New Year's Eve
I started this year's New Year's Eve celebrations among friends at a small private get-together, which seems to have been a common choice. The clubs weren't crazy till way later.
We waited till after the countdown to make our way up to Beba , where the usual Friday-night crew of Dino & Terry , Dan V and THC the percussionist were throwing down some deep and funky house music. The small bar was rammed, and the vibe definitely rowdy - a patron was being ejected fairly strenuously as we entered.
Stopped by the Mercer Union party at 99 Sudbury, which was also ridiculously full and where we were also greeted by the sight of some guy getting kicked out.
All the DJs for this event seemed to have been picked for their eclecticism, so lets just say an extremely wide range of music was being served up.
Feeling a bit claustrophobic in the packed warehouse, we moved on to a loft party in the east end where Andy Roberts , Gene King , Adam Khan , Darryl Campbell and Derek Codlin were all spinning.
This party, while busy, was the first one that wasn't uncomfortably full, so we stayed for a few hours to dance to some nice house music.
I'd never heard Codlin play before - nice blend of familiar, nostalgic tunes with some deeper obscurities.
The sun was starting to tint the horizon, but as the cab approached Dundas and Spadina the idea of checking out the marathon 36-hour party at Boa started to seem like a good idea.
Got in the doors around 5:30 am to be greeted by a wall of steam and heat rising from hundreds of sweaty bodies as DJ Demi wrapped up his set and made way for David Morales.
This was easily the most packed I've seen the club, and considering the late hour, the crowd seemed more in control than most people at the bars earlier on in the evening. Instead of slowing down, it seemed like more people were arriving as Morales found his groove. Thankfully, the club stopped letting in anyone without an advance ticket at that point. Otherwise, things could have gone from intense to uncomfortable pretty easily.
New Year's Day
Black Market Records had originally booked German minimal techno funk star Steve Bug to play at Project , but that bar unexpectedly closed its doors just before Christmas, so in a last-minute scramble to find a venue, they ended up moving it to 99 Sudbury , a film production warehouse that's sporadically used for parties in the off hours. Sometimes it can feel like a club, but once you look closer and see how temporary and improvised all the amenities are, you realize that loud dance music isn't really the room's primary purpose. Bug was DJing from a laptop again, using the Final Scratch turntable interface, which some in the room felt had a negative effect on the sound quality. That's debatable, but pretty much everyone seemed in agreement that it wasn't the best set he's played in Toronto. He took a little too long to build up steam and lacked some of that quirky-jerky electric funk that made his previous local appearances so memorable.
To be fair, it was still a very effective and satisfying tech-house set, but he's set the bar so high in the past that he has a lot to live up to.
Wasn't really feeling Caspian Rabone 's closing set after Bug, and decided to take advantage of the in-and-out privilege conferred by the wristband from Boa's marathon event. Expected a bunch of very tired (or very wired) partiers at the end of this two-day club event, but things were surprisingly civilized. Somehow, they managed to get the club looking cleaner at 6 am Sunday than it did on Saturday morning without actually closing the venue.