Tinkertoy funks up
Trying to find the Tinkertoy CD release party Saturday reminded me of the old rave days. The only sign of a party at the address was a note taped to the door telling us to go around the corner. But unlike the rave era, the actual venue turned out to be swank restaurant No Regrets (see Spotlight) that had been transformed into a dance club for the night, not a dirty warehouse space with porta-potties.
It wasn't that long ago that the distant sound of bass thumping in this area meant there was a booze can nearby, but nowadays most of the buildings in the Dufferin nabe are being turned into condos instead of artists' studios.
Montreal-based minimalist Naw was playing a live laptop set, churning out some stripped-down techno as the crowd trickled in. Not many danced during his set, maybe because it was a little too mature for the vibe, or maybe the crowd just hadn't hadn't had enough to drink.
Immediately after Naw, Tinkertoy stepped up to the pile of gear on the table and fired up the laptops. Where Naw is stoic and serious, Tinkertoy love melody and aren't opposed to layering lots of textures. On CD, the result sounds much closer to ambient chill-out music, but live and loud the latent funk suddenly emerged. Andrew Wedman jumped around like a madman, holding onto the mixing board for support, while his reserved partner, Paul Shrimpton , made small adjustments and kept the show running. By the end of their set, the dance floor was a sweaty mess - always a good thing.
An eclectic set of house and techno from Adam Marshall wrapped things up. Marshall even managed to drop some straight-up jazz toward the end of his set. Unfortunately, the crowd was there for Tinkertoy, and he had a hard time keeping the bodies moving. Most people made for the door.
Friday night at Gypsy Co-op , two very different parties went on: a roots reggae event upstairs in the Hooch with DJ Chocolate and the all-star Dream Team band, and the monthly Layers event downstairs featuring just about everything - deep house, disco, hiphop, reggae. Layers has had a good run at Tangerine, but after taking a month off and moving, it appears it's lost some momentum. Most of the scenesters still made it out, but Gypsy Co-op is big compared to Tangerine, so if lots of people are outside smoking and socializing the turnout can seem kind of sparse.
Upstairs, the much smaller Hooch was hot and steamy, and the Dream Team pumped out some sweet tunes. This is apparently becoming a weekly event, so if you dig the old-school reggae vibe you should check it out.
Chelsea buns shaking
Later on Friday , the sight of people dancing their asses off to disco through the windows of the Chelsea Room convinced us to check it out. Jason Ulrich was behind the decks playing a nice mix of disco classics and contemporary deep house at the bi-weekly event.
It's a cute, small lounge, with a nice patio for smoking and people-watching. There's not much space for dancing, but that doesn't seem to stop anyone.