Laptops taking over techno
Although Una Mas isn't really known for their kind of music, the Wabi crew made good use of the club last Friday. They modified the layout with hanging screens and projections. Looking around, you'd have thought this was what the room was designed for.
While the Wabi crowd aren't particularly rowdy, they do tend to get to the party late, so it wasn't until well after 1 am that the first of their two live guests stepped up to his laptop.
Kitchener-based Jay Hunsberger has been working with headliner Mike Shannon since the beginning of Shannon's Cynosure label, but not much is known about him. This may change soon, though. His live set was full of catchy funky techno riffs and got the crowd moving from the moment he started playing. His sound is more house-based than many minimal artists, but he also seems to be referencing the electro revival with bits of vocoder vocals and a certain techno-pop attitude.
Shannon, returning to Ontario from an extended stay in South America, followed Hunsberger. His sound is getting a bit more upbeat again, but not quite as overtly funky as Hunsberger's. He's become more confident and adept at working the laptop the same way as he'd work a DJ mixer, and he managed to keep the floor happy until the end of his set.
The past three years have seen the phenomenon of laptop performance finally finding its legs, as new software (Ableton Live in particular) and faster computers have finally made live electronic music easy to perform, and have given producers a great set of tools for improvising. It's hard not to wonder how much longer turntables and vinyl will continue to be central to techno, when computers and CD players offer so much more flexibility and convenience.
Boa-Redux has started filling up its Friday nights to complement its now-established all-night party every Saturday. Last Friday, we checked out Chemistry , a night focused on the harder side of house, as well as breaks, progressive and techno. So far all the bi-weekly Chemistry parties have featured local talent, but the upcoming events see them expanding into the international talent pool.
The Friday night crowd is more straight than Saturday's, but the club still has a mixed feel even when it's barely gay. This week Hatiras , a name most know from his huge hit Spaced Invaders, headlined in the main room.
Some might also remember him as one of the guys behind the Liquid Adrenaline parties, but those rave days are long past. He played a fun big- room set, pretty hard and funky, with a few rock remixes thrown in to keep the folks awake.
The place wasn't that busy compared to the established nights, but the layout of the room makes it feel like a party even when the space isn't rammed.
It's always interesting watching Boa virgins' eyes widen as they climb the stairs into the big room and get hit by the massive bass. One of the few places that lives up to the hype.
Leos roar at Hush
Friday nights at Hush/Underbar have gone through some more changes, and now have a new resident, Oliver Macintosh . Didn't get to hear any of him this week though, when special guest Luc Raymond came in from Montreal for a Leo party, along with Toronto's Andy Roberts .
It wasn't packed, but the majority of the people there were on the dancefloor, so it still felt like a good party. The vibe is a bit different than it has been over the past year, but it's still a decent spot to hear some chunky funky house music on a Friday night.