My heavy-metal-loving photographer freaked out when we walked into Speakeasy Saturday night and heard house music thumping away. He'd spent many nights there when it was Rockit, getting pummelled by screaming death metal guitars. Though the space hasn't changed much, the vibe is obviously different, even if the neighbours still call the cops about the noise. The opening night of the weekly Hot In The City party a few weeks ago went well, but maintaining that momentum has proved difficult. On Saturday, veteran Toronto house DJ Nick Holder was laying down some tunes for a handful of bodies. The late-night crowd had started to trickle in by the time resident Corey Dawkins stepped up to the decks, and he managed to get most of them dancing.
Unfortunately, after about an hour it became evident that it wasn't going to get much busier, so the majority left for a booze can and some after-hours drinking.
KF unfair to Fairley
Friday night at Mod Club Theatre , AD/D welcomed Toronto expat Jake Fairley back from Germany for a live techno performance at their monthly Midnight Madness party. Fairley's overseas success has tweaked interest here, and the place was pretty busy by the time he came onstage. For this show, he toned down his rock tendencies and bumped up his mellow side a notch for a driving, fist-pumping take on minimal techno.
The crowd was obviously into it, as was KF of the Dukes , who for some reason decided to climb onstage long before he was supposed to start DJing and stand behind the decks dancing around while Fairley twisted knobs directly in front of him.
For those in the audience, it was unclear who was actually performing. KF wore his headphones and acted as if he were the one playing the tunes. Frankly, as entertaining as the Dukes can be, it was disrespectful to pull that kind of thing while someone is performing, a sentiment Fairley later echoed.
Strauss still needs work
Robert Strauss had been making waves lately with his electro-soul productions, and Thursday night at the Social he was Andrew Allsgood 's special guest, celebrating the release of his newest CD, Quasars And Phasars . The club was quite busy for a Thursday night, and Strauss DJed a strange mix of disco, house and electro-influenced tracks from a laptop. Last time we caught him doing the digital DJ thing, something wasn't working properly and many of the transitions were off. While he's improved since then, he still doesn't sound very tight or smooth.
This is a bit odd, since the software is designed to make mixing tracks simpler, not harder, than playing vinyl.
Despite the sloppiness, the dance floor kept moving, a testament to the songs he played, even if they were mixed badly.