Fri, May 11
Clement "Sir Coxsone" Dodd, the most important producer in the history of reggae, founded the legendary Studio One label, discovered Bob Marley and Lee "Scratch" Perry and recorded hundreds of reggae's biggest stars over the years. His passing in 2004 inspired the local roots reggae scene to launch an annual tribute night that this year saw many selectors passing through Thymeless to drop a few of their favourite Dodd productions.
As regulars might expect, the crowd was a mix of Rastas, hippies, university kids and reggae fans of all stripes. The place was busy, but the vibe stayed mellow and relaxed, and while there was more head-nodding than ass-shaking, the dance floor filled up as the night went on.
Stay up late
The AD/D crew threw an impromptu late-night party in a College Street loft, bringing in a couple of big names to throw down tunes. Junior Sanchez has been a regular at AD/D events lately, and must enjoy his time in Toronto considering how often he's played here lately. The "unofficial" guest was Steve Aoki, who was in town for a gig across town at Ultra.
The space was soon full enough to strat condensation dripping from the ceiling. Electro, hiphop, mashups, house, rock: the music was all over the place. And most people didn't seem to care who was on the decks; at times the locals playing in the side room had as big a crowd as the superstars in the main room.
Sat, May 12
You dropped something
Stopped in for a bit at Crosstown for the Drop the Lime party put on by newcomers the Curb Crawlers. Their events have a wide focus, but the common theme is bass, which means you could hear electro, but you also might hear some grime or dubstep.
Opening up for NYC's Drop the Lime, Toronto's Sek One played a set of a gritty, high-energy booty and electro-influenced beats. It might have been a little too speedy for that point in the night; people were still getting warmed up and didn't seem ready for uptempo beats.
Perhaps sensing this, Drop the Lime brought the tempo down to hiphop speed and took things in a totally different direction. That did the trick and got the party started.
Over at Footwork, the Milk crew brought in Kristian Beyer, one-half of German duo Ame, who are partly responsible for the explosion of techno and trance-influenced deep house over the past few years. While Ame might see themselves primarily as house producers who accidentally crossed over to other scenes, you could hear elements of their other influences in Beyer's DJ set, and that cold German flavour was front and centre.
Overall, it was grounded in the techy side of things - lots of synths and pads, few vocals or live instrument sounds. At times it got a bit repetitive and droning, but then Beyer would drop something that snapped you out of your daze and brought you back into it. A decent, though not mind-blowing, performance.