The breaks scene in Toronto is made up of a close-knit, dedicated bunch, and local promoters Womp have been at the centre of it for the past three years.
Friday night on the top floor of the El Mocambo , they celebrated their three-year anniversary with special guests NuBreed and Superstyle Deluxe , drawing a good-sized crowd of post-ravers eager to bounce around to some big breakbeats.
Superstyle Deluxe threw down a crowd-pleasing set with lots of scratching, but was hampered by skipping turntables. The technical problems bother the hyped crowd, who weren't going to let a missed beat get in the way of a good time.
Australian progressive breaks crew NuBreed played a live electronic set instead of DJing. This was no introverted laptop techno affair - these guys are in-your-face and energetic live performers. The vibe was contagious, and they had the crowd in the palms of their hands.
Congratulations to Womp for making it three years, and for building a tight fan base for this oft overlooked genre.
Morales in so-so form
Late Saturday night, we showed up at Boa-Redux to check out NYC house music legend David Morales in time to hear resident Sean Miller throwing down for the packed house, warming them up for the main event. Miller has grown amazingly over the past year, going from a virtual nobody to his current status as much-loved resident of one of the hottest clubs in town.
A huge crowd was out this week, but surprisingly the space didn't feel uncomfortably packed, even at the peak. By the time Morales stepped up to the booth, the dance floor was as humid as a rain forest and the dancers were primed and ready.
Morales played a good set of big-room house over the rest of the night, but in some ways it was a bit of a letdown. It's not that he made mistakes or played badly - it's just that you tend to expect more from a DJ as well respected as Morales. Still, an off night for him is better than the best night of an average DJ, and he didn't wrap up until 10 am.
He's coming back to Boa for their New Year's Eve extravaganza, so hopefully he'll be able to live up to the myth next time.
Local house scenester Andy Roberts is best known for the now defunct Sunday-night weekly that he used to do at the Living Room (also no longer around). Hard And Soul had a long run, and was one of the most consistent Sunday-night parties of its time. This summer he started up a new Sunday party, Mixed Signals , at Fez Batik . Recently, though, he decided to move it to Hush/Underbar , which funnily enough is run by the people who were behind the Living Room. The official opening is still a couple of weeks away, but it's been unofficially open for a few weeks.
Checked it out this week, but Roberts called in sick, so his partner in crime Ollie Mac was in charge of the tunes. Mac plays house much like his new partner Roberts - soulful and deep but upbeat and full of anthems.
Considering it was a Sunday and that the night hasn't been properly promoted yet, there was a decent crowd out and the dance floor was pretty active.
Look out for NYC's DJ Dove appearing there on November 28, the official launch night.