The monthly indie rock dance party Shit La Merde at Sneaky Dee's was hosted by two guest DJs, Soju and DJ Gay , for a change last Friday. Soju has an ongoing series of parties called Club Par Avion that happen in both T.O. and L.A., and according to his website he makes guest appearances all over the world. That's pretty impressive in this area of dance music, where international DJs are still the exception.
DJ Gay is a little more obscure but plays around town at various events within this scene. For this occasion, the two DJed together rather than doing separate sets. The music was pretty much what we've come to expect at similar indie rock events, although with fewer guilty pleasures and more of a focus on the dance-punk side of things (or death disco, as the kids are calling it these days).
For better or worse, what really makes or breaks parties like this isn't the DJ but the crowd and the vibe created by the promoters. In this case, Shit La Merde has become one of T.O.'s more consistent indie dance events, well worth checking out. All your scenester friends will be there.
Saturday night at Andy Poolhall , the Fascination crew threw down their take on electro-rock crossover, but since they're all from the traditional DJ scene, their focus is more on the electro and house aspects of that sound. Unlike the indie rock Shit La Merde, they put a much greater emphasis on actually mixing and beat-matching the tunes.
But like Soju and DJ Gay, Fascination residents Mike Tull , Andrew Allsgood , Eric and Cody take short turns at the decks, making it more of a free-for-all than the traditional approach of one DJ playing for a few hours.
The dance floor was pretty full during our visit, although the rest of the club was busy but not bursting at the seams, as it usually is for this event. The Tiefschwarz gig at Boa-Redux was on the same night, and Andrew Allsgood turned up there later on, along with many Fascination patrons.
Tiefschwarz win 'em over
Boa-Redux may have opened up early in order to serve some booze (thanks to a special events permit), but that didn't mean that Basti Schwarz of Tiefschwarz played any earlier than most headline acts. It must have been close to 4 am by the time he took control of the booth. By that point, I'd already heard numerous Tiefschwarz tracks both at Andy Poolhall and from Ben Murko , who warmed up the Boa main room. There'd been some bad-mouthing of Tiefschwarz's mixing skills, but Schwarz proved them wrong with a smooth, technically skilled set. He played a little more on the techy side of their sound, but that was probably for the best, since the really left-field tracks wouldn't be that effective at this kind of event and at this time of night.
The club is still going through changes and renovations. Some of the bars and couches aren't where they used to be, and the new, centrally located DJ booth is still evolving. Personally, I'm not convinced that moving the DJ booth out of the corner was that essential, but many felt otherwise and were frustrated that they couldn't read record labels or get close to the DJs with the old set-up.