Last call at DeLeon White
Stopped by what was rumoured to be the last-ever party at the DeLeon White Gallery Friday night before it becomes yet another condo showroom. Headlining the night was a live performance of sleazy electro disco by Mellee Fresh , with Dirty 30 (whom, for the record, I've recently collaborated with on another project) providing the beats and some backup vocals.
Judging from the attendance, not a lot of people in Toronto are aware of what Mellee Fresh has been doing, but at least a couple of huge UK DJs (Pete Tong and Judge Jules) have recently been charting their track Beautiful, Rich And Horny despite the fact that there's been no official release of the album, or even a record label for that matter.
Mellee Fresh was previously known as Melleny Melody, but the stuff she released under that name was more kitschy dance pop. This is darker and dirtier. Fresh still looks and sounds kind of like a cartoon, and the live show was silly fun even if there wasn't much of an audience to interact with.
It's always interesting to see how an environment can change the way a DJ plays.
For the past few years, Dimitri From Paris seemed like he was moving away from house in favour of his disco obsession, but Sunday night at Sonic saw him exploring a whole other side of his personality.
Maybe it was the big room and beefy sound system, or maybe it was Sonic's built-in gay presence, but this time around he played lots of what might best be described as big-room gay house. Granted, his take on it isn't quite what you'd hear there on a normal weekend - and he did slip in some disco classics - but this was still a very different Dimitri than the one we've heard at venues like the Sunnyside Pavilion.
The vibe was good and the crowd responded well, so no one was complaining that he didn't stick to the obscure classics many love him for. My only gripe was the punishing volume; it's great that Sonic has a clean and powerful system, but when that many people are plugging their ears at the peaks it can't be good. At the very least, the washroom attendants should be selling earplugs along with their gum and mints.
Further on the subject of washroom attendants, they shouldn't be preventing patrons from filling their water bottles in the sinks. It was really hot in there, and at $5 a bottle of water, it gets expensive just to stay hydrated.
Black Market brought in Detroit techno legend Derrick May on Saturday for a good old-fashioned warehouse party in the Wallace Studios complex.
Got there just as he started up his set, which in typical May style veered through the many different branches of dance music: classic Detroit techno, bumpin' Chicago house, moody weird stuff and a bouncy romp through uplifting disco classics toward the end of the night.
He may be considered one of the founders of techno, but he takes a far less narrow approach to the genre than most DJs. They usually go for long blends and layers of minimal tracks, while May still seems much more interested in chopping violently between actual songs.
Regardless, the enthusiastic round of applause when the lights went on proved that he still has what it takes to rock a room until daybreak.