Fri, June 8
Deep End does deep house
The house music scene is more late-night oriented than a typical NXNE rock show, so the NXNE Deep End party at Crosstown took a while to fill up. Eventually, the dance floor got busy.
We heard some decent deep house action from all involved, but special mention should go to John Kumahara , who hasn't played locally that much lately but threw down a tasty chunk of sounds. Journalistic integrity requires me to mention that the label he helps run (Iwanai) put out one of my records last year, but I would've been impressed anyway.
Late at the Drake
The Drake Hotel had an extended liquor licence during NXNE, which made it one of the late-night hot spots. In the post-2 am hours, Scratch Bastid was laying down an eclectic set of mashups and hiphop in the Underground , while up in the lounge DJ Pammm , Geoff Snack and Shit La Merde were mixing up the electro and indie dance sounds.
Some might argue that these parties were just tacked on to NXNE, but they definitely served a purpose, providing a decent after-party to hit once the bands stopped playing.
Sat, June 9
The Pop Montreal showcase at the Drake Underground generated a lot of buzz at NXNE, leading to a ridiculous lineup. Despite our media passes, NOW's Sarah Liss and I were both stuck in the mass of bodies as Thunderheist 's trashy electro-hiphop thump filled the stairwell.
The atmosphere in the line was getting tense, and the bouncers lost track of who had gone out for a smoke or to use the washroom and who was trying to sneak into the capacity gig.
We managed to get in to catch the last half of their set, which was worth the wait. MC Isis has great presence, and the club bangers she's been churning out with Thunderheist have great potential far beyond the Toronto scene.
Following Thunderheist, Florida's Yo Majesty took the stage with their high energy booty beats and provided a very convincing argument as to why they deserve the hype. The trio was a duo due to border hassles, but they managed to throw down a fun and entertaining set of tough-ass beats.
Down the street at Spin Gallery , the folks at AD/D were hosting Peaches 's local debut as a DJ, another buzz event that thankfully had a more sane situation at the door.
Ran into a few people who were raving that DJ Barbi 's opening set had the room going off, but they were less impressed with the DJ following her ( Butterscotch ), who turned out to be Peaches's manager.
Considering what usually happens when rock stars take up the turntables, Peaches did a pretty good job. She didn't do much fancy mixing, but she played decent dance-worthy tunes, and any beginner's missteps were fairly minor.