Wed, May 23
Wandered into the Social after band practice to check out Tony "Gold" Anile's new Wednesday night weekly, which has already had its share of hot out of town guest DJs, alongside residents Nasty Nav and Mikey Apples .
Got there just in time to hear NYC-based production duo A Touch Of Class lay down their take on contemporary dance music, which in this case means the whole electro-rock-house spectrum.
One of ATOC's main claims to fame is the release of the first singles by the Scissor Sisters and they've remixed an eclectic array of artists over the 00s, from the dance-punk of Le Tigre to Taana Gardner's underground disco classic Heartbeat. While some of their DJ sets reflect this variety, on this night they heavily favoured the big and clubby side, possibly underestimating the number of music nerds who'd be up for a bit more weird and a little less thump.
They could have been more challenging, but they did keep the dance floor moving, which is ultimately more important for a good night out. Still, it would've been nice to hear a DJ set reflective of their colourful production track record.
Fri, May 25
For partiers of a certain age, a Richie Hawtin gig brings up a fair amount of nostalgia for the crazy warehouse raves of yore. On the other hand, leaky porta-potties in dirty industrial buildings don't quite have the same appeal a decade later, so it's probably for the best that the Canadian expat played at the Mod Club Theatre this time around.
Hawtin himself has grown up along with his fans and doesn't sound nearly as dark and brooding as he once did. While it might seem wildly inappropriate to apply the term to such a minimalist, much of his set sounded, well, groovy. Sure, he got weird here and there and he was still playing techno, but the mood was upbeat and bouncy, at least by his standards.
One of the drawbacks of seeing him play at a concert venue like this is the club's closing time. It wasn't even 4 am and the house lights came on, leaving the crowd milling around trying to figure out what to do with the rest of their night. Hawtin may have been relieved though, as he had to get on a tour bus for Detroit's Electronic Music Festival the next day.
Sat, May 26
Catch the spirit
Jumped in a cab after my gig to get to Crosstown for the tail end of the Fabrice Lig and Spirit Catcher double bill. Like Lig, Spirit Catcher hail from Belgium, but they're more known for melodic house and electro disco rather than techno.
Perhaps it was Lig's influence rubbing off on them, or maybe they had their minds on their own DEMF sets, but the duo chose to pump it out harder than many expected. It wasn't hard-as-nails pounding techno, but it also wasn't nearly as smooth and funky as some of their tracks suggest.