My week in Clubs
rub a dub
Local wax collectors Dub Rocket and Iron Will host various roots reggae- themed nights, including a monthly Sunday event at NASA. They drew a respectable-sized crowd last week for a chilled-out end-of-weekend session with special guest Easy Rock, who mixed between two laptops filled with obscure reggae gems.
True, most of the crowd were still in diapers when this music was originally recorded, but the sparse soundscapes still come across as futuristic as ever.
Dub Rocket also plays at Element on Thursdays, but spins a more eclectic mix of electro, dub, house and techno weirdness.
The new trend imported from New York to Toronto involves hiding the entrance of the club, not posting a sign outside or using a sign that has nothing to do with the club. The Film Lounge, hidden away on Dundas at Beverley, is host to a new Saturday-night party called Girls On Film.
It features female DJs pumping funky tech-house to a late-night but upscale club crowd. DJ Minx from Detroit was the opening-night headliner and dropped a heavy, upbeat set of house. Smooth mixing and tasteful tweaking kept the party rocking, although the dance floor never got very crowded — an overly bright light show kept scaring off timid Toronto clubbers.
The venue itself is fine — medium-size, good sound, upscale-looking, yet the drinks are affordable enough. Warning: there is a “style code” — no runners — that annoyed some of the younger patrons. Since the cover goes up at 1 am and the closing DJ doesn’t hit the decks until 4 am, the idea is to prevent the venue from getting a reputation as a rave club.
Red Drink Boutique is another upscale lounge with a hidden entrance. This one does have a sign out in front, but the only access is via the back alley, and admission is guest-list only: e-mail them at email@example.com.
The interior looks like it was lifted directly from the pages of Wallpaper. Sixties modernism rules, but the ghost of 80s decadence lurks under the surface. The Friday-night music mix is provided by Stephen Byfield, who favours mellow jazzy house but drops some salsa and funk as well.
The crowd is a mixed bag of ages and races, dressed like money and prepared to spend it on expensive drinks. Some dancing was spotted near the DJ, but most were there to flirt and socialize.