Every long-weekend Sunday, System Soundbar revisits rave's glory days with an all-ages drum 'n' bass party. Last Sunday they brought in heavy hitters Fabio and High Contrast . Good-sized crowd out, especially considering that there was another all-ages drum 'n' bass party there Saturday ( Black Market 's presentation of Total Science ). High Contrast was playing when we got there, dropping lots of new tunes and a few anthems here and there. Good crowd response, but most seemed to be there for Fabio, who'd brought a crateful of dub plates of unreleased material. He previewed some slick and sexy new tunes, showcasing plenty of catchy rolling bass lines.
This heavy bass music sounds better on the club's new sound system, but it's still sorely lacking in clarity compared to the sound at newer venues like Boa-Redux and Tangier . The remodelling at the Docks will also include a new high-end system. You'd think a club that touts the word "sound" in its name would've invested more of its reno budget into its infamously painful sound.
The all-ages aspect of the party was handled weirdly: metal barriers sectioned off the back part of the club for those under 19 (by far the minority), while the rest of the venue was 19+. Considering the bad rap that all-ages drum 'n' bass parties get, the crowd was friendly, well behaved and generally not thuggy at all. It seems odd that many d 'n' b fans stay away from all-ages events. Those under 19 looked like they were having more fun.
Garage 416 threw their first event Friday at their new venue, Tangier . As headliners, they hosted the newly reunited team of Peter , Tyrone and Shams . The trio were heavy hitters in the early days of Toronto's underground house scene but were reduced to the duo of Peter & Tyrone years ago when Shams decided to start his own label, Jinxx Records. It took a little while for the club to fill up for the all-local lineup, but once the bulk of the partiers arrived some serious dance-floor action got going. Instead of playing an all-classics set to evoke memories of the "good old days," they wisely kept a balance between modern house and golden oldies.
Stopped by Habitat Thursday night for Kenny Glasgow 's new residency and found an extremely packed club. Glasgow is playing a fun open-format mix for this night - house, new wave, retro, etc - and brought along Andrew Allsgood last week as a special guest. Not much dancing going on, but some quality eclectic tunes and a busy patio.
Club 56 RIP
Word started spreading over the weekend that Club 56 has been evicted from its home in Kensington Market. Rumours had been floating around for a while, especially after the last licence suspension, but most hoped the grungy but lovable basement would survive. The owners had been talking about purchasing a new, larger venue in the Market, so the party may not have ended just yet. The past year has been an interesting time for Club 56. It provided a home for unique and eclectic parties that no sensible club owner would take a chance on but often became surprise hits. Where will Peroxide, Expensive Shit, SuperheavyREGGAE, Rhythm Box, Slut School and all the other weird little nights go now?