Friday night at Roxy Blu , Montreal-based Therapy Productions touched down for another deep house and soul party, this time featuring DJ Rich Medina from Philadelphia and NYC Afro-soul singer Siji alongside the usual Therapy crew. Arrived to see Medina rocking the packed club with his smooth, soulful mix of house and underground classics, seamlessly blending dusty disco anthems and contemporary club tracks. The vibe was good, and the dance floor reacted well to his selections. Though not a particularly edgy or adventurous set, it was nevertheless effective and all-around good fun.
Medina's a pretty down-to-earth guy. Later on, I had the chance to eavesdrop while he gave feedback to the Solutions crew on their demo tracks, doing his best to demystify the production process. Nice to hear a professional assert that more software isn't the answer. Too many get caught up in the technology and neglect the basics.
Siji stepped up on the makeshift stage to perform a short set of his more club-friendly tunes. He's a very engaging performer even when singing over backing tracks. Let's hope next time he's in town he'll bring a full band. You could tell he wanted to stretch out a bit and extend some of the songs.
Jojoflores wrapped up the evening with a strong set that kept the club full much later than usual. I don't agree with the girl who loudly proclaimed him the best DJ ever - he's not a DJ god but he is a very solid and dependable performer if you're into deep soulful house.
Goodbye, Una Mas
Una Mas threw its last party Saturday night, and it turned out to be the most successful event there in recent memory. A long lineup stretched outside while the bouncers refused to let anyone in who wasn't on the list, leading to much begging and pleading. Inside the rammed club, spirits were high for what could have been a solemn occasion.
It seemed like every DJ who'd ever played Una Mas was booked for the high-energy night of short sets. Each brought out the big tunes, so you'd get some classic funk, then some house, then some reggae, disco, hiphop and even 80s retro.
Una Mas was one of the last of the boutique clubs that sprang up a few years ago, when the underground scene had so many sub-scenes that mini-clubs with a narrow musical focus could thrive. Now, either you draw enough people for a big venue or you're stuck in a little pub.
This might be a good time for a struggling top-40 club to consider making a switch to a more specialized underground vibe. There's not much competition any more.
Friday night at Stones Place , monthly hiphop party Never Forgive Action touched down for another edition, featuring Dalia , Druncnes and Numeric on the decks. We got there a little early, but by midnight the place started to fill up. Dalia DJed for our entire visit, playing lots of classic hiphop and some current underground stuff.
The crowd here is part of the backpacker hiphop scene, and you probably won't hear much jiggy at this event. The vibe is low-key and casual, and pretty chill when we were there.