Tue, Apr 29
DJ duo Famous Players stirred up some controversy a while back by cheerfully admitting to pre-mixing their sets at home and then just dancing around and partying behind the decks while they played in the club. Many DJs were accused of this kind of cheating back in the rave days, but no one would admit to doing it.
Despite lacking live elements, these pre-mixes rocked the crowds as well as “real” DJ sets, much to the chagrin of more experienced mixers. They could have kept this method going, but instead the duo realized that it’s more fun and not much harder to do it the traditional way.
Every Tuesday at 751 they’ve been showing off their new skills, and while they’re not going to be winning turntablist competitions any time soon, they’re definitely good enough for the indie dance scene. It’s a fairly low-key weekly where various scenesters, promoters and performers hang out on their nights off.
Wed, Apr 30
UK-based producer/DJ Erol Alkan was behind many of the biggest dance tracks of the past few years, and also had a key role in the early days of this whole electro/indie/bloghouse thing because of his influential club night, Trash, which ran for 10 years at the End nightclub in London.
The folks at Embrace brought him to the Social for a mid-week party that undoubtedly facilitated quite a few Thursday-morning hangovers. Had it been a weekend night, they probably would have needed a much larger venue, and it was worth a rough morning to get a chance to hear him at an intimate, small club.
Alkan didn’t play much of the rock-influenced dance music he was once known for, favouring instead the rave-revivalist club-pounding tracks that are getting a lot of play lately. Along with bangin’ kick drums and sirens, he also broke it up with mellower melodic tech-house tracks and threw in some old-school vocal house references here and there as well.
As much as classic dance music references are becoming de rigueur in the electro-house scene, they’re not being dropped as purely retro flavouring. Instead, the old sounds and ideas are reframed with contemporary techniques and tones, bringing new life to club music without forgetting the tradition these sounds come from.
Alkan’s set went over exceptionally well with the crowd, who demanded an encore and attempted to convince him to play a second one. When he comes back for a weekend gig, expect pandemonium.
Thu, May 1
Dopplehertz are a newish event production company headed by boy-about-town Matt Sims. For this party, they teamed up with party-photo site Cobrasnake to bring electro-punk band Hearts Revolution to Wrongbar.
Given the Cobrasnake connection, it wasn’t surprising that much of the young crowd were decked out in their best hipster fashions, though such a large dose can look a bit ridiculous. We thought the fake glasses thing was long over, but apparently everyone still wants to look like a sexy nerd.
Hearts Revolution have a lot in common sonically with local synth-punk terrors Crystal Castles, but without Castles’ serious goth overtones. Switch surly scowls for perky smiles and you’re on the right track. Good stage presence, but the repertoire is somewhat limited. Give them a some time and they’ll come up with more variety to break things up a bit.