Once a month at Andy Poolhall , the Version Xcursion 's Sassa'le and Aram Scaram throw a party called Dub And Beyond , which, as you might expect, focuses on the sounds of dub and dub-influenced music. This month's happened May 7.
They're also joined each month by vocalist Tre-Son , who drops his silky voice over the tracks and generally hypes up the crowd. Musically, the vibe ranges from vintage dub reggae to 80s dancehall to modern music with dub elements. The classics are effective at getting the dance floor moving, as nostalgia always is, but it's the "new dub" sounds that really set this night apart.
Dub has had a strong influence on the development of DJ culture; it was the first real example of remixing tunes and abusing the studio specifically to make a single more friendly for DJs. As such, elements of this sound have filtered into a wide variety of styles outside of the reggae canon, which allows a dub-focused night to be much more eclectic than you'd think at first.
99 Sudbury was the last real warehouse spot regularly hosting events in Toronto, and was very active for the last few years. Now that the scene is officially over, the guys who helped run the events have opened up an actual club, cramming the sound system from the warehouse into the much smaller spot recently known as Crybaby . Over the last few months, they've totally redesigned the space, and they officially opened this weekend as Footwork .
Stopped in for a bit late Saturday to check out the spot, and was thoroughly impressed with the venue. The sound was good, and the place looks great. Good crowd out for the Building Blocks party, dancing their asses off to Lee Osborne 's closing set. Osborne's come a long way over the past few years, and you can see him spinning at a wide range of parties, from tech-house to prog events.
It still remains to be seen if the crowd that made 99 Sudbury home will be able to adjust to going to a normal bar, but the early signs are promising. It's probably for the best that they got out of the after-hours business, since the police crackdown is apparently continuing. There was at least one raid over the weekend, following on the heels of a string of other busts.
Of course, none of this would be an issue if Ontario followed most of Europe's lead and gave up on last call, but that's unlikely to happen any time soon.
Sweet Honey Dijon
As might be expected, the tranny presence was major when self-proclaimed gender illusionist Honey Dijon was the special guest Saturday night at Boa-Redux . It's nice seeing her play in a more gay-friendly venue than she's often booked at, and judging from her performance, she enjoyed it as well. Over the past few years, her style has been evolving away from her funky Chicago roots into more of a NYC tribal sound, which fits the vibe of Boa's Saturday nights.
Her take on tribal is still very distinct from what we usually hear, involving lots of snippets of house classics underneath the menacing big-room thump. Let's hope they pick her up for a residency - it seems like a much better room for her than the gigs she's been doing at Film Lounge .