There was a brief moment of confusion at the door at Supermarket Friday, where a pile of Indian music CDs were for sale. Was this the Layers party, or had we stumbled on a tabla concert?
Turns out the four-man DJ crew had cooked up something extra and invited musicians from the Raga Music School to perform alongside them as a surprise bonus. Kevin "Jazzy" J seemed happy with the results, even if he was a bit dismayed that the audience stopped dancing to watch the musicians do their thing.
Luckily, the four residents ( Russell Harris , Darren Matsunaga , Alvaro Gonzalez and "Jazzy" J) had no trouble getting asses shaking again, dropping their trademark mixture of house, funk, soul, hiphop, disco and even some broken beat. Their approach is similar to the open-format philosophy the indie kids love, except that their roots are in actual club music rather than rock and new wave.
A chat with the soundman cleared up a nagging question about Supermarket. Apparently, the puny bass isn't the result of an underpowered system, but is actually intentional. Seems the neighbours aren't nearly as fond of the booming low end as some of us.
It's an unfortunate situation. The space is great as a small club, but can't really live up to its potential without a bit of thump. Enclosing the back room would help isolate it, but that might separate the two spaces more than the owners want.
Phil 'er up
On the topic of newish clubs that have established themselves over the past year, Footwork has been doing quite well for itself over the winter, including last Saturday's edition of the monthly Robsoul's Wanted party.
This time Phil Weeks , the founder of the Robsoul label, was laying down his trademark French take on Chicago house. He's a little more hard, and a bit less funk-focused than his Windy City influences, but that seems to work fine with this crowd.
It wasn't till around 4 am that Jason Hodges took over from him, but the club was still busy. Staying open late probably doesn't bring in much extra cash for the bar, but it's a good sign that folks are having enough fun to stay until the early morning hours.
From the Beyond
Sassa'le and Aram Scaram call their monthly Saturday night at Andy Poolhall Dub & Beyond , which isn't inaccurate, though it might give you the mistaken idea that it's a strictly roots reggae affair. They do drop a certain number of classic dubs, but the event is more an opportunity to connect the dots between Jamaican studio wizards and the legions of producers they've influenced.
Their special guest this month, Medicine Muffin , clearly understands this and looked like he was having a great time mixing up reggae classics with hiphop- and drum-'n'-bass-influenced beats, taking a break from the jungle sounds he's best known for.