DJ Sneak 's birthday party is always one of the biggest house music events of the year, and this year had a crazy lineup of all-star talent. Got to the Docks late Saturday night and walked into the side room where the Cosmic Twins ( François K and Derrick May ) were throwing down some deep and funky techno. May's one of the founding fathers of techno, while François K has a DJ history that stretches back to the early days of disco. They pounded out some nice grooves, but the room wasn't really that full.
Considering the hype around the Docks' new Dynacord system (the same company that made Boa-Redux the best-sounding dance club in Toronto), the sound wasn't that spectacular. Stepping into the main room, you were greeted by a huge wave of bass. The sound is definitely loud, but the huge warehouse space causes acoustic problems.
Mark Farina 's set in the main room was the best of the night, funky but still weird and interesting. He was the only one who was able to handle the excess power of the sound system consistently, and during his set it sounded crisp, clean and heavy as fuck.
The birthday boy stepped up to the decks and kept the momentum going. While Farina may have eclipsed him slightly, Sneak still delivered a fine house set with plenty of tracks that you don't hear anyone else playing.
Derrick Carter wasn't at his best. His first few mixes were clumsy, and he had the levels up so high that it all came across like distorted mush. Aside from some great moments of sonic insanity, he's done much better in the past.
Attendance could have been a bit better - the Cosmic Twins should've had a full room - but this is a huge venue, and the massive main room was packed most of the night.
Some funky tunes were dropped in the small lounge, but with so much talent in the other two rooms it was hard to stay there for more than a few songs at a time.
The Mod Club Theatre celebrated its first anniversary Friday night, hiring go-go dancers, acrobats, a fire juggler and more to entertain the crowd. Musically, it was mainly Britpop and some mod classics, not the usual dance music mix, but it worked for the club's crowd. Whether you're into the Mod Club vibe or not, you can't deny that the owners have put together a pretty good club, with great sightlines for live acts, top-notch sound, multiple video projectors, medics on staff and a licensed patio out front for the smokers. The crowd is mixed age-wise and generally pretty well dressed.
Happy anniversary, Mod Club. You've done good.
Backtracks moves forward
Checked out Backtracks at Beba Friday night, featuring Dino & Terry alongside Dan V . The night used to be held down the street at Alto Basso and, surprisingly, seems to be doing better at the new location despite a smaller room with a crappier sound system. It's a good, consistent night, fun for anyone into deep house.