Rubbing it in
We found a fairly chaotic scene at the door of the Great Hall, where Random Play/Drug Money were presenting The Rub (aka Brooklyn's Cosmo Baker, DJ Ayres and DJ Eleven) in the basement on Friday night. Security was trying to figure out who had stepped outside for a smoke and who was waiting to pay to get in.
Organizational issues aside, the Great Hall, where many of the city's early house music events were held, is a wonderful spot for a party. It looks like more dance parties will happen at the historic building in future - good news since there's a shortage of interesting non-club party spaces.
The Rub are often associated with the mash-up fad, but that's not quite what they're about. At heart, they're basically hiphop DJs who bring a lot of other flavours and rhythms into their sets, encompassing electro, reggae, rock and pretty much anything they think they can make work.
Their work has an attention-deficit quality - they rarely play much of a song before cutting to something else. Some find their mixture of very mainstream hiphop and underground music jarring.
Looking across the dance floor, though, it's hard to deny that it does the trick.
Cool for Cats
Lost Cats, the monthly Saturday party that Pat C and DJ CTV News at Noon have been throwing at the White Orchid for a while now, has built up into a consistently hot and sweaty party.
The space is reminiscent of 56 Kensington in that it's dark and a bit of a dive, has black lights and a loud but barely functional sound system. For this kind of party, though, that's pretty much perfect.
The music is all over the place, from hiphop to daft punk to mash-ups to house, and the crowd young and artsy. For this edition, they had a couple of guest DJs as well, Orly and DJ Belo Fashions on Bloor, who stayed with the cheeky eclectic vibe that the night is known for. It's a fun party if you like a bit of dumb with your smart music.
NYC techno pioneer Joey Beltram has had a huge influence on the harder side of dance music, and that's exactly what we heard Saturday night at Footwork: hard, fast and banging techno.
Though he has a more aggressive sound than most who play the club on Saturday night, he's got enough of a following to fill the room with long-time fans, some reliving memories of past raves.
Despite the fact that he did exactly what people there wanted him to do, and did it well, it was hard not to notice how dated much of his music sounded. Many of the records he played weren't old, but they'd all have fit in perfectly at a rave 10 years ago. While those were grand times, much of that style hasn't stood the test of time.
Still, if you were in the mood for a good old-fashioned techno beatdown, you probably came away satisfied.