Fri, Apr 11
Toronto electro-rap duo Thunderheist have been hard at work on their upcoming album for Diplo’s Mad Decent label, and this Lee’s Palace gig was the first real unveiling of the new material. Judging from the capacity crowd, we weren’t the only ones eager to hear the new tracks.
When they took the stage, the beats were distressingly quiet, but the sound tech quickly corrected that and got the bass up to a proper chest-rattling level. Wish they’d done something about the lights, though. It seemed way too bright in there for this kind of music.
The big tracks of the night were the singles they’ve been bangin’ for the last year or two. But on the new material, they expand their sound to include a wider palette of rhythms and inject some more melody into the club thumpers. Expect some disco flavours and less of that Bmore-influenced rawness.
MC Isis is already a confident and entertaining performer, and a trio of backup dancers enhanced her presence. If their tour promoters have any sense, they’ll spring for the dancers to go along on the European gigs and give that side of the pond a taste of how we do it in T.O.
Sat, Apr 12
Between the Boat, Teranga and new addition the Augusta House, this little corner in Kensington is suddenly a great place to club-hop. Then again, about a decade ago there were a few illegal after-hours joints operating here, so nightlife isn’t exactly a new thing.
Started off the evening at Augusta House, the new bar from the people who used to run the White Orchid, where the Swagger Blaster crew were doing an all-local party. Once again I was impressed most by Tom Wrecks (sometimes called T-Wrecks). He does the electro-indie-dance thing, but keeps one foot planted firmly in traditional house music and proper DJing, an approach that’s increasingly in demand as hipsters tire of train-wreck DJ mixes and cookie-cutter bloghouse.
The party wasn’t that busy until relatively late. The huge lineup next door at the Boat had shrunk by that point, so it was time to poke our head in at Bang The Party, the monthly thrown by Andycapp and Rod Skimmins (who was celebrating his birthday). BTP has been building up a crowd for a while now and may be ready to move to a larger venue, unless the Boat manages to get its capacity increased to a number that actually reflects the amount of floor space.
Guest DJs Jamie Sin and Will Munro brought some of the weirdo disco vibe of their Seventh Heaven parties to the event, and the dance floor was loving it. There’s a lot of crossover between the two parties and they’ve collaborated in the past, but each takes a different approaches to early-80s NYC club culture they love.
This might sound like a backhanded compliment, but both Munro and Sin seem to be mixing more cleanly than previously. Granted, disco is meant to be mixed, while the quirky post-punk they sometimes play doesn’t lend itself so well to beatmatching.