Fri, June 29
Sweet Bon Bon
I was surprised that the Bon Bon party at White Orchid was as empty as it was for the set by Denny Le Nimh .
The NYC DJ still worked hard behind the decks for the handful of dancers on the floor, mixing up the electro-indie-dance shit at a fast pace.
At the after-party at a nearby gallery space, I found the complete opposite situation - the space quickly filled up, and Le Nimh had no trouble getting the crowd moving.
Maybe next time the promoters should just forget about the bar event and proceed straight to the late-night venue. Regardless, next time he comes to town he'll have the advantage of some new local fans.
Sun, Jul 1
Blazing Boogie boat
Boogie Inc and Mixed Signals Music teamed up to throw the first annual Deep House Boat Cruise Canada Day afternoon on the Enterprise 2000 , featuring house icons Blaze .
Most of the boat is covered, and an upper level overlooks the dance floor. This would have been great had the weather been nasty, but the bright sun and cool breeze made many want to dance in the open-air section.
Unfortunately, the owners of the vessel weren't receptive to the idea of blasting the tunes outside, probably fearing the wrath of Toronto Islands residents.
The usual deep house locals started off to warm up the crowd, and after a couple of hours it was time for Blaze's Josh Milan and Kevin Hedge to take the stage for their live performance.
Milan handled the vocals and keyboards, while Hedge kept the beats going, and the set started off strong. But then Milan put down the mic and took over the turntables, informing the crowd that he wanted to save his voice for the after-party that night at Gossip .
At first I thought the promoters were being sneaky and trying to force people to hit up the after-party to get the full show, but they were as surprised as the rest of the crowd.
Milan's DJ set was a fun romp through underground disco classics, and the vibes were great all afternoon, but the abbreviated live show was disappointing, especially when they so rarely come to town together.
The people at Crosstown put together a Canada Day party focusing on two very different sides of Detroit dance music.
Following warm-up sets by Adam Marshall and Eric Downer , techno pioneer Juan Atkins took over the decks just after last call.
Not many can lay claim to being there since techno's beginnings, but Atkins can. He took the crowd on a trip through its two decades, highlighting the funky and melodic sides of the genre. Though he dropped a few dusty classics, it wasn't a retro set overall, and he kept the room hot and sweaty as it should be.
Theo Parrish followed. Also based in Detroit and reverent of the history of dance music, Parrish comes at it from a totally different angle, more rooted in the early sounds of Chicago. This meant lots of rough re-edits of disco classics, some quirky dark techy tracks and lots of obscure soulful dance music.
Where Atkins might concentrate on the mix and the blend, Parrish just slams in the next track and puts all his energy into reworking it through heavy-handed abuse of the EQ.
Not for everyone, but good times for those that get him.