Wed, Apr 11
Stopped by West for its weekly industry-oriented night (that's the nightlife industry, not the steel industry).
Considering the weather, the turnout was decent, although several people mentioned that normally it's much busier. The music tends toward the electro side of things, and this week found Dirty Dale spinning the tunes.
"Don't tell the deep house crowd about this," he joked, referring to the scene and sound he's better-known for. Of course, he's not the only one in the soulful house scene who also dabbles in that whole electro thing, but some would surely be surprised to hear him playing this style.
Loitering at Lobby
Got distracted from my search for fast food by someone who insisted I get in his cab to go to Lobby with him.
The doorman must have been looking the other way when I got my old sneakers and ratty jeans past him. There's not much room to move around, let alone dance, but that doesn't seem to be the point of a place like this. It's a swank, luxurious spot where movers probably mix with shakers. Getting sweaty isn't really on the agenda.
Fri, Apr 13
Walked into Crosstown just as Nick Holder took over the decks from Dirty Dale, warming up the crowd for a visit from soulful house mainstay Ron Trent. Holder is an icon in Toronto's house scene, so it's no surprise that he dropped some choice tracks in his set. It was, however, somewhat surprising to hear him stumble on a few mixes.
As Trent took the decks, the lights were dimmed for a trip through his rich collection of smooth organic dance music. Much of what he plays is mellow enough to fall asleep to at a more moderate volume but, when played by someone with his touch, can rock a dance floor. He's one of the few DJs who goes out into the crowd while he's playing to check on the sound out on the dance floor, which is something younger DJs should take note of.
Not far into his spaced-out set, the mood shifted when all three DJs took turns playing records to finish off the night, which inevitably led to more anthems and upbeat crowd-pleasers. It might not have been the extended Ron Trent set some were expecting, but we've seen a lot of those over the years and there's nothing wrong with a little bit of friendly three-way action.
Sat, Apr 14
Mark Farina is known almost equally as a house DJ and for the Mushroom Jazz series of downtempo mixes, and at the Docks he was supposed to be using the extended slot to connect both. Sounds good in theory, but in a huge dance club sometime after midnight on a Saturday, downtempo breakbeats just don't make that much sense, so it wasn't long before he was up to house tempo, where he stayed for the rest of the night.
Given the size of the event, things ran fairly smoothly, from getting in the door to obtaining a drink at the bar. Puzzling, though, that the massive sound system was pumping along at such a low level. There's not much point in having it if fear of the Islanders' wrath is going to keep it on such a tight leash.
On the bright side, everyone's ears were probably thanking them when they got home.