Long-running rare groove and Latin jazz party Movement has moved from Roxy Blu to Supermarket , whose smaller size means that the monthly event's packed to capacity again, just like the good old days. Last Friday, the special guest was local broken beat producer Moonstarr , who dug deep in his crates for his favourite old obscurities, dropping disco, funk, Latin and a smattering of newer tracks that fit into the vibe.
Good thing they decided to have a guest this month. Resident DJs Aki and John Kong were both off for various reasons, leaving DJ Nav and Jason Palma to handle hosting, DJing and even working the door.
Supermarket is evolving into a nice little space, but the sound system could use some work. On much of the dance floor there's hardly any bass, which might please the neighbours but won't make the dancers very happy.
Yanko in the Rec Room
Steve Yanko 's made a name for himself in the local house scene as a DJ and producer, but over the past year or so he's also been working in that strange area between indie rock and dance music. The guys behind the monthly Rec Room parties at Clinton's must have caught wind of this; they booked him to play their anniversary party last Saturday.
In a completely rammed room, the overall vibe was drunk and friendly. Yanko played a lot of 80s new wave and electro-pop along with a smattering of hip 80s revisionist stuff like Chicken Lips and Munk. Seemed to go over well, and he was happy to be playing for a different crowd for a change.
The Rec Room resident DJs carried on the 80s vibe but threw more classic rock and pop into the mix. Good fun, but it's hard not to be struck by how similar the music mix at these types of events is to the not-so-hip retro nights that happen all over the city.
Late Friday night, stopped by Boa for a techno event that featured an all-local lineup. Adam Marshall , Kenny Glasgow and Mario J all have great reputations as top-notch Toronto DJs, but a high cover charge, cold winter weather and a local techno scene that's known for being a bit cheap meant that the gig wasn't nearly as well attended as it could have been.
All the DJs played strong sets, but the highlight was easily Mario J (back in town after living in Barcelona). Instead of playing records or CDs, he used a laptop to mix and tweak his selections. The software is usually used to arrange small elements and loops into full tracks for a live performance, but DJs are realizing that you can also put whole songs in there, and that's opening up new possibilities.
Instead of the banging techno he used to play at Industry, Mario now focuses more on that acid-disco-techno-rock-house sound, which went over quite well with the small group of partiers. The ongoing renovations at Boa are looking great, and word is they'll be moving the DJ booth to the middle of the room soon, something many patrons have been suggesting for some time.
Sweat at Betty's
While waiting for a bus Saturday night between destinations, we stopped by a new little bar at Queen and Ossington called Sweaty Betty's . Due to the small space and the large number of people hanging out, it lived up to the perspiration part of its name quite well.
The music comes from the eclectic jukebox, but some sporadic DJ nights in the near future might be worth checking out, including a metal night with Miss Barbrafisch .