Soundbar dry but high
System Soundbar had a very successful spring this year - unfortunately. The attendance at the club was so good that it was recently slapped with a liquor licence suspension for overcrowding. From July 2 to 15 the bar can't serve alcohol.
That hasn't stopped System Soundbar from staying open. Last Saturday the club put together a customer appreciation party called Prohibition and brought in Chicago house DJ Mark Grant .
The event had no cover charge before 2 am, so it attracted a crowd despite the lack of booze. The back room and the side lounge were closed off, and there was no DJ in the front lounge, but the main-room dance floor was full of people eager to sweat.
Generally, guest DJs at System Soundbar play a bit harder than they would in smaller venues, but Grant didn't seem concerned about that, dropping the same deep sexy house sound he always does. Surprisingly, considering the sound the club is known for, the crowd didn't miss a beat adjusting to the huge difference between Evil P 's pounding opening set and Grant's subtle and mellow sound.
There's one more Prohibition event planned for next week, and then it's back to being a normal bar. Maybe System Soundbar will be more active in enforcing capacity after this. The club's a lot more enjoyable when there's room to dance and move.
Basement party growing
Dino & Terry have been holding down a low-key Friday-night residency at Alto Basso for a while now, and it's slowly grown into a consistent little party in the basement. True, most of the partiers don't arrive until well after midnight. But when they do show up, they're down for some serious dancing.
You get a lot of old-school heads singing along and clapping, and a smattering of College strip glamour girls. The sound system in the basement has been upgraded and souped up since the club opened and now has the power to pound the dance floor hard.
Musically, the night is rooted in deep vocal house, but Dino & Terry also play a lot of their favourite classic disco anthems, as well as some jacking Chicago house classics. It's a nice mix between brand new unreleased tracks that are sure to be big soon and songs you almost forgot. There's great energy on the floor, since most of the crowd know the music well and are just as receptive to the new as to the old.
Worth checking out, but don't be discouraged if the basement is empty earlier on. It's worth the wait for the party to get started.
Anti-social Dundas Square
Checked out the tail end of the Style In Progress hiphop culture festival late Saturday afternoon at Dundas Square . A decent number came out to see live graffiti, breakdancing and hiphop performances. Unfortunately, the sterile square seems to have an effect on how people interact. A lot of people were standing around trying not to stare at others.
Caught a performance by jazz funk hiphop band the Quartertones , who played well but weren't too successful at holding people's attention.