Tue, Jan 15
Checked out DJ Fase’s long-running weekly Footwork party at Andy Poolhall, a hiphop jam that’s about to celebrate a very impressive eight years on February 12. It’s rare for any weekly to last that long, let alone a mid-week event like this. But it’s still going strong and attracts a good crowd.
A lot of the tunes Fase drops are within the 90s underground hiphop spectrum, but over an evening you can expect other sounds as well. (This night ended with a set of contemporary dancehall.) The breakdancers are usually out in force, giving you something to watch but unfortunately taking a lot of real estate from those whose moves are less acrobatic.
Fri, Jan 17
Learning to Crawl
The Curb Crawlers crew took over the back room of LeVack Block for a night of dirty bass-driven tunes by an all-local cast of up-and-comers. Don’t let the swank front bar fool you into thinking this spot is just a lounge – the back room has huge potential for parties and feels like a small club once it’s packed and dark.
The neon symbols on the walls look great, but they’re too bright to leave on while people are dancing. Ideally, they should be hooked up to the sound system to be used as an effect. Who needs lasers if you’ve got sexy pulsing neon?
The party itself was great fun and well attended. With so many of the new generation of electro-informed DJs getting into production and receiving praise from key international tastemakers, it’s only a matter of time before Toronto blows up large.
Sat, Jan 18
In retrospect, it should have been easy to guess that Thunderheist were the surprise live performers at the Squares Stay Home party at Wrongbar. With Mad Decent blog-meister Paul Devro headlining alongside Ottawa’s Jokers of the Scene (who have some upcoming releases on Mad Decent), it made sense to put Thunderheist, the latest Canadians to be snapped up by Diplo’s highly successful label, on the bill.
It seemed to take forever for the duo to take the stage, and it’s too bad the anticipation made JOTC’s set feel a bit too much like a warm-up. All that pent-up energy exploded, though, when Thunderheist’s Isis finally grabbed the mic and got shit started.
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past year and still haven’t seen them live, you need to get on that quick. While it feels redundant to say at this point, the combination of Isis’s brash charisma and Grahmzilla’s club-banging beats makes for one of the most exciting dance music shows around; it’s no mystery why European crowds have been going gaga over them.
Devro took over the decks immediately after them and kept the momentum going, but it was so late by then that many partiers were already preparing to leave.