Saturday night at Footwork saw the Toronto debut of Audion , Matthew Dear 's darker and rawer alter ego, and the counterpoint to the pop-influenced minimal techno that's made him famous.
However, the line between the identities is blurry at best. Much of his work as Matthew Dear is only marginally less minimal, so it's tempting to think that he created the pseudonym to get out of having to perform the same songs over and over again.
Performing live via laptop, he dramatically shifted the mood in the packed club as soon as he took over, ignoring the electro-house vibe that Mario J had set up and ploughing straight into twisted Detroit-influenced techno.
You could hear traces of traditional Motor City techno in his approach, but sonically there was nothing retro about it. Over the course of his two-hour set he didn't shy away from getting downright weird, and managed to keep the crowd interested even through the more head-fuck moments.
He offered a great example of how well minimal can work for a dance floor as long as it doesn't succumb to self-indulgent preciousness and wankery in the name of experimentation.
Unfortunately, his set came to an abrupt end when the power supply suddenly cut out, apparently a result of the heavy workout he'd put the system through.
Blackmarket Records teamed up with Gotsoul Saturday to bring in NYC legend Danny Krivit for an extended set at 99 Sudbury . The pairing of the two promoters meant the warehouse was even more packed than usual, which, combined with the pitch-black darkness, led to lots of unintentionally comedic collisions on the dance floor, especially during peak hours.
Krivit's DJ history spans three decades, so there was a lot of speculation about how he'd play at this kind of event. Would he lay down the funk classics, play an eclectic across-the-board set or stick mainly to house?
Considering the mixed reactions that eclectic sets by adventurous DJs have received at this space in recent memory, it was probably for the best that he stuck mainly to house, even if it might have disappointed the small percentage of music nerds who actually make it out to late-night warehouse jams like this.
Somewhat surprisingly, he steered clear of the sleepy lounge side of deep house in favour of more big-room-friendly sounds, albeit still fairly soulful club thumpers.
Gotsoul head jojoflores closed out the night with a good, tight set that complemented Krivit's, but it always seems a bit odd that he puts himself on at the end of his nights. Not that he's not talented -- it's just that you expect a DJ of Krivit's calibre to continue playing until the lights come on, especially when the crowd is loving it.
A few weeks ago, GEM Events started up a new Sunday-night party at the State Theatre called Sunday School . On the decks each week is Sean Miller , who made a name for himself at Boa-Redux's Spadina location over the past couple years for his fusion of big-room tribal and electro house. Miller didn't make the move with Boa to its current location on Adelaide, but it's rumoured that he'll be playing at the new club currently being built at Boa's former location, so it's good for him to be playing a residency like this in the meantime to keep his name on folks' minds.
The night isn't insanely busy yet but is definitely attracting enough people to call it a party. With its bottle-service booths, the club has a bit of an upscale vibe, but enough attendees look like they're still going from the night before to keep it from seeming too chi-chi.