to check out what local DJs have to offer. Low cover charges, intimate vibes and knowing you're helping to keep the Toronto scene alive should all be good incentives to look at what our own have to offer.
For the past few months, a new drum 'n' bass weekly has been gathering steam Saturday nights at the Hooch . Sex In The City concentrates on the soulful side of the genre and pledges to keep the MCing to a minimum. This combination seems to have attracted a greater proportion of young women than is usual for d 'n' b events, a nice antidote to the junglist thug mentality that's crept into the scene over the past few years.
A good-sized crowd came out last week - in fact it would've been hard to fit anyone else into the small club. DJ Illfingaz rocked the peak-time crowd with a nice mix of classics and new tracks, and as the flyer promised, the MCing was tasteful and unobtrusive.
It's refreshing to see the d 'n' b scene moving away from the heavy metal aggression that took it over in the late 90s. Not that there's anything wrong with some hard beats - it's just good to have choices.
Getting the Feel
Weekly nights are hard to maintain. People get bored coming to the same place every week and tire of hearing the same DJs. So when a night makes it through more than a couple of years, it's worth taking note. Feel Fridays has been rocking the Down One Lounge for three years now and just celebrated its anniversary last week. Showcasing underground hiphop, funk, soul and reggae, the evening also features weekly live guests, with MCs some nights and bands others. There's also an open-mike portion that allows up-and-comers to test out their material.
The club is a large basement pub, and the night attracts a young, racially mixed crowd. There's not much of a dance floor, but it's a decent place to lounge and check out undiscovered talent.
Resident DJs Mike C and Purple 13 make selections that are neither too obscure nor too obvious. If you're on the east side and you like some soul with your hiphop, they're well worth checking out.
The monthly Layers party last Friday at Tangerine was a good time, as usual, filling the club with partiers and keeping them on the dance floor. Musically, Layers focuses primarily on house but veers into the roots of dance music as well, touching on disco and funk along with other tangents. Until now, local talents have provided the sound, but Layers has an out-of-town guest coming in for their next event - NYC's Mr. V , a protege of Little Louie Vega, who'll be making his first Toronto appearance January 23 at Bauhaus .
If you're into some club classics along with your contemporary deep house, check out Layers' next jam.